Arnold Schwarzenegger Volume Workout Routines

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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212 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Fri, 04/01/2016 - 17:54
Manuel

I dont get it.. So, on varation #2, it trying to say that on 1,3,5 Day you'll do chest,back at A.M. and legs,calves,forearm,abs at P.M. ? Also, on Day 2,4,6 shoulders,Arms at A.M. and calves,forearm,abs at P.M.?
Please, explain it!

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Posted Tue, 02/23/2016 - 09:44
Josh

I am all natural body builder and 44 years old. The only things I take besides protein is a natural test booster and estrogen blocker. Yes, I have a full time job and 4 daughters. Listen folks. This workout works. You can't have any excuses. You gotta eat clean and you gotta pump the weight. There are plenty of excuses not to do it. But you have to overcome those as well. What I have learned with this routine is it is IMPORTANT to do perfect form! Don't focus on the amount of weight, do the exercises properly and breath. You will see the results. You don't need steroids to be huge.

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Posted Fri, 11/27/2015 - 14:57
Daniel Vasquez

How long should I do variation #1 for?

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Posted Fri, 11/27/2015 - 14:54
Daniel Vasquez

How many weeks should I do variation #1 before moving to variation #2?

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Posted Fri, 11/06/2015 - 23:26
Chase Gambill

Can a natural bodybuilder train each muscle group three times a week on the six day split, and recover while making gains.

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Posted Thu, 07/30/2015 - 10:59
Tomer

I admire Arnold Schwarzenegger's workouts, body, nutrition tips,etc. but I actually thinks that people should take example from people who doesn't take steroids and all those "get big and lean" supplaments. I really don't think that those people are healthier than the average guy who eats healthy and workout three times a week, and i actually think that that average guy is much healthier.

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Posted Thu, 08/27/2015 - 17:05
Joe

The average guy doesn't look like Schwarzenegger

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Posted Wed, 10/07/2015 - 09:53
Jr

You are a idiot tomer. Go do curls in the squat rack on one leg.

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Posted Wed, 02/03/2016 - 09:57
Not Tomer

"The average guy can look like Schwarzenegger if he started taking steroids"!!! The answer to that is no. You are wrong. The average guy could pump himself full of roids and the latest and greatest, train and eat like Schwarzenegger and never come close. There are plenty of people doing just that who also have gifted genetics and don't come close. Don't post on things you don't understand.

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Posted Fri, 08/28/2015 - 11:17
Tomer

The average guy can look like Schwarzenegger if he started taking steroids. You can honestly say that you care about the way you look more than the way you feel and function and more than your overall health?

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Posted Wed, 07/08/2015 - 06:40
RAHUL

I want to know. How many weeks will 1 variation? When will be start 2nd Variation?. Please give a answer.

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Posted Wed, 05/06/2015 - 11:52
Alexandre

i have 19 years old and i start to go to the gym when i had more or less 14 years old, because I played handball it was mandatory. started with light weights just to improve my techniq. at the age of 16/17 I started to train harder with some heavy weights to someone at my age. at the age of 18 I joined the gym and quit handball because i have developed a big passion with the art of pulling weights, and like the master once told, i started to view myself as an sculptor, and everyday i try to reach what I see as perfection for myself and my body.
I try many workouts, just to see how my body responds to the difrent type of workouts and trainning metods, and my friends this was the most epic one! this train is just insane, speacially the 2nd variation, it literally distroy every single musculer fiber of your muscles, the pump is really insane! of course that I followed this workout with a very good nutrition plan that i developed myself (i eat 7 times a day) and of course the supplements, i used whey protein in the morning, carbo and a pre workout formula before the gym, and casein before i go to sleep. i gained 5KG in 2 months, and achived my very top form ever with 87KG!
if you are not a biginner, i trully recomend this workout, if you r focused it really makes you give 100% everyday, in every workout!

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Posted Wed, 05/06/2015 - 18:02
Richard

I did the Arnold workout for at least a year, the only problem I had was it is a serious workout, sometimes it took a lot of time. I recently just did, Franco Columbu, Lou Ferrigno. Ronnie Coleman, Lee Haney's workout each for two weeks. I then took what I learned and liked made my own workout from them. I have a pretty awesome workout now!

