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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Chest Workout Complete Guide Beginner to Advanced

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Exercise

Arnold's Chest Workout Routine

In Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s time of competition, his chest was among his body’s most impressive areas. People would constantly tell him about how amazed they were by the dimensions, strength, and fullness in his pectorals. They might have believed that they always had a big chest but it wasn’t.


When Arnold began to train, his pecs were a bit thin, and his rib cage was smaller. His chest would later become one of his strongest muscles, but only because Arnold created it this way. Before competing, he decided that this was the type of chest he wished to have. The development of Arnold’s chest was the fulfillment of a goal that was planned and the culmination of many years of dedication and dedication.

Arnold was aware early on in his life of how important it was to visualize as well as the importance of making goals. Imagine what you would like to achieve in your life and establish a goal for achieving it. You create a plan to achieve that goal, and then you work hard to reach it regardless of what obstacles are in your way. This is the way to go about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chest development. Arnold’s whole body and the titles he earned for his body resulted from the visualization process and goal-setting.


His first bodybuilding celebrity was a three-time Mr. Universe Reg Park. He had a massive chest and massively large and fully developed pectorals. They were so obnoxious when Arnold saw magazines with photos of him in the side chest pose. Arnold was convinced he would have the same chest as Reg Park’s someday. Arnold was required to have the same chest as Reg’s. He wanted it and was determined to do anything to build an item.

Arnold did his best to learn about Reg’s chest exercises. He would cut out images of Reg’s chest and then put them on his bedroom wall. Arnold imagined his chest growing the same as his. He would lay in the bed every evening before falling asleep. He dreamt about it. Every set of reps led him closer to his desired goal. He could feel it in each training session. Every chest workout brought him closer to having a massive chest similar to Reg Park’s. This awareness kept his motivation up and his mood upbeat.

Arnold prefers a training chest with basic compound exercises like bench presses, incline presses, dips, and pullovers that permit Arnold to work with heavy weights. Reg Park used these types of exercises mostly in his chest routine, and naturally, Arnold took his advice.


Arnold realized early in his career that he needed complete chest development with massive, thick, and fully developed PACs in every section. He had to do various exercises that worked the pecs’ upper, middle, lower, inner, and outer areas. It is impossible to achieve full pec strength with just one exercise.

Arnold performed a lot of pullovers to expand and enlarge the size of his rib cage. A narrow rib cage can make your torso appear thin. The rib cage adds bulk to the whole upper body as you increase the size of your skeletal structure and extend the sternum.


Also, the chest bone when you perform pullovers. A strong rib cage creates the foundation for you to build a huge chest, wide shoulders, and upper-body strength. Arnold was always a part of his workout routine. Some believe pullovers don’t expand the rib cage and the chest’s overall size by performing them. They also strengthen the serratus, the muscles that resemble fingers that frame the chest. Essential for every bodybuilder competing. 

The first chest workout routine Arnold did when he was training in Austria and later on after he relocated to Munich, Germany, consisted of the following:

  • Bench Presses – 5 sets x 6-10 reps
  • Incline Barbell Presses – 5 sets x 6-10 reps
  • Flat Dumbbell Flyes – 5 sets x 6-10 reps
  • Weighted Dips – 5 sets x 6-10 reps
  • Barbell Bent Arm Pullovers and/or
  • Straight Arm Cross Bench Dumbbell Pullovers – 5 sets x 6-10 reps

The bench press was for the development of lower and middle pecs and overall chest size and strength. In the incline press, it was intended for higher pec development. Weighted dips are used for the outer and lower pecs’ mass. These flyes, which were dumbbell-styled, are meant for both pecs in the inner and outer areas. The pullovers increased the size of his rib cage and gave his pecs an excellent stretch. He often performed bent-arm pullovers weighing so much weight that a person needed to rest on his thighs to stop him from dragging his body rather than the bar. Also, he used large dumbbells for pullovers that stretched and widened your rib cage.


Arnold worked to put in the most weight for each exercise. He adhered to the pyramid principle, beginning with a light and then adding pounds every set so that his final set.

Training to increase weight to maximize the effort to build his strength. He could train alongside Franco Columbu from Germany, as Franco was a fan of lifting weights and bodybuilding.


