How Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Achieve His Legendary Physique?

Arnold ate plenty of vegetables, grains, micronutrients, and saturated fats, as well as proteins. (Image via Instagram @king_arnold_schwarzenegger)
Arnold ate plenty of vegetables, grains, micronutrients, and saturated fats, as well as proteins. (Image via Instagram/king_arnold_schwarzenegger)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is widely regarded as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, having won seven Mr. Olympia titles.

His workout plans and diets are still followed by wannabe women and men bodybuilders. From the time he started bodybuilding till his retirement as a professional bodybuilder more than four decades ago, Schwarzenegger trained for hours a day, ate healthy food and also found time for social life.

Schwarzenegger is known for his amazing physique and dedication to the sport of bodybuilding. His workouts and diet have inspired thousands to become healthier both physically and mentally.

Here's a look at Schwarzenegger's diet plan and workout routine to help you reach your goals with great results while having fun.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Diet Plan

Arnold Schwarzenegger is famous for his beefcake body and massive muscles, but he wasn't always a vegetarian. In fact, he followed a traditional bodybuilding diet for most of his life. This way, he provided energy to his muscles and gained weight quickly.


His trainer once said that Schwarzenegger was on a high-protein diet since he was 15. That enabled him to gain muscle quickly without gaining fat, due to the large amounts of protein ingested. Supplements are required to meet average protein needs for most people, but it's not a practical diet for many.

Arnold Schwarzenegger preferred to eat high-calorie meals in his bodybuilding days. He ate plenty of vegetables, grains, micronutrients, and saturated fats, as well as proteins. He had five to six meals per day and supplemented his diet with vitamins and minerals. Schwarzenegger's average daily calorie intake was between 3000 and 4000 calories.

His diet was as follows:

1) Whole Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamins A and E, and amino acids. Schwarnegger had three whole eggs or three white eggs every morning.

2) Fish

Fish is an excellent source of protein that helps build muscle mass quickly. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which helps improve brain function and reduce inflammation.

3) Lean Meat

This is an excellent source of protein and iron. Iron is necessary to transport oxygen throughout the body. It's also known to help convert fat into lean muscle tissue.

4) Vegetables and Oatmeal

Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower contain protein and fiber that help you feel full longer so that you don’t get hungry quickly between meals. Oatmeal can also help your muscles recover after a workout.

5) Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A and C, manganese, and copper—nutrients that help optimize health.

6) Milk-based products

The bodybuilder-turned-California governor relied on whole milk, fat-free milk, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese to fuel his bodybuilding regimen.

7) Brown Rice

Brown rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates, including glucose and B-complex vitamins. These nutrients give the brain the energy it needs to function at its best.

8) Water

Drinking plenty of water helps the body flush toxins, boost metabolism and provide energy. Arnold Schwarzenegger drank one gallon of water every day.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Old-School Bodybuilding Regimen

Arnold Schwarzenegger's intense workout routine, combined with strict diet plans and supplement regimes, led to his success as both a bodybuilder and actor. By following these workout variations, you too can see excellent results and build the muscular physique you desire.

Schwarzenegger trained each muscle group twice a week:

Monday – chest, back or legs

Tuesday – shoulders or arms

Wednesday – chest, back, or legs

Thursday – shoulders or arms

Friday – chest, back, or legs

Saturday – shoulders or arms

Sunday – recovery day


The Austrian-born actor, politician, and Arnold classic winner has said that he's no longer working out at the gym after almost 60 years of pumping iron. For most of his life, the 75-year-old has worked out to build up his body and help him become successful in bodybuilding and acting.

In an interview with Men's Journal, he said:

"I've stopped lifting weights. I do cardio, run, bike ride, row, swim."


Schwarzenegger’s training programme is geared towards compound lifts and supersets, with a high volume and low rest approach.

His diet was just as uncompromising; it paid attention to nutritional timing and proportions at each meal. Schwarzenegger is the undisputed king of building muscle and burning fat; his bodybuilding career affirms that.

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Edited by Bhargav