Matt Green has been a friend and employee of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s for 14 years and these are the transformation principles he learned to employ after hanging with the big guy.
In high school I was 130lb and in Texas football rules and if you did not play, you were a nothing. This meant there was plenty of name calling so I became an over achiever and graduated top 10 percent in my class. I am a goal-oriented person and when I came on board to work for Governor Schwarzenegger, I was 140lb. I was a very lean smaller framed guy who had never had gone to a gym. When I would travel with Arnold, I would see how he touched the lives of so many and how he inspired an entire industry; from fitness novices to physic and bodybuilder competitors. When he worked a rope line there was always a guy that would take off his shirt to start flexing, seeking the advice of Arnold. It was so interesting to me, not having a background in fitness. After spending three years with Arnold Schwarzenegger every day I picked up the successful life changing traits he helped instill in me. I began to want to have the guy I was on the inside to be represented on the outside, so I stepped out became vulnerable and set a goal and visualized it and then got to work. As Arnold taught me, the mind is the most powerful tool. Whatever you put your mind to you can achieve, with the right steps in place and believe in yourself, completely.
Transformations are not just physical – they start in your mind. You have to have a refresh and learn to love yourself first and see yourself for all your flaws. Lots of people live a fake life. They exist in dogma, which is basically living a life that others want them to have. Sure, you can change your physical appearance, but that will not last if you don’t dive deep, get real and vulnerable so you can understand why you are where you are and how what you are doing that needs to change. Then only after putting in the mental and emotional work, can you make the physical change last and be amazing.
Once you get your mind set transformed, the physical can occur and when you achieve your goals they will stay. Sure, you can physically change, but if you haven’t done the work I mentioned above, you will just rebound back to your previous state.
Arnold always taught me: lift smarter not harder. This came in handy having a compressed L5 and a herniated C6 and C7. I have had to do rehab a few times and continue to work through my limitations of not being able to have anything heavy on my spine while avoiding moves such as the overhead presses. But there is more to life than squatting heavy or pressing overhead. It’s about quality of life and being the best you in your mind body and soul. I am 40 and in the best shape of my life and more fit them most 25 year olds. It helps to think long term and what your goals are.
I know who I am and fully believe in myself. Nothing was handed to me. Sure some people say oh you’re so lucky you worked for The President of the United States and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Well that’s not lucky, that was hard work meeting opportunity. I said I wanted to work for the President – I made it happen. I said I wanted to be a published fitness model and sponsored athlete – I made it happen. These are not coincidences – these are goals that I executed.
My Daily Diet
Breakfast: Oatmeal with agave and strawberries or blueberries, Greek yogurt or 3 to 4 eggs, blueberry whole-wheat bagel
Mid-morning snack: Mass gainer
Lunch: 30-40g protein, 1 cup of carbs and ½ cup of greens
Post workout shake: Mass gainer
Dinner: 30-40g protein, 1 cup of carbs and ½ cup of greens
Typical Training Week
Monday – back or chest, abs, cardio
Tuesday – chest or back
Wednesday – arms, abs / core, and cardio
Thursday – shoulders, stretching
Friday – posterior chain legs
Saturday – anterior chain legs
Sunday – active rest day – cardio and stretching
Advice to Others
Trust your gut and believe in yourself fully. You truly can achieve what you put your mind too. I would say change and greatness take risks and action, so stop saying and start doing because the greatest failure is never to try. Set a solid plan in place and be committed and dedicated to it. And I really mean be dedicated so when you are tired and not feeling it after a day of work you get up push yourself and get to the gym. That’s why setting a finite date for you goal is so key, it holds you accountable
Embrace the 6 P’s
Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. That can be applied to anything in life and I have applied it to everything I do from meal planning to workouts.
If you are taking care of yourself in the gym and eating right, don’t forget to take some care as to how you look with your clothes and hygiene products. This is part of loving and caring for yourself.
Shelve your ego
I see people every day lifting weights that are too heavy using poor form. So stop curling the 45lb dumbbell with your elbow out and use the 20lb bells and really get the form down.
Get in touch with Matt