Khirul Alam

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Arm Workout Routine for Iconic Guns

Have you reached the point where you are prepared to transform your upper arms into masterpieces that are worthy of the legacy of Arnold Schwarzenegger? For those who have ever admired the iconic physique of Arnold, who has won seven times the title of Mr. Olympia, this article is your definitive guide to achieving arms like Schwarzenegger. We delve into the illustrious arm workout routine that was instrumental in defining the golden era of bodybuilding and continues to inspire people all over the world who are interested in sports and fitness.

Understanding the Arnold Schwarzenegger Arm Workout

Before delving into the specifics of Arnold’s arm exercise routine, it is essential to have a solid understanding of the fundamental principles that underpin his strategic approach to building massive arms. The arm exercise that Schwarzenegger is famous for is known for its high-volume, high-intensity nature. It is designed to target the brachii muscle and three-headed muscle from a variety of angles. In this method, the emphasis is placed on achieving peak contraction with each repetition, chiseling in all of the cuts, and increasing the size of the abdominal muscles.

Arnold’s Pre-Contest: How Did Schwarzenegger Train His Arms?

When Alois was in the pre-contest phase, he would increase the intensity of his arm training and concentrate on sculpting every detail to perfection. As part of his workout routine, he performed a wide range of exercises, such as preacher curls, wrist-curls, and lying triceps extensions, with the intention of achieving the greatest possible definition and vascularity in his muscles. Arnold’s success on the competitive stage can be attributed in large part to the fact that he applied himself wholeheartedly to his arm routine during this phase.


“Three months before a contest, I would change my arm routine completely,” says Oak. “Now I wanted to focus on chiseling all the cuts and shapes. I would reduce my sets and use super-sets to get the most pump each workout.”

Over the course of this time period, Arnold Schwarzenegger would go into overdrive, training each of his arms in a superset fashion with very little or no rest in between the super-sets. Due to the fact that he was currently working on a six-day double split, which consists of two workouts per day, six days per week, he would be putting immense strain on his arms by performing this strenuous routine three times annually. And you thought his routine for building muscle was a bear!

arnold arms

Another thing. “Between brachii sets, I would stand in front of the mirror and flex my arms for a minute, two, or three minutes to prepare for a big contest. Since contest posing is hard, I would. Control and endurance are different from muscle.”

Arnold’s Pre-Contest Exercise:

Superset 1

1. Incline Dumb-bell Curl

Perform 4 sets with reps 8-10.

2. Tricep Pushdown

Perform 4 sets with reps 8-10.


Superset 2

1. Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curl

Perform 4 sets with reps 8-10.

2. One-Arm Overhead Extension

Perform 4 sets with reps 8-10.

Superset 3

1. Preacher Curl

Perform 4 sets with reps 8-10.

2. Lying French Press

Perform 4 sets with reps 8-10.

Superset 4

1. Concentration Curl

Perform 4 sets with reps 8-10.

2. Reverse Triceps Pushup

Perform 4 sets with reps 8-10.

Superset 5

1. Reverse Preacher Curl

Perform 4 sets with reps 10-12.

2. Barbell Wrist Curl

Perform 4 sets with reps 10-12.

Arnold’s Off-Season Arm Training: Grow Your Guns!

Alois placed a high priority on constructing a strong foundation of muscle mass during the offseason by performing movements that were heavy and compound, such as barbell curls and overhead presses. During this phase of his training, he concentrated on increasing his overall strength and size. This was done in order to develop his arms in a more targeted manner during the pre-contest period. Alois laid the groundwork for significant arm growth by concentrating on progressive overload and making use of heavy weights in his workouts.


Schwarzenegger used a six-day split and train arms twice a week to bulk up. It is astounding to learn that every arm workout would require two hours: 45 minutes for the three-headed muscle, 45 minutes for the brachii, and 30 minutes for the forearms, respectively. “Three to four days of rest between arm exercises are required due to the severity of using absolute maximum poundage for each exercise of this super-bombing routine, which allows for maximum growth and full recuperation,” advises Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger divided curls into two main categories: isolation and mass building. Then, he selected two exercises from each group to make sure he would build quality mass rather than just quantity.

Arnold’s OFF-SEASON Exercise:

1. Cheating Barbell Curl

Perform 5-8 sets with reps 8-12.

