31 advice from Arnold Schwarzenegger
Have you ever asked yourself "What would Arnold Schwarzenegger do?" 31 the Austrian Oak training session of bodybuilding will answer this question and help you to become stronger!
Author: Bill Geiger
Long before he was paid 25 million for his role in the movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote articles for the journals of the godfather of bodybuilding Joe Vader. Arnold's work was not awarded for his invaluable contribution to journalism, but later he collected all his ideas and training techniques in the bestseller "The New Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding", which is still used by athletes as a desktop reference book.
A thorough study of Arnold's work requires considerable effort: after all, the hardcover version pulls almost 800 pages! Although the impressive weight makes the book a perfect addition to your coffee table, collecting a few gold pieces is not easy, it will take a lot of work. So that you could learn from the experience of one of the greatest minds of bodybuilding, we have allocated 31 training to Arnold. These techniques will help you build your ideal body!
1. Choose the best exercises for growth
Oak has always sought to train not only to the seventh sweat, but also with the mind. "If you want to become great, you must first become strong," he wrote. – "Beginners and bodybuilders with an average level of training should worry not so much about the relief as about muscle growth."
In view of the foregoing, instead of single-joint movements (isolation exercises), give preference to multiarticular movements. Bench press, sit-ups, deadlift, press above the head, traction in the slope and lifting the bar to the chest are examples of excellent compound movements that require the coordinated work of several muscle groups. These exercises should be the foundation of your training plan.
Although basic movements are more difficult to master than single-joint analogs, they give an additional advantage – the ability to train with very high weight to overload the target muscle group. Arnold believed that doing these exercises and testing your strength with a lot of weight is a key condition for recruiting mass and increasing strength.
2. Take a lot of weight in low-set sets
Choosing the right load for Arnold was just as important as choosing the right exercise. In the end, 8 squats with 365 pounds (about 165 kg) stimulate muscle growth much more efficiently than the approach from 40 repeats with 95 pounds (about 43 kg).
"Start with a few warm-up approaches (not until muscle failure) and gradually increase the weight from the set to the set, reducing the number of repetitions and approaching failure," Arnold wrote. "Usually, someone stands by me and helps me a little, so that I can go through a dead point or lift weight with cheating (when I have already reached a muscle failure)."
Arnold thought not only about how to feel the weight; he wanted to make sure that the load causes a muscle failure in the intended range of repetitions: "I considered it obligatory to do at least six repetitions in the approaches to most exercises," he noted, "but no more than 12. The rule applies to all target groups, including the leg muscles. " Be sure to choose the correct weight for failure in this range.
3. Do not linger in the comfort zone
Few know that Arnold received an economic education, but without his diploma, he was able to understand that the law of diminishing returns can be applied to training.
If the training program is not renewed for too long, its value will decrease steadily. At this point, the bodybuilder finds himself on the training plateau.
"In the framework of the basic scheme, I constantly changed the exercises," Arnold wrote. "I liked to shock the muscles, not allowing them to get used to the same program."
When it came to scheduling training sessions, Arnold conscientiously performed his homework. Having discovered that the exercise does not give the desired result, he changed it to another.
Never be afraid to experiment with new exercises or alternative training techniques. Arnold was in constant search of new ways to become bigger and better and introduced them when the old methods themselves outlived.
4. Overcome the point of failure with high-intensity training
In his book, Arnold talks about the importance of various methods of high-intensity training for pulling up the lagging part of the body. Arnold remembers all intensity boosters, the best of which he discovered by trial and error.
Do not be afraid to include in your training techniques such as forced repetition, drop-sets, negatives, partial repetitions, rest-pause or other ideas that you could read about. Assess your feelings after the introduction of each technique and remember that you do not need to work in every approach for muscle failure; save it for 1-2 the most difficult approaches in each exercise.
