Arnold Schwarzenegger Volume Workout Routines

Train insane like the one and only 7 time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold's muscle building workouts feature an intense high volume and frequency approach to training.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Advanced
6
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar
Male

Workout Description

The following are two typical workouts and split structures used by 7 time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger. They features a high frequency and high volume approach, training each major muscle group 2-3 times per week.

Arnold's Stats

  • 7 time Mr. Olympia - 1970-75, 1980
  • Height - 6'2"
  • Weight - 235 lbs
  • Arms - 22 inches (Many sources claim this number to be inflated)
  • Chest - 57 inches
  • Waist - 34 inches
  • Deadlift - 710 pounds
  • Bench Press - 440 pounds
  • Squat - 470 pounds

Arnold's Eating Plan

Arnold backed up this hardcore style of training with plenty of food, and a focus on good nutrition. He structured his eating plan using the following principles:

  • Frequent Feeding - 5-6 feedings per day: 3 whole food meals and 2-3 whole food "snacks".
  • Calories - Up to 5,000 calories per day.
  • Protein Intake - 300 plus grams of protein.
  • Post-Workout Carbs - Carbs within 30 minutes after finishing a workout.
  • Protein Shakes - Use if needed to get in your daily protein.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger Workout Variation #1

Each major bodypart is trained 2 times per week. This Arnold Schwarzenegger workout variation was featured in the book The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Dobbins.

Notes: Attempt to reach failure around 10 reps for your first set of each exercise.

Days 1 & 4 - Chest and Back
Chest
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Bench Press 3-4 10
Incline Bench Press 3-4 10
Dumbbell Pullovers 3-4 10
Back
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Chin Up 3-4 10
Bent Over Row 3-4 10
Deadlift 3-4 10
Abs
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Crunches 5 25
Days 2 & 5 - Shoulders and Arms
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Barbell Clean and Press 3-4 10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3-4 10
Upright Row 3-4 10
Military Press 3-4 10
Arms
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Standing Barbell Curl 3-4 10
Seated Dumbbell Curl 3-4 10
Close Grip Bench Press 3-4 10
Standing Barbell Tricep Extension 3-4 10
Forearms
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Wrist Curls 3-4 10
Reverse Wrist Curls 3-4 10
Abs
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Reverse Crunch 5 25
Days 3 & 6 - Legs and Lower Back
Legs
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Squat 3-4 10
Lunge 3-4 10
Leg Curl 3-4 10
Lower Back
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3-4 10
Good Mornings 3-4 10
Calves
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Standing Calf Raise 3-4 10
Abs
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Crunches 5 25

Arnold Schwarzenegger Workout Variation #2

Each major bodypart is trained 3 times per week. This Arnold Schwarzenegger workout variation is a typical example of his higher frequency workouts.

