Tip: Train With Arnold's Golden Six

This full-body, three-days-per-week routine got The Oak started in bodybuilding. Check it out.

Train With Arnold's Golden Six

While Arnold Schwarzenegger was, at times, the definitive training split king, he started his career on a full-body routine and he still recommends it for new trainees. The program was nicknamed "The Golden Six" for its straightforward focus on six of the most basic exercises:

  Exercise Sets Reps
A Squat 4 10
B Wide-Grip Flat Bench Press 3 10
C Chin-Up 3 failure
D Behind-the-Neck Overhead Press 4 10
E Barbell Curl 3 10
F Bent Knee Sit-Up 3-4 failure

That's it. Simple, direct, and effective. Like most full-body workouts, it should be done three times a week on alternating days and, because of the low volume in each session, this type of routine is ideal for beginners. This is a complete full-body approach that doesn't leave any major muscle groups unattended.

But What About...

Some common, but short-sighted, hesitations often include: Why no deadlift or rows? Where are the lateral raises and triceps work? Is this why Arnold took forever to build calves? Well, squatting for hard sets of 10 three days a week doesn't leave much room for getting beaten up by deadlifts or being impaired by sore calves. Building your base with chin-ups is absolutely as effective as rowing, and the bench and overhead press will thoroughly hit your triceps and shoulders.

This may not be a program you'd use forever, but it's a good start. It's also a great old-school plan to get you back to basics when you feel like simplifying things or can only make it to the gym three days per week.