5 tips from Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who came to the United States at the age of 21, knows what a typical American success story is. Then he was a very young teenager, he had practically no money, and his ability to speak English left much to be desired.

However, this guy from Austria had such qualities as self-confidence, ambition and hard work. As a result of his exhausting training, endless work on himself, Arnold became the winner of the popular competition “Mr. Olympia” seven times. Later, Schwarzenegger became one of the most beloved actors for guys from all over the world. He managed to achieve immense success, earn hundreds of millions of dollars, and on top of that, he also became the governor of the state of California.

At the time of Arnold’s bodybuilding, increasing his muscles through training, people knew little about which technique is best to use during exercise. That is why many of the techniques of the old school of bodybuilding, most often, were associated with the success of this or that famous athlete.

In the modern world, the situation has changed dramatically. Today, thanks to numerous studies, we already know what training tactics should be used and why it should be done. The whole science of bodybuilding has appeared, which helps us figure it all out.

This article aims to help you understand what exactly was the key to success for Arnold in bodybuilding. Here we look at some tips from the most famous actor, ex-governor, businessman and just a successful person, Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Arnold often used pumping techniques during his practice. This technique is the performance of physical exercises, after which the muscles seem to be torn. A person has the feeling that his muscles immediately become huge, pumping up blood.

This is best achieved by doing multiple sets with high reps, which can even go up to 40-50.

The process is as follows: human veins are compressed by contracting muscles. The task of the veins is to carry blood away from the working muscles. In this case, the arteries do not stop supplying the muscles with blood, thereby increasing the amount of intramuscular blood plasma. It is these plasmas that penetrate through the capillaries into the space between the cells of the muscle tissue and the blood vessels (this is the intermediate region).

Fluid accumulates in the intermediate region, resulting in a difference between the pressure in the intercellular space and the pressure inside the cell. Because of this difference, the plasma seeps back into the muscles. The result of this process is the same – blood accumulates in the muscles, which is why they swell. Everything is very simple and scientifically proven.

In the famous movie “Pumping Iron”, Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke about pumping something like this: the feeling when pumping occurs is the feeling from which you get a real thrill. For example, in the gym, you build muscles. During exercise, the muscles become so hard that the idea that the skin is about to rupture arises. This is the coolest feeling you can imagine.

Most people believe that pumping refers to a temporary state of a person, these are just his feelings. But it should be admitted that this opinion is not entirely true. Scientific studies have been carried out, which have shown that protein synthesis is stimulated by a hydrated cell, which, moreover, also inhibits the process of protein degradation.

Based on this, it can be concluded that muscle hypertrophy is largely dependent on protein balance. So, you can synthesize muscle protein more than break it down, and your muscles will grow.

How do you explain the swelling-induced hypertrophy? Here, too, everything is trivially simple – when the amount of fluid in the muscle tissue increases, this leads to stretching of the cell membrane. The muscles are trying, as it were, to protect themselves from such an encroachment on their integrity. As a result, the muscle structure is strengthened and strengthened.

Unfortunately, even modern technology is not yet able to determine whether pumping really leads to such an anabolic effect. However, there are some reasons to say so. And, in the end, Arnold Schwarzenegger believed in this, and now we see the result.

Often, the pumping state can be achieved by performing exercises with a shorter amplitude and slightly increased speed. The conclusion is this: if you have a desire to build muscle, do not be afraid to use such a technique as pumping in your workouts.

2) focus on your muscles

Arnold Schwarzenegger was of the opinion that resistance training is not a trivial lifting of weight from one point to another. According to the famous athlete, weights are designed to achieve the ultimate goal. The most important thing during training is how much your muscles contract.

No matter how strange it may sound, Arnold believed that there is a close connection between the brain and muscles, by developing which, you can pump up your muscles in a short time. During training, you should constantly think about your muscles, about the process of their work. Thus, the condition of the muscles will improve each time, this theory has been confirmed by numerous studies.

