There is one rule when it comes to Arnold Schwarzenegger…
Shut up and listen to him.
Schwarzenegger isn’t just built like a brick. He’s a master orator – just watch any graduation speech he’s ever delivered or his legendary Six Rules Of Success talk and try not to be pumped up by the very end.
He’s a Coeus of our era – a stogie-smoking titan with a heart of gold, soon starring in his first Netflix show.
When he dishes out wisdom to live by, you have to sit back and absorb it.
Especially when it comes to fitness.
Schwarzenegger, now 75, has been writing a newsletter to share his Arnoldisms, from the pragmatic to profound.
A big Redditor, Schwarzenegger uses his newsletter to answer questions about healthy eating, weight loss, training, building muscle, and how to say hasta la vista, baby to bad habits. He answers questions like “how much should I be lifting?” and offers some simple rules of thumb about how to eat to gain new muscle mass.
But Arnold’s newsletter is so much more than just advice. It’s a positive and inspiring space – a forum where he speaks out to those who have fallen down a path of hatred and reinforces that your pursuit for a better you isn’t about being perfect – it’s simply about showing up to do the work.
For example, in a recent newsletter, Arnold offered some advice for anyone who feels like they’ve fallen off the horse.
“Consistency is key to success,” Arnold writes. “But that doesn’t mean you need to be perfect. You need to show up much more than you don’t. And remember, when you can’t make it to the gym, a few 10-minute walks can still have a tremendous impact on your health. If you commit to any type of movement and don’t stress out when you miss a few days, then nothing can stop you from becoming healthier and reaching your potential.”
There’s never any shame in the Arnold game.
That’s the Arnold way.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Workout Tip To ‘Bust Out Of Your Rut’
Let’s face it: No one likes monotony. Doing the same thing day in and day out gets boring, including when it comes to your workouts. It gets especially frustrating when you feel like you’re not getting results after putting in the time and effort.
Arnold recently shared another helpful – and specific – Arnoldism for anyone struggling to get over a hump in their workout routine, especially when it comes to strength training.
“The next time you hit a wall with your workouts,” Arnold writes in a recent newsletter. “This technique can help bust you out of your rut.”
“As we’ve discussed before, transforming your body is a relatively simple equation, but it’s not easy. To see the best results, you need to train with intensity (relative to your own strength) and progressively challenge your muscles with more weight, sets, reps, or challenging exercises (or all of the above) — and do it consistently.”
Schwarzenegger then offers some keys for wave training, a weightlifting technique commonly used by experts for bigger strength gains.
“Wave training is a technique that helps trick your body into building strength and muscle,” Arnold says in his newsletter. “The method alternates sets of low-rep training with higher reps.”
In Arnold’s own words, “the low-rep set activates more of your motor units (what causes your muscle fibers to fire), and when you shift to the higher-rep set, it can help you lift more than usual.”
The Pumping Iron star and former Governor of California then launches into a specific example:
Set 1: Perform 3-5 reps at 225 pounds.
Rest for 2 to 3 minutes.
Set 2: Perform 6-10 reps at 185 pounds
Rest another 2 to 3 minutes and repeat 2-3 more times.
The 185 pounds should feel lighter than usual (thanks to priming your nervous system with the heavy set), which can help you do more reps than you normally would at that weight.
You can also apply this to bodyweight training by alternating harder and easier variations of the same exercise.
Arnold also offered an example for leg day:
Let’s say you want to work your lower body:
Set 1: 5 reps (per leg) of Bulgarian split squats
Set 2: 10 reps of bodyweight squats
These are also called mechanical drop sets because you’re moving from a harder exercise to an easier one.
You can use this method on one main exercise per workout (like a squat, deadlift, row, or press).
In addition to the advice, it’s pretty awesome to see an A-list movie star sink so much of themselves into helping other people on their journey, as he’s done countless times of the years.
For example, Arnold recently FaceTimed a newsletter subscriber who reached out about changing his weightlifting goals while recovering from cancer.
“I’ll tell you. People don’t realize the difficulties one has when you go through medical problems,” Arnold says. “I’ve talked about it a lot of times when I had open heart surgery. Just to get out of bed, by yourself, was a huge challenge. So I had to set this goal. I remember the day after my surgery, I had to set this goal because people were helping me get up. I said I was going to get up my self. Then you have a new goal you can set… I had an advantage that I was going to film Terminator 6 three months after. That was the goal – Three months from now, I have to be in shape, no matter what.”
Arnold then offers John, the newsletter subscriber, a word of encouragement.
“I was very impressed how you made adjustments and got out of your own way. Really good. I just wanted to say congratulations. Keep it up. You have to be like an Alabama tick. On there. You never let go. Just keep going and keep going.”
What an awesome moment. Truly a man of the people.