In an effort to help you boost the effectiveness of your training sessions, add muscle and burn fat, we’ve put together four tips, tricks, and techniques that Arnold has sworn by for decades, down to science can only be anticipated.
1/ Focusing on Big ‘Bang for Your Buck’ Movements First Results in Serious Gains
While no stranger to using lighter weights and ‘chasing the bomb’ (we’ll get to that later), Schwarzenegger knew early on that to build big muscles, you need to lift some big weights. The best way to make sure you maximize the ton you move in the gym? Focus on big multi-joint, ‘compound’ movements, which tap multiple muscle groups at once.
Arnold’s story: “Every good bodybuilder I know starts with the basic movements and trains them very heavy. It feels great to be strong and it gives you a psychological edge, but heavy training builds muscles in a level you can’t get exclusively from light, pumping workouts.”
Arnie knew this before, but every trainer worth his salt knows that starting your workout with heavy compound lifts like squats and deadlifts is one of the most effective ways to build muscle, and agrees – according to science.
When It Comes To Fat Loss: How Much You Eat Is Just As Important As What You Eat
Although Arnie didn’t count calories like many fitness aficionados chasing fat loss today, Arnold knew to focus on how much what he eats will affect his fat loss more than worrying about what types of foods he eats. In fact, Arnie was an early advocate for dieting, realizing that cutting out the foods he loved was a fast track to misery and unsustainable in the long run.
In his newsletter Arnold shared with fans, instead of completely overhauling his diet when it comes time to lose body fat, he will simply reduce his portion sizes, keeping the same types of food he consumes and only reduces the amount.
Science has shown that being in a ‘caloric deficit’ is the only way to burn body fat, and the types of foods you eat are less important than you think for fat loss.
However, what’s important to add is that although volume was the most important factor in Arnold’s short-term fat loss, sticking to the types of foods he enjoyed eating may have been a key factor in maintaining this calorie restriction long-term. . enough to achieve Schwarzenegger’s ripped Mr.Olympia physique.
Chasing Pump Isn’t Just For Glasses, It Adds Major Muscle
In recent years, ‘the pump’ – the feeling of sore muscles one experiences when training with high reps and lots of sets – has received a bad press, with many trainers citing it as a pointless wasting time that more than ineffectively (and temporarily) swells the muscles with blood, before they permanently deflate after exercise.
Even with these stories in his ears, it’s unlikely that Arnold stopped chasing the pump, because what he feels about this practice is, errr… enthusiastic to say the least.
“The greatest feeling you can get in a gym or the most satisfying feeling you can get in the gym is the pump. Your muscles get a really tight feeling like your skin is going to explode any minute and it’s going to explode and it feels different. , it feels good.”
I’ll spare you the rest of this speech, but let’s just say that Arnold compares the bomb favorably to the climax of another, more private pursuit.
But even if Arnie is alone for the feeling, research shows that dropping weights, increasing reps and chasing the pump, especially after a heavy lift, can have some serious beneficial effects. effect on muscle building. The effects of science are just beginning to be understood.
Perhaps they should have consulted Arnold?
Building Your Mind/Muscle Connection Will Help You Pack On The Pounds
One of Arnold’s favorite topics of the day was the mind/muscle connection. He will often ask trainees to put every ounce of their focus on the working muscle, stay fully present with each rep and focus heavily on the contracting muscles.
Even recently, in his newsletters he continues to offer advice on the subject: “To get the perfect pump, your mind has to be the body’s guide, thinking about every part of the movement, every contraction, every squeeze. “
This kind of meathead mindfulness works to do more than keep you from getting distracted at the gym, though. There is a lot of data coming out now to show that concentrating on the muscles you are working, one lift at a time, will not only help you get more reps, it will actually help you to more- activate working muscles. This activation is essential to achieving optimal muscle growth, and Arnold already knows this.
The take away? Focus hard, for harder muscles.
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With nearly 18 years in the health and fitness space as a personal trainer, nutritionist, breath coach and writer, Andrew has spent nearly half of his life discovering how to help people improve their bodies and minds.
As our fitness editor, he prides himself on keeping Men’s Health at the forefront of reliable, relatable and credible fitness information, whether it’s by writing and testing thousands of exercises each year, getting in-depth diving into the science behind muscle building and fat loss or exploring the psychology of performance and recovery.
Constantly updating his knowledge base with seminars and courses, Andrew loves the practical as much as the theory and regularly puts his training to the test taking on everything from Crossfit and strongman competitions, to ultra marathons , to multiple 24-hour workouts and (very unofficial) world record attempts.
You can find Andrew on Instagram at @theandrew.tracey, or just hold up a ‘free pizza’ sign and wait for him to appear.
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