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Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,864 ratings  ·  130 reviews
Five-time Mr. Universe, seven-time Mr. Olympia, and Mr. World, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the name in bodybuilding. Here is his classic bestselling autobiography, which explains how the “Austrian Oak” came to the sport of bodybuilding and aspired to be the star he has become.

I still remember that first visit to the bodybuilding gym. I had never seen anyone lifting weights be
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 1993 by Simon Schuster (first published 1977)
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 ·  1,864 ratings  ·  130 reviews

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Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Re-reading this one (1981 edition), just for kicks. Always enjoyed the stories of Arnold's rise to fame. I don't subscribe to a lot of the training methods laid out here, but reading this as a kid was hugely inspirational.

It strikes me that people who are wholly consumed with becoming the best suffer a trade-off, just as we lesser known characters do. The single-minded drive that nearly always accompanies people who reach a level of success similar to Arnold's gives them opportunities and experi
Henry Barry
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health
Published in 1977, during the peak of his bodybuilding career, this book reminds us why Arnold is THE MAN. The book is in two main sections: the story of his rise to prominence, and a bodybuilding guide. He came from a small village in Austria, and against the urgings of his entire family and friends, turned into a champion bodybuilder from sheer willpower. Yes, you may claim that he took steroids, etc, but if you applied the effort to anything in life that he put into building his body, you'd b ...more
Aug 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: body
The first half of this book is a little mind-boggling. Imagine having the raw physical talent to be the biggest, baddest bodybuilder mofo in the world. Now that would be satisfying! Read it for the pictures on the inset ;)
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first part of the book is Arnold explaining his rise in the profession, how he started, what difficulties he went through. Negative feedback from his parents, friends, no body believed in him but he kept going. In the book you can see a lot of old Arnold pictures through the story, when he works out, or win any competition, or any other important to Arnold memories. I found this book really motivating and interesting because Arnold gives out allot of his athlete hints and information that I ...more
Yakov Pyatnitskov
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lifting-weights
I was born in the 1990 and didn't know much about Arnold Schwarzenegger other than he was huge, he starred in the movies and became the Governor. I never asked myself HOW he build that body and the book explains exactly that.

To me the most valuable aspect of the book was Arnold's hunger for victory. The man knew he was going to win and went all for it. This spirit comes through the book as a red thread and it is contagious. Setting goals and following through is something we all either heard or
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Education Of a Bodybuilder. The book was great very inspirational. The book shows awesome images of Arnold and his journey to becoming Mr.olympia. He teaches you about the sport and how muscle movements can effect that specific area when lifting. This book gave me motivation when i was tired, down and felt like giving up. Arnold telling me his struggles and success stories motivated me because they made me realize and think "If Arnold can do it i can too". I highly recommend this book to eve ...more
George Naish
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This Summer was the first time I ever made a promise to myself to stay in shape- to start working out. My father, overjoyed at this prospect, bought me this book at the recommendation of one of his friends at his gym. His friend said that reading this book when he was younger was what got him into his healthier lifestyle. Intrigued, I started reading it one night, and when I did, I couldn't put it down.

You might not know it, looking at him, but Ahnold is a very, very good writer. His memoirs wer
Jay Cresva
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, favorites
The book is much shorter than his recent autobiography, but it's about the best parts of being Arnold. The difference between both biographies is that in this one- quotes like
For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.

will be found and be immortalized. He talks about girls- how he saw them as objects until meeting that one girl, also how he (very) partly lifted for teh was an extr
Jan 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: bodybuilding
The first half of the book is about Arnold's life and how he left his home in Austria to pursue a career in bodybuilding. The second half of the book is all about training methods and techniques so definitely a good read for anyone into bodybuilding. ...more
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has changed me. I've gained so much more motivation, realised so many new things and had my knowledge confirmed.

This book is now my bible.
Wyatt Daily
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is not the type of book that needs to be read cover-to-cover, but definitely deserves a permanent place on the bedside podium. Written in 1977, the same year the documentary Pumping Iron came out, this book has Arnold's voice in all its confidence, self-delusion, and arrogance at the height of his body building career. This makes it a quaint period-specific text, considering it was written well before Conan the Barbarian, Predator, Terminator or the Governator were present in the public con ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book in a day. I couldn't put it down.

The first half is amazing. Schwarzenegger chronicles how he started bodybuilding and takes us through the first half of his career in the 1970s. It's inspiring to see how dedicated he was to the sport, though there were a few passages (women were disposable to him) that made me want to read a biography of Arnold Schwarzenegger to get more information about that period in his life. I ended the book wanting to know more about the rest of his life
Leonardo  Gulyas
Apr 01, 2018 rated it liked it

One of those books that everybody should read. Arnold split this book in two topics, his atletic carrer on bodybuilding, how he managed to achive everything that he has achieved, and how discipline and mental power over the body made him keep growing until he became the best in the world.

The following chapters focus more on the importance of exercises in anybody lives, being an Athlete or not, how to execute them, and how to study and grow your muscles towards your lifestyle.


Um livro exc
Steve Ready
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Education of a Bodybuilder is a great book by Arnold Schwarzenegger. It mixes his past and the goals he started with, with what he learned to help him achieve his goals and eventually make new ones. It goes into detail about all the things to learn about Arnold’s life.

