Mark Wahlberg started lifting weights in the ’80s. Back then, fitness seekers didn’t have the sophisticated information on training and nutrition that we have now (though they did have ALF—so, yeah, that’s something). As a result, they had to use their ingenuity to make gains. One of the things they discovered was that working a muscle more often made it grow faster, but hitting it too often caused a plateau.

This program offers a combination of frequency and volume that’s just right and harkens back to the kind of straight-up ’80s bodybuilding that gave Wahlberg the physique he’s still known for 30 years later.

How it works

The biceps and triceps are small muscles, so they don’t require a lot of work to grow. Hitting them with fewer sets allows you to train them more often—in this program, three days a week. We’ve snuck some triceps work into the back workout, some biceps training into the chest day, and then a little of both muscles again in the shoulder workout. It’s more work than your arms will be used to, but spread out enough so that they can recover fully and come back stronger for each workout. By not doing too much on any one day, you stay fresh each workout and leave more time to work on your Rubik’s Cube.


Perform each workout (Day I, II, III, and IV) once per week. Rest a day between the first two workouts and perform days III and IV on back-to-back days.

Exercises marked “A” and “B” are alternated. So you’ll do one set of A, rest as prescribed, then one set of B, rest again, and repeat until all sets are completed.