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Arnold Schwarzenegger and bodybuilding

Arnold Schwarzenegger and bodybuilding


"The Austrian Oak

Who in the bodybuilding world hasn't heard of Arnold, the absolute benchmark in our sport? Of course, he's not the biggest bodybuilder, having long since been surpassed by the likes of Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, Sergio Oliva, Joe Weider and Ronnie Coleman. But Arnold left his mark on our sport by introducing it to the world through his acting career.

The Governor of California was and still is an inspiration to many practitioners, who see him as an example of rigor, intensity and one of the most aesthetically pleasing physiques.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's background and biography

Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, Austria, on July 30, 1947. His father, Gustav Schwarzenegger, was a former soldier in the Austrian army who later became a police officer. His mother Aurelia is a housewife. Arnold has a brother, Meinhard, whom his mother had before she met Gustav. Arnold's upbringing was strict, and his father was sometimes violent with him.

In 1963, after meeting Olympic swimming champion Johnny Weissmuller, Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to become a champion himself. He was 6 years old at the time. It was at the age of 13 that he discovered bodybuilding with his soccer coach, and decided some time later that this would be his future life.

In 1961, Arnold met Kurt Marnul, former Mr Austria, who invited him to train at his gym. In 1963, he finished 2nd in a minor bodybuilding competition in Austria, becoming Mr Europe Junior two years later. In 1966, he won the Mr Europe title. Thanks to this victory, he earned the right to take part in the NABBA Mr Universe, an event in which he took second place behind Chet Yorton. In 1967, having improved his muscular definition, he won the NABBA Mr Universe in London, becoming the youngest winner of this bodybuilding competition at the age of twenty.

Schwarzenegger was spotted by Joe WEIDER in 1968, when he won his first professional Mr Universe NABBA title, and was invited to take part in bodybuilding competitions in the USA.

At the age of 21, the future governor and actor moved to the USA and took part in his first Mr Universe IFBB, taking second place behind Franck ZANE.

Joe WEIDER agreed to sponsor Arnold for a year and asked him to train at Gold's Gym with the best American bodybuilders.

In 1969, Arnold won the amateur Mr Universe IFBB, then the Mr Universe NABBA Pro, and finished second to Sergio OLIVA at his first Mr Olympia in New York.

the following year, in 1970, he again won the Mr Universe NABBA Pro, then beat Sergio OLIVA at the Mr World in Columbus and won his first MR OLYMPIA in New York.

He won the supreme bodybuilding title until 1975, when he retired from the sport. He returned to win a final title in 1980, putting an end to his bodybuilding career to devote himself to acting in Hollywood and Los Angeles.

The film Pumping Iron retraced his bodybuilding training to competition and the 1975 Mr Olympia title, and put Arnold on the map outside bodybuilding circles. Arnold's film career took off with the 1982 movie Conan the Barbarian.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's training program

One of the distinctive features of Arnold Schwarzenegger's fitness training was that he worked his body using an agonist/antagonist muscle system. In other words, he would work sets and reps of pectorals in the same session as back muscles, or biceps and triceps together, often all in superset.

For the future Governor of California, this was a way of achieving very high congestion and avoiding imbalances. What's more, he favored poly-articular, basic movements.

He trained regularly on a system of one session in the morning and one in the afternoon.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, fitness training was devoted to pectorals, back, forearms, thighs and calves. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday were dedicated to the biceps, triceps, shoulders and trapezius muscles.

Mr. Austrian Universe pectoral program with series reps:

  • Bench press - 5 sets, 6-10 reps
  • Incline press - 6 sets, 6-10 reps
  • Bench press - 5 sets, 6-10 reps
  • Crossover - 6 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Dips 5 sets, to failure
  • Dumbbell pullover - 5 sets, 10-12 reps

Californian Mr Olympia back program with reps sets :

  • Wide bar pull-ups - 6 sets, to failure
  • T-bar rowing - 5 sets, 6-10 reps
  • Horizontal pull - 6 sets, 6-10 reps
  • One-arm barbell rowing - 5 sets, 6-10 reps
  • Rowing barbell 90° - 6 sets, 15 reps

Arnold Schwarzenegger leg program with sets of reps :

  • Squats - 6 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Presses - 6 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Leg extension - 6 sets, 12-15 reps
  • Leg curl - 6 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Lunges - 5 sets, 15 reps

Calf program for the future governor of California:

  • Standing calves - 10 sets, 10 reps
  • Seated calves - 8 sets, 15 reps
  • Single-leg calves (with dumbbells) - 6 sets, 12 reps

Forearm training program sponsored by Sylvester Stallone's alter ego:

  • Wrist curl - 4 sets, 10 reps
  • Inverted curl - 4 sets, 8 reps
  • Roller machine - to failure

Abdominal program: 30-minute non-stop workout

Biceps program from the man who won 2 Golden Globes in 1995 and 1970:

  • Barbell curl - 6 sets, 6-10 reps
  • Seated alternating dumbbell curl - 6 sets, 6-10 reps
  • Concentrated dumbbell curl - 6 sets, 6-10 reps

Program for the triceps of the man who accompanies Bruce Willis in The Expendables:

  • Tight bench press - 6 sets, 6-10 reps
  • High pulley triceps extension - 6 sets, 6-10 reps
  • Front bar - 6 sets, 6-10 reps
  • One-arm dumbbell neck extensions - 6 sets, 6-10 reps

Mr Olympia's shoulder program:

  • Dumbbell military development - 6 sets, 6-10 reps
  • Lateral raises (standing) - 6 sets, 6-10 reps
  • Bent-back lateral raises - 5 sets, 6-10 reps
  • Cable lateral raises - 5 sets, 10-12 reps

Now you know almost everything about this great champion and super star of bodybuilding, who has inspired and continues to inspire bodybuilders the world over. We hope he inspires you as much as he has inspired others.

Author Alexandre CARPENTIER

Bodybuilding Champion N.A.C 2012

Alexandre shares his bodybuilding experience with MegaGear blog readers

Posted in: Sports athletes