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Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness by analyzing the headlines, simplifying the latest research, and offering quick tips 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

  • Monday motivation

  • The diet change your dentist will love

  • Workout of the week

Arnold’s Podcast

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Arnold’s Corner: Monday Motivation

When people ask me what The Pump (our habit-building, community, and workout app) is all about, I tell them to do their first workout and then go read the comments on the weekend schmooze — our weekly tradition where we share wins, struggles, and support each other. This week, people told me my message was important, so I’m sharing it with all of you. If you want to be inspired by people supporting each other, it’s free to try for a week. Go check it out! And don’t worry — the newsletter will always be free and always have a weekly workout. The Pump is a bigger commitment.

Here is what I shared:

I’m back to kick off our weekend schmooze!

Welcome to all the new members — introduce yourselves so we can welcome you and ask any questions you might have! There is a whole village ready to answer.

It’s an open schmooze. People share wins, they share struggles and frustrations, or they just hang out and talk about what they are doing for fun on the weekend. Some people talk about how they see the power of their workouts in their lives — hiking is easier, they’re accidentally throwing their kids twice as far as before when they play, and they don’t have pain when they enjoy their hobbies. 

This is a place for anything anyone wants to share except fake crap.

I know on a lot of the internet, people just talk about how great their life is. That’s bullshit. In the village, we are real. 

I think a lot of the anger we see in the world comes from that. First, like I’ve told some of you at our live meetups, bottling up your feelings is a mistake that will lead to an explosion at some point. And second, when all we share is our victories, other people start to think they are failing because they aren’t doing that well, even though they’re only seeing a snapshot of our life.

I’m very proud that we don’t do that here. I try to show the way by sharing my comebacks from heart surgery and my challenges, but some of you have absolutely blown me away with the bravery you have shown as you face your struggles.

I am proud of our fitness programs in this app and the transformations we’ve seen. I am proud of the routine builder and the habits that some of you have built. But nothing makes me prouder than this community, where people know they can share anything and they’ll have a village lifting them up.

At the same time, we are all about celebrating wins, no matter how small. That’s because people have a habit of beating themselves up for taking one step forward instead of two steps. We want to remind you that progress can be slow, but as long as you don’t give up, there will be progress. 

When you celebrate the little wins, you give yourself fuel to keep moving forward. A step forward is a step forward. When you beat yourself up, you take your fuel away. 

I see this all the time. People will lose 1 to 2 pounds a week and think it’s too slow and stop. If they had just stuck with it for a year, that’s 52 to 104 pounds. Or they will be angry that they can’t do a pull-up and just give up, even though now they can jump to the bar and slowly lower themselves, or they can do 10 perfect bodyweight rows to a table or a door frame when they could only do 5 when they started.

Instead of celebrating the daily progress, they beat themselves up for not achieving the end goal. Stop it! 

In the gym, we learn that progress is incremental. One week, you lift 2 pounds more, and that’s a win. We celebrate those wins because if we don’t, we risk you giving up before you see the power of progress.

My win this week is seeing my steps in a chart that Lynn in my office made. If you missed it, when I couldn’t train after my pacemaker surgery, I committed to getting more steps every day. I have always been a machine about my daily bike ride and workout. But I realized as we shared more and more in the newsletter about the importance of movement outside of our workouts that I was falling short. We all fall short somewhere! That’s OK — it’s not a failure, it’s an opportunity to get to work.

Surgery recovery was the perfect time to start, and Lynn also wanted to move more, so we created a friendly competition where we both wore step counters and sent each other a photo of our step number at the end of every day.

You can see the power of accountability and sticking with a habit because my first day was around 4,000. So, I set a goal of 5,000 since we believe in setting goals that are a stretch but aren’t going to stretch you so far that you snap and fail. Pretty soon, the number went up to 6,000. Now, when I look at the chart, I’m averaging 9,000, and I have so many days with 10,000 steps and even a couple days with 15,000. When we started this, I thought I’d never do 10,000.

This all happened in 2 to 3 months! Lynn’s steps are also going up and up!

When we tell you to set a goal and stick to it before growing the goal, it works! If you’re walking 5,000 steps a day, you don’t want to set a goal of 10,000. You’ll fail one day, and then there is a good chance you’ll give up. You set a goal of 6,000 and win for a while before you grow it to 7,000.

I’m proof it works! And you can use your action plan in the app to track it and hold yourself accountable.

Editor’s note: Want to try the app? Sign up here. If you purchase the yearly option and keep your membership beyond the 7-day free trial, you’ll receive a $100 bonus gift to use on any Momentous products, including protein, creatine, and fish oil. 

The Diet Change Your Dentist Will Love

Before your next teeth cleaning, one addition to your diet could help you get a nod of approval from your dentist. 

According to a recent study, eating more tomatoes could improve your oral health

In the meta-analysis of seven randomized controlled trials, those who consumed more lycopene — the nutrient that gives tomatoes their red color — reduced dental plaque. That’s because lycopene is like strength training for oral health; it pumps up the immune cells inside your mouth and kills the bacteria that cause plaque and inflammation. 

Studies have found that the amount of lycopene in one to two medium-sized tomatoes (about 4 to 8 mg of lycopene) is enough to help reduce the likelihood of cavities, gingivitis, and gum bleeding. Please keep in mind this is not a replacement for general oral care, such as brushing and flossing, but it could be an additional habit that improves the health of your gums and teeth

If you don’t eat raw tomatoes, tomato sauce might be an even better option. That’s because research has found that cooking tomatoes increases the bioavailability of lycopene, meaning your body can absorb more nutrients. 

Or, if you’re not a fan of anything with tomatoes, other lycopene-rich foods include watermelon, grapefruit, pink guavas, and apricots. 

Workout of the Week

This week, we’re helping you break out of a common rut of performing the same rep ranges every workout.

This full-body workout requires you to complete three exercises each day but with a different rep range for each session. The combination will help you challenge your muscles to build strength and endurance while helping you build muscle. If you want more variety, the movements are interchangeable for the target muscles (for example, you can substitute a leg press for a squat, as both work your quads), but you want to focus on the varying rep ranges. 

Day 1

  1. Overhead press: 5 sets x 5 reps

  2. Front squat: 5 sets x 5 reps

  3. Romanian deadlift: 5 sets x 5 reps

Day 2

  1. Inverted row or pullup: 3 sets x 12-15 reps

  2. Dumbbell chest press or pushup: 3 sets x 12-15 reps

  3. Lunges: 3 sets x 12-15 reps/leg

Day 3

  1. Deadlift: 4 sets x 3 reps

  2. Dips or incline press: 4 sets x 6-8 reps

  3. Bent-over row: 4 sets x 6 reps

Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell