Arnold Back Workout: How to Make Your Back Huge!

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Table of Contents

You have arrived here because you want to know how to grow a huge muscular back with slabs of muscle to your lats, right? Do you want to be able to emulate the back muscles of Arnold and look like you have a set of wings when you flex your lats?


Good! Because that’s what we will be sharing with you right here!


Your back is one of the largest muscle groups in your upper body, so if you want to add serious mass, you must include the right back exercises in your routine.


It’s no secret that Arnold Schwarzenegger had one of the most impressive physiques in history. Even to this day, fans continue to be blown away by his excellent back development.


Luckily, you don’t need to be a world-famous bodybuilder to achieve an equally impressive back. With the proper Arnold back workout routine, you can build a big and muscular back yourself!


Keep reading for all the details.

Who is Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a world-famous actor and bodybuilder who has appeared in many action movies. He was born in 1947 in Austria and became interested in bodybuilding at a young age.


Schwarzenegger won his first Mr Universe title in 1967 and soon moved to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming a professional bodybuilder. Arnold was known for his Back and Bicep muscles and would leave his competition blown away on stage due to the sheer muscularity, size and definition that he brought.


During his career, Schwarzenegger won several prestigious titles, including Mr Olympia, seven times. In 1977, he made his film debut in the movie “Pumping Iron,” which helped to launch his acting career.


Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Schwarzenegger starred in many successful action movies, such as “The Terminator,” “Predator,” and “True Lies.” In 2003, he was elected governor of California and served in that role for two terms.


Today, Schwarzenegger is still involved in acting, politics, and business. He is also an outspoken advocate for environmental causes and fitness.


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Recommended Read: >>> Your Ultimate Back Training Guide <<<

Why Train Your Back Muscles?

The muscles in your back play a vital role in your overall physique. Not only do they give you a broad and muscular appearance, but they also help to improve your posture and prevent injuries.


A strong back can also help to increase your strength in other exercises, such as the bench press and shoulder press. Therefore, to build an impressive physique, you must ensure that your back muscles are well-developed.


The best way to do this is by following a dedicated back workout routine that includes various exercises which allow you to vary the weight, reps and intensity.


What Are the Best Back Exercises?

There are many different exercises that you can do to work your back muscles. However, some exercises are better than others regarding building mass and strength.


If you want that Arnold Schwarzenegger-esque back, you need to focus on compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously with heavy weights. Arnold believed that this was one of the fundamental principles of his adding so much muscle onto his back.


Also, an important note, your back muscles are composed of both upper and lower sections. You need to make sure that you are training both equally to achieve balanced development.


Genetics And Your Back

Of course, no matter how hard you train, you will never have a back like Arnold Schwarzenegger unless you have the right genetics.


Some people are predisposed to having wider backs with more muscle mass. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve an impressive back yourself.


With the proper workout routine and diet, you can still build a big and muscular back, even if you don’t have the best genetics.


Recommended Read: >>> 15 Compound Back Exercises For A Big Back <<<

Arnold's Back Workout Routine

Now that you know the importance of training your back muscles, it’s time to learn about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s back workout routine.


This routine is designed to help you build mass and strength in your back muscles. It includes various exercises that target both the upper and lower back.


Here is Arnold’s back workout routine:


1. Pull-ups

Pull-ups are the foundation of every good back workout routine. They are a great compound exercise that targets your upper back muscles, particularly your lats.


To do a pull-up, grip the pull-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and hang from the bar with your arms extended. Then, pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Lower yourself back down to the starting position and repeat.


If you can’t do pull-ups with your body weight, you can use an assisted pull-up machine or have someone help you.


2. Bent-over rows

Bent-over rows are another great compound exercise for your back. They target your upper back muscles, including your lats, traps, and rear delts.


To do a bent-over row, grip the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and bend over at the waist until your back is parallel to the floor. Keeping your back straight, pull the bar up to your chest and lower it back down to the starting position.


3. Lat pull-downs

Lat pull-downs are an excellent exercise for targeting your lats. They are often considered to be easier than pull-ups, which makes them a good option if you’re starting.


To do a lat pull-down, sit at a lat pull-down machine and grip the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. Pull the bar down to your chest and return it to the starting position.


4. T Bar Rows

The T-bar row is another excellent exercise for your back. It targets your upper back muscles, including your lats and rear delts.


To do a T-bar row, grip the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend over at the waist and lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor. then, pull the bar up to your chest and lower it back down to the starting position.


Recommended Read: >>> How Much Does The Smith Machine Bar Weigh? (Answered) <<<

5. Incline Bench Press

Chest workouts will assist you with your back-building goals. The incline bench press is an excellent exercise for targeting your upper back muscles.


To do an incline bench press, lie on an incline bench with your feet flat on the floor and grip the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart (keeping your arms straight). Press the barbell up until your arms are extended, and then lower it back down to the starting position.


6. Seated Cable Row

The seated cable row is another excellent exercise for targeting your back muscles. It’s a compound exercise that targets your upper and lower back.


To do a seated cable row, sit at a cable row machine and grip the handle with your hands shoulder-width apart. Pull the handle back to your chest and return it to the starting position.


7. Dumbbell Shrugs

Dumbbell shrugs are an excellent exercise for targeting your traps. They are a simple exercise that only requires a pair of dumbbells.


To do dumbbell shrugs, stand with your feet hip-width apart and grip a dumbbell in each hand. Let the dumbbells hang at arm’s length by your sides. Then, shrug your shoulders and lift the dumbbells as high as possible. Lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position and repeat.


8. Deadlifts

Deadlifts are an excellent exercise for targeting your entire back. They are a compound exercise that targets your upper and lower back, as well as your glutes and hamstrings.


