Arnold Schwarzenegger Diet When Bodybuilding

By / November 22, 2023

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the iconic bodybuilder, actor, and former Governor of California is renowned not only for his impressive physique but also for his disciplined approach to nutrition. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the Arnold Schwarzenegger diet during his bodybuilding days, uncovering the secrets behind his incredible muscle gains and overall success in the world of bodybuilding.

Early Life and Introduction to Bodybuilding

arnold schwarzenegger training
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, Austria, in 1947. He discovered his passion for bodybuilding at a young age and began training seriously in his late teens. His dedication and relentless pursuit of his goals would later make him one of the most famous bodybuilders of all time.

The Importance of Nutrition in Bodybuilding

For Arnold Schwarzenegger, nutrition was just as crucial as his rigorous training regimen. He understood that to sculpt his body into a chiseled work of art, he needed to fuel it with the right nutrients. Arnold Schwarzenegger followed a high-protein, high-calorie diet to support his muscle growth, while also keeping a close eye on his macronutrient intake.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Diet Plan

Arnold’s daily diet was structured around a few key principles:

arnold schwarzenegger diet
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram
  • High Protein Intake: Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s diet was rich in lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, and lean beef.
  • Complex Carbohydrates: To provide energy for intense workouts, he consumed complex carbohydrates like brown rice, oats, and whole-grain bread.
  • Healthy Fats: Good fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil, were a part of his diet to support overall health and hormone production.
  • Regular Meals: Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t skip meals. He ate multiple small meals throughout the day to keep his metabolism active and maintain a steady flow of nutrients to his muscles.
  • Supplements: He also used supplements like protein shakes and vitamins to ensure he met his daily nutritional requirements.

A Typical Day in Arnold’s Diet

Here’s a glimpse of what a typical day of eating might have looked like for Arnold Schwarzenegger during his bodybuilding career:

Arnold's Diet
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram


  • Oatmeal with fruit and nuts
  • Scrambled eggs or egg whites
  • Whole-grain toast

Mid-morning Snack:

  • Protein shake with added creatine
  • Fruits like bananas or berries


  • Grilled chicken or lean beef
  • Brown rice or sweet potatoes
  • Steamed vegetables

Afternoon Snack:

  • Greek yogurt with honey and almonds
  • Protein bar


  • Baked or grilled fish
  • Quinoa or whole-grain pasta
  • Salad with plenty of vegetables

Evening Snack:

  • Cottage cheese with pineapple or peaches


Did Arnold Schwarzenegger ever cheat on his diet?

Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger allowed himself occasional cheat meals to satisfy cravings and prevent feelings of deprivation. However, he maintained strict discipline overall.

How important is protein in bodybuilding?

Protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth. Bodybuilders often consume high-protein diets to support their training goals.

Did Arnold Schwarzenegger take any special supplements?

Arnold Schwarzenegger used supplements like protein shakes and vitamins to complement his diet and ensure he met his nutritional needs.

What was the calorie intake of Arnold’s diet?

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daily calorie intake was estimated to be around 3,000 to 5,000 calories or more, depending on his training intensity and goals.

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