Arnold Schwarzenegger Workout Routine

This article will explore the “Arnold Split”, including the exercises Arnold performed for each muscle group and the training approach he used to become the ultimate champion.

Developed and popularized by the legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, this training program is designed to help individuals achieve a balanced physique with proportionate muscle development.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a former professional bodybuilder and actor. He started weightlifting at the age of 15 and won his first Mr. Universe title at the age of 20. He went on to win Mr. Olympia 7 times, establishing himself as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Arnold also had a successful acting career, starring in blockbuster movies such as Terminator and Predator.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Athlete Statistics:

Weight: 225lbs (106.6kg)
Height: 6’3″ (190.5cm)
Arms: 22 inches (55.8cm)
Chest: 57 inches (144.7cm)
Waist: 30 inches (76.2cm)
Calves: 20 inches (50.8cm)

What is the Arnold Split?

The Split is a bodybuilding training program that divides the body into 2 parts: the upper body and the lower body. The upper body is further divided into two parts: the chest, back, shoulders, and arms. The lower body is divided into two parts: the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.

The Arnold Split is typically a 6-day program that includes three days of training for the upper body and three days of training for the lower body.

Monday: Chest, Back & Abs
Tuesday: Shoulders, Arms & Abs
Wednesday: Legs & Abs
Thursday: Chest, Back & Abs
Friday: Shoulders, Arms & Abs
Saturday: Legs & Abs
Sunday: Rest

The Arnold Split can be customized to suit your individual preferences and goals. However, here is a sample 6-day program that you can follow:

Monday and Thursday: Chest, Back, and Abs

On Monday, Schwarzenegger completes a chest, back, and abs workout by performing 6 exercises.

1. Flat Barbell Bench Press (5 sets, 8-10 reps)

2. Incline Barbell Bench Press (5 sets, 8-10 reps)

3. Dumbell Fly & Dumbbell Pullovers: Superset (5 sets 10-12 reps)

4. Wide Grip Chin Ups (4 sets, until failure)

5. Bent-Over Barbell Row and Bent-Over Two-Dumbbell Row (5 sets, 10-12 reps)

6. Hanging Leg Raise (5 sets, until failure)

Tuesday and Friday: Shoulders, Arms, and Abs

On Tuesday, He performs a shoulder, arm, and abs workout consisting of 8 exercises with an average of 5 sets.

1. Clean and Press (5 sets, 5 reps)

2. Dumbbell Press and Front Raise: Superset (5 sets, 5 reps)

3. Barbell Curl, Lateral Raise, and Upright Row (5 sets, 12-15 reps)

4. Barbell Skull-crushers and Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps-Extension: Superset (5 sets, 12-15 reps)

5. Close-Grip Barbell Bench-Press (5 sets, 30, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps)

6. Wrist Curls & Reverse Wrist Curls: Superset (5 sets, 12-15 reps)

7. Leg Raises (5 sets, 25 reps)

8. Decline Sit-up (5 sets, 25 reps)

Wednesday and Saturday: Legs and Abs

On Wednesday, Arnold performs a leg workout consisting of 8 exercises.

1. Conventional Deadlifts (5 sets, 8-12 reps)

2. Squats (5 sets, 8-12 reps)

3. Leg Ext and Leg Curls: Superset (5 sets, 8-12 reps)

4. Standing & Seated Calf Raises: Superset (5 sets, 8-12 reps)

5. Lunges (5 sets, 8-12 reps)

6. Calf Raises (5 sets, 8-12 reps)

7. Good Morning (5 sets, 8-12 reps)

8. Kneeling Cable Crunch (4 sets, 8-12 reps)

Sunday: Rest Day

Arnold Schwarzenegger rests on Sundays to allow for muscle recovery, reduce the risk of injury, prevent burnout, and promote mental well-being.

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Benefits of the Arnold Split

The Split has several benefits for bodybuilding enthusiasts, including:

  • Balanced muscle development: The Split makes sure that all muscle groups are trained evenly, resulting in a balanced and proportionate physique.
  • Increased training volume: The 6-day program allows for a higher training volume, which can lead to greater muscle growth and strength gains.
  • Flexibility: The Split can be customized to suit individual preferences and goals. It allows for variations in exercises, sets, and reps.
  • Variety: The Arnold Split includes a wide range of exercises, which can prevent boredom and stagnation in your training.

Arnold Split vs PPL: Which Routine is Best for You?

Arnold split and PPL are popular training routines for increasing muscle mass and strength. Arnold split is a 3-day split routine focusing on training different muscle groups daily, while PPL is a 3-day split routine based on specific muscle groups. Proper form, technique, and progressive overload are important for both routines to be effective.

The push/pull/leg (PPL) is considered better for athletic development or gross strength improvements. This is because the major muscle groups in the upper body are separated into two distinct workout sessions, which allows for the highest level of resistance possible per compound movement.

Although the Arnold split can also improve strength in these muscle groups, it combines the chest and back muscles within the same training program, which doesn’t maximize the possible training stimulus in the same way as a PPL split.

Tips for Success with the Arnold Split

1. Make sure to properly warm up before every workout to minimize the risk of injury.

2. Use the correct form and technique used for each exercise.

3. Gradually increase the weight and intensity of your workouts.

4. Rest and recover adequately between workouts.

5. Eat a balanced and nutritious diet to fuel your training.

6. Stay consistent and disciplined with your training.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Is the workout plan suitable for beginners?

  • The workout plan can be modified for beginners but is generally recommended for intermediate to advanced bodybuilders.

Q. Can the Arnold Split be done with just dumbbells and bodyweight exercises?

  • Yes, the Arnold Split can be done with minimal equipment, but it may require more creativity and adaptation of exercises.

Q. Can women follow the Arnold Split?

  • Yes, it can be modified for women, but it is important to customize the program to suit individual goals and preferences.

Q. Can I do cardio while following the Arnold Split?

  • Yes, cardio can be added to the program, but it is important to balance it with adequate rest and recovery.


In conclusion, the Arnold Split is a popular and effective bodybuilding program designed by Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. The program is known for its emphasis on high volume and intensity, which can promote muscle growth and strength.

The Arnold Split is a 6-day split routine that focuses on training-specific muscle groups each day, with a rest day on the 4th day. You can adjust it to your own goals and preferences.

However, it’s important to note that the Arnold Split is an advanced program that may not be suitable for beginners or those with certain health conditions. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or certified fitness trainer before starting any new exercise program.

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