The Arnold Chest Workout: Arnold’s Best Chest Exercises!

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The Arnold Chest Workout:

Arnold Chest Workout

Arnold Chest Workout : Arnold Schwarzenegger had perhaps the most aesthetic physiques of all times. Not to mention his massive chest. 

Back when Arnold was training there weren’t much of supplements on the market, but some say Arnold used testosterone boosters to help him get so massive!

Arnie trained chest 2-3 times a week and he always trained back and chest on the same day. Here is a list of the chest exercises Arnold used to become the King of Old School Bodybuilding. 

The Arnold Chest Workout:

1) Bench Press
Arnold would start with a proper warm up and then proceed to add weight and decrease repetitions over 5 sets. He would do 8 – 12 reps. He always kept his elbows well back and touched the bar high on the chest, this is sometimes called the Schwarzenegger twist.

2) Incline Barbell Press
Arnold would perform 10-12 reps for 5 sets. Focusing more on form rather than how much the weight he lifted. He claimed most of his upper chest mass was from his movement. For incline barbell press Arnold would do much like he did in the bench press: He kept his elbows well back and touched the bar very high on his chest.

3) Dumbbell Flyes
Arnold would choose dumbbells that would allow him 5 sets of 10-12 reps. He always imagined that he were hugging a large tree and the dumbbells never touched each other. Rather they’d remain 8-10 cm’s apart at the end of each rep. In the opening scenes of “Pumping Iron” you can see Arnold performing this exercise.

4) Parallel Bar Dips
When bulking, Arnold favored this move. Once again, 5 sets of 10-12 reps. Arnold claimed dips created a definitive line around his lower pecs. Arnie would lean forward and hang a dumbbell from a chain around his neck for added resistance.

5) Dumbbell Pullovers
Schwarzenegger claimed one could add inches to their chest measurement by doing these across a flat bench. As with most movements, Arnold would do 5 sets of 12-12 reps.  He would keep his hips low at all time throughout the movement, allowing for a great stretch.

6) Cable Crossovers
These were usually done pre-contest as Arnold believed this movement brought out the striations in his chest. Five sets of 12-15 reps were the order of the day. Arnold would forcefully squeeze the cable handles together at the end of each rep as if doing a most muscular pose.


Arnold did not necessarily train them in this order, if he felt that an area in his chest did not match up to the rest of his chest, he’d train that area first in his workout. The 7x Mr.Olympia would do 20-25 sets choosing from the listed exercises.

Next time you’re training chest, do it like Mr. Schwarzenegger did it.

Arnold Chest Workout

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