Arnold Schwarzenegger Blueprint Trainer Day 10

When working to hold on to his Mr. Olympia crown, Arnold knew how to make a leg day and a meal count. Ride along with him from the gym to the buffet line!

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You've survived two brutal days of heavy upper body work, and the week is only half over. You may feel like you need some extra motivation—like a a glimpse of the house this Blueprint program is building. Authors George Butler and Charles Gaines gave just that in the book "Pumping Iron: The Art and Sport of Bodybuilding," which was the precursor to the famous movie of the same name. Here's how they described a typical Arnold leg day in 1974:

"Arnold will crowd his girlfriend and a party of guys from the gym into his BMW and drive someplace like the Brownbagger - where, wearing emerald-green shorts and a T-shirt, looking as fancy and outrageous as a unicorn, he will cruise ahead of everyone else across a patio of small people eating spinach salads, and through the crowded main room to his table, where he will order a side of four scrambled eggs with his Stuffed Sirloin Spectacular, and tell a snowed and gaping hippie waitress that he doesn't vont the bread because it's not on his special sex diet.

"And this afternoon between 4:30 and 6:00, after lunch and a couple of hours on the beach, he will be back here with Franco and Kuehn and Gable and the others to work on his stomach and his upper legs - doing dozens of sets of squats, front squats, hack squats, and extensions for the long ellipsoid muscles of the frontal thigh, and leg curls for the biceps femoris muscle that runs from his butt to the rear of his knees.

"But before he does all that, and before he showers, he walks over to one of the big mirrors and takes off his shirt. The gym goes even quieter than it was before, and everyone in it stops whatever he's doing. Looking thoughtful, Arnold turns his right calf forward and flexes it, watching in the mirror as the cleft muscle leaps into complicated relief. He twists it; studies it. Then he does the same thing with his left calf. Then he jerks both arms straight out in front of him and flexes his chest, and the motions seem to throw a fine sharp spray of excitement around the room. The men standing behind him watch the mirror in the same elated, adrenalized way you watch a fight as Arnold checks himself through five or six quick poses, his face now grinning and appraising wolfishly. They are all bodybuilders, a few of them very good ones, and they have all seen Arnold pose before, yet they stare at the reflection like the ladies on Santa Monica Beach when they see a builder for the first time…

"None of them moves until Schwarzenegger is finished check-posing the muscles he has worked. Nobody wants to. They all know they are somewhere special, doing something important. One person, if he's big enough, can give a place this feel."


Barbell Squat

5 sets of 8-12 reps, 45 seconds rest
Barbell Squat Barbell Squat


Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift

5 sets of 8-12 reps, 45 seconds rest
Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift


Good Morning

5 sets of 8-12 reps, 45 seconds rest
Good Morning Good Morning
Only perform once per week.


Barbell Lunge

5 sets of 8-12 reps, 45 seconds rest
Barbell Lunge Barbell Lunge


Leg Extensions

5 sets of 8-12 reps, 45 seconds rest
Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

Seated Leg Curl

5 sets of 8-12 reps, 45 seconds rest
Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl


Standing Calf Raises

5 sets of 8-12 reps, 45 seconds rest
Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

Seated Calf Raise

5 sets of 8-12 reps, 45 seconds rest
Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise


Cable Crunch

5 sets of 8-12 reps, 45 seconds rest
Cable Crunch Cable Crunch
Notes: Arnold performed a max-effort squat when he really wanted to push the limits. Judge how you're feeling and if things are going well, work up to a max-effort squat every couple weeks.
Technique Max Effort: Pick one exercise and see what you can do for a 1-rep max. To get there, work up to the weight with the following rep pyramid, taking ample rest between each set: 20, 15, 10, 8, 5, 3, 1, 1, 1-rep max.

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