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.
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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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.
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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.
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.
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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:
Pull-ups are an incredibly versatile compound exercise that engages various muscle groups. As a pillar of calisthenics, this bodyweight exercise involves pulling oneself up to a bar until the chin is above the bar level. The move is all about power, precision, and the spirit of challenge.
The primary muscle groups targeted by pull-ups are the latissimus dorsi (lats), brachialis, brachioradialis, and biceps brachii. In addition, several secondary muscles are also engaged such as the infraspinatus, teres major, rhomboids, levator scapulae, and trapezius.
For beginners, start with 1 to 2 sets of 5 reps each, gradually increasing as strength improves. For intermediates, 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps each is a good target.
Keep your core engaged throughout the pull-up to help with stability and control.
Pull-ups provide comprehensive upper body strength training, improving both your arm and back strength. They are perfect for muscle gain in the lats and biceps, enhance grip strength, and promote better shoulder health.
Pull-ups are an advanced exercise and may be challenging for beginners or individuals with less upper body strength. Also, improper form or overdoing pull-ups can lead to shoulder or elbow strain. It’s recommended to start with assisted pull-ups or lat pulldowns as a beginner.
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Bent Over Rows, often simply known as Rows, are a powerhouse of a compound exercise. They are a tried-and-true classic for any back workout. Performed with a barbell or dumbbells, this exercise requires you to bend over and use your back, shoulders, and arms to pull weight towards your abdomen.
Bent Over Rows primarily target the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, middle and lower trapezius, and the erector spinae muscles. Secondary muscles engaged include the biceps, brachialis, brachioradialis, and the posterior deltoids.
For beginners, start with 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Intermediate and advanced lifters can aim for 4-5 sets of 10-12 reps with heavier weights.
Bent Over Rows are fantastic for strengthening and toning the muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms. They also promote better posture by strengthening the muscles that support the spine. Further, they improve functional strength, aiding in everyday movements like lifting or pulling things.
The biggest challenge with Bent Over Rows is maintaining proper form, especially as the weight increases. Poor form, such as rounding the back, can lead to lower back injuries. It’s recommended to master the form with lighter weights before gradually increasing the load.
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Lat Pulldowns are your prime ally for sculpting those coveted V-shaped lats. A hallmark of any upper body regime, this exercise allows you to work those often hard-to-reach muscles in your back.
Lat Pulldowns primarily target the latissimus dorsi (the broadest muscle in your back). They also engage your biceps, rhomboids, and muscles in the mid-back and lower traps. Essentially, they are an entire upper body workout wrapped into one exercise.
Start with 3 sets of 10-12 reps. As you progress, increase the weight but maintain form and control.
Lat Pulldowns are perfect for building a strong upper body and wide lats. They improve overall back strength, promote good posture, and aid in daily tasks that require pulling or lifting. This exercise also helps in muscle gain for a well-rounded and balanced physique.
While Lat Pulldowns are generally safe, improper form can lead to shoulder or back injuries. Additionally, relying solely on this exercise can limit the strength and size of your back, as it’s important to perform a variety of exercises to hit all the back muscles.
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T Bar Rows, a quintessential back exercise, are your ticket to a stronger, more muscular back. This exercise, with its unique T-bar setup, offers a different angle of pull, targeting your back muscles in a new way.
T Bar Rows work an array of muscles including the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, middle and lower trapezius, erector spinae muscles, and posterior deltoid. They also engage your biceps and brachialis in your upper arm, making them a superb entire upper body workout.
Beginners should start with 3 sets of 8-10 reps. As you gain strength and familiarity with the exercise, you can add more sets or increase the weight.
T Bar Rows are excellent for overall back development, building a strong upper body, and enhancing posture. They engage multiple muscle groups at once, making them an efficient workout option. Moreover, the pulling motion can help improve functionality in daily life tasks.
Improper form, such as rounding the back, can lead to injury. The exercise requires a certain level of strength and fitness, so it may not be suitable for complete beginners. As with any weight lifting exercise, heavy weights can put stress on your lower back if not executed correctly.
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The Incline Bench Press is a popular upper body exercise that shifts the focus towards the upper chest and shoulders. It’s a variant of the traditional bench press where the bench is set to an angle of 15 to 30 degrees.
The incline bench press targets the upper part of the pectoral muscles and the anterior deltoids (shoulders). It also engages the triceps in the upper arm, and to a lesser extent, the back and core muscles.
For beginners, it’s recommended to start with 3 sets of 8-10 reps. As you gain strength, you can gradually increase the weight and add more sets, aiming for 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps.
The incline bench press is excellent for targeting the upper chest and shoulders, which can sometimes be neglected in a standard bench press. It’s a powerful exercise for muscle gain in the upper body and helps to enhance the definition of your chest muscles.
If not performed with proper form, it can lead to shoulder or chest injuries. It’s also important to note that using too heavy weights without the correct technique can put unnecessary stress on the wrists and elbows.
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The Seated Cable Row is a classic back-strengthening exercise that targets multiple muscle groups in your back, shoulders, and arms. It’s performed using a cable station, pulling a weight towards your body, mimicking the motion of rowing a boat.
Seated cable rows primarily work the muscles of the back, including the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and trapezius muscles. Secondary muscles worked include the biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis in the upper arms, and the erector spinae muscles in the lower back.
A good starting point is 3 sets of 8-12 reps. As you get stronger, you can increase the weight and number of sets, aiming for 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps.
The seated cable row is an excellent exercise for developing a strong back and improving overall posture. It targets several muscles in the back, leading to balanced muscle development. It’s also great for improving functional strength, as the rowing movement is commonly used in daily activities.
