Bodybuilding Articles

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Workout And Diet Plan

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Arnold Schwarzenegger needs very little introduction, the ex-professional bodybuilder, model, actor, businessman, and former governor of California has had an illustrious career (and that’s putting it modestly!).

Arnold made a name for himself through bodybuilding in the 1970s, winning the most prized possession in the sport Mr Olympia – 7 times!

In the 70s he made a huge impact on bodybuilding, when the film Pumping Iron was released, making bodybuilding more mainstream and more publicly acceptable. Now, bodybuilding is a dream for many and Arnold is their idol.

Training Background

Arnold is a very knowledgeable bodybuilder – fully applying himself from an early age. He began training in his early teens (15 years old), doing anything he could to get strong, such as doing pull ups on tree branches, which he mentions in his autobiography – Total Recall.

Throughout his teenage years and young adult life he would train with people bigger and stronger than he was – he wasn’t afraid of competition, as it made him even more determined to succeed.

As time went on he evolved mentally and physically, his knowledge increased, and his muscles grew – he started to get noticed and it was the start of one of the most successful bodybuilding careers to date – only two people, Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney have won more Mr Olympia titles than Arnold Schwarzenegger (both Ronnie and Lee won it 8x!).

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Workout Plan

Arnold followed a bodybuilding split – where he would train 3-4 different muscle groups each session. He also used to do pyramid sets i.e. starting his first set with high reps (30) BUT then by his 5th set he would only be doing 6 reps.

Here’s what Arnolds workout looked like…

Monday and Thursday – chest, abs, and back workout 

  • Flat bench press and incline BB press x 5 sets (30,12, 10, 8 and 6 reps)
  • Dumbell flyes and DB pull overs x 5 sets (30,12,10, 8 and 6 reps)
  • Wide grip pull ups – 4 sets (as many reps as possible)
  • Hanging leg raises – 5 sets x 25 reps
  • Bent over BB row and bent over two arm row x 5 sets (30, 12, 10, 8, 6)

Tuesday and Friday – Shoulders, arms, and abs

  • Barbell Clean and press 5 sets x 5 reps
  • DB clean and press and front DB raises x 5 sets (30,12,10, 8, 6)
  • Side raises, upright rows, and BB curls x 5 sets (30,12,10, 8, 6)
  • Incline DB curl, concentration curls, and close grip press x 5 sets (30,12,10, 8, 6)
  • Wrist curls and reverse forearm curls x 5 sets (30,12,10, 8, 6)
  • Decline sit ups x 5 sets (25 reps)

Wednesday and Saturday – Leg Day

  • Back squat and stiff legged deadlift x 5 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Good mornings x 5 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Barbell lunge x 5 sets (8-12 reps
  • Leg extensions and seated hamstring curl x 5 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Standing calf raises and seated calf raises x 5 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Cable ab crunch x 4 sets (25 reps)

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Diet Plan

Arnold believed in eating at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. He ate similar to how bodybuilders eat today: Lots of meat, fish, and veg. Arnold loved eggs, bacon and red meat which formed the staple part of his diet.

Here’s what Arnolds diet looked like…

Breakfast – 3-4 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 1-2 pieces of Ezekiel bread with almond butter, oats, with honey and a side portion on avocado.

Pre Workout – agmatine

Post Workout – creatine, weight gainer powder, BCAAs, complex carbs, healthy fats, and whole milk

Meal 2 – 300g red meat or grilled fish, vegetables, 1-2 sweet potatoes, 80g cashew, walnuts or almonds

Meal 3 – weight gainer powder, with BCAAs, complex carbs, healthy fats, and whole milk

Meal 4 – 350g grilled lean meat, 1-2 cups brown rice, vegetables or salad (avocado, macadamia nuts, and olive oil)

Meal 5 – 2 x cups of cottage cheese, 80g cashew, walnuts or almonds

Pre bed – casein protein powder with 5-HTP to improve sleep

Whilst Arnold was extremely disciplined, he did also enjoy a few treats, for example he loved having blended protein shakes with ice cream in it – see the recipe here. He would also have cheat meals and wasn’t afraid to party and let his hair down.

