Unleash Your Inner Terminator: The Arnold Chest Workout


In the world of fitness, nothing shouts classic and monumental as the Arnold Chest Workout. It’s a tribute to the golden age of bodybuilding, sculpting the chest muscles into an atlas of strength. Ideal for the fitness enthusiast who appreciates the foundations of bodybuilding and is in search of a formidable workout. Get ready to pack on some serious muscle and strength. Don’t forget to use your handy workout tracker app on your iOS or Android device to plan and track your progress through this rigorous chest routine, and stay motivated by watching your gains in real time.

Arnold Chest Workout



Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian Oak, set the world of bodybuilding ablaze in the 1970s and 1980s with his impeccable physique and unmatched dedication. Before he was the Terminator, Arnold was busy building a legacy that still endures in gyms all over the world. His chest workout, in particular, became synonymous with strength and excellence.

The origins of this regimen are rooted in the “Golden Era” of bodybuilding. This was a time when aesthetics and balance reigned supreme. More than just muscle, it was about achieving a classic, statuesque look reminiscent of Greek gods. Arnold’s biography outlines his early years in bodybuilding, and how his unique approach to chest development played a significant role in his seven Mr. Olympia titles. The Mr. Olympia competition, begun in 1965, was the apex of bodybuilding at that time, and remains so today.

Arnold Chest Workout

Bench Press

  • Sets: 5
  • Reps: 6-10
  • Tips: The bench press is a staple for chest development. Focus on a full range of motion, bringing the bar to your chest and pressing it upwards forcefully. Keep your feet planted, and engage your core.

Incline Bench Press

  • Sets: 5
  • Reps: 6-10
  • Tips: The incline bench press targets the upper chest. Be sure not to set the incline too steep to maintain focus on the chest rather than the shoulders.

Dumbbell Fly

  • Sets: 5
  • Reps: 6-10
  • Tips: Maintain a slight bend in your elbows to prevent stress on the biceps tendon. Picture hugging a large tree; this is the motion you want to replicate.

Chest Dips

  • Sets: 5
  • Reps: To failure
  • Tips: Lean forward to engage the chest more. Dips are excellent for lower chest development.

Cable Crossover

  • Sets: 4
  • Reps: 10-12
  • Tips: Focus on squeezing the pecs together at the bottom of the movement. Think of this as a ‘finishingmove’ for your chest.

Dumbbell Pullover

  • Sets: 4
  • Reps: 10-12
  • Tips: Keep your hips low and engage your core throughout the movement. This exercise not only targets the chest but also engages the lats and triceps.

Arnold Workout Philosophy

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approach to fitness transcended merely lifting weights. His philosophy embraced the mind as much as the muscles. Here’s what made Arnold’s chest routine exceptional:

  1. Mind-Muscle Connection: Arnold strongly believed in visualizing the muscles working and growing as he performed each rep. This mental connection to the muscle helps in engaging it more effectively.

  2. Intensity and Volume: His workouts were known for high volume and intensity. He would often do multiple exercises for each body part, with high sets and reps, and minimal rest in between.

  3. Progressive Overload: Arnold was a proponent of continuously challenging himself by increasing the weights or changing the exercise to keep the muscles guessing.

  4. Posing and Flexing: Arnold incorporated posing in between sets. He believed that posing was not just for the stage but also a way to improve mind-muscle connection and sculpt the physique.

  5. Listening to the Body: He was an advocate of listening to your body and understanding its limits. It is essential to push oneself but also equally important to avoid injury and allow the muscles to recover.

Implementation and Precautions

Before jumping into this routine, it’s critical to assess your current fitness level. The Arnold Chest Workout is intense and can be taxing on the joints and muscles. Here are a few tips:

  • Start Slowly: If you’re new to this kind of volume, ease into it by reducing the sets and gradually building up.

  • Warm-up and Stretch: Before you start, warm up your muscles with some light cardio and stretching. This will help to prevent injury.

  • Proper Form: Focus on maintaining proper form throughout the exercises to maximize muscle engagement and minimize the risk of injury.

  • Nutrition and Rest: Ensure you are fueling your body with the right nutrients and giving it ample time to recover.

  • Consult a Professional: If you’re unsure about your form or need guidance, don’t hesitate to consult a fitness professional.


The Arnold Chest Workout is a homage to the golden era of bodybuilding. With a focus on volume, intensity, and the mind-muscle connection, it’s an excellent routine for those looking to sculpt their chest. While it’s tempting to jump right in, remember the importance of proper form, listening to your body, and ensuring adequate nutrition and rest. Channel your inner Hercules and embrace the challenge of the Arnold Chest Workout.

Remember, The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides a champion from someone who is not a champion.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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