If done incorrectly, this exercise can strain the lower back and lead to injury. Also, using too much weight can cause you to use momentum rather than muscle strength, reducing the effectiveness of the exercise.
Dumbbell Shrugs are a superb exercise designed to isolate and develop the trapezius muscle, responsible for movements and stability in your neck and upper back.
Dumbbell Shrugs primarily target the trapezius muscles, located in your upper back and neck. Secondary muscles involved include the levator scapulae, which assist in the elevation of your scapula.
For optimum muscle gain, perform 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps, focusing on slow, controlled movements.
Dumbbell shrugs are one of the best exercises for developing the trapezius muscle, which can lead to improved shoulder stability and upper body strength. They also help enhance posture and provide a balanced look to your upper body.
If performed incorrectly, shrugs can lead to neck strain or other injuries. Also, those with pre-existing neck or shoulder conditions may need to avoid this exercise. Always use a weight that allows you to control the movement.
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Deadlifts are a powerhouse of an exercise. This compound movement is designed to target multiple muscle groups in a single, fluid motion, making it a stellar addition to any back and shoulder workout.
Deadlifts target a broad array of muscles, including your erector spinae muscles, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and posterior deltoid in the back and shoulders. Additionally, they engage core muscles and lower body muscles like glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
For serious muscle gain and strength, aim for 3-5 sets of 6-8 reps, using a weight that challenges you while maintaining correct form.
Deadlifts are fantastic for building a strong upper body, improving posture, and developing functional strength. They also increase muscle mass across the entire body, leading to improved overall athleticism and fat burning.
Deadlifts, while tremendously beneficial, can be risky if not performed with correct form. They can lead to injury, especially in the lower back, if done improperly or with too heavy weights.
Now that you know which exercises to select let’s address the training principles and then put together your complete back training program.
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.
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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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.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s back workout was a combination of compound and isolation exercises. He incorporated deadlifts, bent-over rows, and pull-ups as staples. When focusing on an arnold chest and back workout, he would often pair bench presses with pull-ups to achieve a balanced physique. Additionally, the arnold back and bicep workout included exercises like barbell curls after his back routine to maximize muscle growth.
Arnold built his back using a rigorous training regimen that combined volume with intensity. His arnold schwarzenegger back workout often consisted of multiple sets and reps of exercises like deadlifts, T-bar rows, and lat pull-downs. He believed in the mind-muscle connection and always emphasized the importance of feeling each rep. Integrating both arnold chest and back workout and arnold back and bicep workout routines, he ensured a comprehensive approach to his upper body development.
The Arnold split, often associated with routines like the arnold schwarzenegger back workout, is beneficial for those looking for hypertrophy and muscle definition. It focuses on training specific muscle groups intensely, such as the arnold chest and back workout or the arnold back and bicep workout. However, its effectiveness depends on individual goals, recovery capacity, and training experience. It’s always advisable to consult with a fitness professional before starting any new regimen.
Bodybuilders target multiple muscles in the back to achieve a V-tapered and muscular appearance. This includes the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius, and erector spinae. Arnold’s arnold schwarzenegger back workout was renowned for its focus on these muscles, ensuring a balanced and comprehensive back development.
The back is a complex muscle group comprising multiple smaller muscles. Training it requires a combination of compound and isolation exercises. The arnold back and bicep workout emphasizes the importance of the mind-muscle connection, which can be challenging to achieve with back exercises. Proper form and technique are crucial to effectively target and engage the back muscles.
In bodybuilding circles, the deadlift is often referred to as the “king of the back exercises.” It’s a compound movement that engages multiple muscles in the back. Arnold Schwarzenegger incorporated deadlifts into his arnold schwarzenegger back workout, emphasizing its importance in building a strong and muscular back.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was a proponent of various compound back exercises in his training routine. These exercises engage multiple muscle groups at once and can help build a massive back. Examples include deadlifts, bent-over rows, and pull-ups.
Absolutely. Arnold’s back routine included a selection of wide back workouts to enhance the V-taper, which is crucial for a bodybuilding physique. Exercises such as wide-grip pull-ups were part of his regime.
Yes, Lat Pushdowns were a key element in Arnold’s back workout. They are effective for isolating the latissimus dorsi, the largest muscle in the back, contributing to a wider, more muscular appearance.
Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger incorporated the bent over cable row into his back workouts. This exercise is excellent for working the middle back muscles and creating thickness and definition.
The v bar lat pulldown is another important exercise in Arnold’s routine. This exercise targets the lower lats and helps to develop a wide, V-shaped back.
Arnold used a variety of exercises for his back workout, some of which can serve as rack pulls alternatives. Deadlifts, good mornings, and barbell rows can all contribute to a comprehensive back workout.
he Smith machine deadlift is a variation of the traditional deadlift and was utilized by Arnold as a part of his routine. This machine allows for a controlled range of motion and can be beneficial for muscle growth.
Yes, Arnold incorporated cable back workouts into his routine. These exercises, including cable rows and lat pulldowns, are versatile and can be tailored to target specific parts of the back.
While Arnold’s prime time was before resistance bands became popular, lat exercises with bands can definitely supplement the classic routine for additional muscular endurance and mobility.
Dumbbells were essential in Arnold’s training. A dumbbell lat workout can provide a solid pump and allow for a greater range of motion compared to other equipment, which is beneficial for muscle growth.
Arnold believed in training each muscle group with intensity and full range of motion. These principles can be applied to a back and shoulders workout for balanced development and a powerful upper body look. Exercises like overhead presses and rear deltoid flyes for shoulders, along with rows and pulldowns for the back, are key.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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