Getting Pumped With Arnold Schwarzenegger

It's been 43 years since his first Olympia win and he's eligible for Medicare. Someone forgot to tell his biceps.

Getting Pumped With Arnold Schwarzenegger

July 31, 2013: Iron Fitness Santa Monica, CA

Arnold Schwarzenegger is curling, which is something he’s done with great regularity for the past 50 years or so; something that comes as instinctively to him at this point as sinking a birdie putt does to Tiger Woods and swaggering does to Mick Jagger. To be precise, Arnold Schwarzenegger is doing preacher curls on a plate-loaded Hammer Strength unit, and he’s liking how they feel.

“This is good. You know why? Because it’s actual weights. You don’t stick a pin in a stack—you put real plates on it to load it. That makes a big difference.”

With every rep the cephalic vein—the one that runs longitudinally down the center line of the biceps—on each of his arms expands a little more, as smaller ones on his forearms form a tree root relief. What’s happening to Arnold’s arms is called, in bodybuilding parlance, “the pump,” and if you know anything about the man doing the preacher curls, you know his thoughts on it—or at least the ones he wanted the world to hear in the 1977 docudrama Pumping Iron.

“I was able to get the big biceps because I always curled with my wrists straight. You see what I’m doing? Sergio [Oliva, three-time Mr. Olympia] would curl the wrists up as he lifted the weight. That’s why he had massive forearms, but average biceps. You have to keep your wrists straight.”