In an effort to tighten the stubborn muscle group, there is a great temptation to go on the principle of "all means are good," but Arnold warned that this strategy could prove counterproductive. "Sometimes the lag in the muscle group is explained by the fact that you overtrained it, gave the load so heavy, frequent and intense that the muscle had no chance to rest, recover and begin to grow," he wrote.
"A simple solution to the problem is to let the muscles rest and recover, and then adjust the training schedule so as not to allow overtraining (the same part of the body) in the future. Remember, when it comes to strength training for bodybuilders, too much can be as bad as too little.
6. Bench Press – the best exercise for weight
Multi-articular movements like a press above the head and vertical traction are the best mass-assembly exercises for the shoulder girdle, as they load the deltoid muscles as much as possible. Arnold tightly leaned on these exercises, especially at the beginning of training, when the reserve of forces is maximum. He often performed both versions of the press above his head – from the chest and from behind the head – for all-round development.
7. Learn the options for doing the same movement
Minor changes in the implementation of well-known movements allow you to load the target muscularity in a new way and give it excellent incentives for growth.
Arnold was looking for alternative exercises that would work out the target muscles at a slightly different angle. For example, using a dumbbell in the press above the bar instead of a bar, he deliberately lowered the projectile a few inches below the starting position for the barbell press and moved his hands together at the top to increase the amplitude of the movement.
8. Attack each head of deltas with one-joint movements
Arnold used single-joint movements as a supplement to the press above his head to isolate each head of the deltoid muscle. And here he was looking for the slightest differences in technique, which in time would allow him to gain more muscle mass. For example, in the case of a lateral dilution of the hands in a cable trainer, the cable may run in front of or behind the trunk, which gives slightly different sensations. According to Arnold, awareness of the options for performing the exercise on various shells is critical for the bodybuilder who wants to rise to a new level.
9. Train the upper trapezes together with the deltas
Since the upper trapezes are to some extent involved in many exercises for the shoulder girdle, Arnold coached them along with the deltas. The key exercise for the upper trapezium was the shag, although he stressed that for the ultimate growth of this muscle, other exercises are needed, including lifting the bar to the chest and vertical traction. Since the amplitude of the movements in the braids is small, Arnold recommended sacrificing the weight for the sake of the opportunity to fully shrink the shoulders and raise them as high as possible.
10. Gather weight by lifting the bar
Arnold loved the boom lifts in standing position for the fact that they develop the most powerful biceps. When choosing the main mass-soned movements, Arnold preferred exercises that allowed him to take heavy weight, work with full amplitude and complete 6-8 heavy repetitions. This is how he turned his biceps into the mountains, and this is a great starting point for your training.
11. Do not stop on muscle failure
In the rise of the biceps, Arnold constantly reached a muscle failure, but on this he did not stop. Once in a dead center, he used a small impulse to continue the approach. Such bending with cheating allowed him to complete a couple of superfluous approaches and helped to stimulate muscle growth more strongly.
12. Do the lifting of dumbbells with a supine grip
Arnold wrote that he always included in the training at least one exercise with dumbbells. By suppressing the brush (turning it upwards during flexion), he felt that it improves the "peak" effect, because when the brush remains in a neutral position, the shoulder muscles participate in the movement. Arnold performed bending with dumbbells with a supine grip simultaneously and with the alternate lifting of the arm. The latter option allows you to better concentrate on each movement and allows the muscles to relax between repetitions.
13. Use multiple approaches in certain exercises
Not every exercise on the biceps was performed 6-8 times. Arnold singled out certain exercises, he called them "movements on the terrain," and did 8-12 repetitions with relatively light weight. Here he focused on squeezing and contraction of the muscle and held the peak contraction for some time. Concentrated flexion, isolated flexion and alternate dumbbell lifts were his favorite exercises.
14. Experiment with strong muscle groups
Chest and triceps in Arnold were developed particularly well, so that they did not train them the way biceps. Since the triceps were already strong, the number of repetitions in the set Arnold raised to 20 in order to cause hyperpumping of the muscles.