To do a deadlift, stand with your feet hip-width apart and grip the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart. Bend down and grasp the bar, keeping your back straight. Then, lift the bar until you’re standing upright and return it to the starting position.


Putting the Back Workout Together - The Training Program

Now that you know which exercises to select let’s address the training principles and then put together your complete back training program.

Back Workout Training Principles


  • Progressive overload: Every workout adds either more weight, more reps or increases the time under tension. These proven principles ensure the muscle group is stimulated and will grow.


  • Change of Exercises: Every six weeks, change the order of exercises. This keeps the muscle and nervous system guessing.


  • Compound and Isolation exercises: Keep the body guessing! That is why we use most compound exercises but also throw in isolation movements.


  • Full range of motion: Learn the exercises to perform them correctly.


  • Rep ranges: Vary the rep ranges as you feel but always strive to add weight once you hit the top end of the rep range you have set.


  • Grip: Feel free to vary your grip, be it a close grip, underhand grip or overhand grip.


Back Workout Training Plan

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A Proper Diet Will Also Help

In addition to exercises, you will also need to focus on your diet to build a bigger back. Eating a healthy diet and getting enough protein is essential for building muscle.


Protein is the building block of muscle, so it’s essential to eat enough of it if you want to gain size and increase muscle growth. Aim to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should aim to consume 180 grams of protein per day.


In addition to protein, you will also need to eat plenty of healthy fats and carbs. Healthy fats are essential for hormone production and cell function. Carbs are essential for energy levels.


Aim to consume 50-60% of your calories from carbs, 20-30% of your calories from fat, and 20-30% from protein.


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Final Thoughts

I hope this article has shed some light on why it is essential to train your back muscles. If you want to build a big and muscular back, then you need to make sure that you are including exercises that target your upper and lower back.


Pull-ups, bent-over rows, lat pull-downs, T-bar rows, and incline bench presses are great exercises for building mass and strength in your back. Try incorporating some of these exercises into your workout routine and see how effective they are.


Frequently Asked Questions

How did Arnold train his back?

Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most famous bodybuilders of all time, and he is especially well-known for his impressive back muscles. So, how did Arnold train his back?


He always warmed up with a few light exercises before moving on to heavier weights. He also favored various exercises, such as pull-ups, rows, and lat pull-downs, to target all the different muscles in his back.


In addition, Arnold always made sure to give himself plenty of time to rest between sets so his muscles could recover and grow stronger. By following these simple guidelines, Arnold was able to build an impressive back that was the envy all over the bodybuilding world.


What was Arnold Schwarzenegger's tricep workout routine?

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s tricep workout routine typically involved a variety of exercises to target different parts of the muscle. These exercises often included close-grip bench presses, overhead tricep extensions, tricep pushdowns, and dips.

Did Arnold Schwarzenegger do pull-ups?

One of the things that made Arnold so unique was his incredible muscle development. He targeted every muscle group in his training, and as a result, he had a truly unmatched physique.


So, did Arnold Schwarzenegger do pull-ups? The answer is yes! Pull-ups were one of his favorite exercises.


What is the Arnold 1/10 Method?

The 1/10 method was like a reverse pyramid where Arnold Schwarzenegger would load the bar with enough weight that only enabled him to perform 1 rep. He would then reduce the weight by just the right amount, which enabled him to perform another single rip. This would continue until there was no weight on the bar.

Did Arnold do the 5x5 training program?

Arnold and Reg Park performed this training program for many years, whereby they would pick a weight and perform five sets of five reps. As soon as they hit 5×5, they would increase their weight in the next workout.

Did Arnold train 5 hours per day?

Arnold would regularly train up to 5 hours per day, which would be broken up into multiple sessions throughout the day and include a mix of weight training, powerlifting, cardio and swimming.

How does the Cbum back workout compare to Arnold Schwarzenegger's back workout?

Chris Bumstead, also known as Cbum, has a more modern approach to his back workouts compared to Arnold Schwarzenegger. While Arnold’s back workout was comprehensive and intensive, focusing on mass and definition, Cbum’s workout includes a mix of traditional lifts and more recent training methods for a balanced, aesthetic physique.

What does a monster back workout involve?

A monster back workout typically involves a mix of heavy compound and isolation exercises. This could include deadlifts, bent-over rows, lat pull-downs, and seated cable rows, aiming to target all areas of the back for a complete, comprehensive workout.

Can you describe Arnold Schwarzenegger's arm workout routine?

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s arm workout routine was well-rounded, targeting both the biceps and triceps. His bicep routine commonly included barbell curls and incline dumbbell curls, while his tricep workout included triceps exercises like close-grip bench press and tricep extensions.

What are the benefits of incline dumbbell curls?

Incline dumbbell curls are excellent for targeting the long head of the bicep muscle, leading to improved peak development. The inclined position places the biceps under tension for a longer range of motion compared to regular curls, leading to increased muscle activation and growth.

What triceps exercises can I incorporate into my workout routine?

There are various effective triceps exercises you can incorporate into your routine, including tricep dips, close-grip bench presses, tricep pushdowns, overhead tricep extensions, and skull crushers.

How do barbell curls and dumbbell curls differ in bicep training?

Barbell curls and dumbbell curls are both excellent for bicep development. Barbell curls are great for lifting heavy weights and engaging both arms simultaneously, ensuring balanced strength development. On the other hand, dumbbell curls allow for a greater range of motion and work each arm individually, which can help correct any imbalances between the left and right arm.

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Recommended Read: >>> Your Ultimate Fat Loss Guide <<<

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