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Posted Thu, 07/30/2015 - 08:24
Mike

Care to share your workout?

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Posted Thu, 08/13/2015 - 13:26
Pax

Care to post your workout?

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Posted Fri, 12/11/2015 - 01:20
ryan

Can you send me the work out some how?

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Posted Thu, 05/07/2015 - 12:25
Magnus

HI Alexandre and Richard!
Nice to hear from someone who actually tried the workout. Haven't tried it myself, I'm generally quite bad in my discipline to follow a program unfortunately, and at age 29 I'm a little afraid my recovery capacity isn't as good as when I was 19 ;) but hard to tell before I have tried it anyhow ;)

But just a few question to Alexandre - when you did the "second workout program" did you rest about the normal 1-2 minutes between sets when you did up to 6 sets per exercise? Or did you do shorter rest intervals like 30-45 seconds?? Must have taken HOURS to complete it anyhow... And also - did you keep good pump throughout the whole workout?? Sometimes I have problem keeping the pump in my body if I do long workouts, don't know why, maybe lack of good pre-workout to keep the muscles fueled?

And Richard - why don't you share your recent workout program you wrote you had? :) And why not share your insights in what you learnt from using both Arnold and all the other champions program? Would be interesting to hear :)

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Posted Wed, 07/08/2015 - 17:51
sean

are you kidding me man good to see a 44 old guy in the gym what gym do you use must have age barrier
I am 68 g0 4 times a week can deadlift 200kilos man show you guy up

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Posted Tue, 06/09/2015 - 16:40
John

Magnus, do not worry about you recovery time, I am following the 1st plan and I am 44, the 1st week or so was tough, but now I can't wait to get to the gym.

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Posted Wed, 06/17/2015 - 15:25
Magnus

Thanks for the info John! nice to hear a 44 old guy going strong in the gym. Do you make good gains from it?? :)
Even if I have to say, the first one is just about 50% of the load in comparision to the 2nd one. But as a universal truth, if one beings slowly I guess the body gets used to more work volume and overtime and can handle and gain from more and more volume.. :)

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Posted Thu, 05/07/2015 - 16:41
Richard

Hi, the Arnold workout I started out usually doing 3 sets then up to the 5 or 6 sets most of his excersise required, I also used a lighter weight than I usually use. My mind set was I wanted to keep doing it, so I let my self get used to it (even tho they say your supposed to change your workout so your muscles don't get used to it) I wanted to conquer the Arnold workout, Training each muscle group 3 times a week was a challenge. I'm doing my workout and still working on it. I like the chest workout from Franco Columbu, he does alot of cable crossovers, supersetting them. The incline bench press, incline curls. I used wrist curls, toe raises from Arnolds workout. The dead lift. I just took Mr. Olympia winners did there workout, took what I liked from them. I count caloies, eat right, eat alot of protein when I can.

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Posted Sat, 05/09/2015 - 08:06
Magnus

Sounds like a good tactic there. Yes I dont either think it's so important to change the program all the time, sometimes it could be of more value to work your way up to more volume on a specific program as you do.

Did check out Columbu's chest workouts - seemed cool, he has an astonishing chest that's for sure - hard to see bb's with a better looking chest than him so definitily worth a try. And I do think training a muscle 2-3 times per week is more valuable than the regular "only hit once per week" if you do it right and not go to failure all the sets and have good rest and eating habites. Especially if training naturally I think its of importance to stimulate protein synthesis (and besides - science has proven that steroids causes muscle growth even without lifting any weights at all - twice as much as natural trainers), so basically, I think it's important to stimulate the muscles more often in contrast to what most BB's advocate...

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Posted Sat, 02/28/2015 - 23:55
Val

I have no balls, and I'm considered little at 5'3. It's not about having a penis, it's about not being a wimp. Please quit confusing a vag=wimp I mean we squeeze a kido outta that thing over a 24 hour ab workout. Lol. This is a fun workout and I hope I can look half as ripped as Arnold in a year. Thanks for posting this :-)

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Posted Mon, 02/09/2015 - 13:10
Joe

Firstly, this routine is for BODYBUILDERS who will compete.
Secondly, the training, the diet and steroids is made for Arnold...a man who 24/7 eat, trained and slept.
Thirdly, he had $$$ and time to do this!

no one working on a 40hr work week will EVER find time to train as he did or purchase the diet he had.

