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Arnold will always be remembered as a bodybuilder with the best chest in the business clearly demonstrated by winning seven Mr. Olympia titles. Arnold put his chest in a class of its own.
When Arnold first started training his chest measured 39 inches but within 5 years Arnold had a chest that was 58 inches, which is a gain of 19 inches.
After some experimentation that super-setting his back and his chest movements would get the best results. The argument was sound as there were a number of advantages in training like this.
The first was getting a great pump in the whole upper body and maintaining that for whole workout. It also saves time as the workout can go a lot faster and therefore more intensity. Heavier poundages can be used as more than one joint is needed to do each movement.
The result is an increase in the muscle density because of pushing to the extreme of your abilities. The now well proven effect that this type of intense training promotes the increase of testosterone and growth hormone well documented, it is also has the "after-burn" effect of burning more calories than normal for 72 hours after the workout.
Arnold says that when training back and chest as a super-set you can push to the max because while your chest is resting when you are doing a pulling movement and your back is resting when you are doing any pressing movement. The advantage is a pump in your torso that lasts longer.
Arnold would start his chest workout with a warm-up of 35 to 40 reps with around 140 pounds on a barbell while doing bench-press. Without stopping to rest he would immediately go to the chin-up bar and complete the set with 15 reps of very wide grip pull-ups behind the neck.
That is just the first set and Arnold is now ready to start. Adding weight to the barbell he would do 20 reps on his second set and the finish with another 15 pull-ups. This would continue slowly dropping the reps from 20 to 15 then 12, 10, 8 and finally 6 reps with the maximum amount of weight.
This is just the start of the workout, as the same procedure excluding the warm-up would be done with each of the following exercises.
Bench presses 1x 30 – 45 warm-up as mentioned above
Bench presses 5x 15, 12, 10, 8 and 6.
Wide-grip behind-the-neck chins 5 sets of 15, 12, 10, 8 and 6
Incline barbell presses 5x 15, 12, 10, 8, 6
T-bar rows 5x 15, 10, 10 and 10
Flat-bench dumbbell flyes 5x 15, 12, 10, 8, 6
Wide-grip barbell rows 5x 15, 12, 10, 10, and 10. Here Arnold would stand on a block to increase range of motion.
Dips 5x 15
Close-grip chins 5x 12
Stiff-arm pullovers 5x 20, 15, 15, 15, 10
Arnold would always pose after every workout saying that it increased the definition and separation of the muscle groups, which he called Iso-tension contractions.
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