Days 1, 3 & 5 - Chest, Back and Legs
Chest
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Bench Press 5 6-10
Dumbbell Flye 5 6-10
Incline Bench Press 6 6-10
Cable Crossovers 6 10-12
Dips 5 Failure
Dumbbell Pullover 5 10-12
Back
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Wide Grip Pull Up 6 Failure
T Bar Row 5 6-10
Seated Pulley Row 6 6-10
One Arm Dumbbell Row 5 6-10
Stiff Leg Deadlift 6 15
Legs
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Squat 6 8-12
Leg Press 6 8-12
Leg Extension 6 12-15
Leg Curl 6 10-15
Barbell Lunge 5 15
Calves
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Standing Calf Raise 10 10
Seated Calf Raise 8 15
One Leg Dumbbell Calf Raise 6 12
Forearms
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Wrist Curl 4 10
Reverse Barbell Curl 4 8
Wrist Roller Machine 4 Failure
Abs
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Non-Stop Abs Training 30 Minutes By Instinct
Days 2, 4 & 6 - Shoulders and Arms
Biceps
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Barbell Curl 6 6-10
Seated Dumbbell Curl 6 6-10
Dumbbell Concentration Curl 6 6-10
Triceps
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Close Grip Bench Press 6 6-10
Tricep Pushdown 6 6-10
Barbell French Press 6 6-10
One Arm Dumbbell Tricep Extension 6 6-10
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Seated Barbell Press 6 6-10
Lateral Raise 6 6-10
Rear Delt Lateral Raise 5 6-10
Cable Lateral Raise 5 10-12
Calves
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Standing Calf Raise 10 10
Seated Calf Raise 8 15
One Leg Dumbbell Calf Raise 6 12
Forearms
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Wrist Curl 4 10
Reverse Barbell Curl 4 8
Wrist Roller Machine 4 Failure
Abs
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Non-Stop Abs Training 30 Minutes By Instinct
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189 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 03/12/2012 - 17:29
Geofrey
Av been searching sites and googling just to get the 7 times winner his way of training, now that i have found it, i see myself growing to be an musculine ellephant.
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Posted Tue, 03/20/2012 - 08:30
Shawy89
I'm sorry but how the hell is it possible to do 125 sets in a single gym session?? And then 100 (assuming my counting was correct) sets the next day, both 3 times per week? That's 675 sets a week. And that's without even mentioning the ab training. That's insane. Even on steroids I just can't see how this isn't ridiculous overtraining!? I'm not questioning the legend that is Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I would genuinely like to know how it's possible to get results from a routine like that...
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Posted Fri, 03/30/2012 - 22:27
Arliss Banks
Yeah, he was know for doing a very high number of sets. Something that seemed very unusual to many. But I guess after awhile it took a lot of beating on those muscles to get them to want to grow.
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Posted Tue, 01/01/2013 - 04:46
EatSleepLiff
If you're a pro and on a cycle this is staus quo. Stop hating.
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Posted Wed, 01/02/2013 - 08:06
Peter
We are talking about Conan.
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Posted Thu, 01/03/2013 - 14:05
joao
dont be afraid off overtraining those guys that work front sun rise to sun set in farms they still get big arms, etc... so workout like a warrior not like a little girl and the arnold used to eat about 5000 calories per day so u have to eat like a lion to. in the bodybuilding golden age the dont ever do cardio they only eat and pull iron every day usually twice a day
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Posted Mon, 06/17/2013 - 19:40
Matt
They did do cardio. I read in one of arnolds books that he would do cardio and that when he did he ran several miles. He also said that tom platz (quadzilla) would do his leg exercise and do cardio immediately after. Those are just a couple of examples.
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Posted Fri, 09/13/2013 - 19:04
666shan666
Tom Platz used to cycle 22 miles back & forth to gym.
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Posted Tue, 06/24/2014 - 22:48
Joe Shmoe
Actually, on the David Letterman Show, Arnold said he ran 3x per week.
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Posted Sun, 01/04/2015 - 11:32
Curt
Actually that was the Johnny Carson show he made that claim of running 3 times a week and that was after he was no longer competing.
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Posted Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:31
Push
It's not in a single gym session,but it is twice a day he was hitting the gym...
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Posted Sun, 01/20/2013 - 12:31
Mad-Hulk
He did two training sessions. A.M and P.M
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Posted Fri, 01/25/2013 - 15:38
arnold.S
5hours a day
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Posted Wed, 03/19/2014 - 09:19
datank
Arnold is a man I want to look like he did. He was like a bulldozer.
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Posted Mon, 01/28/2013 - 10:49
Brian
He was genetically gifted sure, but he has and continue to admit that he took steroids. If you doubt that, you can watch the documentary Bigger Faster Stronger: the side effects of being American. Try his workout and see how you feel. I can tell you that he also spent more than an hour in the gym.
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Posted Wed, 02/06/2013 - 17:18
Lucas Filip
Yes It's is posible but u only need to go to gym and sleep properly and what I am talking about is no job included or any hard manual !!!! No late nights with alcohol and girls !!!! Or any other drugs !!!! First u make sure u have recovery stretching and massages because that's the key. Our body (unprofesional body builder) get recovery in 5-7 days each muscle. Un til u get title profesional and our body and lifestyle change. Lukas Filip
