My workout for getting in movie shape can get you ready for anything.

“Go ahead — try my workout.” by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Since retiring from bodybuilding, the training I do is highly dependent on the movies I’m making and what my role requires. You might see me throwing punches, throwing people, climbing stairs, tackling bad guys and jumping off buildings — and that’s only a fraction of it. On any given day,

I might have to repeat some of this action over and over for hours so the film crew can get the shot from every angle. All of this requires me to be fit for every possible challenge — and making time to train is another challenge.

This circuit routine is the solution I’ve come up with. I combine intense intervals with weights. In an hour, I get a mix of the conditioning and strength training I need to make it through months of arduous filming.

There is never a day on a film set where I do all endurance work or all feats of strength, so I really need to keep both in balance.

I am not lifting the huge weights that I used to, and I like the elliptical and bike because they’re easier on my knees than running, but I still train hard.

The great thing about my workout is that you can scale it to the time you have. I get so sick of hearing people say that they don’t have time to train. This is a weak excuse. If the president has time and movie stars have time, you have time. Ideally, you will do the circuit three to five times.

On days when you’re busy, hitting it once is fine — that’s less than 15 minutes you need to commit. I’ve given you my upper-body routine here, but you can train your whole body or your legs using the same principles.

I always change the exercises from workout to workout to shock the muscles — for example, going from a barbell bench press to using dumbbells — but the basic format stays the same.



Perform the workout three to four times a week, resting for a day between sessions.


15-60 minutes


Perform the exercises as a circuit. Complete one set for each without rest in between. After Exercise 6 (the curl), rest for two minutes. Repeat Exercises 1 through 6 for as many circuits as time allows, then finish with the Swiss ball crunch.

Click here for Arnie’s Workout.

Leave a Reply