Before I get started with my normal November/December newsletter, I want to offer you all something special. So many of you signed up for my upcoming app with my training programs that I realized people are even hungrier for good fitness and health information than I expected. While we finish testing my app for the next phase of my fitness crusade, I am going to start sending a daily email with the latest information. Nothing long. Every day, we’ll include a few points - the latest breakthroughs in health, stories to inspire, recipes you’ll love, and challenges that will make you better.
I watch the news too, and I realize everything is confusing. One day eggs are awful for you, the next day they’re the best. One day you’re supposed to do short, intense workouts, the next day you’re supposed to do long, grueling workouts. I’ve spent my whole life on this fitness crusade, and I think one of the biggest barriers for people is the amount of complicated and conflicting information out there. I always tell people the easiest way to get in shape is to make it automatic and simple so you don’t think about it. So with this daily email, I want to simplify everything so you can hear from someone you trust and you don’t have to spend time figuring out who to believe.
We have seen with our test group that simple, small changes create huge results. We want this daily email to do that for everyone, because fitness is for everyone. My team and I are pretty excited about this, so I hope you’ll sign up. You don’t have to read every email! Just pick the ones that matter to you. And best of all? It’s FREE. To give you an idea what to expect, I’m sharing the first daily email that will go out on January 1 at the bottom of this email, so all of you can see what you’ll be getting and get a little head start on everyone else, since you should get something for listening to me every month! It is a big challenge, so it is five times longer than the rest of the daily emails, but there is some homework and a big reward, so get going. Sign up here!
I have been busy since we last talked! The holidays are my favorite time of year, and I have traditions, like many of you, for all of them. Every November-December, I am in heaven. If you’ve seen me at the gym recently pumping up in my ugly Christmas sweaters, you know I have lots and lots of holiday spirit.
I want to start with one of my absolute FAVORITE holidays, Veterans Day. Last year I started a new tradition of visiting the veterans down at the Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Center. For many years the vets were forced to sleep in tents outside the walls of the building, until last year when the VA found space for them inside the fence. I brought them pizza last Veterans Day and saw most of them were still in tents, so for Christmas last year I donated 25 tiny homes so that they could have a comfortable and safe place to sleep at night with power and heat. Since then, tons more tiny homes have been built because more generous donations came in after mine! This year, I decided to visit our heroes on Veterans Day to serve them food and pump them up again. I even got to use my barber skills!! Check out the video below.
I always have so much fun visiting my friends at the VA. Even though I have done something to help, that doesn’t mean we can’t improve their situation even more. When talking to a few of the veterans, some of them mentioned that after the recent rains in Los Angeles, they were forced to walk through mud and dirt to take a shower. I believe in follow through, not in just donating money and walking away, so I have been working with Village for Vets to get these problems resolved. These veterans deserve housing, and we are going to make sure they continue to receive it. And if you know anyone who could help, they are always looking for more tiny home donations!
AFTER-SCHOOL FOR ALL
And then, a week later, we had a BIG anniversary. I visited Bell Gardens Intermediate School, where my After-School All-Stars, the nationwide program I founded 30 years ago, hosts a program for students. We were there to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of Prop 49, which I campaigned for in 2002, before I was Governor of CA. I lobbied the Legislature for $500 million in funding so all California kids could have an after-school program until middle school, but they had their own priorities and my pleas fell on deaf ears. The great thing about California is that if you aren’t happy with the job the politicians are doing, Governor Hiram Johnson set up the initiative process over a hundred years ago so that people could put initiatives on the ballot and go directly to their fellow Californians, and that is exactly what we did with Prop 49. I knew from years of running After-School All-Stars that kids need a place to go during the hours of 3-6pm when their parents are at work, but you can only go so far with private donations.
So I spent millions of dollars to collect the signatures and campaign for Proposition 49 to guarantee annual funding of half a billion dollars for these programs. The people totally bought in, and it was no surprise - more than 70% of the kids come from homes where parents aren’t home after-school because the parents are working and obviously those parents don’t like worrying about the kids while they’re at work. We passed it with more than 57% of the vote. This is how we keep kids healthy, studying, and off the streets.