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Posted Tue, 02/12/2013 - 11:47
Kyle
It takes 48 hours to fully recover any given muscle group.
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Posted Tue, 06/18/2013 - 23:53
Matt
Tell that to the abdominals.
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Posted Sat, 10/19/2013 - 20:41
Big T
Abs. And Calves are high twitch Muscles you can work them every day. Look it up if you want.
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Posted Sat, 10/19/2013 - 22:07
Big T
You can do abs and calves everyday because they are high twitch muscles. they recover faster.
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Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 11:35
MassiveRibCage
Its possible because you keep the muscles in a state of lactic acid flush. When lactic acid is greater in the muscles for an extended period of time your body produces more Growth Hormone to attempt to heal the muscles. The longer period of time your body stays in this period of its lactic acid flush the more growth hormone your body produces giving you the "Steroid" like results. Most people refuse to work hard enough these days to achieve this, that is why body builders in the "Steroid" era use them is to chemically induce this. So yes doing this routine will get you stronger and larger then you have ever been in your life. But remember you must eat enough protein and supplement properly. Glutamine, Potassium, Creatine. Stay away from Pre-Workouts if you can the caffeine will make your second workout that day harder and SLEEP! is the key make sure you sleep well every night for at least 6 hrs cause this is when your GH levels will spike! if you don't sleep you will not grow!
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Posted Sun, 02/24/2013 - 14:08
kc
man up dude. this is an excellent routine, you just need to grow a pair and work harder
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Posted Mon, 03/04/2013 - 22:52
charles
one word....steroids
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Posted Mon, 07/22/2013 - 06:47
FUthatsY
Your mom uses steroids.
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Posted Wed, 03/20/2013 - 14:23
Lonewolf
He used to do two sessions a day. Morning and Afternoon. Chest/Back in the morning; legs and abs on the afternoon. And so on..
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Posted Wed, 04/10/2013 - 10:32
Getright
The first routine is for beginners not the second one. Once your advanved enough which isnt going to be anytime soon then you can try the second but your probably should wait till u start to look like arnold
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Posted Fri, 05/03/2013 - 13:23
Guy
Mass building is all about high reps high sets, with lesser weight. I do this workout and im tiny, but the results are fantastic.
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Posted Mon, 02/24/2014 - 20:35
dumbass
incorrect. Mass building aka hypertrophy is not all about high reps. hypertrophy is about high volume, high to moderate loads, and moderate to low repetitions.
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Posted Sun, 05/12/2013 - 16:05
Taylor
I'm not sure if anyone has responded to you in the past. But, I randomly found this. This workout was part of his 6 day a week 2 a days. He would do Chest/Back in the Am and the leg workouts in the evening As well as the shoulders/arms in the am, and legs in the evening on the other days
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Posted Sat, 05/18/2013 - 12:25
Soldier
In the Army we trained every day pushups situps pullups run. Your body definately gets used to it.
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Posted Mon, 06/03/2013 - 23:20
jcupp
How you ask??? The days are actually split into morning and evengin!! !
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Posted Thu, 06/13/2013 - 03:12
Donny Thorsen
Having read quite a bit about Arnold, the answer to your question is the 300 grams of protien and amount of rest/sleep time he was able to contribute to the workout. An average intermediate or advanced trainer should be consuming 200 grams of protien and sleeping 8-10 hours a night all 7 nights a week to accomplish results. You're inital concerns are vaild, if you cannot deticate to those factors, overtraining is more than possible.
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Posted Tue, 07/02/2013 - 20:51
Roy Graham
I do anywhere from 150 - 200 reps per body part in the gym...it can be done! Focus in the gym, and rest are the key...
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Posted Fri, 09/13/2013 - 19:02
666shan666
To Achieve what others wont, you have to do what other dont. DO what you fear, dont fear what you do.
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Posted Thu, 09/26/2013 - 06:57
glen elkin
he split the workout into 2 seperate sessions atleast 8 hours apart
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Posted Thu, 10/03/2013 - 15:25
Richard
Its a great workout! I have been doing it for a month now. I think the trick is to use the right weight amount, it is alot of reps, I am just now getting used to it, I have been using slightly less weight so I can do this many reps and sets. It only takes a hour or so.
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Posted Mon, 10/14/2013 - 21:08
dan
yes it is possible. Infact when i was 25 i was completing this and more. you obviously have no expierience as a bodybiulder nor the gentetics to know! hater!
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Posted Wed, 10/16/2013 - 00:56
BAMFinTraining
