The Ultimate Arnold Split Workout Guide (2024)

By / January 3, 2024

What is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Split Workout?

The Arnold Schwarzenegger Split, named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a high-frequency bodybuilding workout routine designed to be performed six days a week.

It’s a two-day split, repeated thrice over a week, with each muscle group typically worked out twice a week. Here’s a general layout:

  1. Day 1 and Day 4 – Chest and Back:
    • Chest exercises might include bench press, incline press, and dumbbell flyes.
    • Back exercises could be lat pulldowns, barbell rows, and deadlifts.
  2. Day 2 and Day 5 – Shoulders and Arms:
    • Shoulder exercises could include overhead presses, lateral raises, and front raises.
    • Arm exercises might involve bicep curls, tricep pushdowns, and hammer curls.
  3. Day 3 and Day 6 – Legs and Lower Back:
arnold training
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

Each training session often includes multiple sets of each exercise, usually in the 8-12 rep range, which is typical for hypertrophy-focused training. Rest days are essential for recovery, so the seventh day is usually a day off.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approach also emphasized the importance of intensity, progressive overload, and a mind-muscle connection. His training philosophy was more than just the exercises; it was about how they performed.

Remember, it’s always best to tailor a workout to your needs and capabilities and consult with a fitness professional, especially when attempting a high-intensity routine like this.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Brief History and Background

Arnold Schwarzenegger, born on July 30, 1947, in Thal, Styria, Austria, is a multifaceted personality known for his accomplishments as a bodybuilder, actor, and politician.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s journey from a small village in Austria to global fame is a tale of ambition, discipline, and charisma.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Bodybuilding Career

arnold schwarzenegger bodybuilding
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s interest in bodybuilding began at a young age. In his teens, he started weight training and quickly rose to prominence in the sport.

Arnold Schwarzenegger won the title of Mr. Universe at the age of 20, making him the youngest ever to achieve this feat.

Arnold Schwarzenegger went on to win the Mr. Olympia contest seven times, a record at the time. His bodybuilding achievements were pivotal in popularizing the sport globally.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Acting Career

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s physical presence and unique persona led him to Hollywood, where Arnold Schwarzenegger initially struggled due to his accent and name. However, his breakthrough came with the 1982 film “Conan the Barbarian.”

His most iconic role was in “The Terminator” series, where he played the titular character. This role cemented his place as a major action star in the 1980s and 1990s. His filmography includes a variety of genres, though he is best known for his action roles.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Political Career

In 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger took a surprising turn into politics, winning a recall election to become the Governor of California as a Republican.

Arnold Schwarzenegger served two terms, focusing on issues like environmental policy and political reform. His tenure was marked by efforts to address climate change, promote renewable energy, and balance the state’s budget.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Personal Life

Throughout his life, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been known for his larger-than-life personality. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been involved in various philanthropic activities and has written several books about bodybuilding.

His personal life has also been in the spotlight, including his marriage to Maria Shriver, a member of the Kennedy family, and a publicized separation.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life story is often seen as a quintessential “American Dream” narrative.

Arnold Schwarzenegger immigrated to the United States with limited resources and went on to achieve extraordinary success in multiple fields, leveraging his physical strength, charismatic personality, and sharp intellect.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Chest Workout

arnold chest press
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chest workout was renowned for its intensity and variety. Arnold Schwarzenegger focused on developing a full, thick chest with exercises like the Bench Press and Incline Bench Press, which are fundamental for building mass.

Dumbbell Flyes were used to stretch and isolate the pectorals, enhancing the chest’s shape and size.

Dips and Cable Crossovers were integral for targeting the lower and outer parts of the chest, contributing to a well-rounded chest development.

Bench Press4-56-10
Incline Bench Press4-56-10
Dumbbell Flyes4-510-12
Dips4-5To Failure
Cable Crossovers4-510-12

Back Workout

The back routine was designed to build a wide and thick back. Wide-grip chin-ups were a staple for widening the lats, while Bent-Over Rows and T-Bar Rows added thickness and depth.

Deadlifts were crucial for overall back and body strength, working on the lower back, traps, and other supporting muscles. Seated Pulley Rows helped refine the middle back, improving muscle detail.

Wide-Grip Chin-Up4-5To Failure
Bent-Over Rows4-56-10
T-Bar Rows4-56-10
Seated Pulley Rows4-56-10

Shoulder Workout

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shoulder workouts are aimed at creating a broad, muscular shoulder structure. The Barbell Clean and Press was a compound movement that not only worked the shoulders but also engaged the whole body.