An experiment was carried out in which several people participated. A group of volunteers completed two sets of exercises. Then they were allowed to rest, after which they had to start exercising again. Only this time they were given clear instructions on what to pay special attention to, what and how to do.

From the results of electromyography, it became clear that the human muscles were significantly enlarged during the second training session, when the brain-muscle connection was involved. In simple terms, muscles grow much faster when you focus your attention on working on them.

For best results, you should think more about where you feel the maximum muscle tension, but where you should feel the tension.

For example, you are doing a vertical block pull to the chest. In this case, it is necessary to concentrate on lowering the weight down, using exclusively the muscles of the upper back. Think about your muscles until you reach the lowest point of movement. At the end, you can squeeze the shoulder blades together and you can feel the contraction in the lateral muscles.

When you let go of the weight, your lats should be able to resist the gravity of the weight as much as possible. Finishing the exercise, you should feel the feeling of a complete stretch of the lats. If this happens, immediately start new repetitions of the exercise. You focus your thoughts again, thus increasing muscle stimulation.

It is worth noting that the studies were conducted on several muscle groups. The results of the experiments showed one thing: focusing on a specific muscle group directly affects their growth.

Of course, it’s not always easy to think about mice backs, shoulders, etc. It is much easier to concentrate on the muscles of the legs and arms. However, you should not give up, keep training and success will surely come with time.

3. Visualize the work of muscles

During training, Schwarzenegger often used a technique such as visualization. In his mind, Arnold imagined what his muscles should be in the end. He also mentally imagined what his muscles should look like at the end of the next workout.

A popular American actor once talked about a technique for pumping up arm muscles. He stated that during each workout, he imagined how his biceps became powerful, huge. In his mind, he lifted an enormous weight, imagining himself to be superman.

A little later, the visualization technique was approved from the point of view of the science of bodybuilding. It has been shown that visualization can improve a person’s motor skills when they are not even doing any exercises.

It is rather difficult to explain this phenomenon and for sure no one can do it. However, there are some theories that explain the positive effects of using visualization techniques. They say that during the appearance of a mental image in a human head, the motor pathways are immediately activated in the same degree as during the usual execution of the movement by the physical method.

In addition, experiments have shown that visualization, as well as practical exercises, lead to the same neurological changes. Although scientists could not find a common opinion on this issue, as there are suggestions that such changes occur in different parts of the brain.

It has now been proven that visualization has a positive effect on resistance exercise. One of the most recent studies has literally hit the whole world. According to its results, athletes were able to increase their ability to achieve maximum muscle contraction only by the fact that during rest they mentally imagined in their minds how they do this or that exercise.

What’s more, study participants were able to significantly increase the number of repetitions after using the imaging technique. One conclusion suggests itself: mental visualization of the training process itself can significantly improve the athlete’s abilities.

The beneficial effects of imaging on muscle building are often attributed to improved neuromuscular communication. Perhaps this is so, although there is another reason for such an impact – it is motivation, which is increased through the process of visualization. Further motivation helps to achieve better results.

From all of the above, you should remember – you need to create a mental image of how you pump up your muscles. Realistically imagine how your muscles grow and become huge during your workout. The result will not be long in coming.

4) take as much as you can

In almost all videos about Schwarzenegger, you can see a young Arnold posing in front of a mirror. He took poses not only after finishing workouts, but also during exercises between sets.

He posed alone in front of a mirror, posed with other athletes, posed for a movie, etc. For example, in the movie “Pumping Iron” the American actor posed with Franco in the shower, in Venice he posed with famous athletes from the Gold’s Gym. And it was not just Arnold’s desire to show everyone what a pumped-up guy he is. Schwarzenegger did this on purpose, believing that it makes his muscles harder and stronger.

Of course, Arnold participated in various competitions, and it was important for him to improve his presentation skills. After all, many bodybuilders in competitions win only because they better demonstrated the beauty of their muscles than other athletes.

However, Arnold was convinced that posing also promoted the growth and strengthening of his muscles. In his opinion, posing favored the achievement of his best results. Apparently, even then Schwarzenegger guessed that there was scientific evidence for this.