Nick Screetoni

Nick is a certified personal trainer who's been transforming people's physiques for the last 10 years. Nick's conducted over 10,000 training sessions and his brand LEPfitness is continuously growing (based in Sheffield, England).
Nick Screetoni
  • Michael Jul 26,2015 at 4:38 pm

    Arnold’s workout routine indicates that he did one type of workout (A) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then another type of workout (B) on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for a total of six workout sessions per week; however, in his training tips it states that you should train no more than four days per week. This seems like an obvious contradiction; can you please clarify this for me? Thanks.

  • Iron man Jul 24,2015 at 4:38 pm

    U guys really need to read before commenting it says train 4 times per week for ppl who struggle to gain weight only ppl with freakish genetics or are already big guys will benefit from training 6 times a week and u guys obviously arnt or u wouldn’t be reading this article the best way to gain good solid muscle weight is to consume protein and train hard keep your training sessions to a max of 45mins and slim ppl need to lift heavy to stress the body and force it to adapt in an anabolic way (muscle growth) any longer training session will cause catabolism (muscle waste) u must strive to lift heavier each time u train or increase the volume before increasing the weight no supplements will do this for u save your money and lift hard

  • PHIL Jul 10,2015 at 12:07 pm

    sir i am a boy age 19 and i want to have a muscled body like yours but the problem is i weigh 52.5kg i wnt to reach atleast 80kg or mor what can i do?help me sir plz.

  • sandeep May 29,2015 at 9:27 am

    hi i am sandeep 20 year old indian boy i want perfect body size and shape. so i want suggestions and perfect diet plan

    • monish Jun 20,2015 at 9:21 am

      see sandeep depent on ur diet and ur workout u can reduce ur calories.
      so dont eat out side food and oil and hight carbs food..take alwayz boil and salad & pure protine diet like fish,chicken & salad………..k

  • Robert babu Apr 29,2015 at 10:33 pm

    sir I am 17 year-old indian boy how I improve my body like u in days sir

    • monish Jun 20,2015 at 9:24 am

      take heavey protin and carbs for enlarg ur mucles and size… sweet potato,chicken with roasted and red meat and 15 eggs each days… guys take dieat every 5 hours or 4…………. ok

  • sovit dhyani Apr 11,2015 at 11:03 pm

    can you give me a better diet plan for grow my biceps

  • sovit dhyani Apr 11,2015 at 11:02 pm

    hey iam 20 year young and i want to make my biceps better so please can you give me some suggetion

    • khalid Apr 24,2015 at 12:43 pm

      Apple and bananas khaya kro.thanks

    • monish Jun 20,2015 at 9:26 am

      sovit its all depending ur diet and workout…..
      dont focus on biceps but do lats(back ) work out than do 1 veriation biceps likes hammer and db curl or bb curl, aas 4 sets……..
      than chek it out

  • deepak jure Nov 27,2014 at 6:35 am

    hi i am deepak 17 year old indian boy i want perfect body size and shape. so i want suggestions and perfect diet plan

  • Deepak Kumar Nov 7,2014 at 4:04 pm

    Hey buddies I have tried amino mass with isolate protein. And trust me I gained my muscles like amazingly. You still gotta work hard in gym though. But resulrs are amazing. I reckon everyone should try this combination. I started with this combination and now I am taking creatine with protein only. Its amazing. Highly recommended to everyone. Onky small demerit is that you penis will become so small that even you won’t be able to hold it in your hand, forget about shagging a girl. But I don’t care as long as I hve got big muscles.

  • viru negi Jul 12,2014 at 1:56 am

    hi, i am 23 years old i would increase my body more and more good looking and powerful also give me good tips please…… and tell me how diets will good grow my body…..

  • sir arnold Mar 15,2014 at 1:26 am

    Please give me some tip and suppliment name to make me huge like sir arnold

    • shankar Jun 21,2015 at 2:51 am

      Hei use arnold series way

  • bob Jan 25,2014 at 9:15 pm

    I like how it says no more than 4 days a week when it clearly says Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday. when he actually worked out 6 days a week. sorry to funny

    • Brendan Brady May 14,2014 at 3:05 am

      Yeah but his routine was for an experienced bodybuilder, with great genes, on a carefully controlled steroid program

      You see the other bit says it’s what he’d advise people who have a hard time gaining weight follow

  • gabe Dec 18,2013 at 2:26 pm

    i have a hard time gaining weight. Please email me, if you have any tips!

