Monday motivation from Arnold

Welcome to the positive corner of wellness. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If...

Welcome to the positive corner of wellness. Here’s a daily digest 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’s with Arnold

  • This week’s 15-minute workout

  • The real vitamin deficiency

Monday’s with Arnold

The end of the New Year challenge is almost here!

Let’s take a minute and reflect on what you achieved.

You set three specific goals. You broke those goals up into daily actions. You wrote them where you could see them, and you marked them off every day.

How did it work for you? From the tweets and Instagram posts I’ve seen, it seems like a lot of you have made a lot of progress. Some of you told me that you felt like you accomplished something every day. That’s because you did!

Even if you had days where you were sick or fell off, I bet you saw that you have the power to move closer to your goals instead of just hanging out waiting for some magic motivation.

That’s because you learned the power of routine. It is 100 times more powerful than motivation because it sticks. It’s the secret to success, in fitness and life, that nobody wants to sell you because they can’t make money off of you just repeating the same thing over and over.

If you marked off three things a day successfully for a month now, it might be time to grow. Are you ready to change 15 minutes of exercise to 30? Or five minutes of learning a language to 15? Or is it time to add goals? Maybe you’ve been exercising, being present with your family, and learning Spanish or German, and now it’s time to commit to reading every day to learn.

Pick some way to upgrade your goals. Think about the gym. If you just do 20 squats every day, you will grow for a while, and then when it becomes easy, your growth will stop. Our bodies grow with progressive resistance. You have to add reps or weight to continue gaining strength and avoid the plateau.

The mind is no different. We need challenges. We have to be pushed into a little bit of discomfort. That’s where we find growth.

We don’t want plateaus around here. So now that the challenge is ending, send me a photo or a screenshot of all of your daily actions marked off for 30 days, tell me what you learned about yourself, and tell me how you’re going to keep growing. Use the subject line “No Plateau.”

I know I hooked you into this challenge with the promise of a FaceTime, and we’ll pick from the emails we get. I hope you realize that you already won by creating a routine, though.

15-Minute Rule (Workout of the Week)

Note from AB: For the past two weeks, I have been battling a combination of pneumonia, the flu, and a 104-degree fever. It was miserable, and I’m still not 100 percent. As much as I’d love to deadlift and squat heavy, I know that my body needs to get reacclimated after being so sick. That means challenging my muscles and my aerobic endurance but without anything that pushes my body to failure. Here’s a workout I’ll use to challenge myself and get back on track. If you want to make it more challenging, select a heavier weight or do more sets.

Grab a pair of dumbbells - or, if you haven’t been lifting, two bottles of water or a backpack filled with books. The overhead press is likely your “weakest” lift, so make sure you can perform 12-15 reps with the weight you choose. That’s just a guide to help you know how much weight to use. But you won’t necessarily be doing 12 to 15 reps. In this workout, you’ll do timed sets. You’ll perform as many reps as possible in 15 seconds and then move to the next exercise. Rest as little as possible between exercises. Once you do 1 set of all the exercises, that’s 1 round. Perform 4 to 6 rounds total.

  1. Pushups

  2. Bent-over 2-arm dumbbell row

  3. Hollow body hold (hold 1 dumbbell behind your head, lying flat on the floor with hands and feet off the ground)

  4. Dumbbell shoulder press

  5. Dumbbell squat

  6. Plank

  7. Hip raise

  8. Dumbbell alternating reverse lunge

Number to Remember: 61 Percent

When it comes to your bone health, the vitamin you need most is not the one that usually gets the most attention.

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who supplemented with Vitamin D for five years didn’t have more bone density or a reduction in the rate of fractures. Vitamin D is often used for bone health because it helps with the absorption of calcium. But the real need is the calcium itself.

That’s because approximately 61 percent of adults don’t consume the recommended amount of 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Calcium is essential to stronger, healthier bones, not to mention it helps strengthen your heart and muscles and even supports healthier teeth.

If you want to increase your calcium, try to consume more dairy, such as yogurt or cheese, fish (such as sardines or salmon), beans and lentils, almonds, leafy greens, tofu, edamame, and whey protein. Or, you can always supplement with a pill or powder.

Monday motivation from Arnold

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