Mitchell Hooper Tackles Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Brutal Back and Biceps Workout



World’s Strongest Man places himself via powerful pull day session.

As if making an attempt to match Ronnie Coleman’s best lifts wasn’t difficult sufficient, Mitchell Hooper additionally tried to maintain tempo with one other all-time nice’s signature exercise. Though the reigning World’s Strongest Man usually doesn’t give attention to getting a pump throughout his coaching, he had no selection however to embrace that satisfying feeling Arnold Schwarzenegger strived for throughout his legendary fitness center periods.

In a video posted on his YouTube web page on Nov. 13, 2023, Hooper tried the seven-time Mr. Olympia winner’s iconic again and biceps exercise. Evidently, the high-volume model of coaching gave the Canadian strongman a good deeper appreciation for Schwarzenegger’s accomplishments.

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At all times up for a problem, Hooper examined his upper-body energy and stamina through a sequence of again and biceps exercises that left his muscle tissue completely taxed. Paying homage to arguably the preferred bodybuilder ever to stay, it didn’t take lengthy for the proficient strongman to know the variations between how athletes from every sport profit from their particular coaching modalities.

Hooper kicked off the session with 4 again workout routines earlier than ending up with a number of curl variations. The exercise begins about 40 seconds into the video.

Vast-Grip Pull-Up

Tipping the scales at about 6-foot-3, 320 kilos, Hooper recruited his lats to elevate his sizable body to the highest of the assisted pull-up machine. Going with a large grip led to enhanced lat engagement and allowed the Ontario native to raised make the most of his rhomboids and trapezius muscle tissue.

After finishing his second set, Hooper took a have a look at a few of Schwarzenegger’s greatest lifts, which included a 498-pound (226-kilogram) bench press and a 709.9-pound (322-kilogram) deadlift. Regardless of not being overly impressed by these numbers, Hooper acknowledged that bodybuilders have a definite benefit in a single key space.

“Higher physique energy is disproportionally good in bodybuilders as a result of their muscle mass is so excessive up there,” he defined. “I don’t know what that’s. Possibly strongmen ought to do much more higher physique accent work than we do as a result of bodybuilders are so robust comparatively.

Following that temporary relaxation interval, Hooper wrapped up the primary portion of the exercise by finishing three extra units of wide-grip pull-ups.

T-Bar Row

Subsequent, Hooper went with a variation of one among Schwarzenegger’s favourite workout routines: the T-bar row. Beginning with three 45-pound (20.4-kilogram) plates, the massive man explosively pulled and squeezed every rep, noting that his upper-body strength isn’t on the identical stage as his decrease physique.

“Like 80 p.c of all the pieces we do is quad, hamstring, glute,” Hooper stated about strongmen. “Leg drive, when you’ve obtained that, you’re going to do very nicely.”

Subsequent units of T-bar rows included heavier masses, which compelled the Canadian athlete to make use of his core and legs to take care of stability all through the motion.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Hooper then went over to the dumbbell part to carry out single-arm rows. A traditional again train that’s nice for constructing thickness, he made fast work of 130-pound (59-kilogram) dumbbells for his first two units. Nonetheless, simply because it appeared straightforward doesn’t imply Hooper loved this a part of the exercise.

“I feel this could be my least favourite train,” he defined. “The problem is so much in your core, not so much within the precise pulling. So it’s like a core exercise with an arbitrary dumbbell motion.”

Nonetheless, Hooper pushed (or on this case, pulled) on to complete two extra units with the identical weight, ensuring to take care of a impartial backbone as he accomplished the heavy dumbbell rows.

Shut-Grip Lat Pulldown

The ultimate again train of the exercise put Hooper’s lats to the last word take a look at. Having already accepted the fact that he could be “sore as hell” the subsequent day, he mustered up the vitality to finish 4 units of close-grip lat pulldowns. Hooper leaned again barely through the motion, pulling the deal with down to only above chest stage.

As soon as he completed on the cable machine, he moved on to the second half of his session.

[Related: The Best Arm Workouts for Beginners, With Dumbbells, and More]

Biceps Circuit

With about 20 minutes left to coach, Hooper wrapped his biceps in blood restriction cuffs, which have been proven to assist improve hypertrophy. (1) Though he carried out fewer working units than Schwarzenegger’s protocol, Hooper nonetheless achieved a wonderful muscle-building stimulus.

Aiming to hit his biceps from a number of angles, the reigning WSM accomplished 4 rounds of a four-part circuit that included the next workout routines:

  • Standing Barbell Curl — Used a 70-pound (31.8-kilogram) curl bar
  • Barbell Preacher Curl — Used the identical 70-pound (31.8-kilogram) curl bar
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curl — Used 50-pound (22.7-kilogram) dumbbells
  • Focus Curl — Used 45-pound (20.4-kilogram) dumbbells

By the point he cranked out his closing rep, an exasperated and vascular model of Hooper appeared pleased with the pump he achieved through the expedited biceps session.

Schwarzenegger-Type Again and Biceps Exercise

Right here’s a whole breakdown of the Arnold Schwarzenegger-inspired again and biceps exercise Hooper carried out.

  • Vast-Grip Pull-Up — 5 x 8-12
  • T-Bar Row — 5 x 8-12
  • Single-Arm Dumbbell Row — 4 x 8-12
  • Shut-Grip Lat Pulldown — 4 x 8-12
  • Standing Barbell Curl — 4 x 8-12
  • Barbell Preacher Curl — 4 x 8-12
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curl — 4 x 8-12
  • Focus Curl — 4 x 8-12

Whilst you shouldn’t count on to see Mitchell Hooper enter a bodybuilding present anytime quickly, the very fact he’s prepared to attempt totally different types of coaching and share his sincere suggestions reveals why he’s one of many extra well-respected and fashionable energy athletes right now. Already a world-class strongman, something he does to enhance in different areas will solely make him a extra fierce competitor shifting ahead.

Featured Picture: Mitchell Hooper / YouTube


  1. Wortman RJ, Brown SM, Savage-Elliott I, Finley ZJ, Mulcahey MK. Blood Circulate Restriction Coaching for Athletes: A Systematic Overview. Am J Sports activities Med. 2021 Jun;49(7):1938-1944. doi: 10.1177/0363546520964454. Epub 2020 Nov 16. PMID: 33196300.


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