Dr. Mel Siff, who published his unique work, Super Workout, has concluded that posing is truly beneficial. According to him, posing is the same workout, only without stress.

To date, this topic is still under study, but there is already some evidence to support the fact that posing has a positive effect on muscle growth.

There is a version that taking a pose improves neuromuscular control, due to which the connection, which we have already mentioned in this article, develops – the brain-muscle connection. Regular exercise encourages a person to learn to contract their muscles as much as possible. And this, in turn, helps to generate tremendous strength in the process of working approaches.

In addition, posing helps to focus on a specific muscle during the subsequent workout. So never be afraid or hesitate to pose. This is not just bragging about guys who want to show themselves in front of girls or other teenagers. Posing is the lot of strong people who strive to achieve their goals.

Pose for as long as you can. Let it be for a few minutes or several times a day, but do it without fail.

5. Build muscle mass

According to Arnold Schwarzenegger, training for bodybuilders and powerlifters should be very different from each other. He believed that bodybuilders should have and use all kinds of training techniques in their arsenal. They may differ depending on the individual qualities of a person, depending on the complexity of the exercises, etc. Arnold was also of the opinion that the ideal physique can be achieved through strength training. Of course, there are many other techniques and methods, but strength training is rightfully considered one of the most important for achieving this goal. Schwarzenegger stated that at the heart of bodybuilding is the development of muscle mass, which is achieved by lifting the maximum weight.

How did Arnold himself use this statement in practice? The athlete spent a lot of time on long training sessions. In the process of training, he gradually transitioned from medium to higher reps, using weights that were light enough for him. He did such training four times a week.

The other two days he devoted to strength exercises. During such workouts, Arnold swayed a specific muscle group, as if testing its endurance. For example, checking the endurance of his quadriceps, the athlete did squats with a barbell, checking the strength of the pectoral muscles, he did the bench press. Thanks to such tactics, Arnold Schwarzenegger managed to achieve excellent results and set many personal records.

So, for many, the fact remains unknown that in 1964 and 1965 Arnold won two weightlifting competitions. And this is that athlete, that bodybuilder, who did not specialize in weightlifting at all. Simply excellent results: the best in the standing barbell press – 120 kg, in the snatch – 110 kg, bench press – 200 kg, deadlift – 308 kg, etc. These results can only be amazed and admired.

According to some studies, training with low to medium repetitions is more effective than training with high repetitions. The average number of repetitions is about 8-12 times. At the same time, other studies show that training with high repetitions using light weights is as beneficial as training with heavy weights. Although this is more true for those people who have just started playing sports.

In any case, light weight cannot be neglected. Moreover, it is recommended to combine light weight with heavy weight for best results. You should also diversify the number of repetitions in the set – from low to medium, from medium to high.


Undoubtedly, Arnold Schwarzenegger has achieved tremendous success in his life. And there are not so many people in the world who can repeat the success of a teenager from Austria. Although, in reality, nothing is impossible. There is even such an expression that success is achieved by the one who finds the most successful way in order to achieve the best results.

As mentioned above, in his youth, Arnold could not prove many things from a scientific point of view. However, he continued to exercise, feeling that it was helping to grow and strengthen his muscles. If any technique or technique worked, Arnold included them in his arsenal. Thus, the athlete used a trial and error method, learning from both his own and others’ mistakes. He applied all technologies in practice, learning from his own experience, which helps him to increase his muscles as quickly as possible.

Therefore, you can achieve similar success. Don’t be afraid to experiment, don’t be afraid to try new tricks. Remember the first reception of Arnold Schwarzenegger – pumping. Exercise all the way until you feel like your muscles are torn apart. Concentrate your attention on the muscles, visualize their work, how they grow and expand. Do not forget to regularly pose in front of the mirror, in front of friends, during workouts, after them, whenever possible. Finally, build muscle.

Listen to the above tips and you can achieve great success in your workouts.