I am so happy we have had such amazing success with our after-school programs in California, but not even in my wildest dreams did I think that 20 years later, the United States Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, would want to come to Bell Gardens with me to celebrate and tell the rest of the country that we in California created a model for the whole nation with our work. We talked about how we need programs like Proposition 49 all over the country, and I know I’ll be in Washington soon to work with Secretary Cardona and the congressional leadership to see how we can do more at the national level. I am so excited to work together even more so that we can find a way to bring the success of Prop 49 to all American kids and make sure that every kid in America has a place to go after-school!
Now, let’s get to the holiday season.
If you are in America, I am sure you had a fantastic Thanksgiving with your family or friends.
You may have heard me talk about my first Thanksgiving in America, and this year I wanted to keep the giving spirit alive, so I started out by donating turkeys to the Hollenbeck Youth Center in East LA like I have done for over three decades, and inviting my friends to come hand them out with me. This is by far my favorite Thanksgiving tradition. I am always scheduled to be there for an hour, but I end up staying two hours giving the turkeys to everyone because they are so happy. When they give me a hug or take a selfie with me after I put the turkey in their cart, it’s a better feeling than any money I could ever make. The lady who hugged me and said “Thanks so much, this is going to give my family a real Thanksgiving meal” meant more than anything.
Once we finish the giving back part of Thanksgiving, I always hang out with my family. But another tradition that stems from my first Thanksgiving in America is that I always invite my friends and people from the gym who don’t have families of their own over for a dinner. We had such a great time eating turkey, drinking schnapps, and smoking a couple of stogies together. Every time I have people over for Thanksgiving I remember that special day all those years ago when Bill Drake invited me over. I remember the smells in the house in the valley, the cranberry sauce, the delicious pies, and just sitting there thinking, “Man, America is even better than I imagined. Look how generous these people are!” It is my favorite thing in the world to spend time with those who might not have a place to go on Thanksgiving, and I encourage all of you to do the same.
Christmas is all about family and giving back for me. I had my cousins Monika and Markus come in from Austria to visit for a week, so I loved spending time with them and being their tour guide all over LA. I even brought them to the premiere of Avatar, which I will talk about in a minute! Then, I donated and handed out toys to families in need at the Hollenbeck Center for their Miracle on 1st Street toy giveaway, another tradition I’ve been doing for decades. It was a total success. Danny Trejo even showed up to help! It was so great to have another action star there whose heart is even bigger than the machete he uses in his movies. The kids there loved it, and their smiles powered up our holiday spirit.
Other than that, I will be spending time with my family. It is so nice to have everyone together and relaxed during the holidays. And it is especially nice with the children, and when you’re like me and have all the children out of the house, you get to play with the grandchildren. Opa (that means Grandpa) Arnold loves all the playing, and then the parents have to deal with the work.
All of you know my good friend Jim Cameron has finally released his Avatar sequel this month! I visited the set last year with his giant water tank and motion capture technology, and it was incredible. His creativity is unmatched, and his vision is so clear. There is no way he would spend this much time on a project and not knock it out of the park. Check out this article from The Ringer about Jim and his rise to the top. I get invited to a lot of premieres and Hollywood events, but it’s not really my scene. But Avatar? I had to show up - especially when I got invited by my buddy Jim. And I got to bring my relatives! When I got to the theater with my cousins, I saw Jim’s wife Susie, and she warned me to have some Kleenex because it gets pretty emotional. Thankfully I listened to her, because believe me, I needed that Kleenex. Besides the emotion, Jim has once again built a whole new world that just blew me away. I don’t want to give anything away, but I LOVED the movie. I don’t know how he does it, but I walked away blown away once again. Every scene was perfect. If you’re looking for a movie to see with your whole family over the break, see this. You will not regret it.
And now that I’ve told you what I’m up to, let me tell you what I’ve been thinking about.
