Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Bodybuilding Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Training Program

Arnold Schwarzenegger_workout

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a famous Austrian-American actor, gaining huge fame for his bodybuilding skills and movies.

Later, he even became the governor of California.

Arnold’s father used to beat Arnold, pitting him in fights with his brother.

Arnold would be ridiculed for having dreams of becoming a bodybuilder. Both his brother and father died in 1971 and 1972 respectively.

Arnold ‘escaped’ the trauma, turning to movies, particularly those of Reg Park, who was a bodybuilder and former Mr. Britain.

Arnold always longed to go to America, and he achieved this through Joe Weider.

This man was the man behind the International Federation of Body Building.

This organization sponsored huge contests like Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe.

To cut a long story short, Schwarzenegger went on to win five Mr. Universe titles and six Mr. Olympia titles in his bodybuilding career.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mass Workout & Diet – His Training & Lifting Program (For Both Beginners & Professionals)

Arnold Schwarzenegger workout routine

Current Stats

  • Weight: 225 – 235 pounds at the peak of his competition weight
  • Birthday: 30 July 1947
  • Birthplace: Thal, near Graz, Austria
  • Accolades/accomplishments:
    • 1967 – Won first amateur Mr. Universe title.
    • 1968 – Won three more Mr. Universe titles after moving to California.
    • 1970-1975 Won Mr. Olympia title 6 years in a row before retiring.
    • 1980 – Came back one more time to win Mr. Olympia again.
    • 2003 – He was elected governor of California. He was re-elected in 2006.
    • 2011 – A museum dedicated to Schwarzenegger’s life opened in his childhood home in Thal, Austria.
    • He has been nominated also for many movie awards and we have listed all of these here.
    • He has also written many books and these are listed here.

Workout Principles of Arnold Schwarzenegger

1) Train according to your training age

Your training age is totally different from your biological age.

It is all about how many years you have spent in the weight room.

Arnold would insist that people with less training age should focus more on compound exercises like bench press, deadlift, squats, rows, etc. which gave serious size and strength.

2) No one is the same

Everyone has different load handling abilities, genetics, and recovery abilities. You need to train as to how your body feels.

3) Mind-muscle connection

Arnold was the first bodybuilder who swore by this technique.

It’s all about focusing your attention on the muscles you are training.

4) Pumping matters

Arnold said, “Pumping Iron’ is about pumping.”

Even though he said you shouldn’t be chasing the pump all the time whilst training, there’s definitely a place for it.

Pumping is achieved when the trained muscle is filled with blood.

5) Train weaker muscles

Arnold would say that if you have weaker body parts that are lagging behind, pay attention to those muscles.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Training Methods

Arnold had a training method and style that was called volume training.

This would include high numbers of repetitions and sets for just about every exercise he was involved in.

He believed that the more time the muscles spent under tension, the more they would grow.

He used to train twice a day in Venice at a gym called Gold’s Gym where all his closest friends would join him – some were bodybuilding icons like the late Franco Columbu, Dave Draper, and Frank Zane.

His workouts used to last hours.

These included endless numbers of exercises and sets.

These exercises and sets were the epitomai of high-volume training.

Many training experts today criticize this way of training because it is thought it does not allow for sufficient muscle recovery. Arnold knew exactly what he was doing.

Arnold’s Workout Routine

Plan A would be on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

  • 5 sets of 6-10 reps – Bench press
  • 5 sets of 6-10 reps – Flat bench flies
  • 6 sets of 6-10 reps – Incline bench press
  • 6 sets of 10-12 reps – Cable crossovers
  • 5 sets, to failure – Dips
  • 5 sets of 10-12 reps – Dumbbell pullovers
  • 6 sets, to failure – Front wide-grip chin-ups
  • 6 sets of 6-10 reps – Seated pulley rows
  • 5 sets of 6-10 reps – One-arm dumbbell rows
  • 6 sets of 15 reps – Straight-leg deadlifts
  • 6 sets of 8-12 reps – Squats
  • 6 sets of 8-12 reps – Leg presses
  • 6 sets of 12-15 reps – Leg extensions
  • 6 sets of 10-12 reps – Leg curls
  • 5 sets of 15 reps – Barbell lunges
  • 10 sets of 10 reps – Standing calf raises
  • 8 sets of 15 reps – Seated calf raises
  • 6 sets of 12 reps – One-legged calf raises (holding dumbbells)
  • 4 sets of 10 reps – Wrist curls (forearms on knees)
  • 4 sets of 8 reps – Reverse barbell curls
  • Wright roller machine – to failure
  • 30 Minutes of non-stop instinct training

