Arnold's Monday Motivation

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes....

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. 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

  • Arnold's Monday Motivation

  • Is fruit still healthy?

  • Workout of the week

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Arnold’s Monday Motivation

I’ve been blown away by all of your responses to the documentary about my life on Netflix, and some of my favorite messages have come from our little village here!

Some of you pointed out that when I explain how I kept track of my workouts by marking on the wall of the gym, it reminded you of how I asked you to write down three daily goals in January and mark them off every day.

That is exactly where the idea for the New Year challenge came from!

I have seen the power of writing things down so you see them right in front of you as you cross them off, and I wanted all of you to discover that power, too.

But it also reminded me: I haven’t checked in on your daily goals in a while, and this village has grown so much since I sent that first email on January 1.

We’re halfway through the year now, so it’s a perfect moment to recommit to your goals, because the January challenge wasn’t meant to just last a month.

Today, I want you to sit down for a few minutes and think about what you’d like to accomplish this year. In January, so many of you wanted to train every day, learn a new language, read more, and take more steps. I loved seeing all of the big things you wanted to accomplish by breaking them up into daily habits.

What 3 things do you want to work on every day? Write them down on a notecard, and put them on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator. Whether your goals are to walk every day, study German or Spanish, or read more books, you’re going to make a tally mark next to each once you do it. You’re counting your reps. And no matter what, by the end of the day, I want you to mark it off. If you’re brushing your teeth and realize you haven’t read, sit down and open a book for 15 minutes. You can do this.

We are going to prove there is nothing magical about January, and we can create big goals anytime. Count those reps, and tell me when you start to notice those little actions building up into big wins.

Is Fruit Still Healthy?

Many people think that sugar is the root of all health problems (research doesn’t necessarily agree, but social media remains convinced). And because of that, many have questioned whether fruit — which has a lot of sugar — is actually healthy.

According to a review of 41 studies, fruit is unlikely to be the reason you gain weight.

The research was the most comprehensive look yet, considering studies ranging from 3 to 24 weeks. And the study didn't only examine whether eating fruit led to weight gain. It considered the relationship between fruit and body fatness, and whether eating fruit led to increased calorie consumption. (Many people believe that sugar plays a role in overeating, so the more fruit you eat, the theory would suggest you would overeat other foods).

Not only did the research fail to show that eating fruit led to weight gain, but some studies also suggest that fruit can help with fullness, curb cravings (including the desire to eat sugar), and effectively assist you if your goal is to lose weight.

What’s more, Harvard researchers found that eating two servings of fruit per day is associated with a 16% reduced risk of heart disease, an 18% reduced risk of stroke, a 13% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 4% reduced risk of cancer, and a 15% reduction in the risk of premature death. Add it all up, and if you like fruit, despite the sugar content, consuming 2 to 3 servings per day is likely to have many positive health benefits.

Workout of the Week

This week, we’re going to do something a little different. We’re going to help you build a workout. The same rules apply as usual: it’s going to be time-efficient, it's built for at home or the gym, and it’s going to be intense and help you become a little better.

This workout is all about combining different movements. You’re going to perform 5 exercises total, and each will correspond with a squat, push, pull, hinge, and carry.

Step 1: Choose 1 exercise from each category.

These are just examples. You can select other exercises, but this provides an idea of how to build your workout.

Squat: Bodyweight squats, leg presses, goblet squats, rear foot elevated split squats

Pull: TRX rows, seated machine rows, dumbbell single arm row, inverted (bodyweight) row, pullups

Hinge: Hip thrust/hip raise, Straight leg deadlift, band good morning, kettlebell swing

Push: Incline pushups, machine chest press, standing band chest press, dumbbell chest press

Carry: Farmer carry, suitcase carry.

Step 2: Build your workout

If you’re short on time, superset the first four movements into two pairs and perform them back-to-back, resting as little as possible between sets. After doing the first pair, rest for 2 minutes and repeat the first two exercises. Follow this pattern until all sets are done, and then move to the next exercise pair.

Here's an example:

Superset 1
1A. Bodyweight squat
1B. Bodyweight/inverted row

Superset 2
2A. Hip raise
2B. Incline pushup

3. Farmer carry (you can load up a backpack for this)

The other details:

  • You can perform this plan 3 to 4 times per week.

  • Start with just 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each. Rest 2 minutes after you complete a set or superset.

  • As you build confidence and conditioning, add 1 to 2 more sets.

  • If you really want to push the pace, combine all five exercises into one giant circuit.

Give it a try, and let us know what you think. We hope you have a great start to your week!