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Today’s Health Upgrade
Arnold's Monday Motivation
The Most Underrated Recovery Technique?
Workout of the Week
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We’ve shared many studies about the importance of connection and friendships. We even highlighted one showing loneliness can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
This week, we’ll give you a workout and all of the non-BS health and fitness news you expect, but I also want you to start thinking about some of your old friends you might have been too busy to connect with in a while. We all have a lot going on, but when you take the time to reconnect with someone, it can really make your day -- and theirs.
Just this week, I was training at the gym and saw a familiar face -- my old training partner Mike Sapp. When I was training for Conan in 1980, and then, secretly for my Mr. Olympia comeback, Mike was with me in the gym almost every day. He was a fantastic training partner because he was hungry and wouldn’t say no to anything, so we could really push each other.
Now, he’s a successful trainer in Hawaii, so we obviously don’t train together often. But as soon as we reconnected, it was like the old days. We went to breakfast after lifting just like back then, and Mike reminded me of some hilarious stories about how he had no idea I was going to compete, even when we pushed through our last squat workout before I jumped on the plane to Australia for the Olympia. I was supposed to do TV commentary for the contest, so nobody had any reason to think I’d be jumping on stage.
I found out from Mike that even though he didn’t know, I didn’t keep my secret from everyone. The front desk guy at Gold’s told people in the gym to watch me, and if I started doing lying side delt raises, I was coming out of retirement. Thankfully, they didn’t listen.
It was just fantastic to catch up, tell old stories, and hear about his success.
We focus here on creating routines that will make you healthier, mentally and physically. You might not think of schmoozing with a friend over a breakfast burrito as something you need to do for your health. But trust me, it is.
Since we know that loneliness is a real killer, please think about who you can reach out to this week and reconnect with. Make a list. Friends from back in the day that you can share old stories with, roommates you can connect with over how far you’ve come, or family you haven’t seen in a while. Figure out a few people that you miss.
If you want to get a head start on this week’s challenge, reach out. Or, if you’re busy, wait until the weekend because you know what’s coming in Friday’s email.
This week, I’m the connectinator. Have a fantastic week, everybody!
Hit The Right Note For Recovery
As your workout winds down, you might want to turn up your music. While cold tubs get all the attention, a good playlist could help you recover faster from your workout.
Researchers reviewed nearly 100 studies on music and the human body. They found that the right post-workout mix can do everything from reducing the perception of fatigue to improving hormones supporting recovery and even removing byproducts from training contributing to muscle soreness.
When you think about your workout playlist, you probably plan what to play during your training. After all, research suggests that music can help you push harder, perform extra reps, improve endurance, and increase strength.
But the benefits extend to what you play afterward, too. The right note appears to be songs with a more relaxed beat and tunes that you enjoy. One study found that listening to slower music (around 70 beats per minute) for a half-hour post-workout reduces cortisol levels faster. And another study found that listening to music you enjoy reduces pain and stress and improves your heart rate variability (which is a sign of recovery).
Add it all up, and a little music can help you transition from the amped state of your workout into a mindset and mood that prepares your body to heal.
Many songs will do the trick if you’re looking for the right tempo (around 70 beats per minute). Some examples include Run On (an Arnold favorite by Johnny Cash) or Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), and more recent songs like God’s Plan (Drake), Wildest Dreams (Taylor Swift), or Make You Feel My Love (Adele). Make your playlist, and let us know the songs you’re using to recover.
Workout of the Week
This week, we’re giving you two different workouts. The only rule is don’t train three days in a row. That means you can do the upper body workout one day, the lower body the day after, rest, and repeat. Or, you can alternate between training days and off days. It’s easy to underestimate bodyweight exercises, but whether you’re on the road, looking to jumpstart your routine, or want a change of pace, this will be a challenge.
How to do it: Complete these two workouts on separate days. Perform the exercises in the order listed. When you see a number with a letter (2A and 2B, for example), that means to perform the exercises as a superset. Do one set of the first exercise (2A, for example), rest, and then one set of the second exercise (2B). After the rest period, you’ll do another set of the first exercise in the pairing, followed by the second exercise in the superset. You’ll continue this until all sets of the superset are complete, and then you’ll move on to the next exercise in the workout (exercise 3). Use the guide below to determine how many sets you should perform based on our training experience:
Beginner (0 to 1 year of consistent training): 2 to 3 sets per exercise
Intermediate (2 to 3 years of consistent training): 4 to 5 sets per exercise
Advanced (4+ years of consistent training): 6 to 8 sets per exercise
Upper Body Workout
1) Inchworm (hand walkouts): 8 reps (1-minute rest)
2A) Feet-Elevated Pushup (if too hard, you can do it from the floor, on your knees, or with your hands on a bench): 10-20 reps (1-minute rest)
2B) Bodyweight (inverted) row: 10-20 reps (1-minute rest)
3A) Close Grip Pushup: as many reps as possible (1-minute rest)
3B) Pullup or Superman Pulluup: 6-12 reps (1-minute rest)*
4A) Plank: 20 to 30 seconds (45 seconds rest)
4B) Reverse crunch: 10-20 reps (45 seconds rest)
Many have never seen a bodyweight Superman pullup.
Lower Body Workout
1) Alternating lunges: 10 to 20 reps per leg
2A) Single-Leg Hip Thrust: 12-20 reps (60 seconds rest)
2B) Wall Squat Iso Hold: 60-second hold (60 seconds rest)
3A) Step-ups: 8-15 reps (60-second rest)
3B) Bodyweight squat jumps: 5 reps (30 seconds rest)
3C) Bodyweight squats (60 seconds rest)
4A) Hollow body hold: 20 to 30 seconds (30 seconds rest)
4B) Crunch: 10 to 15 reps (60 seconds rest)
And those are the workouts. As always, give them a try, and let us know what you think.
Here's wishing you all a fantastic week ahead!