How To Train For Mass | Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Blueprint Training Program

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How To Train For Mass

When it comes to weight training, there is no one better than the greatest bodybuilder of all time, Arnold Schwarzenegger to teach you how to train for Mass.  Arnold has created a blueprint that anyone can implement to put on lean mass.  Everyone knows that putting on muscle doesn’t happen overnight and a lot of time, energy and discipline is required.  But you can speed up the process.  It’s all about doing the basic exercises and keep shocking the muscle over and over again.  It’s not about becoming Mr. Olympia.  It’s about applying the same principles to achieve better fitness.  Let’s breakdown the exercise for each muscle group.

Chest: Arnold swears by 3 main workouts for development a full chest.

  1. Bench press
  2. Incline press
  3. Dumbbell chest Flys

Remember, it’s all about the shocking principle.  Don’t do the same routine all the time.  Always mix it up.

Back: It’s all about rowing.  Bend-over rowing is a great example to get that thickness.

Arms: Curls and barbell curls.

Shoulders: It’s all about the presses from shoulder press to military press.

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– [Arnold] Not every legend is a myth.
Some are flesh and blood.
Some legends walk among us.
But, they aren’t born, they are built.
Legends are made from iron and sweat,
mind and muscle, blood and vision, and victory.
Legends and champions, they grow,
they win, they conquer.
There’s a legend behind every legacy.
There’s a blueprint behind every legend.
I’m Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This is my blueprint.
– [Narrator] Arnold Schwarzenegger, 28 years old,
six foot two, two hundred and 40 pounds.
Mr. Olympia for the past five years.
He is preparing to defend his title
this year for the last time.
– All Mr. Universes from the past five years or so
come and get together in one contest and we find out
who’s the best of all the Mr. Universes.
So they created the Mr. Olympia contest,
which is then the top contest,
and then whoever wins that is the top bodybuilder.
– And you are the top bodybuilder.
– Right, yeah.
– I think that everyone knows
when they get into training
that you’re not going to go and
become a champion from one day to the next.
But the question is, how can I speed up the process?
And then the important thing is,
did you train the proper way,
which is to train the basics,
if it is the squats, if the two arm curl,
if it’s the bend over rowing, if it’s the clean
and the press, the bench press, the incline press,
the dumbbell press, all of those basic exercises,
and that’s what you need to do,
especially the last three months before a competition.
You’ve got to shock the muscle,
shock the muscle and shock the muscle
with different kind of training principles.
Expose your weak points.
You’re gonna go and hit those marks,
and then you move the bar higher.
Then you move the bar higher,
and you feel that with hard work,
you can achieve the goals
and you can become successful.
(inspirational orchestra music)
– [Arnold] The important thing for people
to recognize is that not everyone
wants to be a champion.
Not everyone has the desire to stand on stage,
to stay up there on stage and win Mr. Universe
or Mr. America or the World’s Best Built Man
and Mr. Olympia and all of those kind of titles.
No. But they can apply the same principles.
One thing I can tell you.
There’s major mistakes that are
being made today in bodybuilding
by not covering those basic exercises.
Because today men are going to the gymnasium,
I don’t see anymore the kids learning about
the cleaning and pressing or they to the two arm snatch
and they do the upward rowing from the floor up,
and all of those kind of exercises
that are so important to create the traps
and to create the lower back.
I think that the three exercises for chest today
I have always done.
The first year when I started training
and the last 10 when I was training,
is bench press, incline press in different levels,
so to start low, medium and high, and then flys.
I mean, to me the flys was an exercise that gave me
the full pectoral muscle development,
because I went all the way out
and almost hitting the ground and I was a big believer
in expanding the chest as much as possible
and giving that stretch,
because remember with muscles the important thing
always is to get the stretch and to get the flex.
And so, to me, that going all the way out
with the dumbbells as far as you can to get that stretch,
and then to come in and then to have
the dumbbells touch and then flex like you’re
doing the most muscular on top, and then going out again,
those are the kind of exercises to me that were like,
you could not replace them with any machine.
This was it.
One of the main things, of course,
in order to create size and
to create muscle growth,
which sometimes the body will hit a wall.
What that basically means is that the body is saying,
“Look, I know all your tricks,
“I know you’re gonna start first with bench press,
“and then I know you’re gonna walk over to the
“chin-up bar and do chin-ups,
“and then I know you’re coming back
“to the bench press and then you
