By Arnold Schwarzenegger
Welcome to the positive corner of wellness. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.
Today’s Health Upgrade
- Daniel’s Machine Challenge
- Blast from the Past
- Twitter and IG Q and A
Since this week’s theme is unplugging for our physical and mental health, I’ll start with an admission: I used to be really addicted to Twitter. A lot of times, I’d say that it was my job to stay on top of the news, working for someone like Arnold. That’s, as he would say, “bogus.”
Once my wife and I welcomed our daughter, I wanted to be more present and not scroll a newsfeed I couldn’t do anything about constantly. Setting limits in the Screen Time app did nothing for me. So I went to the extreme. I deleted Twitter and Instagram (not as much of a thing for me, but still a crutch I went to when I was bored, and Facebook has been off all of my devices for years now) off of my phone.
I kept them on my work iPad so I could use them for work. But I lost the ability to just scroll while I waited anywhere or stood in line. For a while, I would instinctively pull my phone out of my pocket, until I realized I could only check email or text messages. I don’t know when it happened, but at some point in the three months, I broke through it. If I was really bored, I used my devices to do something useful: read a book. I put both apps back on my phone a month ago, and I spend less than 30 minutes a day on them. Some days I forget to open them (sorry if you’re one of the people with messages for me on Twitter or IG). Before all this, I had a few times where I wondered why I don’t read like I did when I was as a kid, or even in college (Facebook hit the scene when I was in college, and it was mainly just where we posted party photos, it wasn’t a news source). I had a sneaking suspicion I knew but didn’t want to know, and sure enough, once I broke my social media addiction, I started getting through a book or two every week again.
This might not work for you, but if you feel like you used to have time that you don’t know, try it out. Delete those apps. It doesn’t have to be forever – just long enough for you to remember that there’s life outside of them.
Blast from the Past Training
Roger Lockridge, a subscriber who also writes for fitness publications and has interviewed Arnold in the past, saw Arnold’s 1970s chest and back workout in the e-book and decided not to just try that, but to do Arnold’s full routine from that era – the double split with a 2 hour morning workout and a 2 hour evening workout. Here’s his story:
Some of you may know me as the guy that was crazy enough to think that he could train like Arnold Schwarzenegger for a month. As I write this, I’ve now completed three weeks training like the seven-time Mr. Olympia, and I’ve dropped 13 pounds so far. With one week to go, I’m both nervous and excited about what lies ahead.
This journey started by reading Arnold’s e-book. Like many of you, Arnold has inspired me for years. I saw his chest and back superset workout and wanted to try it. I reached out to my editor at Muscle & Fitness to see if I could do an article on it. He suggested I try the workout for a month. Long story short, several conversations with Arnold’s team and my editor followed, and the next thing I know, I agreed to take the full program on.
I wanted to make the most of this, so I set a goal to lose 20 pounds during that time. As someone that’s been training for 25 years myself, I’ve been the classic skinny kid wanting to get big, and now I’m on the other side looking to get leaner. I knew this was going to be a grind because I’m training at home and alone. This would take a great mental commitment.
To say I was excited at the opportunity was an understatement, but that excitement only carries a person so far. Each day provides its own challenges, and not all days are going to be met with the same enthusiasm. It’s also a roll of the dice what day you’re going to have when you wake up.
This hasn’t been a perfect process. I’ve surprised myself by moving more weight than I thought, and I’ve also beat myself up because 80% of the weight I would use isn’t moving. When those latter days come up, there are two things I can do – still show up and figure out how to adjust.
The only certainty in this process is I won’t make progress if I don’t give my best effort on that day. So what if I can’t move 245 pounds like I typically can? I can still make 225 work and go slower to challenge the muscle in a different way. If I can’t get through 10 reps of a set of curls with 40-pound dumbbells, I can still do 30 pounders and flex the muscle longer at the top of the curl. Thinking about my biceps growing like Arnold has shared in the past helps with that a lot. The point is that I pivot, find a way to do the best I can with whatever energy or effort I have to give, and by the end of both workouts, I’m feeling proud that I stuck it out.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, get bigger, run faster, or do more reps, the challenge is both mental and physical. I’ve also learned that in every form of adversity, there is an opportunity. In other words, the days that suck are actually blessings in disguise because once you get past them and feel that sense of accomplishment, you’ll feel that much better when the good days come back around. You’ll also be even more proud of your results and effort when you reach those goals.
IG and Twitter Q and A
Ashwani_kushwaha_ak47, Mrjohndye, Roddiwalker, Gabi_lui.121, Donfrederick123, Patlollamuralidharreddy_, Aaron_wilder_, you all asked me about working out at home.
Yes, you can absolutely gain muscle and lose fat training completely at home with no equipment. It’s how I started, with pushups, sit-ups, and squats. I did pullups on trees. Your body is a great training tool.
I can tell there is huge interest in this subject, and that’s why the training challenges we give you every week focus on things that you can do at home in 15 minutes or less. I believe that once we make training accessible, we’ll get you addicted and you’ll want to train more than 10 or 15 minutes.
In case you missed the old workouts, I’ve included a simple one from a few weeks ago that covers your upper and lower body. When we launch my app, it is going to have an entire program designed for people starting from scratch because so many of you ask about this and I think no one caters to people who want to get into fitness but haven’t started; everything is about the fit getting fitter. Sign up here to be notified when we go live: https://schwarzenegger.ck.page/pumpclub
How to do the workout:
Set a timer to see how quickly you can complete this workout.
Perform the starting number of reps of pushups (use the chart below to customize your experience level, as beginners will do a different number of reps than advanced).
Then, perform the starting number of reps of lunges (again, use the chart below to determine how many reps you should perform).
After you complete your lunges, return to pushups and do one fewer rep than your first set. (Example: if you did 10 reps on the first set, you’ll do 9 reps on the second set.)
Then, do another round of lunges and do one fewer rep than your first set. (Just like pushups, if you started with 10, then you’ll do 9.)
Continue alternating exercising and descending by one rep until you only perform only one rep of each exercise.
Customize the Workout
Select your experience level and do the number of recommended reps.
Advanced (5 years of training or more): Start with 15 reps of pushups followed by 15 reps of lunges (on each leg)
Intermediate (~2 years of consistent training): Start with 10 reps of pushups followed by 10 reps of lunges (on each leg).
Beginner: Start with 5 reps of pushups (if needed, you can do these on your knees or place your hands on a bench or chair to make it easier), followed by 5 reps of lunges on each leg. (If lunges are hard, put your hand on a wall, couch, or chair for balance support.)
An example: If you’re doing the advanced workout, you would do the following:
- 15 pushups + 15 lunges on each leg
- 14 pushups + 14 lunges on each leg
- 13 pushups + 13 lunges on each leg
And continue dropping by 1 rep each round.
By the time you complete the final rep of pushups and lunges, you’ll have performed 120 pushups and 120 lunges. And your body will feel it.
Lift your friends up, get a personalized, signed copy of my Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding
Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein & Daniel Ketchell