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Today’s Health Upgrade
Monday Motivation from Arnold
Red wine can do what?
Exercise of the week
Arnold’s Monday Motivation
I’ve spent all weekend at the Arnold Sports Festival inspired by 15,000 athletes from 80 countries competing in 60 different sports.
It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year because it helps people find their love of fitness. With things you’d expect, like strongman and bodybuilding and weightlifting, to things you wouldn’t like ballroom dance or tag or medieval fighting, we really do have a sport for everyone.
I love going around and talking to all the athletes I can because you notice a common theme: everyone has faced obstacles, from the professionals and world record holders to the amateurs and weekend warriors. And their sport has taught them that obstacles are part of life, not something to be miserable about.
Whether they’ve been injured, defeated, or gone through mental struggles, they have all learned that pain isn’t the end of the world; it’s often the beginning of growth. But you have to think that way.
I’ve talked about arriving in America and immediately losing Mr. Universe and crying all night. What defines that memory for me now isn’t the loss or the crying; it’s finding the lessons in my pain so that I could grow.
In the moment, it can feel like the pain is all there is. But if you take a step back, you can see what it has to offer. Almost every athlete I spoke to this weekend talked about the obstacles they faced with almost the same joy they showed when they showed off their medals and trophies. Because those moments made them.
And it doesn’t have to be a physical obstacle. I connected with a member of our little village, Ian, who has been testing my workouts for the app we are building. He’s a retired police officer who faced his own mental health issues. He said that working his way out of those wasn’t easy. I am proud of him for the way he’s inspiring others to confront their problems and accept help. And he crushed his competition this weekend.
Ian had a message for all of you:
“I want to let anyone who is struggling in any way, whether it be physically, emotionally, or mentally, that finding a way to push yourself through the darkness is possible.
When I went into treatment for job-induced (law enforcement) mental illness, no matter how hard the day was, I always found a way to get down on the floor and do push-ups. The gym in my police department had Arnold’s “Bodybuilding Encyclopedia,” and the other officers and I would refer to it as we did our best to stay fit and strong for the shift ahead.
Once I came out of treatment, I began training regularly and connected with Daniel and Adam from Arnold’s team, and they have pushed me to be the most physically and mentally fit in my life. For that, I will be forever grateful.
And Arnold, thank you…it was nice to meet my fitness hero. I hope we meet again. For everyone else, you can get through this. Take little steps, and you’ll find your way out of the darkness toward the light. Some days it might just be a few push-ups. There is always a way through the obstacles we face.”
That’s what we do is all about: working together to be better every day.
This week, I’m sure a lot of you are going to face an obstacle. My challenge to you is to try to step back. Don’t get lost in thinking that this is the end of the world. Try to see what it might be the beginning of. Try to find the lessons and the growth. Try to find the first steps you can take toward the light.
I promise you, they’re there.
In Defense of Red Wine
Warning: this probably won’t go the way you think.
The downfalls of alcohol — even in small amounts — have been highlighted by many popular scientists trying to help us live healthier lives (here’s looking at you, Huberman). But that doesn’t mean alcohol doesn’t have a few surprising benefits.
Research suggests that marinating red meat in red wine might remove some of the dangers of the popular protein.
Over the years, studies have suggested too much red meat can be a problem. It’s good to check with your doctor, but the latest research suggests most people can enjoy red meat a few times per week (assuming healthy LDL cholesterol levels). But, some people still worry about red meat being linked to possible carcinogens that can build up in your body. Enter red wine.
Scientists found a red wine marinade can help prevent some of the potential carcinogenic properties of the proteins found in red meat. Even better? The researchers also found that the red wine marinade changed the chemical structure and enhanced the taste of beef.
While red wine was long considered a longevity booster, more recent research suggested those benefits were misleading and inaccurate.
Your best bet is to limit yourself to a few drinks per week at most. But if you have extra red wine in your home, it might become the ideal marinade.
Workout of the Week: Two Moves Is All It Takes
This week, we want to help you eliminate aches and pains and make your muscles burn in just 2 minutes.
First up is a stretch that sounds like your favorite beer hall food. It’s called the Brettzel, and it’s one of the best full-body stretches you can do for your body.
When you perform this exercise — in the morning, at night, or before your workout — you can open up your body from top-to-bottom. You’ll unglue your quads, hips, glutes, and thoracic spine. Translation: you’ll feel better, move more easily, lessen the likelihood of injury, and improve your training.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Start by lying on your right side. Support your head with a foam roller or even a yoga block.
2. Bring your left leg up and across your body and place your knee on the ground. Use your right hand to “hold” your knee down. Now, grab your right foot with your left hand (you’ll have to bring your foot towards your butt to make that happen).
Once you’ve found this start position, inhale through your nose, and as you exhale, allow your left shoulder to rotate toward the ground. You should feel the stretch through your trunk. Take 4-5 breaths before repeating this process on the other side.
To help you master the move, the brilliant Mike Robertson (of IFAST) created a walkthrough video. If you find the start position too uncomfortable (or experience pain during any part of the stretch), here’s a less intense version to try.
The 2-minute muscle challenge
You can do this workout any time you need something that requires little (or no) equipment and takes less than 10 minutes. You can also add it to the end of your workout as a “finisher” to get a great pump, burn more calories, and push past your limits.
We call it the hardest 2 minutes, and here’s how it works.
Step 1: Pick one exercise. Ideally, it’s a compound exercise that works multiple muscles, such as squats, rows, pushups, or lunges. Remember, you can use your body weight or add weight with dumbbells, kettlebells, a barbell, or a weighted vest.
Step 2: Set a timer for 2 minutes.
Step 3: Perform as many reps as possible during the 2 minutes. That doesn’t mean you’ll be doing reps the entire time. Remember to take breaks when needed, but push yourself.
If you’re doing a weight version of an exercise, you'll want to choose a weight that feels light and almost too easy at the beginning. For example, if doing a goblet squat, using 25% of your body weight is an excellent place to start.
And that’s it! Over time, your goal is to make the workout harder. This could mean doing more reps, resting less, or using a heavier weight.
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