Arnold Schwarzenegger Workout Split: Unleashing the Beast Within

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian Oak, stands as a monument in the realms of bodybuilding, politics, philanthropy, and entertainment.

His indomitable spirit, coupled with an unwavering commitment to excellence, forged a legacy that transcends time. 

While his achievements span diverse fields, it was his dominance on the physique stage, marked by seven Mr. Olympia wins, that etched his name into the annals of bodybuilding history.

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Central to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s conquest of the bodybuilding world was his relentless training regimen, a force to be reckoned with. 

In this exploration, we delve into the Arnold Schwarzenegger Workout Split – a regimen that mirrors the man himself, larger than life and unyielding.

arnold schwarzenegger the austrian oak
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

Before You Begin: Beyond the Iron

Success in bodybuilding, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s style, extends beyond the confines of the weight room.

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Acknowledging that muscle mass isn’t sculpted in isolation, one must grasp the holistic approach Arnold Schwarzenegger embraced. However, it’s vital to recognize that his genetic predisposition played a role in his success, a factor beyond replication.

Tempering expectations is paramount, for adopting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s workout split won’t alter bone structure, height, or limb length. 

Prepare for a grueling journey – a high-volume odyssey demanding ample time and unwavering dedication, outlined in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding.’

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The Arnold Schwarzenegger Workout Split: Crafting a Masterpiece

arnold schwarzenegger workout
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

A golden-era bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Level 1 Exercise Program unveils a six-day body part double split, spanning nine workouts with one dedicated day of rest. Brace yourself this isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday:

Morning – Chest

Barbell Bench Press4 x 10,8,6,4
Barbell Incline Bench Press4 x 10,8,6,4
Dumbbell Flye3 x 10,8,6
Dip3 x 15,10,8
Pullover3 x 15

Morning – Back

Weighted Chin-Up4 x 10+
Close-Grip Chin-Up4 x 10
T-Bar Row4 x 15,12,8,6
Barbell Row4 x 8-12
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Evening – Legs

Squat4 x 10,8,6,4
Front Squat4 x 10,8,8,6
Hack Squat3 x 10
Leg Curl4 x 20,10,8,6
Standing Leg Curl4 x 10
Straight-Leg Deadlift3 x 10

Evening – Calves

Donkey Calf Raise4 x 10
Standing Calf Raise4 x 15,10,8,8

Evening – Abs

Crunch3 x 25
Bent-Over Torso Twist100 Reps on Each Side
Machine Crunch3 x 25
Crunch1 x 50
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Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday:


arnold schwarzenegger shoulder press
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram
Behind-the-Neck Overhead Press5 x 15, then 4 x 10,8,8,6
Lateral Raise4 x 8
Bent-Over Lateral Raise4 x 8
Dumbbell Shrug3 x 10


Barbell Curl5 x 15,10,8,6,4
Incline Dumbbell Curl4 x 8
Concentration Curl3 x 8
Skull Crusher4 x 15,10,8,6
Cable Triceps Pressdown3 x 8
Single-Arm Triceps Extension3 x 10


Barbell Wrist Curl4 x 10
Reverse Wrist Curl3 x 10
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  • Seated Calf Raise: 4 x 10


Reverse Crunch4 x 25
Seated Twist100 Reps on Each Side
Vertical Bench Crunch4 x 25

How It Works: Embracing the Grueling Odyssey

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s workout split, unembellished and practical, demands no secret techniques. It’s about a robust work ethic and investing significant time in the gym. 

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arnold schwarzenegger best shoulder exercises
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

The split pairs antagonistic muscle groups, maximizing the upper-body pump. 

Each session unfolds as a meticulous dance of compound and isolation exercises, emphasizing symmetry and proportion.

What You’ll Need: Commitment and Resources

Embarking on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s workout split necessitates a paramount resource: time. The morning workouts alone stretch into 32 sets, demanding one and a half to two hours. 

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Additionally, a well-equipped gym becomes a sanctuary for executing free weight, cable, and machine exercises integral to this plan. 

Allocate 15 to 20 hours weekly for training, and access to a fully-furnished weight room is non-negotiable.

Modify for Practicality: Adapting to Reality

For those not pursuing bodybuilding as a full-time career, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s exact split might be a stretch. Modify intelligently to align with your lifestyle:

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Drop the Volume: Trim exercises or sets to streamline workouts while preserving intensity.

Up the Intensity: Push sets closer to failure to enhance workout effectiveness and stimulate growth.

Use Supersets: Pair exercises to save time without compromising results.

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For Beginners: A Word of Caution

arnold schwarzenegger legendary pose
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s split is an advanced routine. Beginners should steer clear and initiate their journey with foundational programs, building a robust base before embracing the Austrian Oak’s intensity.

Understanding Workout Splits: Tailoring to Your Needs

Workout splits, the backbone of a bodybuilder’s routine, partition muscles for dedicated training. 

Explore alternatives if Arnold Schwarzenegger’s isn’t feasible:

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Upper-Lower Split: Ideal for beginners, targeting the overall upper or lower body in each session.

Push-Pull-Legs Split: Divides upper body into push and pull workouts, with a separate leg day.

Body Part Split: Advanced, flexible, and diverse, targeting specific muscle groups in each session.

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Lift Like the Oak: A Tribute to Greatness

arnold schwarzenegger lion king
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

In a tale reminiscent of a Hollywood script, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s victory in the 1980 Mr. Olympia, post an unexpected attack, symbolizes his unwavering determination. 

While adopting his split might not guarantee Sandow trophies, it’s a homage to a legend. Enter Arnold Schwarzenegger’s arena – train, persevere, and unleash the beast within.

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