Building Arnold’s Chest: The Bench Press Chronicles

Bench press was Arnold’s most favored chest exercise. It was always the top exercise in his workout routine. It’s an essential exercise that helps build strength and size. There’s no way over the bench press, according to him. It is necessary to get muscles that are huge and strong. He was pleased that he could utilize heavy weights while benching. Sometimes, he would do massive triples, doubles, and singles to test and increase the strength of his bench. He eventually mastered the 440-pound single, which allowed him to be stronger to work with heavier weights for his daily chest workout. This resulted in more strength, size, and weight.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Incline Barbell or Dumbbell Press

Bodybuilders competing in the competitive world who lack pec thickness don’t look attractive when they raise their arms in the air or do double biceps pose. Their pecs disappear, and a look that he actually dislikes. He wanted to ensure that his pecs would be firm and not be flat even with his arms up, so he set out to build the most massive, thickest pecs he could. Only by regularly doing the heavy press, benches, and weighted dips was he able to achieve this goal.


Arnold Schwarzenegger’s routine for chest exercises wasn’t much different until he reached 16 when he won the second Mr. Universe title in 1968. There were times when he could perform a lot of dumbbell presses with an incline instead of using a barbell, but He always stuck to basic exercises to continue adding the bulk and size of his chest muscles. The training he received was always tailored towards making greater mass. His base training regimen didn’t alter much throughout his entire career.

The only thing he included in his routine was the cable crossover. He first began to incorporate crossovers into the routine he used before competitions after his move from California in 1968 following Frank Zane’s defeat him for the IFBB Mr. Universe title in Miami, Florida.


The cable crossovers were included in his preparations for the pre-contest to aid in bringing out cuts and chest strenuous and improve the pec cleavage. It was also the first occasion that he was able to build the quality of the chest rather than just pure mass. In the next year, his routine in the chest consisted of the exercises listed below:

  • Bench Presses – 6 to 8 sets, 6-10 reps
  • Incline Barbell Presses – 6 sets x 6-10 reps
  • Flat Dumbbell Flyes – 5 sets x 6-10 reps
  • Weighted Dips – 5 sets x 6-10 reps
  • Cross Bench Dumbbell Pullovers – 5 sets x 10 reps

Arnold was done performing the bend arm pullovers at this point, as the new program would offer him the benefits of a complete rib cage and the massive, large, strong, full pecs he wanted.


There is no doubt that the development of his chest was a key aspect of his success in competitions. Because Arnold’s chest was impressive, many people expected him to keep to the routine for chests that had evolved to this level. It was true that for the following three years, however, when he won his third Mr. Olympia win in 1973, he realized that his chest was becoming too large or, at the very least, compared to the upper pecs. It was time to review his regimen and changes to strengthen his upper chest.


Then Arnold dropped the large dips. His lower pecs were large enough to get plenty of exercise using a bench press. In the second, he changed the sequence of his workouts. He started his workout using the incline press to focus on his upper pecs. He believes in the importance of the principle. It is only sensible to train an area of weakness first. In the moment, your strength, energy, and concentration are at the most optimal levels.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Chest Workout

Arnold used either a barbell or the Smith machine to do incline presses and did slightly more reps. Although he believes reps with low numbers (6 to 8 reps) and heavy weights are ideal for size and mass, more moderate reps provide greater muscle mass and strength. The new chest routine he developed was as follows:

  • Incline Barbell Presses – 6 to 8 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Flat Dumbbell Flyes – 6 sets x 8-10 reps
  • Flat Bench Barbell Presses – 6 sets x 8-10 reps
  • Cross Bench Dumbbell Pullovers (optional) – 5 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Cable Crossovers – 5 sets x 12-15 reps

This new exercise routine helped his chest gain more balance, but he was still the mass and size; however, his upper pecs were a bit thicker and stronger. The lower pecs were no longer dominated. He had a better shape to his chest and a more top-heavy appearance instead of a droopy, more developed-looking lower chest.


Another method he started using in 1973 was to superset his chest and back muscles during his off-season. He loved the feeling of a pumped pec. By working a pulling muscle after pushing, the athlete was able to get more full all-round development. Achieving a more streamlined chest and back gives him better tie-ins between front and back, creating the most pleasing appearance. This also helped him to reduce his training time as he was able to take a shorter break between sets and boost the intensity. In the case of super setting, his off-season routine typically consisted of:

Bench Presses (Warm-up)- 1 sets x 30

Superset 1 :

  • Bench Presses – 5 sets x 6-20
  • Wide Grip Chins Behind Neck – 5 sets x 8-15 reps

Superset 2 : 

  • Incline Barbell Presses – 5 sets x 10-15 reps
  • T-Bar Rows – 5 sets x 10-15

Superset 3 :

  • Dumbbell Flyes – 5 sets x 10-15
  • Wide Grip Barbell Rows – 5 sets x 10-15

Superset 4 :

  • Parallel Bar Dips – 5 sets x 15
  • Close Grip Chins – 5 sets x 12
  • Stiff Arm Pullover – 5 sets x 15-20


Note: Remember there is no rest between sets and exercises of the 4 superset training groups.