Dumbbell Lateral Raises, Seated Barbell Presses, and Bent-Over Dumbbell Laterals specifically targeted the various deltoid heads.

Upright Rows were included to work on both the shoulders and traps, contributing to that powerful upper body look.

Barbell Clean and Press4-56-10
Dumbbell Lateral Raises4-510-12
Seated Barbell Press4-56-10
Bent-Over Dumbbell Laterals4-510-12
Upright Rows4-510-12

Arm Workout

via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

For arms, Arnold Schwarzenegger believed in high volume and a range of movements. Barbell Curls and Seated Dumbbell Curls were key for bicep mass, while Concentration Curls provided peak and definition.

Tricep development was achieved through Close-Grip Bench Presses and Tricep Pushdowns, with Barbell French Presses to target the long head of the triceps.

This comprehensive approach led to his famously well-developed and balanced arms.

Barbell Curls4-56-10
Seated Dumbbell Curls4-56-10
Concentration Curls4-510-12
Close-Grip Bench Press4-56-10
Tricep Pushdown4-510-12
Barbell French Press4-56-10

Leg Workout

Leg days were never skipped in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s routine. Squats were the cornerstone, building strength and size in the entire lower body.

Lunges added to the development of the quads and hamstrings, while Leg Presses provided additional focus on these areas.

Stiff-legged deadlifts and Leg Curls specifically targeted the hamstrings and lower back, ensuring balanced leg development.

Leg Press4-510-12
Stiff-Legged Deadlift4-510-12
Leg Curls4-510-12

Lower Back Workout

For the lower back, Arnold Schwarzenegger emphasized exercises that would build strength and endurance. Deadlifts were crucial for overall lower back mass and strength.

Good Mornings and Hyperextensions were included to isolate and strengthen the lower back muscles further, helping to prevent injuries and improve posture.

This routine complemented his leg workouts, ensuring a balanced development between the front and back of the lower body.

Good Mornings4-510-12

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s routine was known for its intensity and volume. He often included advanced techniques like supersets, drop sets, and high-rep burnout sets.

It’s important to note that this routine was tailored to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s specific goals and capabilities and might not be suitable for everyone.

As always, when considering a new workout routine, it’s recommended to adjust the exercises, sets, and reps according to individual fitness levels and goals.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Diet Plan

arnold diet
via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s diet plan, especially during his bodybuilding days, was focused on high protein, moderate carbohydrates, and low fats. Arnold Schwarzenegger emphasized whole foods for muscle growth and recovery.

Here’s a breakdown of his typical meal plan in a table format, with each meal detailed separately:

Arnold Schwarzenegger Breakfast

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s breakfast was designed to kick-start his day with a solid foundation of protein and carbohydrates.

Arnold Schwarzenegger typically consumed 3-4 whole eggs, known for their high-quality protein and essential nutrients, crucial for muscle repair and growth.

Oatmeal, a staple in his breakfast, provided a good source of complex carbohydrates, offering sustained energy throughout the morning.

This meal often included a glass of whole milk, adding additional protein and calories, essential for muscle-building and recovery.

Food ItemQuantityNotes
Eggs3-4 whole eggsHigh in protein
Oatmeal1 bowlSource of carbohydrates
Whole Milk1 glassAdditional protein and calories

Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘s Mid-Morning Snack

The mid-morning snack in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s diet was focused on sustaining energy levels and providing a steady supply of protein.

He often chose cottage cheese, a great source of casein protein that digests slowly, making it perfect for muscle maintenance.

Arnold Schwarzenegger complemented this with a handful of nuts or seeds, which provided healthy fats, essential for overall health, and aiding in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Food ItemQuantityNotes
Cottage Cheese1 cupSlow-digesting protein
Nuts or Seeds1 handfulHealthy fats, protein

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Lunch

Lunch was a critical meal for Arnold Schwarzenegger, consisting of a substantial portion of lean protein and complex carbohydrates.

Arnold Schwarzenegger often grilled chicken or beef, provides the essential amino acids needed for muscle repair and growth.

This was accompanied by brown rice or quinoa, offering long-lasting energy and fiber.

A serving of vegetables added vital vitamins, minerals, and fiber, ensuring a well-rounded nutritional profile.

