Biceps / Triceps / Forearms

These step by step exercises will help you sculpt your body to look like Arnold's. It'd be great to go 20 years back to work out with Arnold himself but check out the pictures and instructions for inspiration. Let's all get to pumping up!


This is probably the only exercise you can do without gym equipment to build impressive biceps. However, you will need a chinning bar. You can buy an inexpensive bar that fits between doorjambs, just make sure you don't use it to hang your clothes off of like a closet. Take an underhand grip (palms facing toward your body) on the chinning bar, with the hands about 12 inches apart.


Starting with you arms straight pull up until your chin is over the bar and your biceps are fully contracted. Lower your body slowly until your arms are straight. Chin-ups are tough when they're done right, but they will really pack inches onto your biceps. Go all the way down and all the way up, making full movements. Stretch when you reach the bottom and pull all the way up to the chin. Do not kick with your legs to put you that last few inches to the top. This robs you of the benefits of the exercise. Do as many repetitions as you can, trying for a total of 30.

Grip the bar shoulder-width, letting it rest against your thighs. Curl the bar up with only your forearms. Your upper arm should remain in the same position throughout the exercise. It's important that you don't borrow from your other muscles. Flex your biceps firmly at the top of the curl. Lower the bar slowly and repeat.

The dumbbell curl is similar to a barbell curl except you use two dumbbells. The reason for the dumbbells is that they allow you to turn your wrist while doing the curl and reach some neglected areas of the biceps. The result is more resistance from the dumbbell curl than the standing barbell curl.

Arnold starts his dumbbell curl with his knuckles facing the front (as shown in photo). As he lifts the weights, he turns them gradually until his palms are up, and then he flexes the biceps. This turning of the wrist gives the biceps and extra edge they wouldn't otherwise get. Do the movements slowly and deliberately. Move only your forearms. Each time you lower the weights you should let them hang completely loose, not three quarters of the way down.

This is done the same way as regular Dumbbell Curls except the palms face inward and stay that way throughout the movement. This way you train the forearms as well as the biceps.

One of the world's greatest bodybuilders was Steve Reeves. Aside from his classic proportions, he had incredible arms. One of Reeves' favorite biceps exercises was the inclined curl with dumbbells. Arnold used this exercise early in his career. But he realized he wasn't getting the same results Reeves was. He experimented and discovered a simple trick that changed the whole exercise for him. Arnold held his elbows slightly forward and thus kept the weights from merely swinging upward as I curled. Now instead of letting the front deltoid help, I restricted the work to my biceps. The difference was unbelievable. Almost immediately Arnold noticed a new peak to his biceps.

Assume the position slowly in the first photograph and curl the dumbbells slowly up to the finished position. Remember, if you feel your deltoid doing the lifting you are doing it wrong Isolate if for your biceps.
NOTE: One thing about the biceps, you need to relax them completely between repetitions. Stand with your arms limp, and the outside of your hands turned toward the thighs. This gives the blood a chance to flow freely through the biceps.

Arnold likes to do this exercise at the end of his biceps training because it is one of the best means of peaking the muscle. This is a very strict movement but it is for height not definition, so use as much weight as you can handle. The name "Concentration Curl" is significant: you really need to concentrate on the biceps contraction and on being strict to make this exercise effective.

In a standing position, bend over slightly and take a dumbbell in one hand. Rest your free arm on your knee or other stationary object to stabilize you. Then curl the weight up to the deltoid without moving the upper arm or elbow and make certain you don't allow your elbow to rest against your thigh. As you lift, twist the wrist so that the little finger ends up higher then the thumb. Tense the muscle fully at the top of the Curl, then lower the weight slowly, resisting it all the way down to full extension. At the top of the Curl, the biceps are taking the full stress of the weight. Don't curl the weight to the chest; it must be curled to the shoulder in order to work the high outside biceps.

This is especially good for anyone who has space between the lower biceps and the elbow joint, to fill in and shape this area and help to create thickness throughout the biceps.
Preacher Curls are an even stricter movement than regular Barbell Curls. Position yourself with your chest against the bench, your arms extending over it. This puts the arms at an angle, which transfers additional stress to the lower area of the muscle. Take hold of a barbell with an underhand grip.

Holding your body steady, curl the bar all the way up and then lower it again to full extension, resisting the weight on the way down. You can use an E-Z curl bar for this movement, or even use the bench for One-Arm Dumbbell Curls. Don't lean back as you lift the bar, and deliberately flex the muscle extra hard as you come to the top of the movement, where there is little actual stress on the biceps muscles.