    • Tony Jan 31,2014 at 4:38 pm


      The best program I have found to gain weight for myself is the 10 week size surge. You can find the 30 +/- page book online. The came out with a new version but I personally like the original. I didnt follow the diet I just used the workout plan and put on 18lbs in 8 weeks (Chemical Free). I also ate 3/4lb ground beef patties, 2 a day. One between breakfast and lunch the other between lunch and dinner (no bun).

      I hope this helps good luck to you.

      On a side note I stay away from supplements other than protein powder. Dont;fall for fake promises on test boosters and others.


    • Adam Mar 17,2014 at 7:06 pm

      Try the GOMAD challange, very extreme because of some side effects but cheap and very very effective!!

    • frost May 8,2014 at 6:39 pm

      Buy stuff called mutant mass

  • Sam Nov 23,2013 at 1:55 pm

    If you guys have a problem with the long workouts than split them up. For example: Monday: chest, back. Tuesday: Legs. Wednesday: Rest Thursday: Biceps, Triceps Friday: Shoulders. You don’t need to flollow this exact plan but the important part is the excerises, form, and eating right. lets be honest, theres no need to be In the gym that long

  • James Sep 30,2013 at 2:07 pm

    People, the advice at the bottom of the page clearly states it’s for people that have a hard time gaining weight! Arnold didn’t have a problem gaining weight, so he trained 6 days a week. Why is that so difficult to understand?

  • Kashif Ansari Sep 1,2013 at 11:18 am

    arnold followed his heart and good old instinctive workouts as well as hearty diet helped sculpt the ideal physique of the oak.

  • Leeroy Aug 12,2013 at 7:24 am

    Read properly people, the diet plan says it is aimed at people who find it hard to put weight on, it’s not Arnold’s diet !!!

  • syed muzammil Jul 25,2013 at 10:50 pm

    dis is the fake schedule

  • Aman Singh Rathore Jul 10,2013 at 7:18 am

    my fav. bodybuilder is ARNOLD nd I MEET U

  • kaushik Jun 13,2013 at 10:37 pm

    Dear sir
    Your schedule shows total 6 days of work out but your advise is for 4 days…. did not get your point

  • Kgrau Jun 11,2013 at 5:57 pm

    Literally all of these posts are by people that obviously dont lift lol Arnold ate at least 5,000 calories to maintain and trained 6 days because thats what his body was physically able to do, alot of people need more rest than that, and alot of people saying nobody can recover that fast probably aren’t eat 300+ grams of protien daily, thats why there is only one Arnold. You’ll have to eat alot more than tuna, and if you think IF YOU WORK LESS YOU MAKE MORE GAINS, you’re one of those 24 hour class motherf***ers who sits on his a** and doesn’t lift sh*t. Train insane or remain the same, happy lifting my friends.

  • JUde May 13,2013 at 3:13 pm

    He was on contract to Weider. Did not have a day job. Did not have to get up early, etc. His JOB was to workout, eat, sleep. wake up, eat, sleep, wake up, eat, workout, eat, sleep, etc.

    • Deutscher18 May 30,2013 at 7:41 am

      Actually, he was taking on several university courses and managing a building business as well as training for bodybuilding contests. Just so you know 🙂

  • frolo Mar 10,2013 at 1:41 am

    or maybe the secret to success is to just straight up bust through glass windows like a boss Mike O’Hearn style. that shit is crazy. maybe when i can deadlift 700 lbs i will be able to do that without a helmet and pads. then arnold will bow down to me!!!

  • frolo Mar 10,2013 at 1:36 am

    it takes me 3 hours to do 60 sets total. arnold was doing 120ish in 4 hours. that is beyond crazy!! i don’t see how you recover fast enough to keep that pace going. maybe it just takes years to develop. i remember when i first started working out 8 months ago i would only go for like 45 minutes. in a year or two maybe i will be strong enough to do 120 sets in a workout. but arnold was doing like 400 to 500 pounds with everything im only in the 200 to 250 range right now. gonna keep going with the mind over matter and eat lots of yellow fin tuna. that shit is pricey but great for your physique.

