Monday Motivation: Stay Hungry

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Arnold's Monday Motivation

  • Pump up your immune system

  • Workout of the week

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Arnold’s Monday Motivation: Stay Hungry, Be Curious

I’ve been asked several times about how to convince someone to mentor you or give you advice.

I think I’m uniquely qualified to answer this one because my life has been an almost unbelievable series of mentors, idols, and advisors.

When I was 15, I idolized Reg Park. I saw him in our little theater playing Hercules in a movie, and then I read a magazine article about how he grew up in a little working-class town, like me, trained his ass off, became Mr. Universe, and eventually got into Hercules movies. That was my blueprint, and it brought me to the Graz Weightlifting Club, where my coaches mentored me. Then I had a fantastic mentor, a local politician, and businessman who was the father of one of my training partners. Fredi Gerstl encouraged us in our weightlifting, but he also told us that we also had to train our minds as much as our bodies. He told us that an injury could end our athletic careers, but no one could ever take our minds, so we better be curious and hungry to always learn. That has stuck with me throughout my life.

Just a few years later, after I won Mr. Universe, I was lucky enough to train with my first idol, Reg Park. I spent the whole time asking him questions. How did he train calves? Why did he train so early in the morning? How did he transition into movies? I absorbed everything like a sponge.

Throughout my life, my curiosity and my hunger served me well. It brought me into insane positions I never imagined. Standing with Nelson Mandela in his old jail cell in South Africa, asking him how he forgave his oppressors. Sitting in Moscow with Mikhael Gorbachev, asking him how he got to the top of the Soviet system, and then had the courage to admit it needed to be dismantled. Hanging out at Camp David with President George H.W. Bush, asking him how he brought people together from all walks of life to work together. And so many more, from famous directors and actors to Popes and world leaders.

Since I’ve met every President of the United States since I moved here except for Lyndon Johnson, Daniel jokes that I’m the real-life Forrest Gump. It’s funny, but the reason I’ve been this lucky is not pure fortune. I believe it’s also because I always remember Fredi’s lesson. I’m hungry to learn, I’m curious, and I spent more time asking questions than I do talking. You know the old saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason, so we should listen twice as much as we talk? I believe it 100%.

This doesn’t just go for people who are my idols. Even on movie sets, I enjoy sitting with different members of the crew at lunch and learning about their jobs. I want to understand people and what they do. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t know that there is someone whose only job is dealing with all of the trash and recycling that movies produce.

It’s fascinating, and a lot of the things that people just take for granted are worth learning about. It makes life more interesting the more you make an effort to understand everyone.

People can tell when you’re interested in them. And they love that -- no matter who they are and what they do.

So if you struggle to find mentors, my advice is to open your mind and get curious. Be hungry to learn. Show people you’re interested. If it’s too much to just go straight to some big boss, practice by being interested in things that are totally normal. How does a barista pull the perfect shot of espresso? Think about all the things you don’t know, and do the reps of asking questions to learn everything you can.

Stay hungry, my friends.

Pump Up Your Immune System

Your best line of defense against disease isn’t found in a vitamin or supplement — but from real sweat equity.

Research suggests consistent exercise changes your immune cells and helps protect against disease and reduces inflammation.

New research suggests that just one resistance training workout boosts your immune system. But, as you might expect, the real benefits are from consistent training. Building muscle appears to increase your natural killer cells, which are your first line of defense against unwanted illnesses. It also improves your body’s ability to remove bacterial and fungal pathogens that get past your first line of defense.

This isn’t the first time exercise has been linked to sickness prevention. A 2019 study found that exercise improves immune response, lowers illness risk, and reduces inflammation. And additional research found that people who perform aerobic exercise five times per week reduced the number of upper respiratory infections by 40 percent.

Workout of the week

Legendary coach Pavel Tsatsouline’s book The Quick and The Dead includes many great, time-efficient workouts. One in particular called the 5:4 protocol, is worth your time.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Set a timer for 30 seconds. Perform 5 reps with a heavy weight of kettlebell swings. (If you don’t have a kettlebell, you can load up a backpack with some books.) It might take you approximately 10 seconds to perform the 5 reps and then rest the remaining 20 seconds.

  2. Repeat this for a total of 4 sets, each time with a 30-second interval for your reps and rest.

  3. Then, rest for 1 minute.

  4. Now, do the same 30-second interval, but this time with a push exercise, such as pushups or an overhead press. (Again, you can use a kettlebells or a backpack with weights) Do 5 reps every 30 seconds, and complete a total of 4 rounds.

  5. Rest for 1 more minute.

  6. Now, repeat steps 1 through 5 anywhere from three more times.

Like most “simple” workouts, this looks far easier on paper than it is. You’ll train power (something we all lose as we age) without impact, and it’s a sneaky good way to elevate your heart rate to get in some cardio without going for a run. Strength, power, and cardio all in one workout? That’s why we thought you would love it. Give it a try, and let us know how it goes.

Monday Motivation: Stay Hungry

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