Welcome back to the positive corner of wellness. We’ve added more than 100,000 new subscribers since the first newsletter, so a reminder: on February 15, we'll pick winners for Arnold's Big Challenge. Three subscribers who have completed 30 days of daily action in your routine will be selected for the grand prize. Arnold will FaceTime you to pump you up, and you'll receive lifetime access to Arnold’s upcoming fitness app, The Pump. Today’s the last day to start the challenge. Once you hit 30 days of wins, reply to the Pump Daily with the subject line “Celebrating Wins” so we don’t miss you.
Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes.
Today’s Health Upgrade
Motivation from Arnold
Don’t like cardio? Here’s some good news.
A number to take seriously
Workout of the week
From Arnold: The Telegram
We are halfway through the month. You have probably screwed up once or twice with your daily routine. Am I right?
First of all, the biggest reason people fail is that they aren’t keeping their program in front of them and checking their goals off every day. So if you haven’t been keeping track, start NOW. I always had my program written on the wall in the gym, and I knew I did it every day when I marked it off.
Second of all, even if you’re writing it all down, you are going to fail. It isn’t easy to build a routine from scratch. You’re retraining your brain after who knows how long.
Here’s what I want you to know: these screw-ups are part of the process, which means thinking they are not actually screw-ups can change your perception and lead to more success.
Here’s what else I want you to know: Failure is not fatal. It can’t kill your progress unless you let it. I know some of you go nuts and get frustrated, and you might even say, “Well, I said I would exercise every day, and I missed day 10 like a real forehead, so now, what’s the point?”
The point is that you’re the type of person who faces failure and adversity and gets up, and keeps moving forward. Our first goal with the New Year challenge was to teach you to build a routine because routines are the key to success. Our goal is to teach you how to get going again when you fail. We want you to choose progress, not perfection. Because none of us are perfect.
It’s ok to spend a little bit of time reflecting on why you failed. But I don’t want you to dwell on it. Here’s a quick story about one of my failures that led to quite a few tears before I got back in gear and kept moving.
It was 1968. I had just won my second Mr. Universe contest in London. England was the place I got started. A telegram came from Joe Weider, the godfather of bodybuilding, to invite me to his Mr. Universe show in Miami (there were two different federations with the same title, it was all confusing). This was the moment I had been waiting for. My ticket to America was in my hand. I was 21 years old, and all the people who told me I’d never make it to America were about to be proven wrong.
I didn’t even go back to Germany where I lived in the spare room of the gym where I worked in Munich, to pick up my things. I just got on a plane to America with my gym bag. I was about to take America and its bodybuilders by storm, and Joe Weider would want me to settle down in California to be the frontman of bodybuilding.
That’s not what happened.
Frank Zane beat me. I was shocked, I was depressed, and I was all alone. I had just left everyone I knew and everything I had in Europe for this. All of the thoughts you can imagine went through my head. First, the denial: how did that little guy beat me? Then the mental beating and the worst-case scenarios: I’m a loser, why did I ever think this was a good idea? Weider won’t want to work with a loser. I’m going to end up back in Austria yodeling by next week.
I cried all night. And in the morning, I woke up a little more clear-headed. Now, instead of denial and worst-case scenarios, I saw that Frank won because he was more cut than me and he had better definition. That meant I needed to work on my definition.
And just like that, I went from misery to a mission. Joe Weider still wanted me to stay in America, proving those worst-case stories we tell ourselves are almost always wrong. I moved to Venice near Gold’s Gym, and one of the first things I did was invite Frank Zane to stay and train with me. I wanted to learn from the person who beat me, and Frank was a great guy.
I went on to win 10 more world championships. Frank and I became friends, and Joe Weider became a mentor and father figure. None of that would have happened if I had gone along with the horror stories my brain was telling me and given up and gone home.
Your brain will always tell you why you should give up or that you screwed up. But you haven’t. If you believe you can’t screw up, you will succeed. (Adam teaches you how to create this mindset in his upcoming book. I wrote the foreword, and you’ll love it.)
Your job is to take a step back, see where you can do better, and keep moving forward. So if you have failed one of your goals we set at the beginning, stop beating yourself up, and turn that misery into a mission today.
How Much Cardio Do You Need?
You might not love cardio, but about 10 minutes per day can keep your heart feeling okay.
A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that just 60 minutes of cardio per week can lower your mortality risk and help you live longer.
Before you delete this email and curse the idea of doing an hour of cardio, the key here is per week.
If you want to maximize your health, the study found that a total of 3 hours of cardio and weights per week was the magic number. This aligns with previous research by the American College of Sports Medicine and the CDC, which recommend about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
The big takeaway: You don’t need super-long workouts to improve your health or lose weight. The numbers add up if you put in consistent work.
Number of the Day: 60
According to the American Psychological Association, 60 percent of Americans feel under extreme stress. We know times are hard, so if you’re feeling consistently stressed, please take the time to check in with yourself.
While you can’t remove all stressors, you can offset them with small lifestyle breaks. Little things like taking 4 deep breaths (and holding each for 4 seconds), going for a walk, lifting weights, calling a friend, or even being outside for 10 minutes can lift mood and decrease stress.
If needed, seek out mental health assistance. There is strength in asking for help.
The 15-Minute Rule (Workout of the Week)
Good workouts don’t need to be long. Each week we’re here to lift you up and make you better by meeting you where you are at and helping you take a step towards better.
You just learned that 10 minutes of cardio per day is all it takes to be healthier. Here’s a workout that only takes 10 minutes, works for any level of fitness, and will improve your health.
Step 1: Set a timer for 10 minutes
Step 2: Walk for 1 minute.
Step 3: Run at a pace you can maintain for 1 minute. If you haven’t run in a while, you can try power walking. If you run all the time, this can be more of a sprint. Pace yourself because there’s more to come.
Step 4: Repeat step 2 (walk for a minute) and then step 3 (run/walk fast for a minute) until the 10 minutes are up.
Step 5: You’re done!
At a minimum, you can do this workout 3 to 4 times per week, trying to rest a day in between. If your recovery feels good, you can do it more often. Give it a try, and make sure to tag Arnold on Twitter or Instagram and tell him how it goes.