I want all of you to take a look at this statistic. 40% of all products transported by global shipping are fossil fuels themselves (coal, oil, gas), and 100% of international shipping relies on fossil-fuel powered ships. Can you imagine that? I always point out that the 15 biggest cargo ships pollute more than all the cars in the world, but the more you study the messier it gets. Not only are we living in the past when it comes to our outdated shipping technology, but we are shooting the usage of fossil fuels through the roof by shipping it to countries around the world. It is like a Ponzi scheme by the fossil fuel industry. We know our ships create more pollution than almost every country in the world. But until I saw this statistic, I didn’t realize that 40% of what our polluting ships are carrying are polluting fuels!
That’s the bad news. The good news is, this means anything you can do to reduce your fossil fuel usage will not just reduce your own pollution footprint, it will reduce our need to ship these fuels everywhere. Change light bulbs to LEDs; if you’re in the market for a new car, go electric; if you’re in the market for a new roof, go solar; buy local products as much as you can. Even just turning off lights when you leave a room has an impact. Everything you do that uses a little less fossil fuels means less pollution from you directly, but now you also know it means less pollution from shipping fuels all over the world! I will continue to work on this issue through my Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative. In the meantime, every one of us can help save the world with small changes.
A LESSON FROM AN OLD CLASSIC
Since my team is a little bit younger than me, I get to share great movies that they might not have seen with them all the time. This week, we were talking about the line, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more.” They didn’t realize that it came from the movie Network. It is an absolutely fantastic movie, and as you can see from this speech, it’s relevant as hell today. You might be thinking that this speech sounds like something you’ve heard recently on television, and it probably does. I always recommend this movie, because the message is still true today.
But there is more to it when you watch the movie and really try to learn from it. I tell you guys not to just get outraged and complain, to get off the couch and do something about it. That’s how you make yourself feel useful instead of just angry. Think about how an internal combustion engine works. It burns fuel, and it uses that fuel to move the car forward. When you get angry, I want you to imagine an engine. If you just get angry, you’re just burning fuel. That fire has nowhere to go, and eventually you’ll be consumed by it. But if you get angry and do something about it, whether it is writing to your politicians, organizing a charity drive, or going out and volunteering, you have burned your anger as fuel to move forward. When you watch this movie, remember that. Because it really shows how anger for anger’s sake - or worse, for ratings - can destroy lives.
LOSING A FRIEND AND MENTOR
To close this month’s newsletter I wanted to share a few words that I wrote about my friend and mentor Jim Lorimer, who recently passed away at the age of 96:
Jim Lorimer will live forever through the millions of people he inspired to join our fitness crusade and tune into this little niche sport called bodybuilding. I am devastated that I won’t sit with him again and hear his wisdom, or critique bodybuilders together, or just laugh and laugh. My thoughts are with Bob, Kathy, Jeff, and the whole Lorimer family, but I also know that Jim isn’t gone. Jim lives on in every member of his family, and he lives on in me. He’s one reason I would never call myself self-made. When I met him 52 years ago at the Mr. World bodybuilding championship he organized so fantastically in Columbus, Ohio, I immediately knew Jim would be a big part of my life. I told him when I retired from competing, we would be partners and promote bodybuilding together. And starting in 1976, we did just that with a handshake agreement for more than 50 years, expanding from a bodybuilding show that drew 2,000 people to a sports festival with over 200,000 visitors and more athletes than the Olympics (more than 20,000), while we branched out from Ohio to inspire people on every continent except Antarctica. When I was appointed the Chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports by President Bush in 1990, I knew that I needed Jim by my side, and boy, was I right. He helped make the impossible possible with his brilliant legal mind when we worked with all of the federal agencies and hundreds of bureaucrats to organize the Great American Workout on the White House lawn. Jim also lives on in every single person he inspired to live a healthier life. Some people assume Jim started promoting sports with me - that couldn’t be further from the truth. His sports and fitness crusade started much earlier, when he was lifting up women’s track and field. In the 50’s and 60’s, when promoting women’s sports wasn’t as popular as it is now, Jim was a pioneer. He founded the Ohio Track Club woman’s team, and then he became the chair of the US Olympic Committee for Women’s Sports. In between his jobs as an FBI agent and an executive at Nationwide Insurance, he helped turn around our Olympic team so we could start beating the Russians. He became so legendary for his promotion of sports that he was asked to host the 1970 World Weightlifting Championships. He decided to host the Mr. World competition to sell more tickets, and the rest is history. To Jim, the Mr. World was just a way to pack the theater, but to me, winning that title changed my life. I beat Sergio Oliva for the first time, and I saw how well Jim treated the athletes and made the commitment then and there to work together to elevate the sport of bodybuilding. It was one of those magical moments, and it was destiny that we met, but it was Jim’s fanatical commitment to sports and fitness that laid the foundation for our fate. I will miss his wisdom, I will miss his mentorship, I will miss his kind, kind heart. I will miss his sense of humor and his desire to make the world a better place and his friendship. But Jim will always be with me. He helped make me who I am. He’ll always be with all of us. So while I grieve today, I will also remember how lucky I was - how lucky the world was - to have so much of this wonderful man’s time. This Thanksgiving, I remember Jim Lorimer, and I am so, so grateful he was such a big part of my life. Thank you, Jim. –
The Great American workout on the White House lawn with thousands of people, including the President and First Lady, exercising. I couldn’t have done this without Jim.
And that is what everybody knows, but Jim was such a huge part of my life and such a renaissance man and I was so touched when the track athletes he coached decades ago spoke at the funeral that I wanted to share more!
It was 1959 when Jim started train women in track and field. I want to be clear: this was before Title IX or anyone else talking about pumping up women in sports, so Jim was DECADES ahead of his time. And even more, he was fighting for racial equality for the athletes on his team. in 1959!!! To give you an idea of how far ahead of his time he was, while he was doing this, the US Olympic committee was considering dropping women’s track and field “so that we all might be spared the unaesthetic spectacle of women trying to look and act like men.”
The rest is history. The United States women’s track and field team was able to compete with the Russians. But it was what Jim meant to those first women that really showed what kind of man he is.
At the funeral, they talked about how he took some of them on their first flight and to their first restaurant. Some of the places they traveled to compete had brutal racial inequality and segregation, but Jim kept his team together. After they graduated, many of the athletes went on to do amazing things. Syliva Cox Heeter was a Harvard Law Graduate, Estelle Bakersville Diehl worked for the Ohio Department of Education, and Laura Dodd became a Columbus Police Officer. All of them remember Jim fondly. “He would always involve everybody in everything, so there weren’t just a few stars,” “He had a vision to give us all these opportunities.” “We talk about how our lives have been impacted by the team – people were even tearing up,” “It’s a very emotional thing. Even though we were so young, it was so much more than just competing in a sport.” As you can tell, Jim touched many more lives than just mine, and did so much for women’s sports. Jim was selfless, and he believed in women’s sports. He believed in those girls. And now they’re all older women who credit him with their success.
Think about the impact he had.
I know he is up there in heaven teaching his new friends how to stay in shape. Check out this memorial video put together by the Arnold Classic:
While you are here, if you’re interested, you can check out these newsletters from my other projects:
Here are some of my favorites from this month:
Show/Movie of the Month: I already told you to go see Avatar in theaters, it’s my movie of the year, but my daughter also did something extraordinary: Take Your Pills: Xanax - When you’re a father, you never know what your kids’ vision might be. I am so proud that my daughter Christina has become an all-star documentary producer taking on the really important issues. It started several years ago with her first Netflix documentary, Take Your Pills. She saw that people she knew were abusing Adderall and other ADHD drugs, and she made a film about it. Now she’s done the same thing about people who abuse Xanax and other anti-anxiety pills. Watch it (or watch both!) on Netflix.
Song of the month: Love of the common people - Waylon Jennings
Book of the month: Pumping Iron. Some of you may not know that Pumping Iron was a great book before it was a movie. They have just re-released it and I wrote the foreword. Check out what I wrote:
Archive shot of the month: This is my mother Aurelia during Christmas. The tree has real candles on it!