“go to the chin-up bar and come back to the bench press.
“I know that routine.
“I know exactly everything you do
“and I am prepared for that.”
So you have to go and use the shocking principle.
(intense orchestra music)
The body, and if this chest knows
that I’m gonna start with 135 and then I go to 225
and do 275, I’m gonna go and start now with 315,
and I’m gonna do 20 reps with 315.
And then I’m gonna go and have the guys
pull off plates and then have 225 left,
and then I’m gonna do another 10 reps.
And then I’m gonna have them take off
another 45 pound plate and then I have 135 left,
and then I’m gonna go to do another 10 reps.
Or maybe if I can, do 15 or 20 reps,
and let’s see if the pectoral muscle is used to that.
Then always you will find that
your pectoral muscle is shaking after that.
It did not know what to do because it’s cramping
and it is being tortured and it is in pain,
because you’ve now shocked the muscle.
Bend over rowing with a barbell and the t-bar rowing.
I mean, any kind of a rowing exercise
that uses the thickness, those are the exercises
I always relied to, again, from the beginning to the end.
There’s a lot of bodybuilders that have
a kind of a deficiency when it comes to the
lower back and to the striation of the lower back,
which you only get from stiff legged deadlift
and from regular deadlift, and from bend over rowing
and all the stuff without supporting your chest.
You’ve got to let your body free
and let the lower back hold you up while
you’re doing the bend over rowing.
We did off the bench balancing on the bench
up to 315 pounds bend over rowing,
because that’s what gave you that strength
in the back and gave you the thickness of the back,
because remember when you train the back
you need the width and you need the thickness,
but you need the thickness in the lower part of the back,
you need the thickness in the top of the back
and the outer back and in the center back,
so you’ve got to train and to find exercises
for all of these different things.
Curls, barbell curls.
I was up doing reps with 275 in the barbell curl.
Many times we would start out with the weight,
with a heavy weight and do just one rep.
Then I have them pull off plates and do curl,
but just enough that I can now do two reps.
Then pull off plates and do the three reps,
then pull off more plates and do four reps after that.
And so this is how I would go up until,
without ever putting the bar down,
to really let the bicep know,
“you don’t know what’s coming,
“you’re not gonna get used
“to my training method.
“I’m gonna have all kinds
“of tricks up my sleeve.”
I mean, it was absolutely essential
to do the barbell curl to create
the thickness of the bicep,
to do the dumbbell curl on the incline bench,
and to do the concentration curl.
Because the concentration curl isolated the biceps
with the heavy weights, not with light weight,
but do heavy weight, but to isolate it
and to really concentrate and to create
that peak on the outside of the bicep
that they need when you do your back shots.
The tricep was a lot of narrow bench press
in the early days, then triceps extensions down
and then overhead tricep extension with one arm
and with both arms and then also tricep extension
out of bar where you let the head go under the bar
and press out and use your own body weight.
Shoulders. Dumbbell presses, barbell presses
in the front and in the back.
I mean, we always did the rear press
behind the neck kind of presses.
The military presses, the dumbbell press,
which is now called the Arnold Press,
because there was a certain way that it was done
in order to really create the stretch
of the front deltoid.
We come down with the elbow here,
not just to here, but they come all the way down
and then to rotate out and go up and to get the full flex.
And then lateral raises, and especially
bent over lateral raises on the bench,
that’s a 45-degree bench.
This is a specialty that I’ve
learned at Vince Gironda’s gym.
He had this cutout on the face where you could
still breathe, where you don’t have to look
sideways but you can breathe.
But it is 45 degrees and to turn your wrist outward
like this and it is a fantastic rear deltoid exercise.
We many times went into the gym just one day a week
where we went to 110-pound dumbbells
and we did dumbbell presses, we did six reps.
That’s all we could do, six reps.
So we picked up the hundred and did another six reps.
Put them down and took the 90s and did another six reps.
Then picked up the 80s and we went
all the way down to the 40s and barely
could to six reps then with the 40s.
But I can tell you that I did not know
where to put my arm, because my deltoids were screaming.
They were in pain. Why?
Because I shocked the muscle.
Squats is I think the most important
exercise to create thighs, big thighs.
Squats, rear squats, front squats,
leg extensions, lunges, stiff legged deadlifts,
or good morning exercise with stiff legs,
and a lot of leg curls.
Then sometimes in order to shock the body and the muscle,
we would switch from squats to leg press,
so just load up the leg press machine and do
a lot of leg press and stuff like that.
There will be regular ab training that we did for abs,
which is just leg raises.
We did straight legs, leg raises with bent knees,
sit-ups, roman chair sit-ups,
