Sergio Oliva Arm Workout

Sergio Oliva was born in Cuba as one of 22 children. As a weightlifter he was a member of the Cuban delegation to the 1962 Pan American Games in Jamaica. He used the opportunity to break away from the team to Chicago (at that time, Cuba’s citizens practically never received exit permits). He came to the United States and then started bodybuilding. He won the Mr. Olympia 1967-1969, three consecutive times!

Here’s Sergio’s Arm Workout

Exercise Set Rep
Standing barbell curls, super setted with: 5 8
Reverse barbell curls 5 15
Scott Curls super setted with: 5 8
Standing barbell extension 5 8
Lying barbell extensions super setted with: 5 8
Standing dumbbell extensions 5 8
Seated dumbbell curls super setted with 5 8-10
Dumbbell concentration curls 5 10
Pressdown super setted with: 5 10
Reverse pressdown 5 10

This program is of course only for advanced men, and even they should break into it gradually. It is definitely not for beginning or intermediate bodybuilders.

Use strict form on all the exercises so the target muscle gets maximum benefit from the movement. Keep your body movements to a minimum at all times.

If you’re a very advanced trainee don’t stop after five supersets of the Scott curls and standing extensions in superset 2. Instead, decrease the weight on both exercises by about 20% and do three more supersets, increasing the reps to 10. Also, do them a bit faster than the first five supersets.

Another RARE arm workout by Sergio Oliva (Arthur Jones’ advertisement)

sergio oliva armworkout oldschool

Editor’s note: I read some old magazines and found this advertisement by Arthur Jones. It is maybe only advertisement and not Sergio’s true arm workout but I have to inlcude this piece of history into my blog and save it for the posterity. And use the tag-system for more articles. Just click ‘arm workout’ and enjoy reading oldschool stuff!!! – Mr. Berg

2 thoughts on “Sergio Oliva Arm Workout”

  1. Mr. Berg ; I certainly enjoyed reading the post on a bit of Sergio Olivia’s biography, as well as one of his arm training routines. I myself would most definitely be classified as an “old school bodybuilder/historian enthusiast”, who has been following bodybuilding since the iron bug first bit me way back in October of 1966. My first introduction to weight training started in middle school ( then called Jr.High ) around the 8th grade when I had just turned 13. Its funny how we seem to remember these times so vividly. Anyway, I could go on and on but I will surely spare you the agony. Lol My very first glimpse of Sergio Oliva has always stuck in my mind ever since. It was during that time period ( 8th grade ) when a friend of mine handed me a copy of the April 1967 Muscle Builder. I am sure you know the one, with Chet Yorton on its cover in a standing side single arm pose. I was surely amazed when seeing this cover, but when my friend asked me to turn the magazine over….WHAM!!! There he was, in a bold standing side tricep shot that absolutely blew my mind, being just 13 and seeing this magnificent ( shocking ) development for the very first time. May long live “The Myth”. R.I.P. “Nuff Said” Gary L.


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