Building biceps “according to the recipe” by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Times are changing, and with them the criteria for assessing certain achievements are undergoing changes, which can be clearly seen in the development of bodybuilding standards. Nevertheless, in this area there are classics that have not lost their real relevance in modern times. We are talking in general about the arms and, in particular, about the biceps of Arnold Schwarzenegger . Their shape, size, expressiveness, structure, sharpness of outlines may well be considered as standards of today.

How can this be explained? Schwarzenegger is a multifaceted personality (athlete, actor, politician – far from being the last in everything). His success in various spheres of life is largely due to the presence of strategic thinking, the ability to comprehensively assess the problem, the ability to foresee future trends. All this manifested itself in his biceps training methodology, in which Arnold took into account the subtleties of psychology and technology, combined the intensity and variety of training, applied a truly intellectual approach. Its basic principles are summarized below.

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Psychological background, mood training

The importance of a positive training mindset cannot be overemphasized. According to Austrian Oak, he turned on the imagination, imagined muscle growth that was noticeable to the eye, such that the hand became the size of a room. These are fantasies, but motivating fantasies.

Arnold says that you should not limit the size of the biceps in your mind, on the contrary, you need to imagine something that resembles a mountain. Then the psychological limitations on the achievement of a certain result disappear. A big goal (unattainable even in real life) implies big results. A realistic goal, even if it is achieved, is a mental limitation of one’s own aspirations.


Subtleties of supination

Arnold himself describes supination using the example of curls with dumbbells. At first, the arms are lowered, palms and thumbs are directed towards each other to fully stretch the biceps. Then, as the dumbbells are lifted, the thumbs should be turned in opposite directions. At the time of the end of the lift, the arms are completely bent, and the hands are twisted as much as possible (if possible, of course). The supination movement is precisely the eversion of the wrists and hands.

Barbell curls, according to Schwarzenegger, are the most effective mass building exercise. He himself begins to move the barbell from the hips (with a classic grip determined by the width of the shoulders), pushing it slightly with his body to give inertia; inertia gives you time to concentrate. After a complete contraction of the muscles, the projectile is slowly lowered to its original position. At the moment of turning the palms upward, the supination movement occurs. This technique allows you to raise the outer heads of the biceps during the entire time of their contraction; in addition, it contributes to the development of the entire central part of the muscles, called balls.

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A few technical tips from Arnold

Arnold believes that the following technical principles should be followed in the process of training biceps:

  • the need for variety – training equipment (dumbbells, blocks, barbells) should be changed;
  • the obligatory isolated load on the biceps, which should work without the help of the back muscles, deltoid muscles, etc.;
  • the desirability of using the full range of motion (excluding shock training with intense movements);
  • finding the optimal natural line of all movements and using it;
  • work with full concentration on training – physical, psychological, mental.