Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Workout Routine and Diet

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Last Updated on October 20, 2022 by admin

Arnold Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American actor, known for his role in the terminator movies.

It seems as though playing a machine really resonated with him, as he is also a bodybuilder, has produced several films, is a successful business owner, and even had time to dabble in politics, earning the title of governor of California.

Aside from all this, he won the Mr. Olympia contest a whopping seven times, which goes to show how passionate of a bodybuilder he really is.

His physique and dedication to this have really made him a fitness icon, with many bodybuilders following his fitness and health regime.

This article is going to outline his workout routine and diet plan, and brace yourselves, it’s intense.

As you can imagine, his diet was very high in protein, as it focused primarily on building muscle. His workout routine was very brutal, but as the saying goes, short-term pain for long-term gain! And there were definitely gains when it came to him.

What Was His Diet?

A far cry from what his diet used to be, Arnold Schwarzenegger is now vegan. Dating back to his bodybuilding days, however, he was heavy on protein.

He had a rule that he would consume one gram of protein for every pound of body weight. Weighing 250 pounds, as he did, amounts to a lot of protein, to say the least.

Despite this, his diet still incorporated lots of vegetables, grains, macronutrients, and fats, making his diet not all too different from what bodybuilders are recommended now. He also went quite heavy on saturated fats, really adding to the mass of his body by adding hefty calories.

When it comes to building muscle, quantity is just as important as the quality of your foods, so Schwarzenegger had a very high calorie intake of, 3825 calories per day.

This was spread out through five or six small meals a day, including protein shakes and plenty of vitamins. He also threw in a cheat meal on Sundays, chomping on a yummy burger or pizza.

Breakdown Of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Diet

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Workout Routine and Diet

Below are some specific foods that were included in this diet on a weekly basis.

Bacon or Sausage: While nowadays people will often avoid these foods as they contain saturated fats, Schwarzenegger loved incorporating them into his diet for the calories they added.

Whole Eggs: Schwarzenegger would eat three to four eggs each morning, as they are packed with protein and amino acids.

Ezekiel Bread: This bread is known as some of the healthiest you can have – it contains cereal grains, legumes and has no refined wheat or added sugars.

Oats: Wholegrain oats are great for providing you with calories as well as energy. They have insoluble and soluble fiber and can improve cholesterol levels.

Avocado: Avocados are a great, and popular source of healthy fats. They also have around 20 nutrients and vitamins within them, and they are super versatile for adding to meals.

Red Meat: Although red meat has saturated fats, they are good sources of protein, as well as amino acids, especially lean steak.

Grilled Fish: Grilled fish is super healthy and has an array of benefits, such as it being packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and promoting healthy brain function.

Grilled Lean Meat: Lean meat such as chicken is also a great source of protein.

Vegetables: Everyone needs a good amount of vegetables in their life, and some can add a good amount of calories to your diet. Schwarzenegger incorporated many vegetables into his meals as well as salads.

Nuts: Nuts are another source of healthy fats, and are great as snacks.

Sweet Potato: Sweet Potatoes are packed with fiber, iron, B vitamins, and vitamin C.

Full Fat Cottage Cheese: This type of cheese is loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and proteins, and is a popular addition to many meal plans today.

Brown Rice: Brown rice is a great whole grain that is nutritious and full of fiber.

Supplements And Protein Shakes

Aside from eating all these nutrient and protein-heavy meals, Schwarzenegger would include protein shakes and supplements each day.

Before working out, he would have a serving of an energy-inducing muscle formula. Then after his workout, he’d have a creatine supplement.

This would then be followed by two scoops of an ultra-microfiltered whey protein mixed with 6 to 8 ounces of milk.

Lastly, at the end of the day, he’d have a nice serving of his iron dream formula, aiding in muscle recovery and a night of better sleep.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Workout Routine

While dedication to your diet is important, you must be equally dedicated to your workout, as they go hand in hand with each other.

This is something that is truly evident in Schwarzenegger’s fitness regime.

He would make two trips to the gym a day, having workout plan A, and workout plan B, and this would go on for 6 days of the week – Monday to Saturday.

Below you will see an outline of workout A, followed by workout B.

Workout A – Monday, Wednesday, And Friday (split between morning and afternoon sessions)


Dumbbell pullovers: 5 sets, 10 to 12 reps each set.
Cable crossovers: 6 sets, 10 to 12 reps for each set.
Dips: 5 sets till body can’t continue.
Incline bench press: 6 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.
Flat bench press: 5 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.
Bench press: 5 sets, 6 to 10 reps each.


One-arm dumbbell rows: 5 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.
Straight-leg deadlifts: 6 sets, 15 reps each set.
Seated pulley rows: 6 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.
T-bar rows: 5 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.
Front wide-grip chin-ups: 6 sets till body can’t continue.


Leg curls: 6 sets, 10 to 12 reps each set.
Barbell lunges: 5 sets, 15 reps each set.
Leg extensions: 6 sets, 12 to 15 reps each set.
Squats: 6 sets, 8 to 12 reps each set.
Leg presses: 6 sets, 8 to 12 reps each set.


One-legged calf raises (with dumbbells): 6 sets, 12 reps each set.
Standing calf raises: 10 sets, 20 reps each set.
Seated calf raises: 8 sets, 15 reps each.


Reverse barbell curls: 4 sets, 8 reps each set.
Wrist curls (forearms on knees): 4 sets, 10 reps each set.
Wright roller machine: Till body can’t any longer.


Instinct training nonstop for 30 minutes.

Workout B- Tuesday, Thursday, And Saturday (split between morning and afternoon sessions)


Dumbbell concentration curls: 6 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.
Barbell curls: 6 sets, 6 to 10 reps each.
Seated dumbbell curls: 6 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.


Barbell French presses (interior head): 6 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.
One-arm dumbbell triceps extensions (exterior head): 6 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.
Pushdowns (exterior head): 6 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.
Close-grip bench presses (for all three heads): 6 sets, 6 to 10 reps.


Cable lateral raises: 5 sets, 10 to 12 reps each set.
Lateral raises (stood-up): 6 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.
Seated barbell presses: 6 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.
Rear-delt lateral raises: 5 sets, 6 to 10 reps each set.

Calves And Forearms

The same routine as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
The same routine as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Final Thoughts

If there’s anything to take away from Schwarzenegger’s routine, it’s that dedication and resilience are as important as what foods you eat and what weights you lift.

Although this routine is intense, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself or take bits of it as inspiration. Happy lifting!