Do you know what is a bit mind-boggling? How did Arnold Schwarzenegger become such a globally-renowned actor? Honestly, how? His acting range and ability to exhibit a spectrum of emotion aren’t that of, for instance, Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Newman, Anthony Hopkins and many other sophisticated personality-shifters who possess a certain gravitas in this art. No, Arnie is downright the same in practically every movie he has played in, but he has still somehow managed to captivate audiences with his peculiarly droning performance. Have you ever wondered how that is possible?
Well, this Austrian-born former governor of California was first and foremost a champion in the world of fitness and bodybuilding. At the tender age of 20, he won his first Mr. Universe title and gradually became a prominent presence and one of the greatest influences in fitness communities, who has reshaped society’s view on this muscle-chiselling sport. So, not only was he able to propel bodybuilding to an entirely new level, he also became famous for portraying a series of buff, invincible, cold-hearted characters that suited the Austrian Oak’s own somewhat rigid persona. Hollywood finally had its formidable killing machine.
Amidst all of his acting, business and political endeavours, Arnie has remained an icon in the fitness realm and continues to revolutionize this physical trade even to this day. Frankly, his career is full of accomplishments and unprecedented victories, so it is no wonder that he has had such influence on the new generations of bodybuilders. Without his profound success, it would just have been impossible, so hats down to the Terminator.
Arnold may be almost hitting his seventies now, but he has, nevertheless, managed to get back in enviable shape for movies such as Terminator: Genisys and the Expendables franchise. He once said, “Forget the notion of shortcuts and mystical exercises. Expect to train hard, and over time, your hard work will pay off in dividends.” It is evident that he sticks to this policy even today, despite his age. He always knew that it takes years of daily intense workouts, indomitable discipline and a strict diet to develop a physique that makes your jaw drop. Considering his famous Terminator quote “I’ll be back”, he constantly lives up to his T-101 reputation in real life.
In addition to his reign in all manner of competitions, he has created one of the most popular bodybuilding contests in the world, in 1989 – the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic. All thanks to his popularity, he has single handedly legitimized the sport to the point where such competitions completely emerged from obscurity and reached unimaginable heights. Consequently, exhibitions and classes all around the world regularly invite him to be a guest of honour and a myriad of muscle-building magazines still help spread the word of his physical pursuits which have demanded thoroughly developed healthy habits, diligence and relentless perseverance. These competitions are no longer a “freak show”. They are now simply mainstream and revered by generations both old and new.
His intense workout regime is no simple task, but a lot of enthusiasts and professionals follow his footsteps in training, nevertheless. In his book The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding you can uncover his workout variations and figure out what regime suits your physical predispositions best. Essentially, he was focused on each major body-part and trained those regions twice a week. He always insisted on receiving help from his personal fitness trainer, but he never wasted time when he was alone, either. Here’s what his regime looked like when he was at the top of his game:
- Day 1 – Chest and Back
- Day 2 – Shoulders and Arms
- Day 3 – Legs and Lower Back
- Day 4 – Chest and Back
- Day 5 – Shoulders and Arms
- Day 6 – Legs and Lower Back
- Day 7 – Rest
However, if you want more details about his workout regime and his approaches to building muscle, feel free to check it out here.
If you like Arnold’s physical accomplishments, you can easily find ways to train and eat like him, he graciously made sure of that. Remember, to train and eat like him is to forge a physique that has introduced bodybuilding to a global audience. He has created his own legend from scrap and according to Arnie, so can you.
Hasta la vista, baby!
About the author
Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogospere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on Twitter at or in a tea shop.