"It's silly to do an exercise on the triceps, without understanding which part of the muscle you are training," Arnold wrote. Good advice, but how to apply it in practice?
Arnold advises the reception he has learned from the legendary Vince Gironde: make 20 sets of a certain exercise and leave the muscle group alone. Look, what part of the muscle the next day hurts most.
16. Partial repetition after failure
The favorite method of high-intensity training for triceps in Arnold was partial repetition. For example, after completing the set of full-amplitude extensions on the block, he continued the approach due to 5-6 partial repetitions, both at the top and bottom of the trajectory.
Despite the fact that he could no longer complete one full-amplitude repetition and was bound by a dead point, Arnold managed to finish a few more repetitions in order to really spur muscle growth.
17. Supersets to enhance pumping
Arnold often combined exercises for biceps and triceps in supersets – in other words, performed them one after another – to pump a huge amount of blood into his hands. Blood brings oxygen and key nutrients for muscle growth, but these supersets also allowed Arnold to pursue the main training goal: murderous pumping. To double the exercises for small muscles, for example, the muscles of the hands, is easier than doing it for large arrays like legs, although Arnold often did this in preparation for the competition.
If you pumped powerful pectoral muscles, it is normal to want to demonstrate them in all its glory, and you probably pay more attention to them in the gym. But Arnold used a diametrically opposite approach. In particular, at one point he decided that the muscles of the shins strongly lag behind his general physical development.
Instead of hiding obvious shortcomings, he cut off the bottom half of his pants and wore shorts, constantly reminding himself of the weak spots, and trained with redoubled energy. He loaded the muscles of the lower leg more often, performed exercises at the beginning of training with fresh forces and sometimes between sets for the main muscle groups. This strategy helped him win the main bodybuilding world title.
Arnold was leggy, and the calf muscles were not his only problem early in his career; his hips were also relatively weak. Because of this, I had to abandon the standard pattern of leg training. "It was difficult to pump muscles in my legs, because I had long legs and long muscles," he wrote.
"Long-legged bodybuilders are forced to try a lot of exercises for training the lower body. This means that you have to include new exercises, until you find out what kind of work your feet are doing best. And you must constantly modify the training so that the muscles do not cease to be surprised by the demands that you make to them. "
20. Adjust the position of the feet
Arnold concluded that by changing the position of the feet during squats, it includes various parts of the femoral muscles. "With a wide statement of feet with socks facing outward, I feel squats with the inner thighs," he wrote. "The position of the feet largely determines which part of the femoral muscles is maximally involved in the work."
Arnold liked to use various sit-ups and simulators for squats, he worked standing and lying, to be able to change the position of the feet and thoroughly work out all the muscles of the legs.
21. Use the advantages of sit-ups in the simulator
Perhaps the squats in the simulator are not better than the free weight option, but Arnold modified them and made them even harder. He used a shortened trajectory of movement – three quarters down and about a quarter below the top point. This technique he called "squats under pressure." This approach allowed him to completely burn muscles, since there was no need to balance the shell.
22. Add exercises for the back of the thigh
The muscles of the posterior surface are studied during the base squats and presses with the feet. Their reduction controls the rate of the descending phase, when the quadriceps are stretched, but Arnold insisted that you need to perform special exercises for this area.
The deadlift is a great move for the whole body; one-articular flexion of the legs and the Romanian deadlift are also aimed at the hind femoral muscles. The strength of these muscles is important to reduce the risk of knee injury, which increases when the strength of the quadriceps significantly exceeds the strength of the hind femoral muscles.
23. Train the press "between cases"
Arnold's approach to the training of the press was simple enough, and he had several favorite exercises, which he performed with a lot of repetitions. However, if you look at how heavily he loaded the muscles of the trunk during three back and leg training sessions a week, you would think that he hardly needed to train the muscles of the press at all.
