Things We Can Learn From Arnold About Building Muscle

When you talk to your grandmother about bodybuilding, even she thinks of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was the guy who made the muscle flexing festival popular. In most countries, his name is a symbol of big biceps and massive pecs. He had a superior structure, and some even argue that he destroys the modern gutbuilding pros despite being 50lbs lighter. How did Arnold gain that “money” muscle?

A while back I read an article which had the same intention in mind – to tell the uneducated crowd what Arnold did to acquire thick muscle fibers.

Strangely, the publication forgot to mention that Arnold used steroids. Writing an article about how professional bodybuilders achieve muscular growth without mentioning steroids is like teaching someone how to ride a bicycle without tires.


Everybody quotes Arnold, but people rarely talk about his confession to drug use. In case you forgot, here’s the video:

As you can see in the clip, Arnold does not deny that steroids are a part of bodybuilding. Of course, he downplays the role of drugs, but they were important even during the early stages of the game.

Bodybuilding is a sport/beauty contest built on muscle elixirs. Without steroids, there’s no bodybuilding. If steroids are completely removed from this world, bodybuilders will start to look anorexic to you because we are so used to seeing mass monsters.

Back in the day, I experienced a similar jet lag. I got so used to the videos of big men pumping iron that the natural bodybuilders around me appeared as malnourished pigeons.

So, what’s the Oak’s secret?

Arnold did high volume workouts, chased the pump, took a bunch of steroids and flexed his muscles in front of gym mirrors. That’s it. His superior genetics and good bone structure also helped a lot and created a physique that is still on the cover of muscle magazines.

There are many routines promising Arnoldesque results. I’ve even heard of a bodybuilding program designed to elongate your lower biceps so that your arms can look full like Arnold’s. People with a positive IQ should know that exercises cannot achieve a similar effect. The shape of a muscle is not affected by lifting. It’s genetic.

To this day there are delusional muscle worshipers who have posters of Arnold in their rooms. “One day I will make it! I will become a guy with big muscles and lots of money. All I have to do is follow Arnold’s six rules to success, take my protein powder and pump my muscles,” said Johnnie while measuring his biceps one day after starting a creatine loading phase.

Dream on, Johnnie. It’s never going to happen. It’s not supposed to. People always forget that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. We only see the movie, but the camera crew, the special effects, and the hospital visits are always hidden as they are not intended to be a part of the spell cast on us.

There are thousands of people doing the same thing Arnold did training wise, but they are not going to become stars. Most won’t be famous in their own gyms let alone on a world stage.

To get to Arnold’s level you have to “break the rules”, which ironically is one of Arnold’s rules to success. However, the level of sacrifice is much higher than you may think. You don’t join the club of THE BIG BOYS for free. If people only knew what it takes to be famous, they would run away from fame as fast as a bodybuilder runs from a drug test.

So, what can we learn from Arnold about building muscle?

Pump and roid up.

P.S. I don’t know how you will survive this sick knowledge bomb.

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