2. Incline Dumbbell Curl

Perform 5-8 sets with reps 8-12.

3. One-Arm Concentration Curl

Perform 5 sets with reps 10.

4. Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curl

Perform 5 sets with reps 10.

The Anatomy of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Arm Workout

Multiple exercises that target the biceps and three-headed muscle are typically included in an Arnold arm workout. These exercises are typically performed in super-sets or alternating sets in order to maximize the amount of muscle engagement and muscle efficiency. A number of exercises, including the Arnold press, the French press, and concentration curls, are consistent components of his routine. Each of these exercises is designed to target particular muscle groups and stimulate maximum growth.

Mastering the Biceps: Curling Your Way to Bodybuilding Success

Dumb-bell curls are among the most effective exercises for training the brachii, and there aren’t many exercises that can compare to them. In order to fully engage the brachii muscle, Alois advocated for a full range of motion and placed an emphasis on the peak contraction that occurred at the top of each repetition. Alois was able to ensure that the brachii muscle was developed in a comprehensive manner by incorporating variations such as hammer curls and incline dumb-bell curls into his workout routine.

Triceps Transformation: Sculpting Your Arms Like Arnold

When it comes to achieving well-rounded arm development, the triceps, which are comprised of three heads, are absolutely necessary. Exercises such as skull crushers, triceps pushdowns, and dips are included in Arnold’s arm exercise routine. Each of these exercises targets a different part of the three-headed muscle. Alois was able to maximize muscle activation and stimulate growth across all three heads of the triceps by ranging his range of motion and varying his grip with each repetition.

Dumbbell Domination: Essential Equipment for Arm Growth

When it comes to arm exercise, Alois relies heavily on dumbbells because they provide him with a level of versatility and freedom of movement that cannot be found with any other piece of equipment. Dumb-bell curls, triceps kickbacks, and wrist-curls are examples of exercises that allow for greater isolation and targeting of specific muscle groups, which ultimately results in more significant gains in strength and size.

Supersets and Beyond: Advanced Techniques for Arm Hypertrophy

Arnold incorporated more advanced bodybuilding techniques into his workout routine, such as supersets and drop sets, in order to push his arms to their absolute limits. Arnold maximized the intensity of his workouts and achieved greater muscle fatigue by combining exercises with complementary muscle groups, such as biceps and triceps. This resulted in increased muscle growth and definition, which Arnold achieved.

Arnold’s 22-Inch Arm Exercise: Sets vs. Reps Analysis!

Now let’s dive into the details of Arnold’s top arm exercises. Make sure you choose a weight that challenges you, and aim to push your body to its limits with each exercise.

1. Biceps Exercise: Standing Barbell Curl

Perform 5 sets with reps 8-8-6-6-6.


A standing barbell curl serves as the foundation for this exercise routine that targets the brachii. While standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms straight toward the floor, focus on your brachii by only moving your forearms and lifting the bar. Raise your arms so that your palms are facing your chest.

2. Biceps Exercise: Seated Dumb-bell Curl

Perform 5 sets with reps 8.


In the following step, you will be able to perform the seated dumb-bell curl. You should keep your elbows straight while you hold a dumbbell in each hand. As you lift the dumbbells, make sure to turn your wrists in the opposite direction. If you do this, your brachii will be more engaged.

3. Biceps Exercise: Restricted Inclined Dumbbell Curl

Perform 5 sets with reps 10.


An inclined version of the Restricted Dumb-bell Curl is available to you so that you can experience a different perspective. When you are sitting on an incline bench, bend your elbows perfectly and lower your body. Position yourself on a bench with a 45-degree incline, and pay close attention to the movements of your forearms.

4. Triceps Exercise: Restricted Standing French Press

Perform 5 sets with reps 12.


Moving on to strength training for the three-headed muscle and biceps, the Restricted Standing French Press is an extremely effective exercise for the three-headed muscle brachii. Following the lowering of the bar-bell behind your head, it is then raised back up to the ceiling.

5. Triceps Exercise: Lying Triceps Extension using Bar

Perform 5 sets with reps 10-12


To perform the Lying Triceps Extension, position your body so that it is resting on a bench. While you are working your three-headed muscle, you have the ability to control the movements of the bar-bell.

