Arnold Schwarzenegger powerlifting and weightlifting

Click for larger image. Heavy squats.

Click for larger image. To build big muscles, you need to train with heavy weight. At one point, simply to put an extra inch on my thighs, I concentrated on doing squats with 500 pounds for reps.

Click for larger image. I frequently did my heavy chest training on Sundays at Venice Beach. I got extra motivation for doing reps with 450 pounds because so many people were standing around watching me.

Click for larger image. With my long amrs, bench-pressing 400-plus pounds eight times takes a lot of effort and concentration.

On the Continent it is more usual for the top physiques also to be top power lifters.
Here Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a new deadlift record of 710lb!

1966, Munich
Finishing second at the German Powerlifting Championships, 19-year-old Arnold
bench-pressed 374 pounds, squatted 440 pounds and deadlifted 616 pounds.


1963 Olympic lifting competition. In an interview with Peter McGough (M&F, July 1997, p. 60), Arnold told of competing in a competition at a beer hall in Graz in early 1963. This was apparently Arnold's first contest. He lifted 165 lbs overhead, beating his previous best of 150 lbs. It is not clear whether this was a jerk or a press.

1964 Styrian Junior weightlifting championships. Albert Busek's article on Arnold (Kraftsport revue Nr. 30, Jan 1967) states that Arnold was the Steirischer Jugendmeister in the autumn of 1964. The winning weight is given as 280 kg (616 lbs). However, the English version of Busek's article (H&S 30th March 1967) claims a total of 705 lbs. Neither article is clear about which lifts were included.

1965 Austrian Olympic lifting championships. Arnold states in "Education of a Bodybuilder" that before he was 18 he had won the heavyweight division of the Austrian Olympic lifting championships. Busek also wrote (Kraftsport revue Nr. 30; H&S 30th March 1967) that by the summer of 1965, Arnold "occupied an undisputed first place in the list of Austrian weightlifters." The impression given in Education of a Bodybuilder was that this was Arnold's last Olympic lifting competition.

The H&S article reported best lifts of, Press 264 lbs, Snatch 243 lbs and Clean&jerk 298 lbs. There was no suggestion that these were the lifts from the 1965 Austrian contest.

1966 International powerlifting championships. Results of the Internationale Meisterschaft Kraftdreikampf appeared in Kraftsport revue (Nr. 30, p. 36-37). Arnold won, Michelik Stanko was 2nd and Leo Pelekies 3rd. Arnold’s lifts were Deadlift 250 kg, Bench 165 kg and Squat 170 kg. The original contest report gave the total as 585kg, Busek’s H&S article reported 1290 lbs.

1967 German powerlifting championships. Results appeared in Kraftsport revue Nr. 34 (p. 34-35). Arnold came 2nd to Georg Schipper, Klaus Schumann was 3rd. Arnold’s lifts were, Bench 170 kg (374 lbs), Squat 200 kg (440 lbs), Deadlift 280 kg (616 lbs). A photo of Arnold deadlifting at this event was published in FLEX (May 2005) but incorrectly dated as 1966.

1968 German powerlifting championships. A brief summary of the results was given in Kraftsport revue (Nr. 45, p. 38). These indicated that Arnold deadlifted 310 kg for a total of 725 kg. Full results were promised for issue nr. 46, which I don’t have. However, Thomas Klose has previously told us that the full results were later reprinted as, Squat 215 kg, Bench 200 kg and Deadlift 310 kg. The impression given in "Education of a Bodybuilder" was that this was Arnold's last powerlifting competition.