Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most popular bodybuilder on the planet thanks to his genetics, will, mindset, political and movie career. He had a classic physique with his chest and biceps standing out the most.
Prior to Arnold’s era people had never seen such chest development. Accidentally or not, this was also the time when the bench press became extremely popular. Everybody and their grandmother started asking: “How much do you bench?“.
As a result, the bench press transformed into the mainstream symbol of strength.
But how strong was Arnold?
According to the record books, Arnold’s best bench press was 500lbs which has always been a world class number. There’s no information on the Internet whether the lift was done with a pause or not.
Q: Was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chest built solely through bench pressing?
A: The flat bench press was definitely the cornerstone of his routine, but he also did a lot of isolation exercises and other bench variations.
Q: Do I need to bench press 500lbs in order to achieve Arnold’s pectoral development?
A: Not really. After a certain point, it’s not very important how much you bench press. Who has a bigger chest – the guy who benches 315lbs or the guy who benches 405lbs? It depends on exercise form, genetics, presence or absence of drugs, injuries…etc.
Note: Despite what your mother says you will never look like Arnold Schwarzenegger because we are all different. Even if you emulate him completely, you will never be him. It’s time to stop the idol worship anyway. Moreover, if you are a natural bodybuilder, your potential for growth and strength is lower.