Undoubtedly, heavy multi-joint movements with free weight played a big role in the development of the strength and aesthetics of the abdominal muscles, than short training for the press.
24. Develop strength to develop mass
For Arnold building a powerful chest began with a clean strength training, because at the beginning of his career he competed in weightlifting. Later, Arnold came to the conclusion that the mass foundation is relatively easy to assemble on a power base. Think about the weightlifting cycle in the off-season to raise weight before returning to bodybuilding training. For your information, once Arnold squeezed 225 pounds (about 102 kg) 60 times!
Arnold included in his program basic exercises that attacked the pectoral muscles from different angles. "I knew that the program should be fundamental and very difficult," he wrote. Fundamentality for Arnold meant fidelity to pressures on horizontal and sloping benches and predominantly strength training instead of numerous simulators and newfangled techniques. Approaches to pumping Arnold reserved for the final training.
26. Rotation of the training volume to spur growth
What still makes Arnold's program outstanding is the volume and frequency with which he coached every muscle. In the off-season, the training of the pectoral muscles consisted of 26 approaches per day of high load volume, and he trained his chest three times a week! Arnold alternated heavy and light days to give a different intensity of exercise and avoid overtraining of pectoral muscles.
This volume and frequency perfectly suited Arnold during the competitive career, and you alternate training with high volume and high frequency will help dramatically reduce the risk of overtraining.
27. Study options with dumbbells
Arnold preferred the bar because he could lift more weight, but he always remembered the advantages of dumbbells. "I feel the best stretch when I work with dumbbells, especially on a bench with a positive slope. Dumbbells can be lowered lower than the bar, "he added.
Dumbbells allow you to work with a greater amplitude, but be careful not to stretch the shoulder too much in the lower phase of the movement.
28. Diversify pull-ups and pull the block
As a rule, Arnold divided the training of the back into two categories of movements: pull-ups and traction of the block for the width, other traction for the general muscle mass. In the first category, he used all possible options, in large part because he wanted to tighten his back to the level of his pectoral muscles.
He carried out pull-ups with a back grip, without burdening and with burdening, varied the pull of the upper block, then lowering the neck by the head, then drawing it to his chest. In the end, he attacked the latissimus muscles under a variety of angles and achieved their all-round development.
"Pulling up a wide grip makes the upper bunches of the broadest to come to the fore," Arnold wrote. With a wide grip, the elbows move away from the body, which more effectively studies the upper divisions of the broadest. When performing exercises for the back with a narrow and reverse grip, the elbows are located close to the trunk, which reduces the load on the upper lati and instead shifts the emphasis to the lower tufts of these muscles. Consequently, depending on the position of the elbows relative to the trunk, you can effectively work out a certain area of the back.
Most athletes make the 3-4 approach in each exercise, but in the case of pull-ups, Arnold used a different principle: he sought a specified number of repetitions, say 50, rather than a certain number of approaches: "In the first approach, you can pull up 10 times. Probably, in the second you will not be easy to pull up 8 times. In all, you have 18 repetitions. If you pull up 5 once in the third set, you will already have 23. Continue adding pull-ups to the general piggy bank, until you reach 50, even if it requires 20 approaches. That's how I developed strength in pull-ups, and I succeeded with this strategy. "
31. In the traction, add weight to the pyramid
Exercises for the back in which you pull the projectile perpendicularly to the trunk – often called thrusts – were an important part of Arnold's training. He loved all the possible options – the cable traction sitting, the pull of the T-neck, the rod rod in the slope – and each exercise performed with a large volume and progressive weight gain. Arnold adhered to the pyramid scheme: with each approach he lifted the weight and reduced the number of repetitions, and only the heaviest sets brought to the muscle failure.
Now that you have invaluable advice, it's time to train and grow like Arnold! Go to the gym, climb under the bar and make sure compound exercises with heavy weight. And if you have your own favorite tricks that you want to share, feel free to leave them in the comments section!