Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia, Conan, Terminator, Governor…does he really need an introduction? Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most well-known bodybuilder of all time, an honor he will no doubt still hold a century from now. Arnold’s two best body parts were pecs and biceps, these are the two tank top showboats, the muscles that everyone compares with a bodybuilder’s physique. Arnold’s chest has inspired awe and infamy in the heart of many men, widely considered the best ever.
But how did he get his chest bulging from every angle along with a solid aesthetically pleasing look down to science? Well follow us, let’s let Arnold describe how he built it with a classic quote and a
Arnold About His Favorite Chest Workout
“I always like to start my chest routine with barbell bench presses. I’ll use the pyramid principle, starting with a lighter weight and going to a heavy weight for six reps. After that, I’ll do barbell presses on an incline to hit the upper chest. These I like to do for 10 to 15 reps and get a good pump. After that, I do dumbbell flyes on a flat bench to stretch out my pecs and hit the inner part. And finally I’ll end my routine with dips, and I lean into these a lot. This also stretches out my pecs and get a lot of blood in there. Dips also focus more on my lower pecs.”
Arnold trained chest 2-3 times a week, and he always workout Back & Chest on the same day. Here is a list of the chest exercises Arnold used to become the King:
Arnold Chest Workout:
Bench Presses: SET 5 // REPS 20-6
Arnold starts with a proper warm up and then proceed to add weights and decrease repetitions over 5 sets. He consistently kept his elbows well back and touched the bar high on the chest, this is called the Schwarzenegger twist.
Incline Barbell Presses: SET 5 // REPS 10-15
For incline barbell, press Arnold would do much like he did in the bench press: kept his elbows well back and touched the bar very high on his chest. Arnold would do 10-152 reps for 5 sets. Concentrating more on form rather than how much the weight he lifted. He claimed most of his upper chest mass was from his movement.
Dumbbell Flyes: SET 5 // REPS 10-15
In the opening scenes of “Pumping Iron” you can see Arnold performing this exercise. Arnold prefers dumbbells that would allow him 5 sets of 10-15 reps. He always assumed that he is hugging a large tree and the dumbbells never touched each other. Preferably they’d remain 8-10 cm’s apart at the end of each rep.
Weighted Dips: SET 5 // REPS 15
Dips are the exercise many people don’t seem to use for chest, most use it as a triceps move. But Arnold always felt that Dips actually flush the whole pectoral area and are perfect for building the lower pecs to give you that impressive, deep muscular ridge that separates the pecs from the abs.
To build excellent size, you should go with weighted dips (Arnold used to hang an 80-pound dumbbell from his weight belt and do sets of 15 reps). Make sure you go all the way down until you feel a good stretch in your chest for each rep, leaning your torso forward and keeping your knees back, and don’t feel as though you have to lock out your elbows at the top.
Check the following video: