Arnold Schwarzenegger Diet: The Ultimate Guide to an Iconic Body

Arnold Schwarzenegger Diet: The Ultimate Guide to an Iconic Body

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been the golden name when it comes to well-sculpted muscles. He is the epitome of a great body builder. Schwarzenegger has left his marks and legacy in the world of bodybuilding. He had worked his way up and proven his spot to be one of the most influential body builders and fitness gurus. He earned his glory to belong in the body builder’s Hall of Fame.

It is with no question that almost a huge percent of bodybuilding aspirants strives to have a perfectly-shaped body like Schwarzenegger’s. What is his secret? What does he do to have the body we all been sweating for?

If there is one thing we can be sure of, it did not take him hours to achieve that. The road to a Schwarzenegger body takes a lot of hard work, time, effort, sacrifice and an effective DIET PLAN. 


Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947. Aside from his incredible credentials when it comes to bodybuilding, Schwarzenegger also excels in other fields. He is also known for his great works when it comes to acting in and producing films. He had his major spotlight and breakthrough when he starred in James Cameron’s sci-fi film The Terminator. Along with his famous and unforgettable line “Hasta La Vista, Baby”.

Not only that, but he also ventures in several businesses and is an investor himself. To add more to the list, Schwarzenegger is also an author, active philanthropist, a dedicated activist and a politician.

Fun Fact: Arnold Schwarzenegger is the 38th Governor of California. He served two terms as Governor from 2003 up until 2011.

The list could go on and on about how Schwarzenegger made his life productive and all worthwhile. But, what made him even more recognizable and reputable is his passion for bodybuilding.

Schwarzenegger and Bodybuilding

Arnold Schwarzenegger started to engage himself in weight training at a very young age. As early as 15 years old he already found interest when it comes to bodybuilding.

His name has remained very prominent in the world of weight lifting and bodybuilding. He is recognized to be one of the most influential bodybuilding icons of all time. Schwarzenegger was famously nicknamed as the “Austrian Oak”. Because of his undeniably, highly-acknowledged success in the history of bodybuilding, his legacy is celebrated through the Arnold Classic Annual Bodybuilding Competition

His legacy lives on and he remains prominent and well-renowned because of his knowledge that he shared through fitness magazines. Thus, even though he has already retired as a bodybuilder, his masterpiece remains immoral because of his publications. Not to mention, that he is an owner of these gym and fitness magazines.

Awards and Titles

Arnold Schwarzenegger, given his long-list of credentials, has officiate in numerous of contests and awards shows. Speaking of contests and awards shows, Schwarzenegger has bagged medals and awards in different bodybuilding competitions. This includes the Junior Mr. Europe Contest in the year 1965. This was one of the first competitions that he had won. Next, he had also landed first place, five times in the Mr. Universe (4 times in the NABBA-England contest and Once in IFBB-USA competition). In addition, he also won as Mr. Olympia seven times.

Despite his wins and success, Schwarzenegger had his fair share of downfalls as well. Before he was able to get to the top, he had multiple failures too. He lost and came second from time to time. Yet, that did not stop him from going on and achieving greatness.

How did he made it through, though? What did it take to have the body that he has? Well, the answer is simple. Intensive Workout and a carefully-thought of diet plan.


He did not only sweat off in the gym and carried heavy weights for hours to achieve his iconic physique. But, he equipped is intensive training with a diet plan that would aid him even more. The way that Arnold Schwarzenegger made his diet plan required a keen understanding about nutrition and food.

As like any other study, Schwarzenegger has his own set of principles to follow when it comes to his diet. He takes in to consider the frequency of his meals, levels of protein and calorie intake, carbs consumption and protein shakes.

Schwarzenegger’s Four Golden Principles

As for the frequency, he always made sure to eat at around 5-6 meals a day. This goes with supplements if and only when needed.

Second, he made sure to have a daily intake of 4,000 calories and 250 grams of protein daily. These numbers are his regular benchmark to make sure he is getting a sufficient amount and is reaching his target levels of calorie and protein.

Third, he always consumed on carbs within half an hour at every after workout sessions.

Lastly, Protein shakes where his go-to drink. He always ensured himself to drink protein shake whenever there is an increase in his protein intake.

These were his four mantras to guide him on how to perfect his diet plan. Because of this four golden rules, he was able to create a masterpiece out of his own body that every body wants to achieve. He knew for himself that a perfectly-sculpted and huge body should be equipped with the most high quality of nutrition. Thus, he customized his own diet plan to sufficiently fit his nutritional and bodily needs.

It has been a long and ongoing debate regarding the balance and effects of protein and the body. But, Schwarzenegger had always said “I always lived off the rule that for every pound of bodyweight, I needed one gram of protein.”. He also shared that, “It is absolutely essential that you have enough protein. So, you can really experience the muscle growth.”.


  • Meal 1. 

    • 3-4 Whole eggs
    • 2 pieces of bacon
    • 1-2 pieces of Ezekiel Bread, always with cashew/almond butter OR 1/4 cup of oats with honey OR 1/4 avocado and;
    • One pack of his multivitamin supplement called the Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron pack
  • Pre-Workout.

