Arnold Schwarzenegger Posted His Home Workout

Closing the gyms during isolation is hard for all of us gym goers, with the exception of a few lucky ones that own home gyms. On one hand the social isolation can be a good thing. You could read a book, expand your knowledge, work from home, meditate etc., but from training perspective this situation a disaster.  All gyms are closed and all sports events are cancelled.

With this situation on hand, and with the intention of helping everyone that is in either a government-enforced lockdown or in a self-imposed one, Arnold Schwarzenegger shared his “at home workout”. Although this isn’t a high-tech groundbreaking fitness routine, it has almost everything you need to stay fit during this time of difficulty.

Here is what Arnold has to say about the situation:

This coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented. I have heard from so many of my fans that you are anxious and scared.

Almost everything happening around the world right now is out of our control. Almost everything. Instead of worrying about the things we can’t change, let’s focus on the things we do control.

First, and most importantly, we can control how responsible we are right now. We can slow down the spread of the virus by staying at home as much as possible. I know that isn’t easy, but right now it’s our responsibility. Most of us will be fine if we get the virus. This is a time not to think about yourself, but to think about the people you could be infecting. Be a part of the solution, and stay home every chance you can. That means no bars, no restaurants, no gatherings, and you’ll all be shocked to hear this from me, but no gyms.

Even without a gym, we can also control our physical fitness during this pandemic. Body weight, or freehand, training is the oldest method in the world. Gladiators and Vikings didn’t have gymnasiums. I started my own fitness journey with chin-ups on a tree branch by a lake in Austria. My father would encourage my brother and I to train by following the footsteps of a boxing hero of ours, László Papp, who chopped wood when he was preparing for a fight (this was a great trick to get us to do our chores). And once, when I found myself in New York to promote fitness, but ironically I couldn’t find a gym, I still found a way to train. I ran up the steps of the Park Lane Hotel where I was staying, all 46 stories, and by the end I was completely schvitzy and my legs got an incredible pump.

You don’t need a gym to be fit. I’ve written a program for all of you. You can do it every other day and it will cover all of your muscle groups.

The system is simple. If an exercise says 50 reps, you are doing 50 reps however you can. You can do 10 sets of 5 reps, 5 sets of 10 reps, 2 sets of 25 reps. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you finish 50 reps with perfect form. Once you complete the reps of one exercise, move on to the next exercise.

A note on form: if you cheat at an exercise, you are only cheating yourself. Don’t let your ego do the movements for you. You might want to show off to me or your friends and do 50 push-ups in one set, but if you can’t do them with perfect form, I’ll be more impressed by 5 sets of 10 perfect push-ups.

I have given repetition guidelines for beginners who don’t train very often and for more advanced trainers. But if you have actually never worked out, spend your first few workouts just getting used to the movements. I don’t want you to force yourself through 25 rows or knee-bends and then be unable to do the workout again in two days because you are too sore. And adjust the exercises for yourself – if a push-up is too much, instead of putting your hands on the floor, put them on a counter to make the movement a little easier. If a dip between chairs is too much, use your feet on the floor to take some of the weight off of your upper body. Don’t feel bad about working your way up to the full workout – we all start somewhere.

You aren’t adding weight like you would be in the gym, but you can still track your progress. If you could do 5 perfect push-ups today, do 6 in your next workout. Track the number of sets it takes you each time to hit your total reps, and watch as the number of sets goes down over time.

Here is your workout:


arnold push ups

This is a classic chest, triceps and front delts builder. Get into a high plank position and place your hands on the ground, directly under the shoulders. Begin to lower your body, keeping your back neutral, until your chest touches the floor, then push yourself back up. 

– Beginner: 25 Reps

– Advanced: 50 Reps


Dips between chairs

arnold dips between chairs

Another great lower chest, triceps and delts builder. Stand between two chairs that are set a little wider than your shoulder width. With your torso straight, slowly lower yourself down until your knees touch the floor and press yourself up. If you are not used to doing dips, this can be a very difficult exercise. This is why you can put a 10-15cm board under your knees and lower yourself until the knees touch the board. 

Also we suggest that there is someone sitting on the chairs to prevent them crushing down.

– Beginner: 20 Reps

– Advanced: 50 Reps


Row between chairs

arnold rows between chairs

This exercise is basically a reverse push up and a great muscle builder for your rear delts, upper back, traps and biceps. You can use a broomstick for this exercise.

Start in a hanging position under the broomstick. With your back straight, slowly pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar. Just like doing the dips, we recommend someone sitting on the chairs to prevent them from falling down on you.

– Beginner: 30 Reps

– Advanced: 50 Reps



arnold sit ups

This is a classic ab exercise. The picture is pretty much self explanatory. We only recommend that you keep your arms behind your head or resting on your chest.

– Beginner: 30 Reps

– Advanced: 100 Reps


Bent-leg raises

arnold bent leg raises

Lie flat on the floor with your hands underneath your bottom. Slowly raise your legs (while at the same time bending your knees) and bring the knees to your chest. Slowly return your legs to the starting position.

– Beginner: 25 Reps

– Advanced: 50 Reps


Bent-over twists

arnold bent over twists

Although this is a very rarely used exercise, it’s a good oblique exercise. Put the improvised barbell behind your neck, bend down and go with your left arm towards your right knee and vise versa.

– Beginner: 25 Reps

– Advanced: 50 Reps


Knee bends (squats)

arnold leg bends
Although most of the lifting experts these days recommend doing squats with the feet flat on the floor, Arnold preferred doing this exercise with a board (or in this case a book) under his heels to increase the tension in the quads. His stance is also narrower than a usual squat stance.

– Beginner: 25 Reps

– Advanced: 50-70 Reps


Calf raises

arnold calf raises

Stand with your toes on a book, with a chair in front of you for support. Slowly raise the heel as much as you can, with the other leg bent in the knee. Repeat with the other leg as well.

– Beginner: 25 Reps

– Advanced: 50 Reps



arnold chin ups
Start by hanging with your arms straight on a high bar. Pull yourself up and try to touch the bar with your chest. A good pull up is the one where your chin goes past the bar. You can also do a pull up with your hands wider on the bar to hit your lats better, or you can do a chin up with the palms facing you to hit your biceps better.

– Beginner: 10 Reps

– Advanced: 30 Reps

We’ll get through this together, and hopefully, we’ll all emerge in a few weeks fitter than ever. Let’s do this.

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