The reason this isnt over training is the same reason people do triathlons or gymnasts spend hours doing their routines or 300 spartans fought 1000s n 1000s n 1000s of persian warriors. When you train like a badass all the time your body adapts to the training and you progress. You cant expect to train like a pro until you put the time in like a pro. My advice is the same I give myself push yourself and gradually make your routines more advanced. Obv rest and nutrition is important. Btw another old school bodybuilder named Serge Nubret is known for spending hours in the gym and doin any where from 30 to 50 sets for his chest back n legs. Also one of my fav bodybuilders next to Arnold.
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Posted Mon, 12/30/2013 - 07:20
Wuss
im still wondering how this was divided between morning and evening.. and if he rotated workouts or sat at one till he did all sets or how much time he gave his muscles rest before going to fail at 10 again...
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Posted Wed, 01/22/2014 - 13:53
Bruno
He did split sessions, one workout in the morning say( Chest and Back) and another in the evening (Legs) and he was well conditioned to do it....and he would rest between workouts...with an interval of 8 to 10 hours between...
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Posted Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:47
Angela W.
It would only be overtraining if you were doing that many sets for one muscle group and if you were a beginner to intermediate trainer... You are only doing up to 6 sets on one targeted muscle if you are an advanced trainer much like arnold was... if you are a beginner to intermediate trainer do the same exercises but only 3-4 sets a piece. It also helps to super set... I started lifting doing 3 sets and as I got stronger I now do 4-5 sets depending on how I feel... It isn't over training tho because each exercise for that specific day doesnt target that same muscle over and over... for instance... leg day each of my exercising targets a different leg muscle - Quads, Calves, Butt, Hamstrings... and each of those muscles have smaller muscles I can target as well... The more you get into lifting the more you learn about your muscles and muscle groups and how to target them properly. Don't rush... :) But yea it should be on here somewhere that less than advanced lifters only do 3-4 sets of each exercise-- I know it read it somewhere on here
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Posted Sun, 11/09/2014 - 03:50
Robert
It's not too hard. if you cannot meet the numbers reduce the weight and take the sessions slower with more control and after each set allow at least 3 min break and rehydrate. go to a different body group and keep doing that till you are able to hit the numbers. I do this and the failures i save for last as it is to burn anything you got left. I can still barely do this at times and it doesn't even show yet. Also diet helps LOTS of potatoes and Butternut squash and Peanut butter help.
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Posted Wed, 12/17/2014 - 17:52
heath coleman
its possible to do this training i know cause i used train 6 hours a day and doing it natural and i just started the beginner program after not doing bodybuilding a while does not take that much time keep the rest periods short and know the weights and all the exercises need to do i do 3 to 4 set now for time being i get done in a hour hour and a half you have to pic the right amount of weight you are going lighter more strict than if you pyramid up to one set all out this is multiple sets fail strict the best program i ever been on for bodybuilding and strength you just have to stick with it and yea nothing easy about this but if want results this is how to do it but i always like to do the uh pyramid up to one set all out failure only couple exercises heavy short workouts i switch between the two but when you do not worry about the weight and want something that will make you feel great and push your body and still get strong and look better this is it infact im thinking of making this my program for at least a year when i dont this training saw great improvement anyways rambling later
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Posted Wed, 01/14/2015 - 17:27
Bob of gulf point
Two sets a minute takes just over an hour. Slow down a bit, one heavy-ish, one quicker, and it's an hour and a half a day.
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Posted Wed, 03/04/2015 - 17:54
George Georgiou
Still!
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Posted Thu, 03/05/2015 - 16:06
danny
using a lot of not possible, cant, how the hell, you think Arnold ever used cant or how can I ?
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Posted Tue, 03/20/2012 - 10:39
Jesse
A lot of Protein intake to recover the over training of the muscles. 300+ Protein.
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Posted Sat, 10/19/2013 - 20:48
Big T
Should intake a minimum of 1/2 gram of protein per lbs you weigh .so if your 200lbs a minimum of 100 grams a day. I have the Arnnold Swarchanager Encyclopedia of body building you you can get a paperback version for around 20 buck at like barnes and noble or online lots of info.
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Posted Sat, 03/31/2012 - 10:50
taran
everything everybody is saying is true. and in regards to the comment of doing 100+ sets a workout, arnold schwarzenegger did what is known as a "double split" that was all the rage in the 70's. he would do chest and back early in the morning and then come back later in the evening around 7 or 8 pm and do legs. same principle with shoulders and arms. i advise anyone wanting to do this to do something else, whether they are on drugs or not. arnold schwarzenegger was a one of a kind man, with or without drugs (: its very unlikely that even 1% of the population is anything close to him.
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Posted Sat, 11/03/2012 - 10:07
Brandon
Thanks for saying we can't do it. Your just one of the naysayers now. We all know he was great at what he did, doesn't mean we cannot achieve greatness also.

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