    • One serving of a Creatine-free supplement with Agmatine. This is to highly improve your workout. He uses the Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Pump during warming up.
  • Post-Workout.

    • One serving of Creatine powder (Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron CRE3)  to increase strength and speed up recovery
    • Weight gain powder containing BCAA nitrates, complex carbs and healthy fats (Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Mass). Take 2 scoops of this and mix with whole milk
  • Meal 2.

    • 10 ounces of grilled fish or red meat
    • 1 cup of vegetables OR 1 plate full of salad that is mostly consisted of avocado with olives or macadamia nut oil as the base
    • 2-3 ounces of Cashews, Walnuts or Almonds
    • 1-2 sweet potato/es
  • Meal 3.

    • Weight gain powder containing BCAA nitrates, complex carbs and healthy fats (Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Mass). Take 2 scoops of this and mix with 6 ounces of milk.
  • Meal 4.

    • 12 ounces of grilled lean meat
    • 1-2 cups of brown rice
    • 1-2 cups of vegetables
    • 1 plate full of salad consisting of avocados, olive or macadamia nut oil as the base
  • Meal 5.

    • 2 cups of full-flat cottage cheese
    • 2-3 ounces of cashew nuts, almonds or walnuts
  • Before Bed.

    • 1 serving of Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Dream

That is basically what consists of the legendary diet plan of the iconic Arnold Schwarzenegger. But, despite it looking all strict and well-disciplined, Schwarzenegger still gave himself a rest day. Hence, one day to cheat on your meals and splurge on your favorite meals and food. But, always keep in mind that you have to pour your heart out and be very dedicated in the gym to earn yourself a cheat day.

For additional information, I have included the ultimate Arnold Schwarzenegger workout routine below. Because, why not? You already have the scoop regarding his diet plan. So, might as well bring you the exact details on how the Schwarzenegger works out.


Monday, Wednesday and Friday (Workout A)

During these days he focuses more on his chest and back area. Part of the routine also includes working out his legs, calves, forearms and abs.


  • Bench Presses – 5 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • Flat Bench Flies – 5 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • Cable Crossovers – 6 sets of 10-12 repetitions
  • Incline Bench Press – 6 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • Dips – 5 sets of maximum capacity
  • Dumbbell Pullovers – 5 sets of 10-12 repetitions


  • Front wide-gripped Chin-ups – 6 sets of maximum capacity
  • T-bar Rows  – 5 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • Seated Pulley rows – 6 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • One-arm Dumbbell rows – 5 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • Straight-leg Deadlifts – 6 sets of 15 repetitions


  • Squats  – 6 sets of 8-12 repetitions
  • Leg Presses – 6 sets of 8-12 repetitions
  • Extensions of the Legs – 6 sets of 12-15 repetitions
  • Leg Curls – 6 sets of 10-12 repetitions
  • Barbell Lunges – 5 sets of 15 repetitions


  • Standing Calf Raises – 10 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Seated Calf Raises – 8 sets of 15 repetitions
  • One-legged Calf Raises (for maximum results, execute while holding dumbbells) – 6 sets of 12 repetitions


  • Wrist Curls (forearms on knees) – 4 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Reverse Barbell curls – 4 sets of 8 repetitions
  • Wright Roller machine – to failure


  • Instinct Training for a continuous time of 30 minutes

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (Workout B)

For the Workout B which is done during TTS another set of muscle groups are targeted. This time, the primary focus are on the biceps, triceps and shoulders. The calves, forearms and abs are also included in these workout sessions.


  • Barbell Curls – 6 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • Seated Dumbbell Curls – 6 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • Dumbbell Concentration Curls – 6 sets of 6-10 repetitions


  • Close-grip Bench Presses (for the all three heads) – 6 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • Pushdowns (exterior head) – 6 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • Barbell French Presses (interior head) – 6 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • One-arm Dumbbell Triceps Extensions (exterior head) – 6 sets of 6-10 repetitions


  • Seated Barbell Presses – 6 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • Lateral Raises (standing) – 6 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • Rear-delt Lateral Raises – 5 sets of 6-10 repetitions
  • Cable Lateral Raises – 5 sets of 10-12 repetitions

Calves and Forearms

Same as the exercises that were done during Workout A.


Same as the exercises that were done during Workout A.


All you need now is commitment, passion and time to achieve the big and toned muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger. This article already contains all the necessary information that you need to help you in you body building journey. Most importantly, always remember that to achieve this iconic body, it would take you to follow both the diet plan and the workout plan.

Yes, bodies vary and people are all one of a kind. Therefore, take extra precautions about your health and be sure of the circumstances before taking the risks. Which means, try to talk to your doctor or nutritionist before taking on the Schwarzenegger challenge.

Also, do not forget, never be discouraged if you do not get the exact results as what Arnold Schwarzenegger got. Just always make sure that you give your 100 percent of effort and hard work in the gym and during your workout sessions. With that, no matter what the outcome will be, you will still end up being proud. Because, for once you have tried and managed to do what the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger has done (and probably might be doing still).