Food ItemQuantityNotes
Grilled Chicken or Beef8-10 ouncesLean protein
Brown Rice or Quinoa1 cupLong-lasting energy
Vegetables1 cupVitamins and minerals

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Afternoon Snack

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s afternoon snack was a blend of quick protein and natural sugars.

Arnold Schwarzenegger typically had a protein shake, which was convenient and efficient for muscle recovery, especially post-workout.

Arnold Schwarzenegger also included a piece of fruit, like an apple or banana, to provide natural sugars for a quick energy boost and dietary fiber for digestive health.

Food ItemQuantityNotes
Protein Shake1 servingQuick protein source
Fruit1 pieceNatural sugars, fiber

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dinner

via arnold schwarzenegger instagram

Dinner was a crucial meal for Arnold Schwarzenegger, focusing on high-quality protein, complex carbohydrates, and essential nutrients.

Arnold Schwarzenegger often ate fish, like salmon, which is not only high in protein but also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial for heart health and inflammation reduction.

A side of sweet potato offered complex carbs and nutrients, while a large green salad provided fiber, vitamins, and minerals, essential for overall health and digestion.

Food ItemQuantityNotes
Fish (like Salmon)8-10 ouncesHigh in protein and omega-3s
Sweet Potato1 mediumComplex carbohydrates
Green Salad1 large bowlFiber, vitamins, and minerals

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Pre-Bed Snack

The pre-bed snack in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s diet was aimed at providing slow-digesting protein to support muscle recovery overnight.

Arnold Schwarzenegger often chose Greek yogurt, rich in casein protein, which helped in muscle maintenance during sleep.

Additionally, a handful of almonds provide healthy fats and a small amount of protein, aiding in sustained energy release and satiety throughout the night.

Food ItemQuantityNotes
Greek Yogurt1 cupSlow-digesting protein
Almonds1 handfulHealthy fats and protein

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s diet plan was tailored to his intense training regimen and may not be suitable for everyone.

It’s important to adjust food choices, quantities, and overall caloric intake based on individual fitness goals, activity levels, and dietary needs.

Additionally, dietary preferences and knowledge have evolved, so it’s always recommended to consult with a nutritionist or dietitian when planning a diet, especially for high-performance athletics or bodybuilding.

Download Arnold Split Workout PDF

What’s the Difference Between Push-Pull and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Split?

Push-Pull Split: In this routine, exercises are divided based on the movement pattern. ‘Push’ workouts target muscles used for pushing movements, like the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

‘Pull’ workouts focus on muscles used for pulling movements, such as the back and biceps.

Legs can either be included in the pull days or trained separately. This split allows for more frequent training of each muscle group while providing adequate recovery.

Arnold’s Split: Arnold’s split, on the other hand, is more of a traditional bodybuilding split. It involves training different muscle groups on each day of the week, often with a focus on the chest and back, shoulders and arms, and legs and lower back, each trained twice a week.

This split allows for a high volume and intensity for each muscle group, with a more specific focus on individual muscles during each workout.

What is the Best 6-Day Split?

The “best” 6-day split largely depends on individual goals, experience, and recovery ability.

However, a popular and effective 6-day split is the “Push, Pull, Legs” (PPL) routine repeated twice a week.

This allows for a balanced workout covering all major muscle groups, with each group being worked twice a week, ensuring ample stimulus for growth and recovery. The PPL routine typically looks like this:

Day 1: Push (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)
Day 2: Pull (Back, Biceps)
Day 3: Legs (Quads, Hamstrings, Calves)
Day 4: Push
Day 5: Pull
Day 6: Legs
Day 7: Rest

This split is efficient for muscle growth and strength gains while also providing enough recovery time for each muscle group.

Which Split is Best for Muscle Building?

The best split for muscle building is subjective and varies based on individual goals and experience, but a widely recommended and effective option is the “Push, Pull, Legs” (PPL) split.

It allows for each muscle group to be worked intensively and then have ample time to recover, which is crucial for muscle growth.

The routine typically involves training 6 days a week, with each muscle group targeted twice, providing a balanced approach to building muscle efficiently.

What was Ronnie Coleman’s Workout Split?

Ronnie Coleman’s workout split was a high-volume, intense bodybuilding routine.

He typically followed a 5-day split, focusing on different muscle groups each day: Back, Chest, Legs, Shoulders, and Arms.

Each session included a variety of exercises with heavy weights and high reps, emphasizing both strength and hypertrophy.

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