arnold how to start

Start by Starting — Arnold Schwarzenegger's At-Home Bodyweight Workout Plan

By Arnold Schwarzenegger

We started Ladder because the world of fitness can confuse, frustrate, and overpromise. That's why our mission isn't six packs in six weeks. Our mission, along with Openfit, is to support you with no-BS products, effective workout programs, and a supportive, motivating community.

That community starts right here, with those of us who are committed to working towards our goals today — not later, not tomorrow.

I've always believed that waiting until the New Year is bogus, so to help get you started, we've included a beginner, at-home bodyweight workout plan below. No matter what your goals are, the important thing is that we start now and that we start together.

But don't feel the need to make a huge commitment. All you need to do is be better today than you were yesterday. Step by step, rep by rep, we will do this together.

Support muscle growth and recover from workouts faster with Ladder Whey or Plant Protein! Shop all Ladder supplements here.

Our “Start by Starting" Workout Plan

Do the bodyweight workouts below each week, resting at least one day between them (if you want to work out three times per week, repeat one of the workouts). Perform the exercises in each workout as a circuit (back-to-back), resting 30 to 60 seconds between them. Once you complete all five exercises, rest for one minute, and then repeat the circuit. Do three rounds of each circuit per workout.

Once you feel comfortable with this workout and are ready for a new challenge, head to Openfit.com for a whole catalog of workout options to keep your progress going.

Warmup

  • Squat: 2 sets x 8 reps
  • Plank: 2 sets x 20 seconds
  • Glute bridge: 2 sets x 8 reps

Squat

  • Stand tall with your hands by your sides, feet shoulder-width apart, and toes pointed forward.
  • Keeping your back flat and core engaged, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. You want to “sit" into the exercise, pushing your butt back like you're lowering yourself onto a chair or bench.
  • Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.

Forearm plank

  • Assume a push-up position, but with your weight on your forearms instead of your hands (your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders).
  • Your feet should be together, but if you want to make the move a bit easier, you can separate them slightly.
  • Squeeze your glutes and engage your core (imagine someone is about to punch you in the gut) to lock your body into a straight line from head to heels.
  • Hold this position for the prescribed amount of time.

Glute bridge

  • Lie face-up on the floor with with your knees bent, feet flat, and arms by your sides.
  • Keeping your core engaged, squeeze your glutes and raise your hips until your body is straight from shoulders to knees.
  • Keep your head on the floor and eyes focused on the ceiling.
  • Pause, and then return to the starting position.

Day 1

  • Superman: 8 reps
  • Reverse lunge: 8 reps/leg
  • Pushup: 8-10 reps
  • Squat: 10 reps
  • Side plank: 20 seconds/side

Superman

  • Lie face-down on the floor with your arms extended in front of you (palms down) and your legs straight behind you. This is the starting position.
  • Lift your arms, chest, and legs off the floor.
  • Pause, and then lower yourself back to the starting position.

Reverse lunge

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your chest up, back flat, shoulders back, and core engaged, take a large step back with your right leg
  • Lower your body until your left thigh is parallel with the floor. Your knees should be bent about 90 degrees, with the right knee hovering a couple of inches above the ground.
  • Pause, and then push off your back foot to return to the starting position.
  • Do all of your reps, and then repeat on your other side.

Push-up

  • Get on all fours with your feet together, arms straight, hands in line with (and slightly wider than) your shoulders, and your body straight from head to heels. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your elbows tucked, head down, core engaged, and glutes clenched lower your torso until your chest is within a few inches of the floor.
  • Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position as quickly as possible.

Squat

  • Stand tall with your hands by your sides, feet shoulder-width apart, and toes pointed forward. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your back flat and core engaged, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. You want to “sit" into the exercise, pushing your butt back like you're lowering yourself onto a chair or bench.
  • Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.

Side plank

  • Lie on your right side propped up on your right elbow and forearm, shoulders stacked over your elbow, feet stacked on top of each other. Place your left hand on your hip.
  • Hold for the prescribed amount of time, and then repeat on your opposite side.

Day 2

  • Step-up : 8 reps/leg
  • Mountain climber: 24 reps
  • Glute bridge: 10-15 reps
  • 5-second plank hold + pushup: 16-20reps
  • Bulgarian split squat: 8-10 reps/leg

Step-up

  • Stand tall and place your left foot on a bench or chair so that your hip, knee, and ankle are all bent 90 degrees.
  • Keeping your chest up and shoulders back, push your body up with your left leg until it's straight (keep your right foot elevated).
  • Pause, and then lower your body back to the starting position under control.
  • Do all of your reps, and then repeat with your other leg.

Mountain climber

  • Assume a push-up position: feet together, core engaged, body straight from head to heels, hands in line with and slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Lift your right foot off the floor and draw your right knee toward your chest, making sure to keep your back flat, your butt down, and the rest of your body stationary. Tap the floor with your toes.
  • Return your right foot to the starting position, and immediately repeat with the opposite leg. That's one rep.

Glute bridge

  • Lie face-up on the floor with with your knees bent, feet flat, and arms by your sides.
  • Keeping your core engaged, squeeze your glutes and raise your hips until your body is straight from shoulders to knees.
  • Keep your head on the floor and eyes focused on the ceiling.
  • Pause, and then return to the starting position.

5-second forearm plank hold + push-up

  • Assume a forearm plank position for five seconds: forearms, palms, and the balls of your feet on the floor, body straight from head to heels.
  • Keeping your core engaged, place your right palm flat on the floor below your right shoulder.
  • Now place your left palm on the floor below your left shoulder as you push up to a high plank position (arms straight).
  • Lower yourself back to the starting position, starting with your right arm.
  • Repeat, this time initiating both phases (up and down) of the movement with your left arm.
  • Continue alternating back and forth.

Bulgarian split squat

  • Stand facing away from a bench or a chair. Place the toes of your left foot on the bench or chair behind you.
  • Keeping your torso upright and core engaged, lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground (don't let your left knee touch it).
  • Pause, and then push back up to the starting position. Do equal reps on both legs.

NOW CHECK THESE OUT

arnold schwarzenegger workout
The Legend of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Insane 3 AM Workouts
lebron james abs workout
How LeBron Builds His Abs: The Core 4 Workout
resilience training
The Art of Grit, Resilience, and Bouncing Back Stronger
what to eat after a workout
What Should You Eat After a Workout?