This special feature honors Arnold’s 67th birthday on July 30—and what better way to party than to train biceps with the Oak. Gene Mozée was there, so let’s start with his take on how the big guy built those sky-high bi’s. Then it’s on to Arnold himself.
I met Arnold when he first arrived in Los Angeles, in the late ’60s, when we were both training at Vince Gironda’s gym in Studio City. I watched him work out daily, and I even trained with him for a short time. Over the years we worked together on numerous magazine articles as well as his training booklets.
During Arnold’s peak competitive years, from 1972 to ’76, I made dozens of audiotapes of him explaining his training techniques and exploring every facet of his workout approach. Arnold was a very scientific bodybuilder who was continually striving for a higher level of perfection. He was willing to listen and learn from anyone who could help him reach his goals.
Arnold had the most phenomenal biceps peaks ever. His biceps weren’t always that spectacular, however. When he was training in his teen years, he was disappointed that, while his arms were growing bigger, he wasn’t developing baseball biceps peaks like the ones his idol Reg Park sported. His arms had that long, flat look. He read all the muscle magazines that he could get his hands on and tried many exercises and routines with limited success. Finally, he discovered an article by the great Steve Reeves that explained Reeves’ unusual biceps-training procedures. Arnold incorporated them into his own arm workouts and began to see tremendous improvement.
Here, in his own words, is how Arnold developed the show-stopping biceps that helped propel him to five Mr. Universe crowns and seven Mr. Olympia titles.
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I found out many years ago that there is more to peaking the biceps than curling. It won’t do much good to increase the number of sets and reps and the frequency of your biceps work. That approach will likely result in disappointment and overtraining.
If you have been trying for ages without success to improve your biceps peak, my program is just what you need to break through to greater impressiveness and achieve the whole package—size, shape, peak and cuts. The following routine has worked well for everyone that I’ve seen use it correctly. All of the guys in the gym I trained at in Munich before I came to the United States used my curling techniques and developed that egg-shaped biceps formation. We called it egg-shaped because a superpeaked biceps resembles an egg standing on end.
Arnold’s Favorite Precontest Arm Workout
Even though I tried to get all the definition possible during my precontest phase, I still used as much weight as I could in strict form, and I was constantly trying to do one more rep and add poundage. This is how I kept my size up while my bodyweight went down.
Three months before a contest I changed my arm routine completely in order to chisel in all the cuts and shape I could get...