Plan B would be on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays

  • 6 sets of 6-10 reps – Barbell curls
  • 6 sets of 6-10 reps – Seated dumbbell curls
  • 6 sets of 6-10 reps – Dumbbell concentration curls
  • 6 sets of 6-10 reps – Close-grip bench presses (for all 3 heads)
  • 6 sets of 6-10 reps – Pushdowns (exterior head)
  • 6 sets of 6-10 reps – Barbell French presses (interior head)
  • 6 sets of 6-10 reps – One-arm dumbbell triceps extensions (exterior head)
  • 6 sets of 6-10 reps – Seated barbell presses
  • 6 sets of 6-10 reps – Lateral raises (standing)
  • 5 sets of 6-10 reps – Rear-delt lateral raises
  • 5 sets of 10-12 reps – Cable lateral raises
Calves and forearms

Would be the same as Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays


Would be the same as Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Arnold’s Diet

When he was in his prime, Arnold would eat five to six small meals a day. He would supplement with protein shakes.

He would consume around 3825 calories per day.

A lot of it would get burned at the gym. Back in his early days, he would eat a lot of animal-based protein, but now he is 99% vegan.


  • 3 Scrambled eggs
  • 1-cup cooked oatmeal
  • 1-cup orange juice
  • 1-cup low-fat milk


  • A handful of mixed nuts
  • 1 banana or an apple


  • 2 slices of whole-wheat bread
  • 1 cooked chicken breast with no skin
  • 1 apple
  • 1-cup low-fat milk


  • 1 banana
  • 3 slices cheese
  • Water

Arnold would work out between his snack and the next meal

Post-workout drink

  • 25g milk protein
  • 25g egg protein
  • 8–12 oz. low-fat milk blended together. He would drink this after his workout


  • 8 oz. lean-cut grilled beef
  • 1 large baked potato
  • 1 large salad with mixed greens and vegetables with 1 tablespoon salad dressing
  • 1 cup mixed cooked vegetables
  • Water


  • 1-cup low-fat milk

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Supplements & Recommendations

  • Multivitamins – These helped to fill the gaps in nutrition.
  • Creatine Powder – This improved his recovery and increased his strength.
  • 5-HTP – This helped to improve Arnold’s sleep. It also maximizes muscle growth. Arnold took this before he went to bed,
  • Plant Protein – This was made from pumpkin and pea, offering all the essential amino acids,
  • Agmatine  – Known to help with nerve pain, depression, and generally improves an athlete’s performance.
  • Weight Gain Powder – Arnold’s weight gain powder had BCAAs in – for bulking up.
  • Energy Supplement – This supplement warded off fatigue and improved mental focus.
  • Whey Protein – This protein drink offers a mix of slow and fast-digesting proteins to support weight loss, muscle gain, and overall health.

Recommendations of Arnold Schwarzenegger

One top recommendation of Arnold’s is that people purchase his book, Arnold’s Bodybuilding for Men.

The legendary bodybuilder shows men how to build and maintain an excellent proportioned and well-conditioned body. This will promise them a lifetime of fitness and health.

For men of any age, Arnold shows them a step-by-step exercise program and diet.

But women can weightlift too, of course, says Arnold.

Remember, Arnold won Mr. Olympia seven times because of his great body and fitness.

You can be a winner too if you follow his outstanding workout routine, principles, and diet.

Arnold Schwarzenegger“Failure is Not an Option”