Khirul Alam

Arnold’s Shoulder and Arms Workout for Boulder Shoulders and Defined Arms

The height of physical strength, Arnold Schwarzenegger, transformed bodybuilding with his renowned exercise regimens. Among his well-known routines, his arm and shoulder exercise is a monument to his perseverance and achievement in the fitness industry. In this piece, we explore the fundamentals of Schwarzenegger’s regimen, highlighting its importance in strength training and the numerous advantages it provides for aspiring athletes.

Often called the “crowning jewels” of physique development, the shoulders and arms are essential to developing a strong, well-rounded body. Schwarzenegger was aware of this essential idea; therefore, he carefully planned his exercise regimen to give these important muscle groups the most attention.

Workout regimens with structure offer a road map for successfully reaching fitness objectives. People may maximize their training efforts, reduce the chance of injury, and get the body they want faster by following a disciplined strategy. An excellent example of this type of planned exercise is Schwarzenegger’s arm and shoulder workout, which provides a road map for success in building strength and muscle.

Arnold’s Shoulder Workout

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shoulder exercise program is a masterpiece in developing attention-grabbing, muscular deltoids. Let’s dissect his program and focus on the main exercises that served as the foundation for his shoulder development plan.

Arnold Trained Shoulders Using These Principles:

  • Arnold focused on pushes and upright rows early in his exercises when he was most energetic. These multijoint actions activate the most deltoid musculature, making them the finest bulk builders.
  • He looked for activities that targeted the region from different angles. To extend the range of motion on overhead presses with dumbbells, he dropped them several inches below the bottom position of the barbell exercise and brought them together at the top.
  • His emphasis on training variety popularized the Arnold press. The Arnold press is an overhead press with hands facing your body at the bottom. Turning your wrists while lifting weights emphasizes the front delts more than the overhead dumbbell press.
  • Arnold employed single-joint exercises to separate delt heads and supplement overhead presses. He explored small adjustments to improve size here too. Cable lateral raises in front of the body feel different than those behind.
  • Arnold used barbell cleans, upright rows, and shrugs for upper traps. He liked shrugs for strengthening meaty upper traps, but he wanted to lose weight to properly shrug his shoulders.
  • Arnold’s pyramidal technique involved adding weight for fewer reps. Most repetitions were eight, keeping the weight in muscle-building rep levels.

Arnold Shoulder Exercise That Will Have Your Shoulders Looking Fantastic!

1. Seated Barbell Shoulder Press
  • Sit on a bench, hold a barbell at shoulder height, and press it overhead, fully extending your arms.
  • Perform the first set as a warm-up!
  • 4 sets: 12, 10, 10, 8 repetitions (90-second rest period)
2. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  • Stand with dumbbells at your sides, lift them out to the sides until parallel to the ground, then lower them back down.
  • 4 sets of 12, 12, 10, and 8 repetitions (rest 1 minute)
3. Smith Machine Shoulder Press
  • Sit on a bench under the Smith machine bar, grab the bar with an overhand grip, press it overhead, then lower it back down.
  • 4 sets: 12, 10, 10, 8 repetitions (90-second rest period)
4. Seated Rear Delt Fly
  • Sit on a bench, hold dumbbells in front of you, and lift them out to your sides until parallel to the ground, focusing on your rear deltoids.
  • 4 sets of 12, 12, 10, and 8 repetitions (rest 1 minute)
5. Barbell Upright Row
  • Stand with a barbell in front of your thighs, pull it up towards your chin, leading with your elbows, then lower it back down.
  • 4 sets of 12, 12, 10, and 8 repetitions (rest 1 minute)

Summary of Particular Exercises:

Arnold’s shoulder regimen consists of a carefully chosen set of exercises designed to work the deltoids from every aspect. Every exercise, including rear delt flyes, lateral lifts, and traditional shoulder presses, is carefully selected to promote the greatest amount of muscle growth and definition.

Talk about Appropriate Form and Technique:

Arnold’s method is centered on the importance of correct form and technique. Whether it’s performing controlled motions during lateral raises or keeping a neutral spine during shoulder presses, understanding the subtleties of each exercise is essential to getting the best benefits while lowering your risk of injury.

The Significance of Focusing on All Three of the Deltoid Heads:

The medial (side), posterior (rear), and anterior (front) deltoids are the three separate heads that make up the deltoid muscle. Arnold’s training program includes movements that target each of these heads individually, guaranteeing balanced muscular growth and a symmetrical body. Through the full range of deltoid action, people can get a balanced shoulder appearance that radiates power and proportion.

