We Tried Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Golden Six’ Barbell Exercise

We Tried Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Golden Six’ Barbell Exercise

We have gone by way of the Arnold Schwarzenegger archives and scoured the web to uncover the legendary programme he attributes his GOAT bodybuilding physique to. What we uncovered was ‘The Golden Six’ – a programme that Schwarzenegger credit his seven Mr Universe trophies and great gains to.

Michael Ochs Archives//Getty Photographs

Schwarzenegger used the Golden Six exercise whereas coaching at his native health club in Munich and located the outcomes life altering, not simply aesthetically but in addition mentally. Rising up in publish WWII Austria, his bodybuilding coaching helped him develop the drive and self-discipline crucial whereas treading the boards of the world’s bodybuilding levels, and ultimately, turning into the icon we all know him as right this moment.

Whereas there are a lot of variations of the Golden Six exercise obtainable, Arnold’s unique programme continues to be unique materials. Beneath we have put our MH sauce on The Austrian Oak’s muscle-building secrets and techniques. You may discover that regardless that trendy bodybuilding programmes incorporate different units and myo-repsSchwarzenegger utilises straight units of three by 10s. Which will appear a little bit mundane, however the exercise proves that simply because a protocol is straightforward, doesn’t suggest it is easy.

We are able to guarantee you from our personal expertise, do not underestimate the Golden Six programme.

The Exercise

To be accomplished three days per week with at the least in the future relaxation in between exercises. 90 seconds relaxation between all units.

Barbell Again Squat x 10 reps and 4 units

Start by grabbing the barbell a little bit wider than shoulder-width aside and unrack the barbell with it on the meaty a part of your shoulders, behind your head. Preserve an upright torso and push your hips again, bending your knees till your thighs move parallel to the ground. Stand again as much as the beginning place.

MH: The godfather of leg workouts, the barbell again squat would in fact be at centre stage within the Golden Six exercise. Whereas one leg train a session is prone to be scoffed at by the religious leg day fanatics, the excessive quantity actually acquired the exercise off to a excessive depth begin. The remainder time is nearly satisfactory, however for those who’re used to power coaching and reaching extra maximal efforts on the finish of your units, chances are you’ll discover it a tad brisk. Modify your weights accordingly.

Barbell Bench Press x 10 reps and three units

Lay flat on a bench, along with your knees bent and pushing your toes into the ground. Take the load off the rack, locking out your elbows. Decrease the bar slowly till it touches your chest. Preserve your elbows at a 45-degree angle, pause right here earlier than explosively urgent again up.

MH: One other heavy compound carry, that is the place the depth begins to extend. For rookies, maybe this may very well be subbed for dumbbell bench press to assist construct power equally between the arms and likewise to extend vary of motion through the reps. For extra skilled lifters, the addition of incline bench press on an alternate day may gain advantage muscle constructing for the whole lot of the pecs.

Pull-ups x max reps and three units

Seize a pull-up bar with an overhand grip with you palms over shoulder-width aside. Elevate your toes from the ground, hanging freely with straight arms. Pull your self up by flexing the elbows, whereas pinching your shoulder blades collectively. When your chin passes the bar, pause earlier than decreasing to the beginning place.

MH: At this level within the exercise, the fruits of massive lifts again to again began to take their toll. The reps are lengthy and the remainder has a sharpish turnaround contemplating the prescribed max effort. Because the exercise is aimed toward rookies, the addition of pull-ups within the programme is a little bit optimistic. If you have not managed to do these but, regress the train by finishing inverted rows, ring rows or banded pull ups, which may show you how to purchase the mandatory power to achieve larger reps.

Behind the Neck Barbell Press x 10 reps and 4 units

Take the barbell behind the neck with a large grip. Take a breath and brace your core. Press the barbell overhead whereas maintaining the chest open. Decrease beneath management to your shoulders and repeat.

MH: A controversial alternative of train, particularly for rookies. The behind the neck barbell press divides lifters over its security and efficacy. It’s believed that for individuals with out the required mobility, it may put extreme stress on the shoulders. Nonetheless, as with many workouts, normally it’s the load of the train that may trigger points, not essentially the train itself. The train can simply be subbed for dumbbell or barbell strict press, and the Golden Six has been extensively modified on-line to undertake these modifications must you be involved concerning the train alternative.

After the max pull ups and 4 units of overhead press, at this level within the exercise, a colossal quantity of higher physique fatigue began to set in.

Barbell Bicep Curls x 10 reps and three units

Stand tall, gripping a barbell with palms going through upwards. With minimal momentum, curl the barbell upwards, till your little fingers are close to your shoulders. Squeeze right here and decrease the load beneath management.

MH: It would not be an Arnie exercise with out barbell bicep curls. In lots of clips from Schwarzenegger’s coaching by way of the ages, he might be seen finishing ‘cheat curls’ to deal with the eccentric a part of the motion. This implies to drive your hips ahead and use the momentum that will help you curl the barbell upwards. On the descent, the load is managed slowly for a 3 rely. In the event you discover this a part of the exercise brings you repeatedly to failure throughout your reps of 10, decreasing the load might be your first port of name. Nonetheless, if like MH, you do not have decrease weights obtainable, ‘cheat curls’ may very well be the reply as a result of eccentric a part of the motion being barely simpler. It isn’t dishonest if you will get a number of additional reps in, and in any case, if it is adequate for Arnie…

Sit-ups x max reps and three units

Along with your legs bent and your soles on the ground, lie along with your arms at your sides. Tense your abs as you carry up, and contact your palms to your knees. Reverse the transfer, slowly and beneath management.

MH: Schwarzenegger is known for his prolonged abs periods, mentioning his father would make sure that he accomplished 200 reps earlier than breakfast. With the bar set excessive, we accomplished 25 and acquired a bit bored. To keep away from succumbing to an Arnie-workout-induced existential dread, a weight was added to chop down on the reps and pace up the method to hit fatigue. We advocate to regress the train, full crunches, and to progress the train, full jack knives or weighted sit-ups.

The MH Verdict

The no-frills Golden Six sounds good on paper, nonetheless, when it comes to hypertrophy it’s a little minimal. Hitting extra of the muscle teams on totally different days with depth would seemingly end in elevated full-body muscle achieve. Schwarzenegger later within the 70s famously adopted cut up coaching for this very purpose. The addition of dumbbells to the exercise may add some extra quantity, a lot wanted selection and likewise throw some unilateral work within the combine.

Having stated that, it is an important newbie’s programme to get individuals began on their muscle constructing journey. The repetition of the identical workouts three days per week, provides a gym beginner the leg as much as good the approach and push themselves in every session. With some small train modifications, as talked about, and the addition of one other extra different weekly exercise session, it might imply the Golden Six may very well be a staple in our programme.

As exercises go, it ticks nearly all of the containers. Plus, judging by his monitor file within the sixties, the GOAT of bodybuilding should have been doing one thing proper.

The July/August 2023 difficulty of Males’s Well being, that includes Arnie is out now!

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