dumbal workout

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dumbbell Session Is Designed to Build Strength and Mass

Without a doubt, if there’s anyone’s workout programming we should take heed of, it’s that of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. While his barbell workouts from the golden era are stuff of legend, they might not be so time efficient for the masses.

Look, we’re not complaining, but even if we were, it now doesn’t matter because he has just cooked up a new training programme.

Published in his newsletter, the Pump Club Newsletter, Arnie says, ‘It’s another full-body workout designed to push your body. You might think full-body programmes aren’t advanced until you go through the workouts and realise they might be more challenging than anything you’ve tried.’

Focussing on compound moves (exercises to target multiple muscle groups) you’ll get all the work done in a short amount of time. Grab a barbell or pair of moderate weight dumbbells and go get it.

The Workout

db dumbbell clean and press

Barbell or Dumbbell Clean and Press

x5 reps, 4 sets

Hinge down with soft knees and grab some moderate weight dumbbells from the floor or a olympic barbell with plates suitable for your ability. With a tight core, stand up, using the momentum to pull the weights up into the front rack position. Bend at the knees, then stand back upright and drive the weight upwards. Let your shoulders lock the weight out over your head. Reverse the movement and repeat.

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Barbell or Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

x8, 8 and 6 reps

Hinge at the hips with a flat back and send your hips behind your heels, your dumbbells hanging by your thighs or barbell hanging in front. Row the weight up to your hips while squeezing the shoulder blades together and keeping them away from your ears. Slowly lower the weight, ready to repeat.

dumbbell front squat

Barbell or Dumbbell Squat

x10, 8 and 6 reps

Hold the dumbbells at your collarbone with your palms facing inwards, elbows in tight to your waist or a barbell on the meaty part of your shoulders behind your head. Send your hips back with your chest upright into a squat. Once you break parallel, push through the heels back to standing, ready to repeat.

dumbbell chest press

Barbell or Dumbbell Chest Press

10, 8 and 6 reps

Lie on a flat bench with the dumbbells or barbell un-racked up above your chest with your arms straight. Lower the weights to your chest, with the elbows below your shoulders. Feel a stretch across your chest before pushing the weights away from you, ready to repeat.

romanian deadlift

Straight-Leg Barbell or Dumbbell Deadlift

x10 reps and 3 sets

With a pair of dumbbells in either hand, hanging at your sides, or barbell hanging in front of your hips, hinge at the hips by sending your bum behind your heels until your torso reaches horizontal or just above. Try to keep your knees straight or a slight bend if your mobility stops you. Squeeze your lats and stand upright, picture pushing the ground away with your feet. Take a deep breath and reverse the movement.

muscular young man lifting weights outside barbell curl

Barbell Curls

x10 and 3 sets

Start with the barbell hanging in front of your hips with your palms facing upwards. Keep the elbows glued to your waist and bring the barbell up to meet your shoulders. Keep your shoulders pinned back and don’t cheat by using the hips.

a person lifting another man

Lying Triceps Extension

x10 reps and 3 sets

Lie on a flat bench with dumbbells above your chest, palms facing in. Bend at the elbows and let the weights dip behind your head. Keep the elbows in place and reverse the movement so that the arms extend.

best calf exercises to build muscle

Seated Calf Raises

x10 reps and 4 sets

Put a weight plate on the floor and rest your toes on it while sitting on a bench. Place a dumbbell on your knees. Lift up your heels as high as possible. Pause, then lower the heels.