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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Olympia chest and back workout from 1974

In honor of the (former) gubernator's birthday, here's a throwback to his 1974 Mr. Olympia workout.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Olympia chest and back workout from 1974
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty
Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Olympia chest and back workout from 1974
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty

He may have hailed from Austria, but between Pumping Iron and his undeniably awesome career (not to mention his term as the governor of California), Arnold Schwarzenegger is about as American as it gets. And on his birthday, we at Men’s Fitness decided to honor the icon of the big screen (and big muscles) with the best way we know: a workout.

Since it’s #ThrowbackThursday, we’re celebrating the Austrian Oak by featuring his Mr. Olympia chest and back workout from 1974, courtesy of Men’s Fitness training expert Sean Hyson, C.S.C.S.

Ever the fitness innovator, Schwarzenegger introduced two key training techniques to this workout. On his bench presses, he stopped short of extending his arms all the way to locked-out elbows, which kept tension on his pecs throughout each rep. On wide-grip pullups, however, he used the opposite technique: He lowered his body all the way until he felt a stretch in his lats, which challenged his back muscles to activate more.

Arnold rocked the gym with this workout on Mondays and Thursdays.

Routine

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The Austrian Oak's Mr. Olympia Routine

Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1974 chest and back workout

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 7

Bench Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
5
Reps
10-12
Rest
60-90 sec.
Stop short of full lockout.
Exercise 2 of 7

Wide-Grip Pullup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
5
Reps
10-12
Rest
60-90 sec.
Lower yourself so you feel a stretch in your lats.
Exercise 3 of 7

Dumbbell Flye

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
10-12
Rest
60-90 sec.
Exercise 4 of 7

Seated Cable Row

Equipment
Lat Pulldown Bar
Sets
5
Reps
10-12
Rest
60-90 sec.
Exercise 5 of 7

Dip

Equipment
Dip Station
Sets
5
Reps
10-12
Rest
60-90 sec.
Exercise 6 of 7

Cable Crossover

Equipment
Cable Machine
Sets
5
Reps
12
Rest
60-75 sec.
Exercise 7 of 7

Dumbbell Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
60 sec.
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