You may achieve amazing improvements in both strength and appearance by incorporating Arnold’s concepts of completeness and accuracy into your shoulder regimen. By putting equal emphasis on technique and full activation of your muscles, you may start shaping your shoulders to resemble the famous Austrian Oak‘s body.

Arnold’s Arms Workout

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s arms exercise program is well known for producing impressive triceps and biceps that are the epitome of power and beauty. Let’s break down the essential components of his regimen, emphasizing the workouts that served as the cornerstone of his arm development plan.

These Are Arnold’s Top Arm-Training Ideas from His Many Writings and Interviews:

  • Although Arnold considered the standing barbell curl the best bulk builder, he also used the incline bench dumbbell curl, which accentuates the long head. A mass-building movement meant three things to Arnold: He could push large weights, keep the movement from full extension to full contraction, and utilize a weight he could barely accomplish 6-8 repetitions.
  • Instead, definition-building movements were done with lesser weights for 8-12 repetitions. First, squeeze and contract the muscle, then hold the peak contraction for a lengthy count. He preferred concentration, preacher, and alternating dumbbell curls.
  • Though “The Oak” failed with his curls, he continued. After reaching a wall, he used momentum to continue the set. Such cheat curls enabled him do two more repetitions.
  • Arnold’s triceps strategy was unique. His triceps were stronger because his chest was always muscular. He allowed his rep range to slide up to 20 per set more than with biceps to hyper-pump the muscle.
  • Arnold preferred partial reps for triceps. He would add 5-6 partials at the top or bottom of a full-range push-down set.
  • Arnold often oversetted biceps and triceps, which pumped blood into the muscle. Blood provides growth-promoting oxygen and nutrients, helping him reach his pump training objective. You’ve heard about Arnold’s obsession with training pumps.

Let’s get into the Specifics of Arnold’s Best Exercises for Arms


1. Barbell Curl

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hold a barbell with an underhand grip, curl it up towards your shoulders, then lower it back down.
  • 4 sets of 10-12 reps (rest 90 sec)


2. EZ-Bar Skullcrusher

  • Lie on a bench, hold an EZ-bar with an overhand grip, extend your arms upward, bending at the elbows to lower the bar towards your forehead, then extend your arms back up.
  • 4 sets of 10-12 reps (rest 90 sec)



  • Stand with dumbbells at your sides, alternate curling each arm towards your shoulders, then immediately perform a triceps extension by holding one dumbbell overhead with both hands and lowering it behind your head.
  • Perform the exercises sequentially, with no pause between exercises and 1 minute of rest between sets.

Alternating Dumbbell Curl

  • 4 sets, 20-24 repetitions (alternating, 10-12 reps each side, without rest)

Triceps Extension

  • 4 sets of 10-12 reps (rest 1 minute)



  • Sit on an incline bench, hold dumbbells with palms facing up, curl them alternately towards your shoulders, then immediately perform a triceps extension using a cable machine, holding the handle overhead and extending your arms.
  • Perform the exercises sequentially, with no pause between exercises and 1 minute of rest between sets.

Alternate Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl

  • 4 sets of 20-24 repetitions (alternating 10-12 reps each side with no rest)

Cable Overhead Triceps Extension

  • 4 sets of 10-12 reps (rest 1 minute)



  • Sit on a bench, hold a dumbbell with one hand, place the elbow of the same arm against your inner thigh, and curl the weight towards your shoulder, then immediately perform a triceps extension by holding a dumbbell overhead with one hand and lowering it behind your head.
  • Perform the exercises in the sequence shown, with no pause between exercises and a 2-minute rest period between sets.

Concentration Curl

  • 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions (left side, no rest)

Concentration Curl

  • 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions (right side, no rest)

Single-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension

  • Four sets of 10-12 reps (left side, no rest)

Single-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension

  • 4 sets, 10-12 reps (right side, rest 2 minutes)


6. Foot-Elevated Bench Dip

  • Sit on a bench with your feet elevated on another bench or platform, place your hands on the edge of the bench behind you, lower your body by bending your elbows, then push yourself back up to the starting position.
  • Arnold began with three 45-pound plates on his lap. Each time he reached muscular failure, a plate was removed until he was only utilizing his body weight.
  • 1 set, 10 repetitions.

