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Arnold's Chest and Back Workout: The Most Effective Pump



Everyone knows Arnold was all about the pump, and this chest and back superset was his go-to routine for a hardcore pump and performance.
It goes without saying that speaking with the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger for any length of time is a great privilege. But there's still something special about talking training with the greatest bodybuilder of all time.

Hearing how he trains, why he trains, and how much he trains is very inspiring, and the interesting aspect is that he created all of his training principles from the ground up.

The Superset of Arnold Schwarzenegger

One of the things that piqued my interest was when he discussed training the chest and back together. When I've asked him about his preparation, he always begins by talking about the chest and back supersets he did.

Arnold made a number of good points on why he liked exercising chest and back together, starting with the fact that mixing pushing and pulling movements into the same exercise allowed him to get in a lot more training. The antagonistic superset, on the other hand, had a lot of other advantages, and this old-school approach is a perfect way to mix up your workouts from time to time.

This technique became one of Arnold's favorite ways to exercise his chest and back later in his competitive career. First and foremost, Arnold was after the pump, and the one that the old-school chest and back workout provided was unrivaled. Your whole upper body feels blown up, which is a pretty satisfying sensation, as Arnold put it.

By simply going through those supersets at a rapid speed, you can practice harder and save time in the gym. You can go from one workout to the next with little to no rest because they're antagonistic bodyparts, which can help you burn fat and get lean. These techniques helped Arnold get in excellent shape, which is another reason I liked training in this manner.

When you put it all together – heavy lifting, quick running, big pumps, fat-burning – it's easy to see why Arnold enjoyed it and how it aids in the development of quality muscle tissue.

It's exhausting – particularly if you're just taking a minute to rest – but make sure you maintain a good technique when moving across the entire range of motion. Arnold worked hard and with intensity, as you can see in the video, which only improved the exercise and pump. I recommend that you do the same and approach this workout in the same way.

I still go back to Arnold's Chest/Back template when I'm stuck in a training rut or need an absolutely killer pump. It's one of my favorite workouts because it incorporates a variety of exercises. You've got the barbell presses, chest flyes – which Arnold did so close to touching the floor – and the dumbbell pullover, which Arnold did so close to breaking in half around the desk. I've previously discussed how underappreciated the pullover is, and using it in this workout is fantastic.

Arnold, with his famous double-splits, now had him working chest and back three days a week. I'm not saying you have to do it, but I would suggest doing it at least once a week, if not twice if you're in good shape.

The workout is one of my all-time favourites, and when I'm done, I have one of the best pumps I've had in a long time. If you give it a shot and practice your chest and back together for three months, you'll see why Arnold loved it so much.

Arnold's Chest and Back Exercise


- Bench Press58-10
- Wide-Grip Pullups/Pulldowns
- Incline Barbell Press
- T-Bar Rows
- Dumbbell Flys
- Seated Cable Rows
- Dips
 - Close-Grip Chinups/Pulldowns
- Dumbbell Pullovers
- Cable Crossovers