Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Shoulder Workout: Exercises and Tips

“Great bodybuilders possess the same mindset that sculptors have,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1975. “You may be looking at your reflection and thinking, “I need a little more shoulder and more deltoid. But I’m trying to find the right proportions.’ Then what you do is exercise and then put on those deltoids.”

In terms of making a visual impression of strength and strength, Arnold — arguably the most famous bodybuilding star in the history of bodybuilding — on the mark. The deltoids -triangular, three-headed muscles that look like grapefruits halved on the shoulders of an experienced lifter — may be among the most powerful muscles on the body of a human. They are visible from all angles. When they’re developed, they provide broad shoulders and chests. Shoulders. This, in conjunction with a slim waist, makes for a powerful and athletic “V taper” within the upper part of the body.

Therefore, it is only natural that Arnold spent a lot of energy and time building his shoulders. This resulted in a positive return. In photographs from the early and mid-1970s, which was his high-performance peak, he appears to have to turn your back to get through doors. They were so impressive in their delts that he did a shoulder workout called “The Arnold Press,” which was named after his name (more on this later).

Are you looking to create the delts suitable for the status of an Austrian Oak? Here’s how he constructed his shoulders that won him championships back in the bodybuilding golden age.

Arnold Schowarzenegger’s Shoulder

Arnold was a huge fan of ‘pyramiding,’ which adds weights to the bar while you go through the exercise. The most common approach to this method is to add weight for each workout or in the opposite direction, begin an exercise using your most heavyweight, and then reduce it as you progress. Arnold’s approach was different on a press for military use; for instance, it could have been started with dumbbells that weigh 75 pounds to do two 12 reps. He would have moved up by 85 pounds in the 3rd set and another ten pounds in the fourth. Do this during your training and adjust the weights according to.

  • For each exercise, you must perform four sets using the following method:
  • In the first and second sets, complete 12 reps.
  • Increase the weight and complete 10 repetitions.
  • The weight will be increased, and you can complete 8 repetitions.
  • Take a break for two minutes between sets.
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#1 Seated Military Press

  • Stand straight, hold two dumbbells on your shoulders with your hands in front. This is the ideal starting position.
  • Maintaining your core engaged and your back flat, push the dumbbells up to extend your arms fully.
  • Pause, then reverse the motion to return to the initial position.

#2 Dumbbell Lateral Raises

  • Standing tall, feet hip-width apart. You will be holding dumbbells at your sides, with your palms facing towards the inside. This is the ideal starting point.
  • While keeping your core in place with your back straight and flat, with your palms facing downwards, extend your arms straight towards your sides.
  • Pause, then reverse the motion to return to the initial position.

Pro advise by Arnold: After completing your lateral raises, grab a pair of the most enormous dumbbells you could hold and place them in an “up” place. Maintain them as high as you can and fight gravity as hard as the dumbbells gradually draw your arms down. This gives your delts a bit additional “time under tension”–a important growth stimulant.

#3 Smith Machine Overhead Printer

  • Put an exercise bench on top of an unloaded bar set at shoulder height on the Smith machine.
  • You should sit on the bench just a few inches back from the columns. Take the bar using an overhand grip about the width of your shoulder. Release the bar from the safety catch. This is the position to start from.
  • Then, lift the bar up until you have straight arms.
  • Pause, reverse the motion to return to the initial position.

#4 A Seated Bent-Over Rector Deltoid Raise

  • You can sit on a bench with your feet hip-width apart from the floor. You can also hold an easy dumbbell on each side of you.
  • Then, bend your hips inwards to bring your chest to the upper thighs, and let the weights extend to the floor with your palms facing toward the back (it will feel like you’re embracing your legs). This is the beginning position.
  • Keep your back as straight as possible, extend your arms up towards the sides to make them as tall as possible, and squeeze your shoulder blades in at the top of the motion.
  • Return to the beginning position.
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#5 Upright Row

  • Sit tall and hold dumbbells between your thighs, with your palms in the back.
  • Maintaining your core in a good place by keeping your back straight, flat, and keeping the weights close to your body. Lift the dumbbells till your elbows are at (but do not exceed) the level of your shoulders.
  • Pause, then reverse the motion until you return to the beginning position.

A tip for you: This move has lost its popularity with many lifters because of the pressure it may put on shoulder joints if you do not follow the proper form. If you are experiencing any pain within your shoulder joints, you should sub your shoulders in facial pull.

#6 Arnold Press

  • Sit tall and with your feet hip-width apart. Hold one dumbbell each on your chest. Keep your elbows folded and your palms facing forward on top of the biceps curl. This is the beginning position.
  • Maintain your back flat and with your core engaged, push the weights just above your shoulders. Rotate the weights to ensure that your palms are facing upwards towards the highest point of the exercise.
  • Pause, reverse the motion until you return to the beginning position.

Pro advise by Arnold: Arnold felt that dropping the weights to the “top of the curl” position during his famous move improved the range of motion and, consequently, the move’s effectiveness. Use lighter weights than those you’d typically use to press until you’ve mastered the perfect technique.

The Shoulders Of Oak

Modern exercisers do a lot of one exercise for shoulders every time they train. For those who are not heavy lifters, it’s sufficient. However, if you’re seeking outstanding development — like the kind rewarded at bodybuilding competitions, you’ll require more work.

This is because the deltoids are complex muscles comprised of three heads that have distinct roles:

  • The anterior deltoid muscle that extends from the top of your clavicle until the upper part of your biceps aids in raising your arm up and forward when you’re standing.
  • The lateral deltoid is located at the outermost part of the shoulder blade and connects to the side of your arm. It aids in raising your arm towards the side.
  • The posterior deltoid muscle, which extends from the upper part of the shoulder blade to the rear of your arms, aids in lifting the arm backward (i.e., behind your hips) and extends out towards the sides and externally rotating your arm.
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Arnold realized that a lifter had to frequently perform all 3 heads on the deltoids to achieve that classic rounded appearance.

He did it, and he did it in a big way. The 1960s, 1970s were the time that was characterized by “high volumes” training. Professional athletes worked out for several hours every day, doing numerous sets of different muscle groups. Sometimes, they would do it two times a day, for up to six days per week.

Then Arnold was the reigning champion of this method, and he worked out as much as five hours a day, working each area of the body three times per week for the three months before the big event.

Training In The Arnold-Style Shoulder -With A Modern Twist

Arnold had a lot of training which is more than most modern bodybuilders and more than we require. The high-volume training method will not yield many results if you don’t have the best bodybuilder genes (Arnold could not have made it to this point without them). You could even hurt yourself.

Therefore, take Oak’s traditional guidelines with a grain of salt. Then, adjust the number of sets you do according to your goals and current fitness. You can try the two-three sets instead of 4 sets as an example. Alternate Arnold’s workout in three or two different exercises performed just a few days apart. For those who are not Terminators, such a method is generally preferred.


  • Todd Miller

    Todd Miller is a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has been a CrossFit athlete and coach for over 8 years, and he is passionate about helping people achieve their fitness goals and improve their overall health and wellness. As an author at FitGAG, Todd shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics related to CrossFit, including functional fitness movements, Olympic weightlifting, and overall health and wellness. He believes that CrossFit is a fun and effective way to improve overall fitness and well-being, and he strives to inspire his readers to incorporate CrossFit into their fitness routines. Through his articles, Todd aims to provide his readers with practical tips and strategies for optimizing their performance and achieving their fitness goals.

    [email protected] Miller Todd
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