Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 8 Rules To Build Lean Muscle

Arnold Schwarzenegger posing on the beach
"For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer."

Arnold Schwarzenegger believed in training with intensity, volume and heavy weights. He believes that this way of training providing an amazing muscle pump, increased muscle size and muscle definition.

Here are Arnold’s 8 rules for cutting fat while building muscle to accomplish a ripped muscular physique:

1. TRAIN WITH HEAVY WEIGHTS

Arnold trained with heavy weights, when he was training for mass and when he was cutting. When you cut, you have to train with heavy free weight movements – squat, deadlift, bench press and barbell row. Train with heavy compound movements in the 6-8 rep range when cutting.

It incentivizes your body to preserve your muscle mass even in a calorie deficit diet. If you start to lift light while being in a calorie deficit, you will start to lose your hard earned muscle mass.

2. UTILIZE INTENSITY TECHNIQUES

Arnold increased his use of super-sets, drop-set and giant sets and he kept his rest times shot when he was cutting. When you’re on a fat loss diet, you want to shorten your time in the gym.

So, you want to keep your workouts heavy, intense and efficient. As an example, superset the incline bench press with the seated rows or shoulder press with pull ups.

3. DO POST WORKOUT HIIT CARDIO

Arnold and Franco used to sprint on the beach after their weight training session. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns loads of calories during and in the 24 hour period after as your metabolism skyrockets.

After your weight training session, drink a 40 gram whey protein shake and then get on the stepmill or treadmill for an intense 20 minute HIIT cardio session.

4. RECRUIT A TRAINING PARTNER

Arnold trained with Frank Zane, Dave Draper and others but his consistent training partner was Franco Columbo.

Having a good training partner is extremely helpful when you’re on a cut. The cut phase can be challenging, confusing and draining.

Having a partner in the journey is great; you get to bounce diet and training ideas off of each other, keep each other on track and motivated to reach your fat loss goals.

5. USE THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENTS

Getting cut can be challenging. If you want to get cut as fast as possible, the aid of effective supplements such as fat burners is helpful.

These are the supplements to use when you’re cutting: 1. 100% whey protein isolate, 2. a good fat burner, 3. a good pre-workout stimulant, 4. fish oil, 5. multivitamins and 6. BCAAs.

6. PRE AND POST WORKOUT MEALS

The two most important times to eat when you’re cutting is your pre-workout meal and your post-workout meal. You need to eat a solid pre-workout meal with quality proteins and complex carbohydrates (as well as a pre-workout supplement) for a boost of energy for your intense and heavy training session.

You also need a solid nutritious post-workout meal to kickstart your recovery and muscle rebuilding process. It’s very important to get meal timing right when you’re in a calorie deficit. When you’re cutting you don’t have much room for error. The key is to plan and prep your meals beforehand.

7. PERFECT YOUR CARB CYCLING

Cycling your carbohydrates is essential to getting to those low body fat levels. When carb cycling you keep your daily carbs low (50-100 grams) for about three days, followed by a high carb day (200-250 gram) re-feed day.

To maximize your level of energy during the more challenging leg and back training days, time your high carb re-feed day to fall on one of those days.

8. MAKE IT A LONG TERM LIFESTYLE

Try not to diet only for an event or short amount of time. Learn and maintain the fundamentals of good nutrition and effective for the long term.

Take some time to learn the basics of nutrition and find out your daily calories and macros. Slowly build up healthy and smart eating habits and you will reap the rewards of looking and feeling great all the time!

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