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Arnold Bicep Workout: The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Biceps Perfect and Strong

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One of the greatest bodybuilders of all time is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold has won the Mr Olympia contest eight times. Arnold was known for his larger minding blowing biceps development. Undoubtedly, Arnold’s Bicep workout helped create the physique many bodybuilders consider.

By overstating painfully, you hope to make that a uniquely gifted athlete is capable of accomplishing things at the gym that most ordinary mortals would find exhausting.

Even the advanced athletes, overtraining can result from following Arnold’s Bicep workout to a tee.

Unless you are a trained or advanced-level athlete, you should not try to emulate the Arnold Bicep workout. Being a beginner, do two or three sets per workout from Arnold’s bicep routine and see how it goes. If you are an advanced bodybuilder, try performing three of the five sets.

Arnold loves experimenting with his training methods but focuses more on the biceps exercise. Arnold’s go-to bicep workout includes

  • 6 sets of 20 reps Standing barbell curls
  • 6 sets of 20 reps 45-degree incline DB curls
  • 6 sets of 20 reps Preacher EZ-bar curls
  • 6 sets of 20 reps DB concentration curls

Arnold believed that there was no replacement for these basic free weight workouts. He used many ways to shock his bicep muscles, often performing tri-sets or drop-sets. Drop-sets are a high-intensity bicep workout where you can train to failure, then reduce some weight off the bar and continue the out repetitions.

Arnold’s Off-Season Bicep workout routine

Arnold’s Pre-Contest Bicep workouts and routine
Source: Muscle & Fitness

Arnold would follow a six-day split and hit his arms twice per week. But each arm workout would take fully two hours: 45 minutes for triceps, 45 minutes for biceps, and 30 minutes for forearms. Arnold said using maximum poundage for each bicep and triceps workout is a super-bombing routine. It requires three to four days of rest for a full recovery and maximum growth.

Exercise Sets Reps
Cheating Barbell Curl 5-8 8-12
Incline Dumbbell Curl 5-8 8-12
One-Arm Concentration Curl 5 10
Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curl 5 10

Arnold always chose two workouts from each group to ensure that he would not build mass but quality mass.

Arnold’s Pre-Contest Bicep workouts and routine

Arnold’s Pre-Contest Bicep workouts and routine

During this contest period, Arnold would shift into overdrive training for each entire arm in a superset fashion or with no rest between the supersets. He would be blasting his arms, i.e. the triceps and biceps, with his routine three times each week.

These are the exercises you can practice before your body-building contest.

Exercise Sets Reps
  Super Set 1  
Incline Dumbbell Curl 4 8-10
Triceps Pushdown 4 8-10
  Super Set 2  
Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curl 4 8-10
One-Arm Overhead Extension 4 8-10
  Super Set 3  
Preacher Curl 4 8-10
Lying French Press 4 8-10
  Super Set 4  
Concentration Curl 4 8-10
Reverse Triceps Pushup 4 8-10
  Super Set 5  
Reverse Preacher Curl 4 8-10
Barbell Wrist Curl 4 8-10


Arnold mainly focuses on basic free weight exercises like incline curls, preacher curls, dumbbell concentration curls, etc. Most bodybuilders will have difficulty recovering after Arnold’s exact biceps workouts. However, you can surely use some of Arnold’s favorite bicep workouts to strategize your routine to get good and fast results.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often did Arnold train his biceps?

He trained his biceps 2-3 times per week using an extremely high-intensity training style.

How much can Arnold’s bicep curl?

Arnold is still performing 52kg bicep curls at the age of 73

How many hours did Arnold train in a day?

He worked out five hours a day.

What was Arnold’s arm workout?

Arnold includes preacher curls into his arm workouts regularly. The preacher curl is a one-of-a-kind biceps workout.

Also Read: The 20-Minute Tabata Workout Is Equally Effective and Easy as an Hour On the Treadmill

Also Read: The Best Abs Workouts for Men and Women

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