Joke of the Month: Since it’s Christmas, and I love throwing Rodney Dangerfield lines around, try this one on your family: "I thought the dryer was shrinking my clothes. Turns out it was the refrigerator all along."
Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all of you. Thank you for subscribing and reading my little emails. I am grateful to each and every one of you for tuning in and caring about what I have to say. As promised, here’s the first daily newsletter that will go out on January 1. Obviously this one is quite a bit longer because I wanted to start people with a big vision, but the first two points give you an idea of what you can expect every day. And the challenge gives you a head start on winning the big reward, which you deserve for being a subscriber to this newsletter before anyone else!
Sign up here. And here it is:
FIRST ISSUE OF THE PUMP DAILY
Welcome to the first-ever issue of The Pump Daily. More than fifty years ago, I was selling workout pamphlets and trying to convince people to go to the gym. We have come a long way, but people still struggle with their health as confusion and misinformation run the internet.
I put together a small team of the most trustworthy and knowledgeable people in fitness and nutrition to pull together the news, tips, and inspiration you need to make sense of it all. Adam Bornstein is one of the most trusted names in fitness, and Daniel Ketchell has been my right-hand man for more than 15 years and has a pulse for people, stories, and news that matters.
My goal for this email is simple: more transparency and less BS. Consider this your filter for what matters. I’ll be checking in here to provide guidance, motivation, and challenges, but you’re in good hands with Adam and Daniel.
Let this daily dose of information help you improve each day. -Arnold
Today’s health upgrade:
Can a walk save your life?
The little food change that creates big results
My Big Vision Challenge
The Grim Reaper Fears Walking
High-intensity exercise gets the headlines, but good old fashion walking might be your best lifeline. Researchers reviewed data on more than 47,000 people over 7 years to determine the impact of step count on mortality. And the numbers say a daily stroll is an effective way to live longer, even if you change nothing else. Growing up in Europe, walking is totally normal once you finish a meal.
The magic number is 7,000 to 9,000 steps per day.
The good news is that even small changes to your daily step count can boost your lifespan. Compared to the lowest amount of steps (~3,500 steps), adding a little more than 2,000 steps per day — about the equivalent of 10-15 minutes of walking — can reduce all-cause mortality by an extra 40 percent.
The 450-Calorie Trick
Want to know how to eat more and lose more weight? Make sure you add a little protein to your meals. Researchers investigated what happens when you add a little protein to your typical meal. In the study, participants who doubled their protein intake (going from 15 percent of your diet to 30 percent) lost up to 11 pounds — without changing anything else.
You can thank the science of fullness. Protein reduces hunger, and those who bumped up their protein ate approximately 450 fewer calories per day.
The key is don’t overthink it. In the study, participants swapped cream cheese for eggs at breakfast (they still ate bread), added cheese to a turkey sandwich (ditched the mayo and chips), and had beef lasagna for dinner (instead of regular pasta).
My Big Vision Challenge
Besides breaking down news about the latest fads in health and fitness and sharing recipes and workouts, I want to challenge you every so often with this email. Challenging ourselves is how we grow - we send a message to our brain that “I am doing this, whether you like it or not” and it lets us break through the inertia that wants to hold us in our status quo. I believe short term challenges can remind ourselves that we are in control.
So I’ve told the team to throw in challenges like making sure you have protein at every meal, or walking every single day, or doing as many push-ups or squats as you can in a set time - you get the idea, you’ll be getting a challenge every week, so don’t worry about those until they come.
Since this is the first daily newsletter, I want to start with a bigger challenge. This email is going to be by far the longest daily email you ever get from me, so don’t be disappointed when the next daily email is a few paragraphs. I wanted to start you with a bang, though. Here’s your challenge:
I want you to sit down for a while, without your phone or any distractions, and think about where you are and where you want to be. And then I want you to write down three things that you will focus on this year to get to your vision of where you want to be, and put it somewhere (a nightstand, your bathroom mirror, taped to your your coffee maker) that you will see it every day.