By training chest twice per week, Arnold could see the growth of his muscles due to improved recovery and the stimulating effects of supersetting.


Arnold has provided information about exercise sets, reps, and sets but not about exercise forms. There isn’t a perfect or wrong method to complete an exercise. Any method that allows you to apply the stress and overload squarely on your working muscles is the best choice. You must know how your body reacts to specific types of exercise and then fine-tune each move in time to ensure that you benefit the most from muscle-building.


Arnold’s Pec-Perfecting Techniques

When doing bench press exercises, keep your reps smooth and steady. Make each rep with concentration and control. Arnold tries to let his pecs perform most of the work, which means that his brain is extremely active while bench presses. He has found that keeping the bar just a few inches from the lockout point to ensure some bending in the elbows near when you are at the highest point of your exercise maintains more consistent stress on pecs. The bar should be brought down towards the pecs below and end by placing the bar in front of the throat or even over the eyes for more pecs’ involvement. Do not simply keep pushing the bar straight upwards and down. Keep your chest up and your rib cage swollen. Do not let your ribcage fall and your chest straightens out, or your delts dominate and take on the majority of the load. You can use an extended grip if you’re looking for more outside pec involvement. A narrower grip will work better both in the middle and inside the pec.


A highly effective technique he’s found to work the pecs on the outside is to do dumbbell flyes and make sure to stop when the dumbbells are twelve to fifteen inches from each other at their highest. This ensures that you keep tension on your pecs’ outer edges. If you want to increase your inner pec growth, do it until the dumbells touch. Pause to tighten and stretch the chest muscles. Similar to bench presses, make sure you keep your chest tense and up throughout the workout.

Arnold's Advanced Chest & Back Superset Workout

You must ensure you have all the way around your flyes. Try to do as low as you can. Keep your arms bent in order to relieve stress off your elbows. Reduce the bells to ensure that your elbows are being pulled back by your shoulders. This method will create greater pressure on the pectorals. Do not just bring the bells down to your sides. Don’t allow your wrists to turn or turn. Maintain them in a straight line all the time.


Imagine that an enormous tree surrounds you as you do dumbbell flyes. You’re trying to create an enormous circle using the bells. Make sure that your hands won’t be in the direction of your body since that’s when you’re in an action of pressing as opposed to a flye motion. When you are doing incline presses, make sure the angle is not greater than 25-30 degrees. An angle that is steep will cause excessive front deltoid. Like bench presses, keep your chest arched and enlarged, and then finish by placing the bar in front of your eyes to increase the isolation of your pec.

Take note of the bar as it is lifted off your chest. Make sure to lift it over your head, not just straight over the chest. If you need to increase your upper outer pecs, utilize a more rounded grip.


One method Arnold employs to increase rib cage extension on dumbbell pullovers across the bench is to lower his hips towards low points of movement after the dumbbell is completely in front of his body. When he does this, Arnold gives his lats and ribs a bit more stretch and places more pressure on the serratus.


Dips are an amazing compound exercise. They strengthen the pecs, delts, and serratus. The triceps are very extreme. He prefers to dip using an additional amount of resistance, with a belt that is specially designed to allow you to dip with additional weights. Reduce your body as low as possible to ensure the maximum stretch out of your pecs, but finish at just three-quarters. There is no need to reach full lockout when you dip for the development of the pecs. If you are dipping to develop triceps, you must lock out, but not when you are dipping for pecs.


For crossovers, use medium weights, and be sure to focus on your full range of movement. Maintain your full-length position for two and three, bringing out the muscle within your chest. Don’t sit up straight. Move your waist forward to isolate your triceps better.

The most important thing is to never forget what you want to achieve while working your chest. Whatever exercise you’re doing place all the stress and tension on the muscles. If you don’t feel the power of your muscles, you’re either cheating too much or not working hard enough. Don’t let your pride get in the way of exercising your muscles.

Arnold's Chest Workout

There should be a power chest workout every week, where you use a variety of heavy weights for press benches or dips, as well as incline presses. Make sure you are in good form, but don’t do not overdo it.


Arnold’s Progressive Chest Workout Journey

You can attain the overall chest size by working out which pierced all areas of the chest during an extended period of time.

Overall Mass The Flat Bench and Dumbell Presses

The Middle pec and the Inner pec Bar Press with a Narrower Grip

General Mass, as well as Outer Pecs Bench, presses with a wide grip.

