Long before Arnold Schwarzenegger gained fame in Hollywood, hired himself the Austrian as a hobbyist and wrote his knowledge about weight training in various relevant US magazines on paper. Later, this bundled knowledge resulted in a book entitled »The New Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding«, which is still a kind of bible of martial arts today. In this standard work you will find countless tips that even help experienced athletes to optimize their muscle. In order to share Arnie's knowledge with you, we would like to give you 30 tips in the following article that you can implement directly.
General training tips
1 - Select only the best exercises
If you want to build a solid body, you should keep it as Arnie, and rely primarily on effective basic exercises and partially supplement them with appropriate isolation exercises. Everything else costs you only time on the way to maximum muscle growth.
2 - Low repetition number with high weights
Even though the Austrian's bodybuilding career is a bit dated, Arnie already knew that eight repetitions with a high training weight for building muscle mass are significantly more effective than 40 repetitions with a low weight.
3 - Do not spend too much time on a specific exercise plan
Of course, you should not throw your training system every three or four weeks over the pile, as some self-proclaimed experts like to recommend. Nevertheless, it is necessary to make small changes over and over again, so that your organism can not get used to a certain routine, but is confronted with new stimuli at regular intervals.
4 - Use intensity techniques to get the maximum out of you
Arnold Schwarzenegger was a pioneer when it came to harnessing the intensity techniques that make it possible to train beyond muscle failure. So take advantage of this knowledge and incorporate drop sets, partial repetitions or rest-break phrases from time to time into your training.
5 - Watch out for overtraining
Even the bodybuilding icon had to accept that unlimited training intensity is in fact not possible. Consequently, you should also question your training, provided that you have body parts that do not want to grow quite well in spite of high-intensity training. Take a short break at this point to give the muscles the opportunity to recover and escape from the vicious circle of overtraining.
Tips for shoulder training
6 - Heavy pressure exercises are the best exercises for building muscle
If you want to call massive shoulders your own, you should especially rely on complex pressure exercises, in the course of which the range of motion is as large as possible. Among the most effective in this context exercises include Military Presses, the shoulder presses with dumbbells and Arnold Schwarzenegger named Arnold Press.
7 - Take advantage of different variants of specific exercises
Sometimes it makes a big difference to your muscles if you change something in the movement or grip position. Experiment with different grip widths and pressure angles to give your muscles a new stimulus.
8 - Train each head of your deltoid muscle with a specific exercise
The shoulder musculature is a highly complex structure, which needs a special attention in the course of the training. This is especially true for the deltoid, which consists of three heads. To train each of these heads optimally, your exercise plan should include one exercise for each head.
9 - Always train the trapezius muscle with your deltoid muscle
Often, the trapezius muscle is trained together with the back, which in principle is not entirely wrong, but only suboptimal, since the trapezius in the course of shoulder training is already heavily loaded. So it makes perfect sense to work on this as part of the shoulder training separately.
Tips for biceps training
10 - Promote your muscle growth with barbell curls
If you ask Arnold about his favorite exercise for the biceps, he will answer today that no exercise is better than barbell curls. Reason enough for you to include this exercise in your training schedule, if not already.
11 - Train beyond muscle failure
If you want to break through your boundaries and drive your muscle growth effectively, you also need to be ready to temporarily exercise beyond muscle failure. Use intensity techniques to achieve this goal.
12 - Turn your wrists curling
Arnold found that his biceps contracted significantly harder when he curled his wrists upward just before the crest of each curl. Try it once.
13 - Use different repeating areas for different exercises
Like any other muscle, the bicep is composed of different muscle fibers that respond to different stimuli. Consequently, the biceps can only grow optimally when exposed to different stimuli. In practice, it therefore makes sense to switch between 6 and 20 repetitions per sentence from time to time.
Tips for triceps training
14 - Concentrate on which part of the muscle you want to hit
Strength training is not just about making any movements and moving a weight, but about putting your muscles under tension. However, this only works if you concentrate on a clean technique and thus ensure that the muscles are stimulated in the right places.
