The New Anti-Depressant

The latest research suggests that the best feel-good drug is moving your body every week.

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Monday Motivation

  • The New Anti-Depressant

  • Workout of the Week

Arnold’s Podcast

Motivation every day. Want Arnold to help you start your day? Each morning, we post a new podcast with tips you’ll find in the daily email and bonus stories, wisdom, and motivation from Arnold. Listen to Arnold's Pump Club podcast. It's like the daily newsletter but with additional narration and thoughts from Arnold. You can subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Arnold’s Corner: Monday Motivation

This weekend, I celebrated the 40th anniversary of the day I raised my right hand and became a citizen of this fantastic country.

On one of the podcasts for my book, I talked about the culture shock of becoming an American.

I arrived in America 55 years ago. In 1968, it seemed like everything was happening at once in America, and it was completely out of control.

Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated. American men and boys were being sent off to fight a war that we shouldn’t have even been in on the other side of the world in Vietnam. A war protest at the 1968 Democratic Convention became a riot, with cops beating protestors on national television. Hippies were just lying around Haight Ashburn in San Francisco smoking pot (including me).

You can imagine that for a 21-year-old, fresh off-the-plane immigrant, this was a lot to take in. It was a major shock.

But there were good surprises, too.

I had never seen anything like the generosity of the American people. When I moved into my apartment, people from the gym showed up one after the other. One brought a little TV set, one brought dishes and utensils, one brought a chair. It was unbelievable. I had no money, but it didn’t matter because everyone was there for me.

Hell, I wouldn’t have understood all of the crazy news on my TV if my new friend Artie Zeller hadn’t sat with me almost every night to translate the evening news for me.

On Thanksgiving (try explaining Thanksgiving to an Austrian), my friend Bill Drake brought me to his family’s house, and they treated me like their own son.

When my birthday came around the next year, it was the first time anyone made a cake for me.

This is how in the midst of all of these bad things happening nationally, I found what really mattered: the people in America were good. News and events and political leaders were chaotic and sometimes truly terrible. But I had never seen people with more heart, with more kindness.

That fundamental goodness is what I reflected on this weekend as I celebrated my 40th anniversary of becoming a citizen.

I hear from many of you that the country or the world is a mess, that it is chaotic, that things aren’t going in the direction you hoped.

I want you to remember that no matter what is happening in the news, you have the power over your own life — you have the power to do good. Whether you live here in America or somewhere else, you have the power to make a wide-eyed kid feel welcome and at home, like Americans did for me in 1968.

No news story will ever take that away from you.

The New Anti-Depressant

When times get tough, the tough get pumping. New research suggests that moving your body could be the key to reclaiming your happiness and decreasing your risk of depression.

In a 10-year study on more than 4,000 adults, researchers found that physical activity was associated with a lower risk of depressive symptoms and major depressive disorder. The scientists wanted to determine the impact of how much you exercise and how often you exercise. They examined people who exercised three times and five times per week and measured what happens when you exercise less than 150 minutes per week, between 150 to 300 minutes, and more than 300 minutes per week.

Those who exercised three times per week and trained more than 300 minutes per week experienced a 20 percent lower risk of depressive symptoms compared to those training less than 150 minutes per week. When you spread those 300 minutes across five days of movement, that jumped to a 25 percent decrease.

It’s important to note that the benefits weren’t just for those spending hours in the gym. Approximately 45 minutes of exercise per week — including walking — was associated with nearly a 20 percent reduction in depressive symptoms compared to no movement at all.

And it wasn’t just feeling a little better. Those in both groups experienced up to a 45 percent decreased likelihood of developing major depressive disorder — an amount that rivals or is better than most anti-depressants.

The study not only shows the impact of movement on mood, but also that you can break up the movement in many different ways. Even if you only have time for exercise a few days per week, it can still help you feel dramatically better.

Workout of the Week

Looking for a quick pump? We have you covered. This week’s workout is basic, but — as we repeatedly tell you — basic movements performed with high intensity deliver the best results. When people see Arnold’s training logs, they are shocked by the lack of variety. But Arnold knew you didn’t need endless exercises to transform your body. You just needed a way to progressively push your muscles to work harder. And that’s what this workout does.

How to do it

This workout consists of an upper-body workout and a lower-body workout. That’s it. Rotate between Day 1 and Day 2. You can rest one day between each workout, or you can do the workout on back-to-back days, and then rest on the third day. At a minimum, try to perform three workouts per week, but a maximum of 4 to 5 sessions.

Both workouts are done as straight sets, which means you’ll perform all sets of the first exercise before moving on to the next. Repeat this pattern until all exercises are done. If you want to make an exercise harder, add a weighted vest, rucksack, or backpack with weight.

 Bodyweight Only – Upper
1) Feet-Elevated Pushup (Decline pushups): 3 sets x 10-20 reps (60 seconds rest)

2) Close-grip pushup: 3 sets x 6-10 reps (60 seconds rest)

3) Pullup: 3 sets x 6-10 reps (60 seconds rest)
4) Inverted row: 3 sets x AMAP (as many reps as possible) (60 seconds rest)
5) Lying leg raises: 3 sets x 10-20 reps (60 seconds rest)

Bodyweight Only Lower
1) Reverse lunge: 3 sets x 8-15 reps (60 seconds rest)
2) 1-Leg Hip Thrust: 3 sets (per side) x 12-20 reps (60 seconds rest)

3) Wall Squat Iso Hold: 3 sets x 30-60 seconds (60 seconds rest)
4) Bodyweight squat: 3 sets x 10-20 reps (60 seconds rest)
5) Inchworm/plank walkout: 3 sets x 8-12 reps (60 seconds rest)

Give it a try, and let us know what you think! Here’s wishing you all a fantastic week ahead.

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell