How to Chest Training Arnold Schwarzenegger | Tips & Routine

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Chest Training Arnold Schwarzenegger

The pectoral muscles of Arnold Schwarzenegger have always been one of the most pumped in the history of bodybuilding. And even among the current top Olympic athletes no one can boast so pectoral.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Chest Training
How to Chest Training Arnold Schwarzenegger – Tip

The fact is that the volume of the pectoral muscles directly depends on the volume of body weight and on the genetic characteristics of the athlete. The greater the muscle mass of the athlete, the more his chest will be.


The secret of Arnold’s big chest muscle is that they were very voluminous for his competitive weight, which by today’s standards of the bodybuilders standing out was small and amounted to 105-110 kg.

For Arnold, the bench press or dumbbell bench press on a horizontal bench has always been and remains the top exercise for pumping the chest muscles, аnd then a special training style of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the features of his techniques immediately appear.

The first principle was the alternation of the barbell and dumbbell in the bench press on then a incline bench press.

For example, today in training he did the bench press lying, and in the next training it was a dumbbell bench press, when he push the barbell he changed the grab width of the barbell bar.

Arnold used this similar training scheme to constantly change the load on different muscle fibers and also to include the neuromuscular connection in the work. Thus, the muscles each time will respond to training in a new way and will not progress and growth.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Pyramid” Style Training

Arnold’s next main element was the training principle the “Pyramid”. He practiced the principle of the “Pyramid” almost constantly. And here Arnold had a special approach.

In total, for each exercise in breast training he performed 5-6 working sets, and the total number of sets for all chest exercises sometimes reached up to 30 reps.

But the whole point is that Arnold did not perform such a large number of sets in a monotonous mode, that is, doing the same number of repetitions, with practically the same working weight, only in the end increase or, conversely, reduce it. No, here everything is much more complicated and interesting!

Arnold Schwarzenegger to united two opposite types of training in one breast training:

  • High Traning – with low weight and a large number of repetitions
  • Heavy Training – with a very large weight and small number of repetitions.

And all this took in whole one training session!

Today it is already known that in this style pump of muscle fibers are worked out at once – white and red.

  1. White muscle fibers respond well to heavy weights and a small number of repetitions
  2. Red muscle fibers on the contrary respond to longer sets (in terms of number of repetitions) and lower weights (pumping muscle).

The training scheme “Pyramid” is the best suited for such a training. Apart from 1-2 warm-up sets with light weights, Arnold started the first set of exercises with almost 15 repetitions and pumping, what doing it an excellent warm-up of muscles. And I finished the exercise (5-6 set) already in weight-power style with a lot of weight and the number of 4 to 6 repetitions.

For example, in the bench press, his maximum weight reached 245 kg!

Read also: How To Do Upper Chest


That’s how he fully worked out the pectoral muscles, which is called 100%.

Arnold Dumbbell Fly 

Training Arnold SchwarzeneggerArnold in the bench press did not do the full range of motion (did not straighten his arms to the end), because after the middle of the amplitude, the main load is already taken by the triceps, and since we are training the chest, we must perform the exercise to the middle of the amplitude or slightly higher so that the whole load goes to the pectoral muscles and not to be wasted on triceps.

Another fundamental approach of Schwarzenegger was to train with large weights when doing exercise dumbbells fly. Schwarzenegger did not believe in small weights. He didn’t believe what with can small weights grow large chest muscles in the exercise of dumbbells fly. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to use only maximum weights in dumbbells fly exercises.

He could doing exercises dumbbells fly of 15 repetitions, with dumbbells of 45 kilograms!

Arnold Push-ups on the Uneven Bars 

Arnold Push-ups on the Uneven Bars The next exercise that Arnold performed on almost every chest workout is push-ups on the uneven bars.

Some consider this exercise more for triceps, but the technique is important here. In order to work out the chest as much as possible in this exercise, the body must be tilted forward. Lowered your body low as possible to stretch the muscles of the chest as much, and don’t rise fully extended so the load not shifted on the triceps.

Take extra weight and start doing push-ups on the uneven bars. The more weight, the more chest muscles will respond to stress and grow.

This contributes to the stretching and elasticity of the pectoral muscles. When chest muscle more flexible the muscle she activated for growth.


One of the most important moments in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s training is the psychological attitude. Psychological attitude is also importantnd ability to listen to your body. In the case when the load became excessively large he noticed this in time and switched to easier training in order to restore strength. In total he had three training options light, moderate and heavy (before the competition).

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s was completely immersed in this process, achieving maximum neuromuscular connection. It is this connection that affects muscle work and accordingly muscle growth. The muscle you feel grows. This is the proven axiom of bodybuilding, valid at all times.

Here are some sample training schemes for the great Arnold Schwarzenegger’s:

Arnold: training complex for the pectoral muscles:
  • Bench press on a horizontal bench (barbell or dumbbell): 6 sets, reps – 15, 10, 8, 6, 6, 4
  • Inclined bench press with head up (barbell or dumbbell): 5 sets, reps – 10, 8, 6, 6, 4
  • Flys with dumbbells: 5 sets, reps – 10, 8, 8, 8, 6
  • Push-ups on the uneven bars: 5 sets, repetitions – 15, 10, 8, 8, 8
  • Pullover with a dumbbell through the bench (at every third training session): 3 sets, reps – 15
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