Upper pecs Incline Presses or Flys that Incline

Outer and Inner pecs Flat Flees

The pec’s lower and outer masses: Dips with weighted weights

Ribcage Extension: Pullovers


Chest Striations, Cuts Cable crossovers

The weight, and then lower it to 3,2 or even one repetition. A great strength chest workout could go like this: 1 x 20 warm up, 1 x 10/8/6/6/4/2/1. Make sure that you’re prepared before taking any heavy weights, and always have an assistant close by to ensure that you don’t end up in a squat with a large weight on your chest.

You can shock your muscles at intervals by either stripping or supersetting the bar. This technique can be useful for exercises such as bench presses because your trainers can strip plates off the bar when you complete an exercise. This lets you extend the exercise while also increasing the intensity and slamming your pecs.


If you’re using Arnold’s model chest model as a model for the chest, you’d like. Arnold is delighted. But if you plan to follow his workout routine, you can modify it however you’d like. Ultimately, you’ll have the physique you want to feel proud about. Keep at it and know that Rome wasn’t built in one day. You can do it. You just need to want it so badly.

When it came to developing his chest during his bodybuilding career, what was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s main focus?

Arnold placed a high priority on developing the entire chest, focusing on the top, middle, lower, inner, and outside regions to create a well-proportioned and striking chest.

How did Arnold envision and establish objectives for the growth of his chest?

Arnold imagined himself obtaining a body akin to that of three-time Mr. Universe Reg Park, who he admired for his chest. To achieve his vision, he made a plan, established specific objectives, and put forth endless effort.

Which workouts did Arnold use to build his chest and expand his rib cage?

Arnold stressed the value of a solid foundation for developing a gigantic chest by incorporating pullovers into his exercise regimen to enlarge his rib cage.

How has Arnold changed his chest exercise regimen over time?

In order to achieve ongoing progress, Arnold strategically modified his regimen, adding cable crossovers, modifying the order of exercises, and adding supersets in the off-season.

How did Arnold’s chest workout incorporate visualization?

Arnold found that visualization was essential. With every set, he visualized his chest expanding, staying motivated and in a good frame of mind during his workouts.

What made Arnold decide to concentrate on the upper chest in his chest routine?

Arnold changed his workout routine and workouts in 1973 after winning his third Mr. Olympia title. This was due to his realization that he needed to build stronger upper chest muscles.

Which chest exercise was Arnold’s favorite, and why?

Arnold loved the bench press because it was a great way to gain size and strength in the chest. He valued being able to use big weights since it helped build his chest overall.

How did Arnold handle form during workout to ensure maximum muscle activation?

Arnold emphasized the value of controlled, fluid repetitions while concentrating on the mind-muscle link. He used some methods, such as maintaining the bar just over lockout when performing bench presses, to put constant strain on the pecs.

What was the rationale behind Arnold’s use of supersets in his off-season workouts for the chest and back?

The off-season use of supersets gave Arnold a pumped feeling and made training more effective, which improved overall development and the ties between different muscle groups.

What guidance would Arnold give to people who want to get the body they want?

Arnold stressed the need of having a strategy, defining specific objectives, and modifying exercises in response to each person’s unique needs. He urged people to follow their goals with unwavering determination, understanding that perseverance eventually pays off.


In conclusion, the development of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s renowned chest can be seen as a tribute to the strength of goal-setting, vision, and persistent work. Arnold imagined and carefully planned the development of a gigantic, well-defined chest that would stand out in bodybuilding competitions, even in the early going when his chest was not as noticeable.


The procedure was a meticulously designed training program that combined complex movements such as pullovers, dips, incline presses, and bench presses. Arnold was motivated to imitate the great chest he saw in publications by his respect for three-time Mr. Universe Reg Park. His dedication to mastering and implementing particular chest exercises—like pullovers for rib cage expansion—became crucial to his success in getting the outcomes he wanted.

Arnold highlighted the value of a well-rounded technique with his emphasis on total chest growth, which included working on the upper, middle, lower, inner, and outside regions. He improved his chest exercise regimen over the years, tailoring it to target particular areas for growth, like strengthening his upper chest.

Notable modifications included shifting the order of the workout, adding crossovers with cables, and implementing supersets in the off-season. These modifications were a reflection of Arnold’s dedication to lifelong learning and his awareness of the importance of training variation in order to promote muscle growth.


Whether performing flyes or bench presses, Arnold’s meticulous attention to form demonstrated his commitment to maximize muscle engagement. The importance of the mind-muscle link was further reinforced by his emphasis on visualization during workouts, retaining control, and experiencing the strain in the muscles.

In the end, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s path to developing his chest serves as a model for aspiring bodybuilders, emphasizing the value of establishing precise objectives, formulating a calculated strategy, and modifying routines in response to ongoing self-evaluation. His narrative inspires people who strive for physical perfection and reaffirms the belief that everyone can obtain their desired body type with steadfast commitment.

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