Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Secrets For Building Arms

Arnold: Even to this day, I’m often asked about my arms. Although they still look pretty decent for a guy my age (which is to say, very young), people are endlessly fascinated with how I built my arms to 22″ when I was competing. More specifically, they want to know how I built such peaked biceps.

arnold schwarzenegger arm
Arnold Throughout The Years

The fact is, every bodybuilder wants peaked biceps, but the shape of one’s biceps is largely a matter of genetics. Everyone is born with a different set of genes, including those that determine muscle size and shape. I was fortunate to be born with good muscle shape and fullness, particularly in my biceps. Even when I was a teenager, my biceps were a strong point and I found that they were very responsive to almost anything I did for them. But what is most important is that you work to maximize your own potential.

In the beginning

I performed a ton of barbell cheat curls to bulk up my biceps. As I progressed, I realized that bodybuilding was about more than just slapping muscle onto one’s body.

I needed to sculpt my muscles the same way that an artist molds clay into a beautiful form. So I looked at how different exercises affected my muscles and started organizing my workouts according to my specific wants and needs. This type of “instinctive training” was the first key to developing the physique that won seven Olympia titles.

The Peak

When it came to biceps, I saw that I had a natural propensity toward highly peaked biceps. So I made the decision to accentuate this strength by including dumbbell concentration curls in my routine. Concentration curls are the single best exercise for maximizing the biceps’ peak and they should definitely be included in your own biceps workout.

Scene from Pumping Iron

Concentration Curls

The exercise can be performed in a variety of ways, so which one you choose depends on your personal preference. The basic movement requires bending at the waist with a dumbbell held in one hand hanging below your shoulder. Without moving your upper arm, curl the dumbbell to your shoulder, squeeze the biceps hard at the top of the movement and lower it again in a smooth, controlled manner.

Schwarzenegger’s Peaking Routine

EXERCISESETSREPS
Barbell curls510
Seated incline dumbbell curls58 - 10
Dumbbell concentration curls510 - 12

NOTE: Every third week, switch the order of the last two exercises, performing concentration curls before incline dumbbell curls, to prioritize the peaking effect

You can perform concentration curls either sitting on a bench or standing, with the working elbow braced against a knee or hanging loose. Personally, I prefer standing with my arm hanging free, but this is a technically advanced form of the exercise, so I’d recommend starting with your elbow against your knee. You may not be able to develop a peak like mine or you may be able to build an even better one. The only way you’ll know for sure is to maximize your potential–and there’s no better way to do so than by performing dumbbell concentration curls.

Failure Is Not An Option


Author: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Copyright 2009 Weider Publications

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33 Comments on "Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Secrets For Building Arms"

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Robin Riedel
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Dianabol

Brian Bothmer
Guest

stuk of 7 bij het ontbijt 👌🏻👍🏻

Robin Riedel
Guest

Brian Bothmer eet ze als smarties

Brian Bothmer
Guest

😂💪

Geoffrey Beech
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You’ve got to love Arnie.

Michael Sindoni
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ARNOLD FOR PRESIDENT !!!!2020

Garrett Huserik
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Make this a thing

Gavin Rains
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My mum is your mum

Dorrie Hubbard Jr.
Guest

Did he include steroids haha.

Ciaran Byrne
Guest

Yawn here come the anti steroid police 🙄

Omar Lamboy
Guest

This fuckers are the liberals of bodybuilding 😂😂

Dorrie Hubbard Jr.
Guest

Not a liberal, watched Sergio Olivia die from kidney failure. Steriods.

Ciaran Byrne
Guest

Dorrie Hubbard Jr. have u evidence of this

Dorrie Hubbard Jr.
Guest

It was in the news papers here in chicago.

Ben Griego
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Thomas Creamer

Mladenovic Boris
Guest

Sasa Alcatel your aiming for 22″ arm now ? 😀

Sasa Alcatel
Guest

Ne.Nikad i nisam.50 je dovoljno.

Tim Ceri
Guest

The guy never had 22 inch arms. More like 19 inches.

Cesare Ricchezza
Guest

Mine are a little over 18. No way in hell his were only 19

Tim Ceri
Guest

Yes they where. They just had a high peak with good definition. Don’t forget he barely weighed 235 pounds at a height of 6,2.

Martin Ottosen
Guest

he was up to 260 at one point…

Ryan Leal
Guest

People love to act like he wasn’t that big. Look at him next to all the guys from that Era. He trumps most of them and they weren’t small. Arnold was a beast don’t downplay it. And his arms were absolutely bigger than 19″. A high peak would make them measure larger, not smaller. That’s like saying that mountain isn’t really 1000ft it just has a high peak. A high peak doesn’t change the measurement.

Tim Ceri
Guest
Thanks for your input Ryan. I disagree with you. The top bodybuilders today have arm sizes around the 22 inch mark. so your saying that his arms are mr olympia quality and could compete with the current MR O crowd?. No way. He would not even qualify for Mr Olympia today. Take a look at Phil Heaths arms next to arnold. Than you will know what 22 plus inch arms look like (Spaghetti arms Arnold). Done forget most current mr olympia competitors today are around 5 9 etc not 6 2 like Arnold. Even though the current olympia guys are… Read more »
Ronald Candelaria
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Arnold’s secrets are the same as Sergio’s Secrets: Great Genes and a little help from D-Bol.

Huss Cruz
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Ben Gallagher

Jacob Seal
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Matthew Duncan

Rob Bahret Jr.
Guest

Gear and genetics, cool story.

Lonnie Shelby Smith
Guest

Fuck Arnold. Old hateful bastard! He has nothing good to say about today’s top bodybuilders. No one cares what happened in 1980 man! You’re just salty and pissed that they didn’t have the same drugs back then that these guys have today. If so you would have used them just like you used any and everything you could back in the day. But for you ass clowns on here claiming that “steroids” built his arms well you’re an even bigger dumb ass than Arnie himself!

Jamie Giguere
Guest

Yea, a little D-bol never hurt either

Shannon Allan Cassidy
Guest

A lot of hard training in the gym and eating a lot of food with protein.

Jn Laas
Guest

Hard work and roids… Leroy most impressive all natural guy woukd have been a beast on the sauce

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