Summary of Particular Exercises:

Arnold’s arm routine consists of a workout program that is specifically designed to target the triceps and biceps. Each exercise, which ranges from traditional bicep curls to tricep dips and skull crushers, is intended to stimulate muscular growth and definition in these essential arm muscles.

Arnold Talks about Suggested Sets and Reps:

Arnold recommended a combination of moderate to high volume exercise to enhance muscular growth. This usually entails doing each exercise in three to five sets, with a moderate rep range of eight to twelve reps each set. By creating metabolic load and mechanical tension—two essential components of muscular hypertrophy—this method promotes muscle development.

Exercises for the Biceps and Triceps Should Be Included:

Even though the biceps are frequently the main focus of arm exercises, ignoring the triceps can result in uneven muscular growth and impair the overall appearance of the arms. Arnold emphasized the significance of working both muscular groups and the necessity of thorough arm training. People can get balanced arm growth and a symmetrical, harmonious body by focusing on their triceps and biceps.

You may get remarkable results in terms of growth and definition by incorporating Arnold’s concepts of volume, intensity, and balance into your arm exercise regimen. With an emphasis on correct form, increasing resistance, and full range of motion, you may build arms that stand out and represent the illustrious history of the Austrian Oak.

Tips for Success on Arnold Schwarzenegger Arm and Shoulder Workout

It takes more than just doing workouts to succeed in your fitness quest. These crucial pointers, which are derived from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s training philosophy, can help you achieve your objectives:

Tips for Success on Arnold Schwarzenegger Arm and Shoulder Workout

The Value of a Healthy Diet and Rest:

Muscle growth and recovery depend heavily on giving your body the correct nutrition and getting enough sleep. In order to stimulate muscle recovery and restore energy storage, Arnold highlighted the need of a balanced diet full of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Setting a high priority on getting enough sleep also enables your body to recuperate and adjust to the demands of exercise, maximizing muscular growth and performance.

Including Progressive Overload:

It’s crucial to gradually push your body over time in order to maintain gains and promote muscular growth. Arnold supported the idea of progressive overload, which calls for escalating the volume, resistance, or intensity of your exercises little by bit. Progressive overload guarantees that your muscles are always adapting and getting stronger, whether it’s by raising the weight you lift, increasing the amount of repetitions, or cutting down on the rest time in between sets.

Being Aware of Your Body:

While staying consistent is essential to reaching your fitness objectives, it’s also critical to pay attention to your body and modify your exercise regimen as necessary. Be alert to signs of injury, discomfort, or exhaustion and prepared to adjust your exercise as necessary. To allow for adequate recuperation, this may entail adding rest days or deload weeks, modifying the type or intensity of exercises to avoid overtraining, or consulting with a certified fitness specialist.

You may position yourself for success in your fitness journey by making good diet, rest, gradual overload, and careful self-care priorities. Recall that reaching your objectives is a marathon, not a sprint, and that training sustainably and in moderation will provide results that demonstrate your commitment to greatness and will last for a long time.


Finally, by delving into the fundamentals of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s renowned arm and shoulder exercise regimens, we have gained important knowledge about the realm of strength training and muscular growth. Let’s review the main ideas that were covered:

Shoulder Workout: Arnold’s emphasis on using a range of workouts to target all three heads of the deltoids guarantees balanced muscular growth and a symmetrical body. Those who have mastered form and technique may sculpt attention-grabbing, strong shoulders.

Arms Workout: Arnold’s full arm exercise works both the biceps and the triceps, which leads to healthy muscle growth and great arm looks. To maximize muscular growth and strength gains, progressive loading must be used together with optimal diet and recovery.

It’s now your chance to start this powerful and transformative adventure. I invite you to give Arnold’s arms and shoulders workout program a try, accepting the challenge and the chance to push yourself to the maximum in the sake of health.

Recall that strengthening your arms and shoulders has advantages that go well beyond appearance. Strong arms and shoulders improve your total functional strength and effectiveness in a variety of sports and activities in addition to improving your physical beauty.

Remain dedicated, keep focused, and most of all, have fun when you set out on your journey. By being committed, persistent, and ready to step outside of your comfort zone, you may realize your full potential and get the outcomes you want.

Cheers to building an impressive body and honoring the Austrian Oak’s heritage. Join me in rising, developing, and conquering.

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.