Bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to inspire generations after an astounding career. In a recent edition of The Daily Pump Newsletter, Schwarzenegger shared an intense workout of the week using cluster sets for added difficulty.
Arnold Schwarzenegger first gained attention in the 1970s and early 80s for his impressive muscle mass, symmetry, and conditioning in the Men’s Open division. He dominated the stages of the IFBB Pro League, winning seven Mr. Olympia titles, and is remembered for epic battles against three-time champion Sergio Oliva, three-time winner Frank Zane, former champ Samir Bannout, and Franco Columbu.
Schwarzenegger emerged as an international superstar following his bodybuilding career. His dynamic personality was on full display in the 1977 docudrama Pumping Iron alongside Lou Ferrigno. The film found mainstream success and elevated the sport to a new level.
Schwarzenegger continued to expand his creative footprint in the world of entertainment after stepping away from bodybuilding. Using the same discipline and work ethic he developed as a competitor, Schwarzenegger established himself as a bona fide Hollywood sensation with lead roles in several blockbuster franchises.
‘The Austrian Oak’ commands a huge following of 23.6 million followers on Instagram. He has not lost his passion for working out and encourages his fans to lead a healthy lifestyle. He suggested the use of about 200-300 milligrams of caffeine as a pre-workout to boost your performance in training sessions.
He added the caveat of not consuming caffeine at least nine hours before sleep to avoid any disturbances. Then, Schwarzenegger detailed a simple yet effective tip to shed pounds by incorporating meal replacement shakes instead of whole foods.
Schwarzenegger recommended the use of wave training to push through plateaus in the gym a few weeks ago. He credited the intensity technique for breaking through training obstacles. He followed that up with a brutal nine-minute core workout that required no equipment. As of late, Arnie detailed the benefits of using bodyweight workouts to build leg strength and improve cardiovascular health.
The 75-year-old gave fans a look into his bodyweight workout of the week to build muscle last month. He stressed the importance of focusing on resistance as opposed to weights for achieving muscle growth. His next workout used Myo-Reps, a training method used by Norwegian strength coach Borge Fagerli, to pack on the pounds.
Arnold Schwarzenegger shares workout of the week using cluster sets
In a recent edition of The Daily Pump Newsletter, Arnold Schwarzenegger shared a grueling workout of the week that utilized cluster sets.
“When time is short, one of the best ways to get in a great workout is by supersetting exercises. That means performing one exercise after another with little rest,” explained Schwarzenegger. “You might have seen Arnold train like this when he performed a chest exercise followed by a back exercise.
“But we like to throw in a little wrinkle to help make you stronger. That’s where cluster sets come in. Cluster sets are just like supersets, but you do multiple supersets within one cluster. This technique allows you to use a heavier weight than you normally would because of how you’re staging the reps and sets.”
Here’s how it works:
Select a weight you can lift for 4 to 5 reps for a push exercise (like a chest press) and 6 to 8 reps for a pulling exercise (like rows). Then do the following,
- Set 1: 2 reps of push + 4 reps of pull (no rest)
- Set 2: 1 rep of push + 2 reps of pull (no rest)
- Set 3: 3 reps of push + 6 reps of pull (rest 3 min)
That’s one cluster. You’ll repeat this a total of two to three times, and then you’re done. Two exercises and you’ll be pumped, your heart rate will be up, and you should feel stronger.
Do the math, and you’re doing 6 reps (with your 4-rep maximum weight) on pushing exercises and 12 reps (with your 6 to 8 rep maximum weight) for pulling exercises.
Cluster 2: Pair a lower-body push exercise (like a squat) with a lower-body hinge exercise (like a deadlift).
Here’s how it works:
Select a weight you can lift for 6 to 8 reps for the lower body push exercise and 12 to 15 reps for the hinge exercise. Then do the following,
- Set 1: 4 reps of push + 8 reps of hinge (no rest)
- Set 2: 3 reps of push + 6 reps of hinge (no rest)
- Set 3: 5 reps of push + 10 reps of hinge(rest 3 min)
That’s one cluster. Just like the upper body workout, do two to three total clusters and call it a day.
Arnold Schwarzenegger offered an alternate version using the same technique for those who prefer bodyweight training routines.
If you’re doing bodyweight exercises, here’s how you can make this plan work for you.
The bodyweight idea is very similar. The cluster sets will help you be able to do more reps than usual. But, because no weight is involved, you’re going to do higher reps. And, we’re going to pair an upper body and a lower body exercise. Here’s how it works
Cluster Example: Assume you do pushups for your upper body movements and squats for your lower body movement.
- Set 1: 7 reps of an upper body exercise + 7 reps of a lower body exercise
- Set 2: 6 reps of an upper body exercise + 6 reps of a lower body exercise
- Set 3: 8 reps of an upper body exercise + 8 reps of a lower body exercise (rest 3 minutes)
That’s one cluster. You’ll repeat this a total of two to three times, and you’re done with the first cluster.Then, for the second cluster, you would select two new movements such as bodyweight row and lunges and repeat the process, and then call it a day.
NOTE: You’ll want to do a warmup and build up to these weights with 3 sets of each movement. In all, each cluster should take about 20-25 minutes. So, a cluster can be its own workout. Or, set aside 45 minutes to an hour and have an amazing full-body workout with just four exercises.
Arnold Schwarzenegger provided a convenient 5-minute workout routine that could be performed anywhere earlier this month. He suggested using the workout in the morning to start your day or as a warm-up for a more comprehensive training routine.
Despite hanging up his posing trunks decades ago, Schwarzenegger’s influence on the sport is palpable to this day. Samir Bannout credited him as the greatest bodybuilder of all time and believes he would dispatch the elite contenders of the modern era.