Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Workout Routine To Become Mr Olympia Is Not For Mortals

There are mortals like us who struggle to regularly hit the gym, maintain a healthy diet and get proper sleep; and then there’s Arnold Schwarzenegger pulling off unbelievable workout routines like some kind of a demigod. 

Schwarzenegger who’s undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s greatest action stars started off as a bodybuilder. He won Mr Olympia seven times and six times in a row, making a phenomenal career out of being a total beefcake. 

Pumping Iron

Before Arnie dominated the film industry with blockbuster movies as The Terminator, Total Recall and Predator, his name was known for being a seven-time Mr Olympia (1970-75, 1980). Up to his present age of 71, the Austrian-American actor still tops world bodybuilding records. 

As we’d all expect, the Pumping Iron star lived out of a herculean workout routine when he won the most prestigious bodybuilding competition seven times. According to Muscle and Strength, Arnie’s 16-week workout saw him pump iron six days a week for 60-75 minutes a session. 

What’s it mainly for? Build bare muscles, of course. This workout, based on Steve Shaw’s discernment, has two possible variations.

VARIATION ONE

Days one and four: chest and back

Chest: (bench press, incline bench press and dumbbell pullovers – 10 reps, 3-4 sets)
Back: (chin up, bent over row and deadlift – 10 reps, 3-4 sets)
Abs: (crunches – 25 reps, 5 sets)

Days two and five: shoulders and arms

Shoulders (barbell clean and press, dumbbell lateral raise, upright row and military press – 10 reps, 3-4 sets)
Arms: (standing barbell curl, seated barbell curl, close grip bench press and standing barbell tricep extension – 10 reps, 3-4 sets)
Forearms: (wrist curls and reverse wrist curls – 10 reps, 3-4 sets)
Abs: (reverse crunch – 25 reps, 5 sets)

Days three and six: legs and lower back

Legs (squat, lunch and leg curl – 10 reps, 3-4 sets)
Lower back (stiff leg deadlift and ‘good mornings’ – 10 reps, 3-4 sets)
Calves (standing calf raise – 10 reps, 3-4 sets)
Abs (crunches – 25 reps, 5 sets)

Arnold

VARIATION TWO

Days one, three and five: chest, back and legs

Chest (bench press and dumbbell flye – 6-10 reps, 5 sets; incline bench press – 6-10 reps, 6 sets; cable crossovers – 10-12 reps, 6 sets; dips – reps until failure, 5 sets; and dumbbell pullover – 10-12 reps, 5 sets)
Back (wide grip pull up – reps until failure, 6 sets; T-bar row and one-arm dumbbell row – 6-10 reps, 5 sets; seated pulley row – 6-10 reps, 6 sets; stiff leg deadlift – 15 reps, 6 sets)
Legs (squat and leg press – 8-12 reps, 6 sets; leg extension – 12-15 reps, 6 sets; leg curl – 10-15 reps, 6 sets; barbell lunge – 15 reps, 5 sets)
Calves (standing calf raise – 10 reps, 10 sets; seated calf raise – 15 reps, 8 sets; one leg dumbbell calf raise – 12 reps, 6 sets)
Forearms (wrist curl – 10 reps, 4 sets; reverse barbell curl – 10 reps, 4 sets; wrist roller machine – reps until failure, 4 sets)
Abs (non-stop abs training – reps ‘by instinct’, 30 mins)

Days two, four and six: shoulders and arms

Biceps (barbell curl, seated dumbbell curl and dumbbell concentration curl – 6-10 reps, 6 sets)
Triceps (close grip bench press, tricep pushdown, barbell French press and one-arm dumbbell tricep extension – 6-10 reps, 6 sets)
Shoulders (seated barbell press and lateral raise – 6-10 reps, 6 sets; rear delt lateral raise – 6-10 reps, 5 sets; cable lateral raise – 10-12 reps, 5 sets)
Calves (standing calf raise – 10 reps, 10 sets; seated calf raise – 15 reps, 8 sets; one leg dumbbell calf raise – 12 reps, 6 sets)
Forearms (wrist curl – 10 reps, 6 sets; reverse barbell curl – 8 reps, 4 sets; wrist roller machine – reps until failure, 4 sets)
Abs (non-stop abs training – reps ‘by instinct’, 30 mins)

In terms of his diet, Arnie apparently eats up to 5,000 calories a day, with 5-6 feedings per day including three whole food meals and two-three whole food ‘snacks.’ Along with 300g+ of protein, he would eat carbs within 30 minutes of finishing a workout and drink protein shakes if needed. 

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Arnold Schwarzenegger and Twitter/Mr Olympia LLC

Leave a Comment