Arnold’s Blueprint

Below is a brief film about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s formative years before becoming an international star. Whether you are a fan of his or not, there is no denying the tremendous amount of work and dedication that Arnold exhibited over many difficult years. His rise to the top was not by accident and wasn’t a simple byproduct of steroid use.

As you’ll see within, Arnold did not follow a traditional path to the top. He overcame numerous obstacles and refused to listen to the countless critics around him. To suggest that he defied the odds is an understatement. He did all that and then some.


“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.” – William Faulkner


  1. Arnold is a very inspiring person for many people.
    For me he is one big inspiration. After reading one of his books, I have let go all the so called ‘rules’ and made my own plan. It worked much better than the rules about 12, 8, or 6 reps and so on. And after that, I mix a lot of knowledge from different sources.

  2. I’ve mixed feelings about the “Austrian Oak.” I was very much taken aback when in the documentary “Pumping Iron,” Arnold was describing about how he didn’t attend his father’s funeral because of training for or participating in a Mr. Olympia or some other contest, which was too important at the moment, and that he couldn’t do anything for his father anyhow. Being dedicated is one thing, but being a self absorbed a$$hole is another. Not too great of a Governor either, but on the other hand, Arnold almost single-handedly changed the public’s view on bodybuilding and weight training. Face it, before the documentary “Pumping Iron,” bodybuilding or even weight training was practiced by very few people. Athletes were told to steer clear of weights because it would cause one to become stiff, slow, or muscle bound. Even pro football players pre-1970’s rarely lifted weights, or if they lifted it was done as more of an afterthought. Many professional football and college teams didn’t require their players to even workout with weights as recently as the Seventies. Bodybuilding had to lose lots of negative stereotypes from the past. There were other myths surrounding bodybuilding besides just making someone “muscle bound,” bodybuilding was allegedly supposed to make someone sterile, was something mostly practiced by antisocial misfits, homosexuals, or vain narcissists, meatheads, etc. Then all of sudden the documentary “Pumping Iron” comes out and we get to meet these muscleheads up close and personal, and suprise, they’re actually intelligent like Arnold, athletic like Franco Columbu and they seem to be very “normal” albeit much more muscular than the average person. Unfortunately, given today’s freakish bodybuilders and their over the top drug usage “bodybuilding” is once again being viewed by the public like it was before its glory days in the Seventies.

  3. @Eric – just to note that in Pumping Iron, (25th Anniversary Special Edition), Arnold said in an interview on one of the extras that the bit about him not going to his father’s funeral was B.S. and that his father was fine at the time. It was his way of manipulating people’s view of him. He wanted to be seen as this cold, unstoppable machine and so he said stuff like that. It was effective because people believed it. But Arnold has always been very good at marketing himself depending on what his goals are.

    That said, this was an excellent clip and thanks for posting it Ross!

  4. I have always liked Arnold, back in the day read everything about him and watched his movies, a real rags to riches, American dream kind of story. Bodybuilding did take off because of him. The coaches of the day were correct however about being muscle bound and un athletic. Check one of Ross’ books about the differance of sarcoplasmic and myofibular hypertrophy and you will see the modern day difference of building athletes rather than building beach bodies. Triple extension, full body, muscle firing sequence exercises are where it’s at. Thanks Arnold for the start, but thanks Ross for the fine tuning and the advances we have today. The old saying goes, I wish I knew then what I know now.

  5. If you’re weight training to supplement other training for a particular sport you won’t have the time or inclination to build a bodybuilder’s physique, so becoming “muscle bound” shouldn’t be a concern. I remember watching Lou Ferrigno compete in the Superstars competition in 1976, and Ferrigno did quite well. In fact I think Ferrigno had offers to tryout for several American & Canadian professional football teams after demonstrating his athletic prowess. If I remember right Ferrigno did especially well in the baseball hitting competition, and suprisingly was bested in the weightlifting event by shot putter Brian Oldfield. I remember watching Franco Columbu hit the heavy bag and skip rope in “Pumping Iron” and while he wouldn’t have skeered Ali with his boxing display, nonetheless he didn’t look that bad. The two sports that seemed to hold out the longest in being totally anti-weights were baseball & boxing. Of course now you have baseball players that look like they could play tight end in the NFL and some even put in as much time or even more time hoisting the iron than the football guys. But not so long ago most baseball players gave little thought to lifting weights and even believing it would hinder their perfomance. Then along came people like Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson, and a small sampling of success stories in the seventies and eighties before the explosion of buff players in the nineties. And despite success stories like Evander Holyfield, Vinny Pazienza, Pernell Whitaker, Timothy Bradley, Ray Mancini, etc., weights are still a controversial subject in boxing. Trainers like the late Angelo Dundee were vehemently opposed to weight training, and his most celebrated fighter Muhammad Ali, while watching Sly Stallone lift weights in Rocky II, was said to say that lifting weights was one of the worst things a fighter could do.

  6. Athletisism vs bodybuilding? Boxing and baseball? Are you kidding me? Way to hijack the comments section, boys. This isn’t a train-of-thought contest.

    Thank you very much for posting this video, Ross. I really enjoyed watching it. Keep up posting inspirational stuff like this.

    It is amazing what some people can accomplish.

  7. I saw pumping iron a few years back, and it intrigued me enough to read one of Arnold’s books afterwards, and i’ve been a fan ever since. Regardless of the stereotype of him being a stupid meathead, he is one of the most inspirational people around, and watching this video just reinforces that. Fantastic.

  8. Yeah, that’s what a determination and motivation does, changes every idea and concept what so ever. But remember, motivation could not stand alone unless there is a solid base of self-believe.

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