Featured Bodybuilding Equipment: bench press, dumbbells, barbells, cable crossover, T-bar row, seated cable row, leg extention, leg press, leg curl, standing calf raise, seated calf raise, donkey calf raise, wrist roller, tricep pushdown

Arnold’s exact training routine during his peak years…
(taken from Ric Wayne’s book, Three more reps)

Morning session, done Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Bench press 5 sets, 8-10 reps
Dumbbell flyes 5 sets, 8-reps
Inclline barbell press 6 sets, 8-10 reps
Dips 5 sets to failure
Cable crossover 6 sets, 12-reps
Dumbbell pullover 5 sets, 10 reps
Wide-grip chins to the front 6 sets to failure
T-bar row 5 sets, 8-reps
Seated cable row 6 sets, 8-reps
Deadlifts off a box 6 sets, 15-reps
One-arm dumbbell row 5 sets, 8-reps
Squats 6 sets, 10-12 reps
Leg extensions 6 sets, 15-reps
Leg press 6 sets, 8-10 reps
Leg curl 6 sets,12-reps
Lunges 5 sets, 15-reps
Evening session
Standing calf raises 10 sets, 10-reps
Seated calf raises 8 sets, 15-reps
Donkey calf raises 6 sets, 12-reps
Wrist roller 4 sets to failure
Reverse barbell curl 4 sets, 8-reps
Wrist curls off bench 4 sets, 10-reps
Morning session, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Barbell cheat curls 6 sets, 8-reps
Seated dumbbell curls 6 sets, 6-reps
Concentration curls 6 sets, 10-reps
Close grip bench press 6 sets, 8-reps
Triceps pushdown 6 sets, 10-reps
Lying dumbbell tricep press 6 sets, 8-reps
Overhead tricep press 6 sets, 10-reps
Seated barbell front press 6 sets, 8-10 reps
Standing lateral raises 6 sets, 10-reps
Standing dumbbell press 6 sets, 8-reps
Bent-over lateral raises 5 sets, 10-reps
Cable lateral raises 5 sets, 12-reps
Evening session
Standing calf raises 10 sets, 10-reps
Seated calf raises 8 sets, 15-reps
Donkey calf raises 6 sets, 12-reps
  • The identical morning routine, chest, back, legs, was done thrice weekly
  • The identical morning routine, biceps, triceps, shoulders, was done thrice weekly
  • The identical evening routine, calves, forearms, was done six times per week
  • M/W/F morning and evening total number of sets 420
  • T/T/S morning and evening total number of sets 282
  • Total number of weight training sets per week 702
  • Estimated total hours spent weight training weekly 20 hours

This type of approach, massive volume, was universally practiced by all the bodybuilding immortals of the era: Robbie Robinson, Frank Zane, Franco Columbu and Sergio Oliva. Jeff Everson recounted having seen Sergio Oliva at his awesome peak perform 15 sets of 15 reps in the bench press using 255-pounds, alternated with 15 sets-to-failure in the wide-grip chin.

About the Author
As an athlete Marty Gallagher is a national and world champion in Olympic lifting and powerlifting. He was a world champion team coach in 1991 and coached Black's Gym to five national team titles. He's also coached some of the strongest men on the planet including Kirk Karwoski when he completed his world record 1,003 lb. squat. Today he teaches the US Secret Service and Tier 1 Spec Ops on how to maximize their strength in minimal time. As a writer since 1978 he’s written for Powerlifting USA, Milo, Flex Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Prime Fitness, Washington Post, Dragon Door and now IRON COMPANY. He’s also the author of numerous books including Purposeful Primitive, Strong Medicine, Ed Coan’s book “Coan, The Man, the Myth, the Method" and numerous others. Read the Marty Gallagher biography here.