Arnold Schwarzenegger's Workout Tips from A-Z

26 workout tips from the legend!

Photographs courtesy of ART ZELLER © FITNESS PUBLICATIONS INC., COURTESY OF WEIDER HEALTH AND FITNESS

You probably figure that you mastered the ABCs of bodybuilding during your first month in a gym. But what about the D’s and E’s and even the Q’s and Z’s? Get out your notepad and No. 2 pencil. What follows is an alphabetical training primer from the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger. It begins with fundamentals—A (abs), B (biceps), C (calves)—but the seven-time Mr. Olympia adds his unique take on each. This guide, true to Arnold himself, will veer far off beaten paths when the Austrian Oak serves up unexpected workout concepts like hypnosis, visualization, and sweating it out in the altogether. Even the 13th Mr. O, Phil Heath, could learn from this lexicon as Mr. O No. 3 reveals the secrets that made him, arguably, the greatest bodybuilder of all-time. Everyone should take notes as Arnold dishes out his A to Z workout advice.

A IS FOR ABS

“One common mistake bodybuilders make is neglecting abdominal training. They seem to feel abs are less important than chest, arms, and other big muscles, and they think they have plenty of time to develop abs later on when they’re preparing to get onstage or go to the beach. Don’t be deluded. Always work your abs. I worked abs at least every other day and often every day. One trick I used throughout the day was to constantly suck in my abs and hold that for as long as I could. I’d do that repeatedly, because not only did it remind me to keep my waist as small as possible, but it’s also an excellent isometric exercise.”

B IS FOR BICEPS

“I like partials as a way of keeping a set going. This is a great technique for barbell curls. Try doing half reps after you’ve done 10 full reps. Instead of putting the weight down, do, say, five or six half reps, letting the weight descend to about halfway before curling it up to the shoulders again.”

C IS FOR CALVES

“To turn my calves from a weakness to a strength, I copied the calf routine of [1965 Pro Mr. Universe] Reg Park, making a few adjustments to suit my own individual body. The idea was to train my calves at least five times a week, if not seven, using the heaviest possible weights. Soon I was using twice my previous resistance but not worrying at all about the number of repetitions. The program called for a minimum of 10 sets per day, which gave me a deep burn. I stuck mostly to donkey calf raises and the standing calf machine, and I always worked calves first, when I was freshest. Probably the biggest secret of improving my lower legs was that I paid special attention to them for years.”

 

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