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
Less is more
Workout of the week
Want more stories from Arnold? Listen to Arnold's Pump Club podcast. It's like the daily newsletter, but with additional narration and thoughts from Arnold. You can subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Arnold’s Monday Motivation
I see all of you send these messages to me where you say, “I missed a workout”, “I went crazy with my diet”, or “I can’t get out of this plateau”, and you all end with the same question: “What do I do?”
I’ve told you that you need to stick to a routine, that you don’t need to sweat the small stuff, and that you can’t let perfect be the enemy of progress. But I think I need to be more clear:
You will never be perfect.
Another thing I’ve seen from you guys over and over on Twitter and my app is, “I love FUBAR, I hope it doesn’t bother you that the critics don’t!”
It doesn’t bother me at all! I choose to focus on the 50% who liked the show along with the millions of fans. And if we get to film a second season, we might look at some of the constructive criticism to make the show even better.
This is where knowing you won’t be perfect helps. You’re never going to please everybody, or many times, even yourself. You will always fall a little short. I’m lucky that I learned this lesson by starting out in a sport that chases bodily perfection. Thank God my vision was to be the best bodybuilder in the world and not to have the perfect body.
Because, let me tell you, I always saw things I could still perfect. There was never a time when there wasn’t some part of my body I wished I had a few more sets to really nail. Even when the Guinness Book of World Records called me “the most perfectly developed human in the history of the world,” — I saw spots I could improve!
No matter what you do, no matter how far you climb, you will always be able to get better. You will never be perfect. You’ll never please everyone.
The key is that you focus on the positive side of that and not the negative. Be better every day. Give yourself a break when you aren’t perfect since no one else is, either.
I see so many of you beating yourself up for little failures and saying, “I blew it having a whole pizza Monday,” and ignoring your little successes. Instead, why don’t you tweet, “I walked every single day and trained 3 days” with the same passion that you talk about your missteps? It’s because you’re chasing perfection. It’s so easy for us to count up the bad, but that’s not fair to any of us. How many times do you sit down and think about all the little things you did right? The times you had a protein shake or stuck to your workout?
So here’s what I want you to do this week. Write down, “I’m not perfect, but here are my wins” on a notecard. Every time you do anything you’re proud of, like getting a good night of sleep, eating some vegetables, training, or anything that moves you toward your goals, write it down. Don’t worry about counting the screwups, your brain will handle that.
I just want you to do this all week and realize it’s ok not to be perfect. Being better every day is all that matters.
Less Is More
Want to know what goes great with focusing on your wins? Narrowing your focus and not trying to do too much at once. A simpler approach can make all the difference between breaking through and experiencing setbacks.
Research suggests the more goals you try to tackle — and the more complicated you make them — the less likely you are to achieve your desired outcome. People try to “build Rome in a day” and overvalue complicated decisions over simple, repeatable behaviors.
As Adam has shared, if you want healthy habits that last, you must make it so easy it’s hard to fail. Only then, can you progress to the more difficult challenges. I didn’t start by deadlifting 700 pounds or doing the workouts that made me Mr. Olympia. It began with pullups on branches and deadlifts in the dirt. Over time, as the reps and weights increased, I could train longer and harder and become stronger. But none of that would have been possible without tremendous focus that allowed me to build great routines.
So instead of setting 10 goals, start with just one or two — and make sure that they are realistic. Want to become a better cook? Start with basic recipes with simpler ingredients. Want to get up earlier? Limit your screen time later in the day and set an earlier bedtime. If you haven’t been in the gym in a few weeks, don’t start with an hour workout. Instead, See if you can do a 20-minute workout, two or three times per week. Or, try the FUBAR Workout in today’s newsletter.
The behaviors you want to achieve are the byproduct of stacking small wins and doing them repeatedly. The more they add up, the more you can add complication and challenges, and the more likely you are to stick to the plan, gain confidence, and achieve results better than anything you accomplished before.
The FUBAR Workout
Next time you watch an episode of FUBAR, I want you to be pumped up like never before. Adam and Daniel helped me create a fun way to watch. It’s a way to turn the action and laughs into a little bit of movement and a great workout.
Here’s how it works. When you watch each episode of FUBAR, pay close attention to the following behaviors and then do 10 reps of the following exercises based on what you see in the show.
When you see a weapon (gun, bomb, knife, etc): Do 10 squats
When you see a cool car: Do 10 pushups
When you see a James Bond-style spy gadget: Do 10 lunges
When you hear a funny one-liner: Load up a backpack with some books and do 10 rows (using the backpack as the weight)
Give it a try, and it will turn watching a show into a whole new experience.
Let me know what you think, and tag me on social media or share some videos of you doing the workouts while watching. I love seeing this stuff!