Khirul Alam

Arnold’s Pre-Contest Arms Workout Routine

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Exercise

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Arms Workout Routine

Hey, fitness-lovers! We’re back at Hercules Bodybuilding. Today, we’ll dive into the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger’s arms routine prior to contests. If you’re hoping to cut the arms to perfection as did the legendary Oak himself, then you’re going to be in for a treat. Let’s go over Arnold’s rigorous exercise for pre-contest arms step-by-step.

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Arnold’s Strategy for Perfect Arms


Let’s learn about Arnold’s approach. Three months prior to a competition Arnold would change gears to focus on the definition and shape. The method involved superset training and increasing the power of every exercise. The routine was repeated every week three times making sure that his arms were in top fitness for the stage of competition.



Let’s take a close look at the program. Be aware that Arnold had a double split for six days. This means he was training daily, twice per day, for all week long. Let’s look at how he worked the arms!

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Superset 1: Biceps and Triceps Combo

  • Exercise 1: Incline Dumbbell Curl 
  • Exercise 2: Triceps Pushdown

Arnold's Incline Dumbbell Curl & Exercise Triceps Pushdown Workout

Superset 1 works on the biceps as well as the triceps simultaneously. 4 sets consisting of 8-10 reps, with minimal rest in between exercises will ensure that Arnold’s muscles were always engaged for the greatest definition.

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Superset 2: Building Symmetry

  • Exercise 1: Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curl 
  • Exercise 2: One-Arm Overhead Extension

Arnold's Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curl & One-Arm Overhead Extension

Superset 2 is focused on gaining cohesion and working that long head on the biceps as well as the triceps. There are 4 sets of 8-10 reps each keeping the intensity up throughout.

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Here’s an interesting element of Arnold’s exercise routine. Between sets of biceps Arnold would move his arms flexing, and hold the flex for 30 seconds or longer. This method helped him build not just muscle but also endurance and control vital for those long poses during competitions.

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Superset 3: The Final Push

  • Exercise 1: Preacher Curl – 4 Sets, 8-10 Reps 
  • Exercise 2: Lying French Press – 4 Sets, 8-10 Reps

Arnold's Preacher Curl & Lying French Press

Superset 3 will continue to work the biceps as well as triceps to ensure that the definition and pump are increased.

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Superset 4: Focused Intensity

  • Exercise 1: Concentration Curl – 4 Sets, 8-10 Reps 
  • Exercise 2: Reverse Triceps Pushup – 4 Sets, 8-10 Reps

Arnold's Concentration Curl & Reverse Triceps Pushup

Superset 4 provides a concentrated focus in your arms workout by using Arnold’s most popular sets and reps for these workouts.

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Superset 5: Wrist and Forearm Work

  • Exercise 1: Reverse Preacher Curl – 4 Sets, 10-12 Reps 
  • Exercise 2: Barbell Wrist Curl – 4 Sets, 10-12 Reps

Arnold's Reverse Preacher Curl & Barbell Wrist Curl

Superset 5 concludes the workout with a bit of exercises for the wrist and forearms making sure that your entire arm is well-rounded.


There you go Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s pre-contest arms routine! Be aware that this exercise isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s hard however the results speak for themselves.


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Tips for Incorporating Arnold’s Routine


If you’re thinking of including this practice into your fitness routine Here are a few suggestions to remember:


  • Gradually increase weights As you gain experience you will gradually increase your weights until you are able to challenge your muscles.
  • Maintain proper form Keep a the correct form during your workouts to avoid injury and maximize the benefits of every repetition.
  • Nutrition is Important Make sure you’re getting sufficient nutrition to help with the growth of your muscles and recovery. A balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, protein as well as healthy fats is the key to success.

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If you find this workout informative and are eager to give it a go make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel Hercules Bodybuilding and send this blog to the fitness community you know. Stay focused, remain focused and maybe you will get the arms you’ve always wanted. Until next time, stay strong!


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