which gives you the 500 reps,
which was an absolute necessity,
and we all believe in, and then crunches.
Everything fits together now,
and all I have to do now
is get my posing routine down more perfect,
which is almost impossible to do, you know.
It’s perfect already. Oh yeah.
It’s down to a point.
Wait when you see it. (laughing)
I think the important thing is that
you always go all out in every set
and that you really don’t save yourself
for the next set, because there’s another
big mistake that a lot of people make.
They say, okay I’m gonna do 20 sets,
so I better take it easy on the third and fourth set,
and then the fifth set and then the 10th set,
because I still have 10 sets to go.
But that’s the wrong approach.
Each set ought to be going all out.
I think the most important thing is that you eat
the right way and that you get in the amount
of protein that your body needs, and there’s always,
of course, a debate how much protein does the body need.
I always lived off the formula that for every pound
of body weight I want to get one gram of protein.
The challenge, of course, is that how do you get this
250 grams into the body and have the body take it all in,
rather than just letting it go through?
I felt like that for me it worked best
when I had five meals a day.
There’s some people that can work with three meals.
For me, five meals was the answer.
And the reason is because I never was a big eater.
I always felt comfortable with a regular-sized steak.
If you give me a 10 ounce steak,
even in my hey day, I was happy.
And to have a bit of vegetable, so to have some
sliced tomatoes on it, and then some salad
or something like that, I’m fine.
In the morning, if you gave me just three
scrambled eggs with a little bit of bacon or sausage
with some cut in tomatoes and onions, I was fine with that.
The only thing is that two hours later,
after that breakfast, I was hungry.
And so when I was sitting at Santa Monica City College,
or I was in the workplace doing construction work,
or wherever I was, I would pull out of my bag
a little plastic container that had a cup on it
that you usually use at the bar to mix things at the bar.
And I would have my milk in there and I would have
my protein powder in there and everything like this,
and I would just close it up and then put it in my bag.
And then I’d be sitting in the classroom,
and I would just pull it out, shake it up like that.
Everyone would be looking, kind of,
“what the hell is he doing now?”
And I would be shaking my protein,
Just like a bartender doing all the little tricks,
and then I would drink it, close it up and put it away.
That, to me, was the additional 30 grams of protein
that I needed at that time,
and then I would be an hour later going to the gym.
Then we’d be working out for two and a half hours,
and then we would go for lunch.
There would be a late lunch, and then I would have
again a regular steak and then two hours later after that
I would have another one of those protein drinks.
So I would have two times a day protein drinks
in order to get the 250 grams of protein,
because as I said, it is absolutely essential
that you have enough protein so that you can
really experience the muscle growth.
We have to recognize that we would not
get all of the nutrients, the vitamins, the minerals
and the proteins and all of this stuff
that the body needs just with regular meals.
This is why we have supplements.
And that’s why they are called supplements,
because we are supplementing,
because we don’t get enough from regular meals
no matter how healthy and how good you eat.
– [Announcer] All three contestants, Lou Ferrigno,
Serge Nubret and Arnold Schwarzenegger for a pose down
for the final decision for the judges.
– [Arnold] So now I’ve built a certain
amount of mass during the year,
and I’ve worked now on certain
weak points throughout the year,
and now with the combination of the diet
and of high repetitions and more exercises
and more sets, take that mass and chisel it down
and work on the details.
And that’s why I called the period before competition
the most exciting period,
because that where you really have to concentrate,
pay close attention to it every day,
look at yourself in the mirror in an honest way,
and expose your weak points.
That motivates you then.
That’s what makes you train harder,
So you’ve got to expose those weak points.
But the key thing is to set the course,
to do the training every day,
to eat the right way,
and you’re gonna go and hit those marks.
Then you move the bar higher,
then you move the bar higher.
It is really exciting to do that,
and you feel that with hard work,
you can achieve the goals and you can become successful.
The training principles and the nutritional principles,
the kind of protein that you need and vitamins you need
and minerals you need and all of these kind of supplements,
it all still stays exactly the same.
That is the important thing.
– [Announcer] And the winner, the one and only
Arnold Schwarzenegger! (crowd cheering)
– Bodybuilding has been a beautiful experience for me,
and I will continue it for the rest of my life.
I only stopped competing,
but I am not stopping bodybuilding.
It’s the greatest sport.
Thank you.


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