Golden Era Chest Day | Arnold Schwarzenegger


Arnold Schwarzenegger’s pectoral muscles are considered one of the best in the history of bodybuildingand even among current champions.

Golden Era Chest Day

The fact is that the volume of the pectoral depends on the total body weightthe more muscle massthe greater the volume of the pectoralBut the mystery is that Arnold’s pectoral muscles were too voluminous for his competitive weightwhich by today’s standards was not large – 105110 kg.

For Arnold, the most important exercise for the chest has always been and remains the bench press or dumbbell bench on a horizontal bench. And here immediately characteristic features begin in Schwarzenegger’s training, his method.

  • Firstly, he constantly alternated the barbell and dumbbells in the bench press on the horizontal bench, which were his first number.
  • For example, today he performed the barbell press, and the next time the dumbbell press, in addition, in the barbell press, he periodically changed the width of the grip.
  • Arnold used this training scheme in order to constantly change the character of nervous the system, in other words, to constantly “surprise” your pectorals. Thus, the muscles will each time respond to training in a new way and will not progress in development.

Arnold’s next main trick was the training principle called the “Pyramid”. He practiced the principle of the “Pyramid” almost constantly. And here Arnold had a special approach. In total, for each exercise in breast training, he performed 5-6 working sets, and the total number of sets for all chest exercises sometimes reached up to 30 reps, Which, of course, is not even small! But the whole point is that Arnold did not perform such a large number of sets in a monotonous mode, that is, doing the same number of repetitions, with practically the same working weight, only in the end increase or, conversely, reduce it.

Arnold Inclined bench press

Of course, just in this case, the principle of the “Pyramid” fits perfectly. Apart from 1-2 warm-up sets with light weights, Arnold started the first set of exercises with almost 15 repetitions of pumping, which, in passing, was an excellent additional warm-up. And I finished the exercise (5-6 set) already in super-power style with a lot of weight and the number of repetitions from 4 to 6. For example, in a horizontal barbell press its maximum weight reached 245 kg! That’s how he fully worked out the pectoral muscles, which is called 100%.

Arnold Push-ups on the Uneven Bars 

Arnold uneven barsThe next exercise that Arnold fanatically performed on almost every chest workout is push-ups on the uneven bars. Although some consider this exercise more for triceps, the technique of execution is important here. In order to work out the chest as much as possible in this exercise, the body should be tilted forward, lowered to a strong stretching of the chest muscles and squeezing yourself to the top until the elbows are fully extended so that the load does not go into the triceps, but by two-thirds of the amplitude. By the way, in this style of execution, it is best to work with an additional weight.


Arnold: training complex for the pectoral muscles:

  • Bench press on a horizontal bench (barbell or dumbbell): 6 sets, reps – 15, 10, 8, 6, 6, 4
  • Inclined bench press with head up (barbell or dumbbell): 5 sets, reps – 10, 8, 6, 6, 4
  • Flys with dumbbells: 5 sets, reps – 10, 8, 8, 8, 6
  • Push-ups on the uneven bars: 5 sets, repetitions – 15, 10, 8, 8, 8
  • Pullover with a dumbbell through the bench (at every third training session): 3 sets, reps – 15