15 - Use partial repeats to increase the intensity
Arnie was known for his exceptionally strong upper arms. In order to bring his triceps to such a level of strength, he used the intensity technique of partial repeats as soon as he could not complete a complete repetition. You'll be amazed at how effective this approach is.
16 - Add supersets to your workout to improve the pump
In order for the muscles to perform and really grow, they must be supplied with sufficient nutrients. Supersets help to improve blood circulation in the target muscles, which optimizes nutrient supply during exercise. The increased pump also has the advantage that expand your fascia, which your muscles more space is granted.
Tips for leg training
17 - Focus on your vulnerabilities
Many dreams of thick upper arms and a massive chest, which causes them to do scary effort. The problem is, however, that especially the legs remain in the course of this upper body fixation, which is an absolute no-go under bodybuilding aspects. Keep it like Arnie and concentrate on just those flaws to get an overall aesthetic picture.
18 - Try many different exercises
Although it is hard to believe, it is still true that the legs are a group of muscles in terms of muscle growth, as they often do not develop as desired despite great effort. The only way out is to try a variety of exercises and figure out which exercise best suits your muscles.
19 - Experiment with squats with different stance positions
The same applies to the squat, which can justifiably be called the royal exercise of weight training. Experiment with your foot position until you find a position where you can best develop your performance potential.
20 - Use machines to your advantage
Although doing free weight exercises should be the bulk of your workout, it does not mean you should avoid machines altogether. Especially towards the end of a training session, with the help of the guided squat, for example, you can once again tease the maximum out of your musculature without exposing yourself to an increased risk of injury.
21 - Do not forget the leg biceps
Of course, the leg biceps are already handled properly by squats or leg presses. However, you should make sure that there are exercises on your workout plan that you use primarily to address the leg biceps. A true classic in this regard is the leg curl.
Tips for abdominal training
22 - Train your abs indirectly
Arnold Schwarzenegger has always been a prime example of efficiency. This trait was also reflected in his attempt to save time during practice. As a result, he wasted no time on escalating abdominal workouts, training them indirectly, relying largely on complex basic exercises such as squats and deadlifts. His body is his right to this day.
Tips for breast training
23 - First comes the power, then the muscle
To be able to effectively build muscle, you must first and foremost be able to control and move your workout weight in a controlled manner so that the motor units of your muscles can work in a targeted manner. It is therefore quite useful if you also focus on gaining strength during breast training before you start training in hypertrophy.
24 - Use different print positions
As with shoulder training, you should take advantage of different pressure positions during breast training and not rely on conventional flat-bench presses. Good alternatives are incline bench and negative bench presses.
25 - Vary your training volume to optimize muscle growth
Arnie's recipe for success was based on the fact that he sometimes varied his training volume in relation to a muscle group during the training year significantly.
26 - Hit capital from a variety of dumbbell exercises
Compared to a barbell, dumbbells allow you to take advantage of a greater range of motion, so you can put your muscles much better under tension, although this will reduce your workout weight. Anyway, Arnie never did any harm.
Tips for the back training
27 - Use different pull-up variants
Simple Tip: Perform pull-ups on both the underhand grip and the top grip to ensure that you're recruiting as many muscle fibers as possible.
28 - Think of the correct position of your elbows
So that you really need the back muscles in your back training and not just your arms, it is important to pay attention to the stability and position of your elbows. Especially with rowing exercises, these should be as close as possible to the upper body.
29 - Choose a fixed number of reps you want to complete
Most trainers work with a set number of sets, no matter how many repetitions they get out of the bottom line. In particular, with pull-ups Arnie set the goal, however, to create a certain number of repetitions. It did not matter if he reached his goal in three, five or seven sets. At any rate, it did not hurt the multiple Mr. Olympia.
30 - Rowing for muscle building
Hold it like Arnold and use rowing exercises as the backbone of your back training.