When you think about Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s likely that you think of pure strength. But you also know that if you want to be strong like Schwarzenegger, it takes hours of dedication, both mentally and physically. Schwarzenegger himself said, “Bodybuilding is much like any other sport. To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet and mental approach.”
While all professional athletes would agree with his statement, there are some techniques that make Schwarzenegger unique. And what better way is there look like Schwarzenegger than practicing advice that he became famous for using himself. But first, remember that the only way to truly get big is to train not only with big weights, but also in a smart way. Know your body, and how much you can handle, and then try out these techniques that Schwarzenegger was famous for.
1. Mind over muscle
According to Muscle and Fitness, Schwarzenegger was famous for training with the mentality of mind over muscle, meaning that even when he felt like his mind was fatigued, he could still push his muscles to do the next set.
“Normal workouts are hard enough, but if thighs happen to be a weak point in your physique, you have to be prepared to push yourself even more. This involves a mental effort almost as much as a physical one,” says Schwarzenegger.
While everyone has that one exercise they hate doing, Schwarzenegger would embrace that and push himself mentally to complete even the most dreaded exercises.
2. Don’t get comfortable
Schwarzenegger would always go into training sessions knowing exactly what he was about to do. By having a set routine for the day, or even the week planned out, he was able to avoid doing the same exercises over and over. “Within a basic framework, I was constantly changing my exercises. I like to shock the muscles by not letting them get complacent in a constant routine,” Schwarzenegger wrote according to Bodybuilding.com.
By switching up your routines, or trying out different workouts you are able to test muscles that you might not have even known were being complacent. Writing out your routine before you hit the gym also helps you to avoid doing the same workouts over and over again, and is a key to gaining maximum strength.
3. Shock the system
In a similar fashion to not allowing himself to become comfortable with routine, Schwarzenegger was famous for shocking his body with different reps and various set types. According to Muscle and Fitness, “Arnold would change up his sets (especially before competition) he would use partial reps, drop sets, supersets and pre-exhausting techniques to make his thighs work overtime and bring out their muscular detail.”
Using these different techniques, especially when you are about to reach failure can help bring your workout to the next level, says the site. By continuing to do something, even when you feel like you can’t you might just realize how much your body can handle, and figure out cool new ways to add to your set.
4. Prioritize your weakness
We all know that we can get sucked into doing exercises that make our best assets even better, but by focusing on your weaknesses you can make them your strength. Schwarzenegger took the idea of prioritizing weaknesses to the extreme. According to Bodybuilding.com, when Schwarzenegger found that his calves had become weak he famously cut off the lower half of his pants and wore his shorts to constantly remind himself of his weakness and redouble his efforts to bring them up.
Acknowledging your weaknesses is half the battle and will allow you to then figure out what exercises can be done to make your weaker muscles stronger, just like Schwarzenegger.