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Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Olympia Chest and Back Workout from 1974

In honor of the (former) gubernator's birthday, here's a throwback to his 1974 Mr. Olympia workout.

He may have hailed from Austria, but between "Pumping Iron" and his undeniably awesome career (not to mention his term as the governor of California), Arnold Schwarzenegger is about as American as it gets. And on his birthday—looking good at 68!—we at Men's Fitness decided to honor the icon of the big screen (and big muscles) with the best way we know: a workout.

Since it's #ThrowbackThursday, we're celebrating the Austrian Oak by featuring his Mr. Olympia chest and back workout from 1974, courtesy of Men's Fitness training expert Sean Hyson, CSCS.

Ever the fitness innovator, Schwarzenegger introduced two key training techniques to this workout. On his bench presses, he stopped short of extending his arms all the way to locked-out elbows, which kept tension on his pecs throughout each rep. On wide-grip pullups, however, he used the opposite technique: He lowered his body all the way until he felt a stretch in his lats, which challenged his back muscles to activate more.

Arnold rocked the gym with this workout on Mondays and Thursdays.

  • Bench Press: 5 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Wide-Grip Pullup: 5 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Dumbbell Flye: 5 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Seated Cable Row: 5 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Dip: 5 sets to failure
  • Chest Cable Crossover: 5 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 12 reps


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