6. Forearms Exercise: Wrist Curls

Perform 5 sets until fail.

To conclude the workout, you can finish it off with wrist-curls, which will help you focus on your forearms. Pay attention to the movements of the wrists while you are seated on a bench and lean towards the front. During the contraction and curl movements, it is imperative that you maintain control of the barbell.

arnold arms

Like Arnold: Embracing the Mind-Muscle Connection

One of the factors that contributed to Arnold success was his capacity to create a powerful connection between his mind and his muscles while he was working out. Arnold was able to maximize muscle activation and recruitment by concentrating on the sensation of each repetition and visualizing the muscles at work. This resulted in more significant gains in strength and size.

Post-Workout Recovery: Essential Steps for Arm Growth

When it comes to developing massive arms like Arnold‘s, recovery is just as important as training was earlier in the process. When it comes to repairing muscle tissue and fostering growth, it is essential to get sufficient rest, consume the appropriate nutrition, and engage in targeted recovery techniques such as foam rolling and stretching. If you make recovery a top priority, you can make sure that your arms get the time and resources they require to grow and develop their full potential.


Arnold Schwarzenegger’s arm workout is famous for what?

Schwarzenegger’s arm workout is known for building massive biceps and triceps, contributing to his legendary physique. His meticulous arm routine, which emphasizes volume, intensity, and variety, has become a bodybuilding classic.

How often did Arnold arm-train?

In his bodybuilding routine, Arnold Schwarzenegger trained his arms two to three times a week. This frequency allowed him to target his arms with enough volume and intensity to build muscle.

What are Arnold’s main arm exercises?

Arnold uses several bicep and triceps exercises in his arm workout. Barbell curls, dumbbell curls, preacher curls, triceps pushdowns, overhead extensions, and concentration curls are common. Arnold fully developed his arm muscles by combining compound and isolation movements.

Did Schwarzenegger use supersets for arm workouts?

Arnold often used supersets for arm workouts. Supersets are two exercises done back-to-back with little rest. Barbell curls and triceps pushdowns may be combined to maximize muscle pump and efficiency during workouts.

How did Arnold train his arms off-season?

Arnold used heavy weights and low repetitions in the off-season to build arm strength. Barbell curls and close-grip bench presses were common compound movements in his workouts to target multiple muscle groups and boost muscle growth.

How did Arnold alter his arm workout for the pre-contest?

Arnold used more repetitions and shorter rest periods before the contest to define and vascularize his arms. He used supersets and drop sets to boost his workouts and look shredded onstage.

Did Arnold Schwarzenegger emphasize arm workout form?

Arnold stressed proper form and range of motion in his arm exercises. He maximized muscle engagement and targeted the right muscle groups while minimizing injury by following proper form.

What role did nutrition play in Arnold’s arm workout?

Arnold’s arm development required nutrition. He ate a balanced diet of protein, carbs, and healthy fats to build, repair, and recover muscle. Proper nutrition fueled his intense workouts and improved his results.

How can beginners use Arnold’s arm workout philosophy?

Beginners should master basic exercises with light to moderate weights before increasing intensity and volume. Avoiding injury and maximizing results requires proper form, consistency, and gradual progression.

What are some Arnold’s arm workout mistakes to avoid?

Common mistakes include using too much weight with poor form, not warming up and cooling down, and not adjusting workout intensity to fitness levels and goals. Overtraining and insufficient recovery between arm workouts can also slow progress and increase injury risk.


In conclusion, the Arnold arm workout is an approach to arm exercise that has been passed down through the generations in the world of bodybuilding. It has been proven to be effective. You will be able to unveil the secrets to building arms that are worthy of the legacy of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the bodybuilder, if you understand the principles that underlie Arnold’s approach and incorporate them into your own training routine. Therefore, in order to sculpt your arms into masterpieces of muscle, grab your dumbbells, channel your inner Arnold, and get ready to get started!


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About the author
Khirul Alam
I'm Khirul Alam, aka NILOY FITNESS, a devoted bodybuilder and fitness expert. I write about fitness, bodybuilding, and mental health at Hercules Bodybuilding to inspire and help people reach their fitness goals. I'm committed to making a positive impact in the fitness community.