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....

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Arnold's Monday Motivation

  • Monica Barbaro's healthy habits

  • The best time to train

  • Workout of the week

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Arnold’s Monday Motivation

One of my friends sent me this joke, and it made me laugh, and then it made me think, so I wanted to share it with you.

Arnold's Monday Motivation

Last week, we shared a study about how some of the influencers you follow for fitness might be doing more harm than good.

This cartoon explains one of the biggest problems of social media for fitness. You’re making comparisons to other people who are only posting their best photos, their best lifts, and their best runs. They aren’t posting the photo where they forgot to hold their stomach in or the video where they failed their lift or quit their run early.

There is only one answer to this, and it’s been the same answer even before social media. You have to compete with yourself.

Even back in my competition days, Sergio Oliva or Frank Zane wasn’t my main competition: I was. I knew I was competing against them at the main show. But in training, I was battling what I saw in the mirror. The calves that needed to grow? Not my competitors. Mine. The definition that needed to increase? Not theirs. Mine. For 364 days of the year, my competition wasn’t the people I would face on stage. It was me. And if I couldn’t win that competition, nothing else mattered.

You can try to compete with everyone on social media, but you’re never going to win. You will only win when you recognize the whole competition is against yourself. You can control the weights you lift every week. You can control what you eat every day. You can control whether you spend all day getting trapped on your phone. You can’t control the lighting and trickery on someone else’s social media posts.

You know that you get stuck competing against siblings, classmates, and everyone else. What if you told yourself that was all fake? What if you let yourself know the only competition is you? I know you can do this. Don’t fall behind anyone else. Get ahead of yourself.

Monica Barbaro’s Healthy Habits

I’m going to bring in some of my friends this week every day to share what they do. To celebrate the FUBAR launch (add it to your list), we're asking my co-stars to share their health, fitness, and wellness routines.

Monica plays my daughter Emma Bruner, a fellow CIA agent. She is best known for her roles in Top Gun: Maverick, UnREAL, and Chicago Justice.

What keeps you fit in 5 minutes a day?

“I wasn't doing this while we were shooting, and it's hard to stay consistent with it, but I really love meditating every day. I've been doing that for a couple of months now, and it just makes the world a lot easier.”

Any tips from set you’ve incorporated into your real life?

“At the beginning of this production, I was doing a lot of boxing, and lately, I do a lot of Pilates. I think it's just about doing whatever you enjoy, what makes you want to get physical, and what you walk away from with that endorphin rush. Whatever that is, have fun with that as long as you can, and change it up when it gets boring. Don't be afraid of trying new things. And always be mindful of alignment, for injury's sake.”

Find out more about what Arnold thinks about working alongside Monica (and her dog Augie) on

The Best Time To Train Is…

There’s a lot of disagreement about when you should exercise. Some say morning, others say night, and some suggest working out in the middle of the day is the best of both worlds. Scientists tried to solve the debate by reviewing 26 different studies focused on improving strength and endurance.

The researchers found there is no optimal time to train. Instead, the best time to train is whenever you can be most consistent.

If you look around the internet, you’ll see a lot of different arguments about the hypothetical benefits of timing your training. Some people suggest that morning training improves fat loss by aligning with your hormones. Others suggest that night training gives you more strength and stamina. What made this study different was that it wasn’t looking at hypothetical outcomes — it measured strength and aerobic performance in randomized controlled trials (a gold standard method for testing). And the results suggested time of day didn’t have a big influence.

If you compete, timing does seem to carry over from practice to competition. In other words, if you train in the morning, you’re more likely to perform better in morning competitions. If you train at night, you’ll want to compete at night.

While it’s fun to imagine small advantages that you might get by training at different times of day, the real advantage is consistency and intensity. So if you’re forcing yourself to train at a time that doesn’t work for you, then nothing matters if you can’t put in the quality reps.

When building your routine, focus less on the perfect time for your body and more on the perfect time for your lifestyle. That’s what will deliver the best results.

Workout of the Week

If you’re short on time but want a workout that will give you a great pump and feel like cardio, this three-circuit workout will do the trick. It’s a full-body plan that doesn’t require any equipment. But, if you want to make it harder, grab some weights or throw on a backpack.

Before you begin this workout, please do a quick warmup (like this 5-minute routine).

Circuit #1

Complete one exercise after another, resting as little as possible. After you complete one set of each exercise, rest for 2 to 3 minutes, and then repeat. You’ll perform a total of 4 sets of each exercise.

1A. Bodyweight Squat: 4 sets x 15-20 reps

1B. Push-up: 4 sets x as many reps as possible (AMRAP)

1C. Bodyweight triceps extension: 4 sets x 15-20 reps (if this is too hard, hold a plank for 30-60 seconds)

Rest: 2-3 minutes

Circuit #2

Same approach as the first circuit. Complete one exercise after another, resting as little as possible. After you complete one set of each exercise, rest for 2 to 3 minutes, and then repeat. You’ll perform a total of 4 sets.

2A. Single-Leg Glute Bridge 4 sets x 10 reps per leg

2B.. Bodyweight or Resistance Band Front Loaded Split Squat 4 sets x 10 reps per leg

2C. Walking lunges 4 sets x 15-20 reps

Rest: 30 seconds

Circuit #3

Same approach as before, but this time you’ll only do 3 sets total.

3A. Bodyweight step up 3 sets x 20-25 reps

3B. Band Lateral Raise (or use a weighted backpack) 3 sets x 10-15 reps per arm

3C. Inchworm 3 sets x 10 reps

Give this one a shot, and let us know what you think!