5 Lessons From Arnold On Bouncing Back From Challenges

Whether open heart surgery or personal or professional failures, Arnold Schwarzenegger knows how to bounce back from difficult times.

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Monday motivation

  • Free protein for life

  • Good from far, but far from good

  • Workout of the week

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Arnold’s Monday Motivation: I’m Back

I’m back.

Back in the gym, cleared by my doctors to start training after my pacemaker procedure.

Back to filming FUBAR, with the whole gang reunited and pumped up for an even bigger second season.

Since I’m making a few of my own, I thought today was a good day to talk about comebacks.

This comeback from the pacemaker procedure was relatively easy. I couldn’t train for six weeks or ride a bike because I had to avoid anything that might reopen the wound. We scheduled it so that I would be ready to start filming FUBAR Season 2.

I’ve had tougher comebacks — from my accidental major heart surgery to professional and personal failures.

This time, I used all the lessons from those big comebacks. Because I see so many questions from all of you about coming back from injury, illness, or a major failure, I wanted to share what I’ve learned.

The first thing that you must know is that you aren’t alone. Everyone, no matter how successful, rich or famous, has to make a comeback at some point.

It’s just a fact of life. At some point, all of us will be knocked down, and it’s our job to climb back up.

Now, I think the most important part of a comeback is having a mission for the day.

You know I’m a fanatic about having a big vision, but this is just slightly different. You should still know where you want to end up, but focusing on it all day when you’re making a comeback might just remind you how far you are.

Your mission is the next step in front of you today.

This is how that works in reality: when I had my surprise open heart surgery after the non-invasive procedure went south, I had three months to prepare for the next Terminator movie. The vision was getting ready to film.

But lying in the ICU in a hospital bed after they yanked the ventilator out of my throat, that vision was a long way away.

I talked to the nurses and the doctors, and they told me the first challenge was avoiding pneumonia, a common issue for patients who have the machine breathe for them during surgery. I had to do breathing exercises and get around on a walker to avoid it.

That became my mission. Every day, I did my walks around the nursing stations, and then I did my reps with the breathing exercises.

It was all I focused on. In the back of my mind, I knew I was preparing for Terminator, but in the front of my mind, I was just avoiding pneumonia and then trying to get home from the hospital.

When you’re making a comeback, the missions and goals you set for yourself might seem small. That’s OK. You need those small steps and little wins to climb back up the mountain.

This time, my vision was getting ready for FUBAR. But my doctors had just banned my two favorite workouts: lifting weights and riding my bike.

Now, I could be pissed off about that and just lie around, demotivated. But what would that accomplish?

During a comeback, you must pump yourself up, not beat yourself down.

I told myself we always share studies about the power of walking, so my mission would be to simply walk. Every hour, I’d get up and do a few laps.

I also challenged Lynn in my office to a competition where we send each other our steps every day. I know that having that competition drives me. It’s the same reason I invited my friends and family to the hospital to go on walks six years ago during that comeback.

None of us need to make our comebacks alone.

At the same time, I adjusted my diet. I wouldn’t be burning all those calories I burned during my workouts and bike rides, and I wanted to lose a few pounds before filming, so I had to tone it down.

I don’t believe in diets. I believe we all know what is healthy and what is not, and we just have to be honest with ourselves and turn down the dial on the unhealthy stuff when we want to get leaner.

Shifting my diet was a little bit of improvising and adapting to the reality of my comeback.

Now, my comeback is complete. I lost 10 pounds, I feel fantastic, I am building back up in the gym, and I’m ready to start filming.

If you’re going through your own comeback, I hope you can use my lessons:

  1. Have a mission for every day — no matter how small it is. Even if it is just getting out of bed. You need a mission every day.

  2. Don’t try to do it alone. Accept support from friends and family.

  3. Improvise and adapt. Whether it is an injury, an illness, or a failure, things won’t be the same as before. You must adapt to reality instead of wishing things were how they were.

  4. Do not beat yourself up. Pump yourself up. Making a comeback is hard enough. If you’re being negative to yourself, you’re just making it harder.

  5. Remember, you’re never alone. All of us have to make comebacks.

You can do it. The village is here for you.

Free Protein…For Life

Research overwhelmingly suggests that moderate-to-high protein diets help with muscle gain and fat loss, control hunger, support recovery from workouts, and fight against aging.

But how much should you eat per day? The minimum effective dose for protein is approximately ½ a gram of protein per pound of your goal body weight, according to Dr. Don Layman, one of the most trusted protein researchers in the world. So, if you want to weigh 180 pounds, your minimum is approximately 90 grams.

To maximize results, research suggests you want at least 1.8 to 2.2 g/kg of goal body weightOr, to simplify it, aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of your goal body weight.

However, most people usually don’t get enough high-quality protein in their diet. That’s why we love Trifecta. They provide ready-to-eat meals designed by a two Michelin Star chef.  They pack all the protein you need and cater to your dietary requests, from plant-based to Paleo. 

Many of you have been requesting the special deal from last holiday season, and we were finally able to make it happen again.  

When you sign up for Trifecta, you’ll get 50% OFF your order and free salmon for life. 

Visit trifectanutrition.com/pumpclub and use the code “ARNOLD” at checkout. The offer is exclusive to Arnold’s Pump Club and will only be offered until May 1. And as long as you keep getting meals, you’ll receive a pound of salmon for free for life. Just one more way to ensure you’re getting enough protein and healthy fatty acids. Enjoy!

Good From Far, But Far From Good

Editor’s note: Some studies sound impressive on paper, but they leave much to be desired once you dig in. These short blurbs will make sure you’re not tricked by the headlines. 

Good from far: New research suggests that green tea supercharges fat loss. 

But, far from good: Researchers looked at 11 randomized controlled trials to determine the relationship between green tea and weight loss. When overweight participants drank green tea, they saw a reduction in weight circumference and blood lipids. Sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, drinking green tea only reduced waist size by an average of 1.4 centimeters, and that was during studies lasting 6 to 16 weeks. In other words, the change wasn’t anything you would notice on your body.

We love green tea and think it’s a fantastic beverage with many potential health benefits. We recommend it — especially if it replaces a sugar-loaded beverage. But if you’re looking for it to help burn fat and lose weight, you’re unlikely to see much difference. 

Workout of the Week

Arnold’s a big believer in range of motion — full stretch and flex. But there’s one time when he’s OK with partial reps…when combined with a full repetition.

This workout makes everything a little harder with “1.5 reps.” As the name suggests, each repetition is extra work. You’ll do a half-rep, pause, and then return to the starting position — and then you’ll do a complete rep. And that combination of a half-rep and a full-rep is one rep in the set. 

For example, if you’re doing pushups, you’d lower your body halfway to the floor, pause, hold, and press back up. Then, you’d drop all the way to the floor, pause, and press back up. And that’s one rep. 

On every exercise below, do 1.5 reps — making sure you pause for 2 seconds at the bottom of each rep. The slight adjustment will leave your muscles pumping and your heart beating faster. Give it a try, and let us know what you think. 

  1. 1.5 rep pushups: 10-20 reps

  2. 1.5 rep rear-foot elevated split squats: 8-15 reps

  3. 1.5 rep inverted row (or pullups): 10-20 reps

  4. 1.5 rep squats: 10-20 reps

  5. 1.5 rep bodyweight triceps extension: 8-12 reps

  6. 1.5 reps lunge: 8-12 reps/leg

If you’re a beginner, do 1 set of each exercise, and that’s it! You can do up to 3 to 4 sets if you're more advanced. 

Here’s wishing you all a great start to your week!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell