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Today’s Health Upgrade
Does sex give you weak legs?
Arnold on procrastination, aging, and more
Does Sex Give You Weak Legs?
Someone let Sly know his scripting was ahead of science. Turns out, Mick’s advice to Rocky was technically correct.
We couldn’t believe it ourselves, but science suggests that sex literally gives you weak(er) legs.
We’re not joking because researchers examined how sex affects training performance. Participants who had sex the night before their workout saw a five-pound decrease in lower body strength (the researchers tested 5-rep max on the back squat).
When reviewing the study itself, we can’t help but wonder how little details might limit the value of the data. The participants only performed three workouts (a baseline, a no-sex workout, and a workout after a night of sex). While some variables (like the time of day when they trained) were considered, the total number of subjects was relatively small, which means it's hard to assume this strength decrease will apply to all.
For the curious-minded, the scientists didn’t observe the bedroom activity, so it’s impossible to know what happened behind closed doors. Each subject timed intercourse with a stopwatch (imagine that bedroom conversation), and the average duration was just shy of 15 minutes. A sprint for some and a marathon for others. Who knows how that impacted results?
This isn’t the first study measuring the impact of intercourse on performance — and other studies suggest there’s no impact.
Would we suggest abstaining? That’s your call, but unless you’re performing in a powerlifting competition where every pound counts (the double entendre was too much to pass up), worrying about how sex might affect your workouts is probably the last thing you should be on your mind.
Q&A with Arnold
First of all, I love hearing how the newsletter helps you. These are my favorite messages because it tells me we are really onto something here. And I love the idea that this is the grown up version of my days leading the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. We might have to give out medals, here, too.
As for aging gracefully, if you mean slowing down and hitting the golf course instead of the gym, it’s not my style. I believe in holding on to everything that you can and letting go of what you can’t. So I’m not pissed off that I can’t still deadlift 700 pounds, but I still show up to I train every day, no matter what. I realize my days of competing are over, but I’m not the kind of person who spends any time worrying about that. Any energy I spend to worry about the past is energy I can’t use in the gym today. I am the type of person who really lives in the moment, so I know my workouts now are all about maintenance and holding on to the muscle because it gets harder and harder as you get older. That becomes the new challenge.
I wouldn’t have a career without bodybuilding and fitness. I was made in the gym. All of my success was built by training. Every lesson I share with you has it roots in fitness.
When I stopped competing in bodybuilding, I made it very clear: I was retiring from competition, I was not retiring from bodybuilding. I never stopped training, and I never stopped spreading my fitness crusade. What type of person would I be if I hit it big in Hollywood and turned my back on gym culture? I don’t believe in subtracting from my life; I just add. So when my career in movies took off, I continued writing books about fitness. I continued promoting the Arnold Classic, the best bodybuilding show in the world, and I continued giving advice through newspaper columns and TV interviews.
I will never stop sharing my love of fitness with all of you. I was born a bodybuilder, and I will die a bodybuilder.
My friend Jim Lorimer taught me the best way to avoid procrastination, and it is way too simple. We ran the Arnold Classic together for decades, and he passed away last year. He was one of my great mentors. One day, we were in a meeting, and we talked about how someone we needed to call at one of the sports federations. I pulled out a notepad and a pen, and Jim said, “Don’t write it down. Just do it.” I thought he was joking. He was not. We picked up the phone and got it done. I realized he was right, half of the things I wrote down in my notepad never came to be, I was just making myself feel good by writing them there. So I started trying to never write anything down that I could do right away. That mentality has helped me immensely.
There are long-term goals that you still need to write down (see this weekend's challenge). And when you’re building a routine, I still believe in writing down what you want to do and marking it off every single day. But when we write down lists of things like, “Call the electrician to repair my outlet” instead of just doing it, we use up our headspace that's best left for the big things.
Sometimes the only thing that stands between you and your goals is a better plan.
We’ve shared some mindset tools in the past, but this weekend, we want to take it to the next level by using Arnold’s “5 Rules of Success” to create a framework for more success, happiness, and results. Habits and having a clear vision are the foundation, but these things take time, repetition, and support.
For this challenge, take each of Arnold’s “rules,” apply them to your life, and commit to the actions you’re going to take. Some of this might feel familiar for those who have been receiving these emails for months (like creating your vision). But other elements should force you to identify what stands in your way and where you might be holding yourself back.
With each rule, be honest, and focus on how you can make the most of your life. Are you thinking big? If so, what are you doing to make it a reality? Do you have naysayers (it could even be your own internal voice)? If so, what is being said and how are you going to ignore the noise?
Write down how you can incorporate each rule into your life right now. You don’t have to take a long time.
1. Have a clear vision
2. Never think small. Think big
3. Ignore the naysayers
4. Work your ass off
5. Don’t just take, give back
Thanks for being a part of our village. We all hope you have a great weekend!
-Arnold, Adam, and Daniel
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