A few guidelines:
First, when you look at where you are now, do it without too much judgment. Be honest but not negative. Do you think I’m more likely to follow through with change it I start out saying “Arnold, you look like a pig, you look like garbage, it’s time to fix it” or “Arnold, studies show that people in better shape lead longer lives with less health problems, so losing a few pounds means more time to be here hanging out with the people you love”? Negativity freezes you - it makes you depressed about where you are instead of excited about where you can go. Lose the negativity (unless you are one of the small percentage where negativity actually fuels you.)
Second, don’t set out to finish these things this year. These are big, big visions about changing who you are, not what you are. You’ll make insane progress this year, but you don’t need to finish.
Finally, only one of the three things needs to be about your health and fitness, but I want at least one to focus on your body. The Greeks always talked about a sound mind in a sound body, so I’ve always focused on both. The others can be things you’ve wanted to do for ages but you’ve put off, or things you know you should do, or things that will improve you as a person or at work.
Here’s an example:
Learn German, French, or Spanish
Be more present with my friends and family
Lose fat and build muscle so I can be around and more active with my family for as long as possible.
Once you do this, write a note for each one about how you will get from point a to point b. Write down the ACTION that moves you toward your VISION. Don’t bite off more than you can chew - people quit New Year’s resolutions because they are too vague and too big. You’ve been the way you are for a long time, you aren’t going to reboot as a different person overnight, so the way you get to your big visions is through achievable goals.
Learn German, French, or Spanish - spend 5 minutes each morning studying on Duolingo
Be more present with friends and family - designate a daily no-machine hour where all of my focus is on whoever I’m with, and not on my device
Gain muscle and lose fat - devote at least 10 minutes a day to my body by walking or strength training.
There’s a final part of this, and it’s keeping track of your daily tasks and celebrating yourself for achieving them. You have to reward yourself! And while I used to make tally marks on a chalkboard in my room, technology has made tracking small tasks much easier. Use the tasks or reminders function on your machine, and write down your three actions. Set it up so you get reminders every day, and every day, check them off. 5 minutes of Duolingo, done. At the end of the day, look at your list. Take a minute to congratulate yourself on completing it (or if you still need to do 10 minutes of movement, get going!). At the end of a week, look at all those checked boxes and give yourself a real reward. Have something decadent for dinner. Take your family to a movie. Remind yourself this is because you kept moving and checking boxes every day.
My team told me external rewards really make people stick to new habits. So I’m going to offer a big one. I am going to pick 3 of you who complete all of your actions for 30 days and give you lifetime access to my upcoming fitness app for free, and I’m going to FaceTime you to pump you up and congratulate you on completing your daily actions. You just need to be subscribed to my daily email and reply to it with the subject line “Celebrating Wins” and include a screenshot of the tasks you tracked for the last month. On February 15, so people have a week or two to get going, my team will go through the celebration replies and draw one of you for me to FaceTime and set it up with you. And who knows? If see people making real changes to their lives, I might need to FaceTime one of my subscribers every month to keep you all moving forward.
Obviously you can cheat and just click a lot of boxes and send in a screenshot. I won’t know, but you will, and you’ll just have cheated yourself because I enjoy talking with my followers.
I know this might feel small, but we are trying to do something big here. With little actions, we are changing your whole identity. Is studying German for 5 minutes going to make you a fluent German speaker this year? Probably not, just like 10 minutes of movement won’t make you a world champion.
But when you do that for a month, you’ll notice that you’ve started to change. Because you’ve started.
The old you might have said “I wish I could learn a language” or “I wish I wasn’t on my phone when I’m playing with my kids or catching up with a friend” or “I wish I was in better shape.”
You’ve evolved past that now. The new you stopped wishing, and just started. As you grow, you might find yourself adding time to your tasks and growing your vision. Or you might not.
The key thing is that you remind yourself you’re the type of person who can create a vision and start moving toward it.
You have to learn the three components of change:
See you all tomorrow! The next email will be quite a bit shorter.
I will see you all soon!