Arnold Schwarzenegger Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: Book Review

Arnold's The Encyclopedia of Modern BodybuildingIn this review I’m going to share with you my favorite bodybuilding books of all time. Yes, it’s the good old Arnold’s Classic “The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding“.

This book has been available for 30 years now and what I didn’t realize before I read it is that I’ve been doing a lot of these exercises and workouts with my old training partner for years. And it only occurred to me when I picked up the book in his house one day and flicked through it.

This book is a must read for any big fan of bodybuilding or anybody who aspires to have the body they always wanted.

It was originally published in 1985, then later republished again in 1998. This 800 chocobloc book is the equivalent to the size of a telephone book, so it would be difficult to lose it.

It is also available in 3 different formats, Kindle, Hardcover and Paperback.

What You Will Learn In The Book:

In the first chapter you will read about the history and evolution of bodybuilding, particularly in the united States. It talks about bodybuilding in the 1940’s all the way to the late 1990’s.

steve reeves body

Steve Reeves

It also mentions the late, great Eugene Sandow, known as “The Godfather of Bodybuilding” and of course, Aronld’s biggest idol “Steve Reeves”, before he dreamt of becoming a professional bodybuilder.

In the rest of the chapters, it talks about different training programs as well as a lot of the terminology, such as how many sets, repetitions, drop-sets, aerobics and muscular definition.

The thing that I found most useful were the training programs that cover everything from training to failure, power training, resting between sets and progressive resistance. A lot of great material definitely worth learning.

The Training Programs

If you are new to weight lifting or exercise, then this book is a really good reference guide as it teaches basic training programs for beginners, advanced and for competition levels.

So for instance, each workout program has two training levels with a list of suitable exercises to do. So if you are a beginner, you should start out with level one and gradually move up to more advanced levels as soon as you see results.

You should be able to manage most of the exercises in the beginner level as they are not difficult to do. And as long as you complete each of the workouts outlined in the book, you should start gaining strength and making solid gains.

I’ve been training for over ten years now and have been using this book as a reference guide whenever I hit a plateau in my training or lose motivation.

I’ve tried other training programs in the past, but I much prefer Arnold style of training better, as it has helped me build a physique that I am always proud of.

Most of my workouts are very intense and I’ve had guys tell me that I over train. Well, that’s because I’m at a stage where I feel I can do more and achieve better results than I did in the past.

What you will notice when you get to the advanced training part of the book, is each exercise has a lot more sets and repetitions. But that’s mainly for people who want to compete.

Each training program has been designed to hit every muscle group in the body, as you’d be surprised by the number of guys who beat themselves up because they find it hard to build muscle.

The book includes every movement imaginable and explains how to perform each exercise correctly with large photos, so you will learn how to do the exercises safely and effectively yourself.

Would I recommend it?

I would say yes, because it covers every aspect of bodybuilding. So whether you are a beginner or have been training for years, there is always something new to learn from it.


Even though it’s a relatively old book, It is still an excellent resource that covers every exercise and a ton of other information for helping you achieve your ideal body.

I am sure I could cover so many more great things about this book and would go on forever, but you would be much better off reading it yourself. I highly recommend this book and is definitely worth adding to your library.


About the Author

I created this website to help people that are struggling to build muscle and lose weight. I love working out and motivating others to do the same, and to get in the best shape of their life. Read my story here. Also go ahead and Like us on Facebook.

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