In this book, Arnold talks about his childhood and when he first started lifting. He talks about the older role models the guys he looked up to and how they helped him get into lifting. He said he loved it right away. The book
Andres Rodriguez
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it

That's what I felt when I first read this book. It really made me appreciate the hard work that Arnold dedicated and put into becoming such an amazing body building athlete. How he was inspired, how he continued to try and achieve his goals, how he was humbled by American body builders, and the story of him driving himself to be better, bigger, stronger. This book really helped me to form that passion I have when I'm in the gym, and old gym with iron weights and concrete walls not the ne
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Strength and confidence, plus a firsthand knowledge of the rewards of hard work and persistence, can help you attain a new and better life." This book was written shortly after Arnold stopped competing in the 70s. It's an early bio of his time in high school through winning his many competitions. It mostly focuses on his training and the lessons learned. It also details a workout and eating plan for someone brand new to strength training. Perhaps the most important part of this book though is h ...more
Sam Tan
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Somewhat similar to the other book by Arnold (Modern Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding). This book reads more like a self-help and biography book where you get brief glimpses of Arnold's life after he decided he wanted to be a bodybuilder, his motivations and attitude towards the sport and life, and his setbacks.

A key takeaway from this book is his consistent emphasis on proper form when executing exercises.

Sadly, as with the encyclopedia, this book does not include in-depth detail of nutrition and
Nishit Chauhan
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The tale behind the man himself!
If you've heard about Arnold Schwarzenegger (who hasn't?), this is where we find out how it all began for him.

The book is divided into two sections, the first half follows his journey in becoming a boy from a small town in Austria to Mr. Universe.

In the second part, Arnold describes how every muscle is to be developed followed by a detailed workout plan for beginners and veterans alike.

If anyone's interested in bodybuilding must read this book at least once.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I didn't even mean to start this book for awhile, but thumbing through a few pages led me straight into it.

The first half is memoir... Arnold is still a young man (pre Movie Star days) when he writes this book. He's honest with who he was, is and what he wants. Not a perfect man as we would see in later years, but there is that up front honesty.

The second half gave some fitness tips that are still usable 40 years after the book was written.

I recommend this for any aspiring athlete who is transi
Teemu Suoranta
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: should-read-once
The Education of a Bodybuilder has two parts: a biography of Arnold's bodybuilding career and later exercise and nutriton. If you have read the later published full biography Total Recall, the biography part has some details that Total Recall is missing. If you are not into bodybuilding, it is probably not worth while.

The exercise part lays great foundation for weight training. There are some details for example in nutrition that are seen differently nowadays so you should look into other source
Jordan Hutchison
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in personal development
This was what you'd expect it to be. A story about Arnold's rise through life. You'll learn a lot about his struggles and past. Through his experience you'll learn more about facing fears, bravery, and overcoming difficulties. If you're interested in starting to lift weights he also offers quite a bit of lifting routine advice in the second half of the book and some basic information about proper nutrition. ...more
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved reading this book, not just from an athletes perspective either, Arnold has truly conquered the American Dream. Some of it was luck, but most is attention to detail and hard work. All of which he outlines in this book that he wrote just before transitioning from bodybuilding to acting.
Piotr Pabis
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book really resonates with my situation. I can sum it up as: no matter what you achieve, your family will tell you that it's worthless when you don't go along their suggestions.
Another part of the book consists a training, out of which I tried two days and it's really working. It's super intense even with small weights.
Zac Ames
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring account and look inside the pre-film/ bodybuilding career of Arnold. An entertaining read into his mindset of success and a great starting point for anyone interested in weight training. The nutritional advice is a bit dated (reading the 1982 edition here, advocates a milk heavy diet in his example eating plan), but a lot of his advice on routines is still solid today.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
The first half is great, cool to read the story of Arnold. After the first half and the black and grey pictures he starts talking about training and nutrition. This part is very simple and basic. When you already have knowledge of weight traning this part is less useful. The tips of certain exercises are somewhat good.
Jim Irmis
The first half of the book is the story Arnold's life up until 1977. He certainly had an interesting life growing up in a small village in Austria and eventually ending up in Germany, then England, then America. The second half is different bodybuilding and diet programs. The advice is not all bad, but dated by today's standards. ...more
Indra Rachmaditya
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is exceptional for especially part one

The amount of Arnold's hardwork is unbelivable. It is truly out of thia world. I wish I can tap into only 10%. The downside? If you don't need to be a bodybuilder, read only part one. Part two is talking about technical things to become one.

Very inspiring.
Thomas Platt
Apr 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Awesome book by the one and only Arnold. He goes through his upbringing and becoming the greatest bodybuilder of all time. He also gives good advice about effective workouts (focusing on compound movements and high volume) and eating habits. Overall this was very inspirational and was a short and easy read. Must-read if you're into exercise ...more
Alan Walton
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid autobiography of the young Arnold

I think the dietary and exercise tips are a bit dated, but the rest is a fascinating and inspiring look into the mind of one of the all time greats.
Anh Vu
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Even though there are some outdated advices regarding training (he briefly mentioned spot reduction for the adomen), this book is definitely among one of the most inspiration book I have ever read, not only for weight training, but also for life as a whole. A must-read for any aspiring bodybuilder!
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Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, businessman and politician, and served as the 38th Governor of the state of California.

Arnold gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon. Schwarzenegger was nicknamed "The Austrian Oak" and "The Styrian Oak" in his bodybuilding days, "Arnold Strong" and "Arnie" during his acting career, and more recently "The Govern

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