This is a GUIDE LINE not something for the average Joe who works 40hrs a week.

and yes, steroids are used in competiton when the mentality was " Whatever it takes to win" on stage.

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Posted Tue, 01/27/2015 - 02:50
alexander

how about front squat?

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Posted Fri, 10/31/2014 - 12:01
Madhurjya bora

That's why he is the unbeatable legend in the bodybuilding world for all time.............hats off to 'im

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Posted Mon, 10/06/2014 - 14:58
lijo

Thanks very much for this post . I was looking for it and finally got it. Now I can train to be at least a bit like him

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Posted Thu, 09/11/2014 - 15:09
Denzel

you have to be a beast to do this I did this I'm a beast very challenging for sure. but I'm gonna do it again on the right supplements. it is a great workout definitely recommend.

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Posted Thu, 09/11/2014 - 15:05
Denzel

the whole workout same day almost puked great workout very challenging

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Posted Thu, 09/11/2014 - 15:03
Denzel

I tried doing this in one day almost puked started doing it three times a week got great results very challenging workout. I would recommend for only committed individuals very vigorous workout it's such an amazing work out. I take the musclepharm creatine I might start adding whey protein for more size.

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Posted Thu, 09/04/2014 - 10:13
Victor

I don't get it, are the two variations separatly or should i do them both on one day(AM/PM). My plan was to do the first variation for 6 weeks and then the second variation for six weeks. Is this an option? please help me out.

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Posted Mon, 08/25/2014 - 09:20
shareef

WORK HARD AND GET RESULT

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Posted Mon, 08/25/2014 - 09:18
shareef

WORK HARD AND GET RESULT

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Posted Mon, 08/25/2014 - 09:16
shareef

SIR ARNOLD
HE was great body builder in world and MY FVRT

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Posted Sat, 07/19/2014 - 06:33
rakesh thakur

no pain no gain...

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Posted Tue, 06/24/2014 - 22:57
Joe Shmoe

This may not even be Schwarzenegger's actual routine. The split itself, yes, but the exercises/sets/reps could have been made up. I don't believe he Deadlifted 2x per week whilst Squatting and Stiff Legged Deadlifting on two other days per week.

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Posted Sat, 06/21/2014 - 06:09
Limpan

Do I have to do this workout two times a day? Like according to the schedule day 1 & 4 is just chest and back, and y'all saying abs and legs in the evening?

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Posted Wed, 06/18/2014 - 00:55
FitnessFBI

Hey Shawy89.....go check out Mike Rashid "Overtraining" on Youtube. Massive results. As you know...each body responds differently.

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Posted Wed, 06/04/2014 - 09:29
ishwar sk

Amazing routine :-)

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Posted Sun, 05/25/2014 - 03:36
YASHAR

i think arnold was a very impressive man and he was the only man that won 7 times mr.olympia.he could not have won those titles with a normal workout.it is not unusual that he worked about 2 hours in the gym.i think it is not in sane!

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Posted Wed, 06/04/2014 - 21:58
john

ronnie won 8

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Posted Sat, 05/10/2014 - 10:29
geneo

just starting how can you workout twice a day when your day already starts 3am and ends about 630 pm that includes 10 hrs working

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Posted Sat, 04/12/2014 - 02:03
shawon

tnx :D

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Posted Fri, 04/11/2014 - 01:37
Chris

I have been using this routine for only a week and already I'm seeing amazing gains. Arnold was the man with plan and any one who does all this will guaranteed see the results they are looking for. Can't wait until a couple months!

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Posted Sat, 03/15/2014 - 17:50
Dswole

How do you do it he asks?? By being a doer. This shit ain't for everyone

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Posted Fri, 03/14/2014 - 04:30
Karabo

Thanks

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Posted Fri, 02/21/2014 - 15:15
Cjr

He is the best enough said
He got were he is now because he worked hard for it and he deserves it

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Posted Sat, 02/08/2014 - 12:40
Mutaz

what about trap?

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Posted Wed, 02/05/2014 - 04:29
parvinder

arnold best bodybilder main uska fan ho

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Posted Sat, 02/01/2014 - 13:29
Big D

Workout out like this, after a few months you'll be drowning in the puswa