  • Dragan D. Jan 13,2013 at 3:54 am

    Umm, might be a little error.. His training consisted of 6 days per week? Yet, Arnold’s advise below say’s “don’t train more the 4 days per week”, Please explain?

  • rajesh tribhuwan Jan 7,2013 at 9:31 am

    the legend of arnold.

  • Mounder Nov 23,2012 at 1:05 pm

    This diet plan is for some one on anabolic seroides cycle never ever train like that . The word no pain no gain dose not exists any more mentally and scientifically it’s less= more and more=less work out should only be 30-45 minutes long intensive push your self no longer what Your avoiding is the catabolic state muscle break down where youhave no more energy so your muscle starts to feed of it self they call this muscle canabilisam to avoid this train less and make that less hard core and eat well and you repair faster and bigger but if your train more you will have less muscle your muscle will eat it self most people need study the theory before taking it into practice

  • ar Aug 10,2012 at 8:23 pm

    arnolds job was bodybuilding so too some his workout seems extreme but he was trying to obtain the perfect body

  • Wamik Aug 2,2012 at 7:34 am

    I want make same arnold body. Plz give arnold video all body part exercise mail me.

  • R2792 Jul 6,2012 at 11:31 pm

    Why complain? Sit down, think, and plan. If you really want something you got to work hard for it regardless of your problems. Think of other ways?

  • rahul aggarwal Jul 1,2012 at 5:53 am

    my name is rahul aggarwal
    I have a problem thats why my body not build not increse in my size

    when i eat any thing in food in breakfast in lunch or in dinner after 5-10 min my liver is out of control and going to toilet to fresh

    please give me the solution of this problem because i want to make smae as arnold body
    my contact number is 9711488466

    • Jesse Jay Jul 2,2012 at 11:54 pm

      Maybe you should learn to speak english first. @rahul aggarwal

    • Rahul kumar Sep 11,2012 at 6:32 am

      Look dude,after every meal you have to walk a littelbit so that the food may sure this will work.

    • vasan Oct 7,2013 at 7:31 am

      rahul u r problem is quiet normal with many people dear u should eat pav / vada pau bread in morning breakfast to avoid such problems

  • alberto Jun 20,2012 at 2:49 am

    I’m confused too? I know we are nit arnaold, but did he really do all that in one workout three times a week? You would have to be in the gym for four hours. Who ever “really” wrote that, please explain.

  • almalibre Apr 29,2012 at 3:54 am

    guys wait because im confused…what exercises in relation with that program you do on monday for example? chest and back and legs and forearms and calves and abs?? isnt that too much??

  • Think Before You Speak Mar 23,2012 at 4:05 am

    Arnold worked out six days a week back in the day because he could still make or maintain gains. Obviously when this was said “Train no more than 4 days per week.” it was targeted at “individuals who have a hard time gaining weight”. You don’t workout as much if you can’t gain weight. You need to burn less calories or eat more to gain weight while working out. Obviously you cannot workout 6 days a week and gain weight if you’re burning too many calories or not eating enough. Therefor, workout less days to gain weight because you’re not as awesome as Arnold.

  • John Blue Mar 7,2012 at 3:48 am

    Um Im confused it says workout a is monday wednesday and friday and workout b is tuesday thursday saturday but it says dont work out more then 4 times a week. Can someone explain this to me?

  • waleedkhan Feb 19,2012 at 6:41 am


  • waleedkhan Feb 19,2012 at 6:39 am

    my body is totaly d-shape now i want to again improve my muscles and plz tell me about diet for muscles growth in days.

  • waleedkhan Feb 19,2012 at 6:37 am

    hi,i m 23 years old but my problem is that my weight is 90kgs and my belly is full of fats. i want to reduce my bellys and gains muscles and mintain my chest.

  • Lucas Jan 4,2012 at 1:05 am

    LOL he reccomends 4 workouts maximum per week, yet here it says he works out six days?

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