Arnold Schwarzenegger Reveals How Powerlifting Helped His Bodybuilding

Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses his powerlifting past.

Arnold Schwarzenegger recently revealed how powerlifting took his bodybuilding to the next level. The iconic bodybuilder talked about his powerlifting training in a recent monthly newsletter, giving details on how it helped his game.

The most iconic bodybuilder in the history of the game Arnold Schwarzenegger completely changed the face of the sport forever. He used every tactic at his disposal in order to achieve bodybuilding greatness. That ability to think outside the box is what took Arnold to the top of the mountain and beyond.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was the kind of competitor to use psychology to his advantage. He would use mind games in order to psyche out the opposition. That ability to push himself mentally was what enabled him to push past his physical limits. It also allowed him to train in ways that wasn’t common for bodybuilders of the era.

In fact, Arnold Schwarzenegger used powerlifting to take his game to the next level. In his monthly newsletter letter, Arnold broke down how he added powerlifting to his game to supplement his bodybuilding training.

“I loved mixing in powerlifting with bodybuilding one day a week. This was my heavy day: I warmed up with 135, then 225, then 275, then 315, 375, then 405, then 455, then 495. From that I would know the weight I could do for 3 reps, sometimes it was 455, sometimes more or less, it depended on the day.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger went on to talk about his bench press routine that he would follow.

“I would do 5-8 sets of 3 reps. It was a way to get my body used to lifting very heavy. And then I would take off the weight so it was only 315 and do as many reps as I could, and then I was finished with my bench press.”

The iconic bodybuilding champion talked candidly about how goal setting and nuanced training has helped him throughout his life. Goal setting as well as failure.

“There is a lesson in setting a goal and hitting it that has helped me all throughout my life, so if you’re young, set yourself some big goals and work on a sustainable plan to achieve them.

“What you learn is simple: failure is not losing, failure is part of growing. Before I lifted 500 pounds, do you know what I did? I failed to lift 500 pounds, not once, not twice, but tons of times.

“One of the best lessons the gym can teach you is that failure is not an end – it’s a means to an end.”

Still Going Strong

There’s a reason why Arnold Schwarzenegger is so revered. He has achieved great things but has always been candid in his pursuits. Embracing both his successes and failures which is what has taken him to truly great heights. Now that the icon has turned 74 years old, you’d think he’d be ready to slow down. On the contrary, Arnold is still going strong.

What do you think of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his powerlifting methods?

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Managing Editor at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.

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Jonathan Salmon
Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.