What’s up, fellas?
Today, I will present to you the magic ingredients behind Arnold’s massive and glorious chest. And no, there won’t be a step-by-step routine at the end because this is not how things work.
The first major factor that made Arnold the King of Pecs are his genes.
The bones and the muscle insertions of a bodybuilder form the base necessary for his potential ascension. If Arnold’s assembly of tissues was any different, he wouldn’t be Arnold the same way Brad Pitt wouldn’t be Brad Pitt without his facial structure.
The seemingly naive mainstream media will tell you semi-accurate stories claiming that Arnold prioritized his chest and had a bench press by his bed, but that is irrelevant even if it’s true. Having a thick bone architecture and high-end muscle design is more important than your training frequency and exercise selection.
Let me paint you a picture. Imagine a man who is 6’2″ and with relatively big wrists – 7-7.5 inches. Put him next to another one who is 5’7″ with 6-6.5-inch wrists. The first guy will always be bigger and more imposing thanks to his skeleton.
Guess, what? Arnold had the frame necessary to become a superstar bodybuilder. Plus his pec insertions allowed him to reach incredible muscle fullness.
Many men trained as hard if not harder than Arnold but didn’t reach his level. A few got close, and some spectators can argue that their idols were robbed, but once alone, even the Mentzer fans admit that Arnold had the best genetics out of the line-up.
You may not like Arnold based on his personality, but your preferences do not change the fact that he was gifted genetically.
Weider was a shrewd businessman. He saw that Arnold is the best overall and invested in him. It wasn’t a coincidence. It wasn’t left to chance. It was a genetic destiny.
Why wasn’t Franco the chosen one? Because he was too short.
Why wasn’t Lou Ferrigno the chosen one? He has a massive frame, but Arnold has more charisma.
Why wasn’t Mentzer the one? He was too stubborn and detached.
Successful People and Hard Work
The so-called successful people often undermine the importance of genetics while amplifying the effectiveness of effort. Sometimes I wonder whether they are lying to the crowd, themselves, both, or are simply delusional and really believe this nonsense.
They will fill your head with stories about waking up early, living like a monk and working five different jobs while being in the gym two times a day. I have news for you. More often than not, the official PR story and the real version are different. But even if they coincide 100%, none of this matters because the true engine are the genes of the person in question and his environment.
Many bodybuilders were destined to lose to Arnold because they didn’t have the right starter pack. Waking up at 3 in the morning, training five times a day and eating the purest Argentinian beef coupled with Vince Gironda’s fertilized eggs wouldn’t have made a difference in terms of placing. Honestly, even steroids don’t change the picture. They amplify you but do not change you structurally.
Fate & Timing
If Arnold was born today, he would not become the Arnold that we know simply because the environment cannot produce him.
The bodybuilders from the 70s were pioneers. They were the first to popularize bodybuilding. They were special. They had muscles before it became popular.
Today, the crowd is desensitized as it always happens when the numbers increase. The digital infrastructure is to blame for that too. When a muscle hero emerges on Instagram, he isn’t unique. He is one of many.
Arnold and his friends had the opportunity to benefit from the virgin effect and created a stronger bond with the crowd.
The virgin effect is very simple to comprehend – the first is always remembered. After a woman has been with a few too many men, nobody is memorable.
This principle describes the importance of timing too.
An idea backed by a lot of work can fail spectacularly if the timing is wrong. The same applies to many successful businesses. They owe their glory to perfect timing rather than a mythical work ethic or vision.
The winners don’t like to talk about this topic because it makes their victory look like the result of destiny rather than superpowers. They prefer to think that their accomplishments were solely based on effort… that the losers could have done the same if they’d tried harder. Sometimes it’s true – the winners win because they do more, but many cannot even qualify for the show because they do not have the right genetics for the task.
Ultimately, a combination of both – genetics and timing – made Arnold the most popular bodybuilder on the planet.
The principles described above are important to know if you want to understand what actually happens during the reaction that produces success. If a man does not have good genetics for something, he cannot beat those who do. This is especially true for activities like bodybuilding that are less about skill and more about looks.
I am sorry if the trainers teaching you how to shape your pectorals with specific exercises for the lower, middle and upper portion have omitted this lesson.
The Crowd Consciously Rejects the Idea Of Genetic Predetermination while Supporting It Subconsciously
I don’t know if you are familiar with the movie Hell or High Water, but you are about to be anyway.
The film presents the story of two brothers trying to pay off a loan to a bank by robbing its branches. The ultimate goal is to keep their land because it’s loaded with oil.
The two brothers are very different from each other. One is a family hard-working man while the other is a lone wolf who just got out of prison. The differences do not end here.
One of them is handsome and tall. The other one is shorter, less attractive and balding. One of them sacrifices himself so that the other can have it all. Guess, who is the sacrificial lamb?
Of course, it’s the shorter and less appealing one. As a result of the sacrifice, the more attractive brother gets to keep the land and give it to his kids who are “set for life” thanks to the oil well in their backyard. Not only that but the more charming brother doesn’t kill anybody. His big bro does all the killings so that his good-looking sibling can preserve his karmic purity and spend the oil money with smaller remorse around his heart.
Why weren’t the roles reversed?
The classic explanation would be that the hotter man had children and therefore something to live for.
Ok. I get it. Let’s rephrase the question – why wasn’t the more attractive actor playing the role of the brother who dies in the end?
Because the crowd wouldn’t want it, and the directors know it. If the roles of the actors were reversed, it would have felt weird, wouldn’t it? Can you imagine a top tier guy sacrificing himself? What a waste!?
The ladies wouldn’t have been happy. They want to see the beautiful stallion make it through because they see his genetic make-up as precious.
People will reject this idea on the record, but given a mask, some may support it.
About 2 years ago, I was in contact with a woman working in a financial institution. She was not attracted to me but thought that I can connect her to another man. I actually couldn’t. I’d only see the guy in photos. That same woman wrote to me the following: “We are wired to like the most handsome ones, Bambi”. The ironic part is that she was not pretty herself. She was ugly.
At least, she was honest. She didn’t want me. She wanted the guy with better visual qualities. More often than not, the crowd does not admit to this principle because it hurts.
People expect the more attractive person to win and attribute traits to him or her that he or she may not embody fully. This is called the halo effect.
Arnold had plenty of halo going for him. Since he had the best overall package, the spectators add a sense of peculiarity and a special polish to everything he does. It just feels different and better because it’s Arnold – the guy with the ultimate bodybuilding genes.
Steroids are an important part of the equation. You cannot be 230lbs and lean naturally unless you carry the skeleton of a dinosaur. Even if you have the best genetics in the world and follow the most scientific diet, you cannot win against competitors who aren’t natural. Yet many naive souls still believe the fairy tale that Coleman turned pro naturally.
If you think that the bodybuilders from the 70s were natural ponies, you are late to the party. During those years, the steroid industry was peaking.
Why you will never have a chest like Arnold’s
It’s really simple.
1. You don’t have Arnold’s genetics.
2. You may be natural.
It has nothing to do with special routines and exercises. The guys from Arnold’s era trained in a very similar fashion – high volume, barbells…etc. Nevertheless, he dominated and had the best chest on stage. It wasn’t a training program or a technique. It was all about genes put in the right context and amplified by anabolics and lifting.
Moreover, Arnold’s appearance was heavily benefiting from the halo effect and exercised an influence on the crowd that common men cannot produce. There were other competitors with great pectoral development, but “Arnold is Arnold”.