Some people need absolutely no introduction to the inhabitants of planet Earth. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of those people. If you’re a real fan, you may feel like you’ve read every morsel of advice he’s dished out. After all, there has been an entire encyclopedia devoted to his wealth of knowledge on how to gain muscle and forge a world-famous physique. But, what is Arnold Schwarzenegger doing now?
The bodybuilding legend is not the kind of guy to stop learning or improving and as he’s become a more experienced athlete, he continues to adapt his training and mindset to keep fending off ageing and stay strong.
We sought out Arnold’s crucial advice that you can employ into your workouts to become stronger, fitter and more of a man than you were yesterday. With a slew of upcoming movies, there’s no point in saying he’s back. Truth be told, he never left.
What is Arnold Schwarzenegger doing now in the gym?
Ageing means adapting
As I’ve aged, my workouts have definitely changed. Like everything, you have to adapt and evolve. Because of injuries and age, I can’t do as many free weight exercises now.
No more monster weight exercises now for the most part, but thankfully technology has moved forward and there are some replacements I can perform using machines.
For example, I’ve always loved doing barbell curls but, because of two shoulder surgeries, I avoid going heavy and I now use the preacher curl machine, which is a great substitute.
Embracing my favorite exercises
I can still do my bent-over and T-bar rows, which I get a kick of doing. I still love actual weights; not just putting a pin in a stack, but actually putting real plates on to load it. Maybe if I have a movie coming up, I may eat a little better or focus more because there’s more motivation there.
I love staying in shape – it’s a lifelong commitment for me.
Hitting the gym twice a day – still
On average I work out twice a day, five times a week. Usually it’s cardiovascular training in the morning and weight training at night. My lifting is more based around circuits with very little rest – no more monster weights and the super heavy weight sets I used to lift.
Rest less, more circuits and super sets
For my circuits I usually only rest for as long as it takes me to get set at the new station.
At the end of a circuit of six to eight exercises with no rest, I will break for two minutes before I start again. It’s fast paced.
For me, working out isn’t about the machines, the exercises or the weights. The point is that you can create a workout for your goals. My goals now are very different to when I was younger and bodybuilding.
You work with what’s best for you. My golden rule when I’m in the gym is to keep moving – that goes for cardio and lifting. Rest as little as possible, and after an hour you’ll feel incredible. Your muscles won’t know what hit them, which is what I love
Lifting with your passion
Oh man, I’ve always loved to deadlift, but then also the clean and press and chin-ups. Clean and press because it trains every muscle at once, and then chin-ups because, like deadlifts, you’re getting the most bang for your buck in a single exercise – it hits so much. You can also switch grips to change the focus
Cardiovascular-wise, my favorite form of exercise when we worked out at Gold’s was to head down to the beach and run in the sand and sea after we finished lifting.
At my age I don’t run, but I still ride my bike through Santa Monica and Venice in Los Angeles. In the gym, I do interval-style training on a stationary bike or elliptical machine.
I still eat healthily and balanced, and if I want to cut down I just add cardio and cut out things high in carbs, like bread, pasta and desserts. I am more careful now with what I eat because I’m not burning as many calories as I used to when I was younger.
Did you know that during his national service, Arnold went awol for a week to attend a competition? We probably wouldn’t have seen Arnold Schwarzenegger now if he hadn’t been so determined to do that show.
Regrets and doing things differently
To be honest, I would do basically the same things again. The only thing I would change in a perfect world – and if it was now – is I would add the training I couldn’t do because of the lack of equipment I experienced when I was growing up.
Sports nutrition and science has come a long way, too. I would add much more direct calf, rear delt, and hamstring work. We didn’t have machines for those things in Austria when I was a lot younger. Practically everything was barbells and dumbbells, which was great but wasn’t the best for bodybuilding.
But that training was a blessing. It’s why I was able to get so big, and I worked with what I had as best I could, I think. Plus, it built up my strength and my body was ready for the isolation stuff by the time I could use that equipment.
Thoughts on Venice Beach
It’s an amazing place, Venice Beach, even to this day, is a great environment to work out in because you had the gym and then you’ve got Muscle Beach, handball, basketball, the sea – you can jump rope, there’s roller skating, you can bike ride. It’s an amazing place to hang out and I found great joy when I went out there.
Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach is the Mecca of bodybuilding. People from all around the world, from all walks of life, would come together at Gold’s and work out.
All the champions would be there, from every part of the globe and the atmosphere was second to none. And then there was Muscle Beach as well.
We’d go down there, work out and get a great tan, which would help when we were competing. It was such a wonderful place and such a wonderful time.
Problems with fitness today
For me, I find a big problem with fitness and bodybuilding is – and it’s always been like this – people constantly arguing about who is wrong and who is right.
In reality, there are many ‘right’ answers. The fitness community has certainly grown, and the passion for it is at an all-time high I think, which is incredible. We really want to expand the fitness community as much as possible.
Look, back in the day you could walk into Gold’s Gym and watch the five best guys and see five completely different routines. And you know what? We didn’t argue. It was great picking each other’s brains and everyone was really generous with sharing information.
We’d train together, pose together, we’d talk about food supplements and eating, different grips, the psychology behind getting the best out of our workouts – it should be like that with whatever you do.
The knowledge has advanced so much, which is incredible. People now have much more of a good fundamental idea of fitness and being healthy. It can get a lot better though, and that’s something we have to keep pushing for.
Well, there you have it, folks. What is Arnold Schwarzenegger doing now? You’ve heard it straight from the horses mouth, and it’s just as inspiring as ever.
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