Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. 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
No squats, no problem
The traffic exercise
Let’s eat pasta
A special podcast
No Squats, No Problem
What if we told you that barbell squats aren’t necessary for great results? According to a recent study, you can build strength and muscle in your lower body and burn fat with bodyweight leg exercises.
The study challenged the idea that you need to perform particular exercises to build strength and muscle. The barbell squat is a fantastic exercise, but sometimes, it’s not a good fit for everyone.
The researchers tracked the results of beginners who performed bodyweight exercises to those performing the barbell back squat. For six weeks, one group did five reps of 5 sets of back squats, while the other group did six sets of 8 to 12 reps of single-leg squat movements, such as skater squats, lunges, and Bulgarian split squats. Both groups gained similar strength and muscle and lost weight, but the barbell group saw more pure fat loss.
If you’re just starting your fitness journey, this research shows that bodyweight exercises are very effective, and there’s no need to stress about doing particular exercises. In fact, doing bodyweight moves can help you build your foundation and progress to weighted exercises, such as the barbell squat. And even if barbell squats don’t feel like a good fit, your body will improve and transform when you push yourself hard and find movements that challenge your muscles.
The Positive Corner of Masculinity: The Traffic Exercise
Today’s masculinity corner is more of an exercise than a column. And honestly, everybody should try this, not just the men.
The response to this new segment has been unbelievable. Each week, when we run a column, we get hundreds of emails from moms and dads of boys thanking us for offering an alternative to the negative influencers their sons have found online and notes from men telling us that they are happy we are talking openly about what it means to be a man today in a positive way.
But we also get a couple of emails from women asking why we need to devote one column a week to men. My answer to them is twofold: since we do a minimum of three topics, five days a week, and do this once a week, this corner takes up — at most — 6 percent of what we share. The other 94 percent is for everyone. And really, a lot of the advice in this column can be used by men and women. The other part of my answer is that it’s important. If you don’t see what manfluencers are saying to young men, I get that you wouldn’t see this as a problem. Just yesterday, I saw someone with a lot of followers telling their followers that men don’t change diapers; it’s the women’s role. It made me proud that I wrote about changing diapers and men doing what needs to be done in my first column.
There is a darkness out there. The way to beat it isn’t to ignore or complain about it. We have to offer a positive alternative. In short, we have to talk to these boys and young men so that the only people they hear from aren’t Stone Age lunatics.
Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the exercise. I’ve been working on this for a while, and it has immeasurably improved my mood when I arrive anywhere.
When you’re in traffic or driving somewhere, and something bad happens, whether someone cuts you off or honks at you a millisecond after a light changes or gives you the finger and yells at you from their car, I want you to laugh about it. It might feel fake at first. That is fine — do a big fake laugh in the car. Tell yourself they might see it and be upset that you aren’t as mad as they are.
Here’s something we know about testosterone: it makes us more aggressive. All of us have testosterone, but men’s levels are much higher on average than women's, and that’s part of what makes us who we are. There are a lot of benefits that come with testosterone.
But we can’t let it ruin our days. I started doing this a while ago after I got to an event when someone cut me off and then gave me the finger, and I was still amped up and angry when I was trying to work. I’m guessing most of you, men and women, have been there.
I decided to try something new: Instead of reacting in kind, I’d laugh because if they did see me, that would be the best revenge. Whether or not it worked as revenge, it made me feel ridiculous in a way that defused my anger. I kept doing it. And man, my mood is never ruined by getting from one place to another now.
Trust me: there is enough stress when you’re at the places you need to be; you don’t need to add it to the path that brings you there.
Kill that aggression when you’re in traffic, and save it when you need to make a big move at work or in the gym.
This is your Traffic Training. You can do it. Tell me the first time you laughed instead of yelling something in your car that the offending culprit wouldn’t hear anyway.
-Ketch, the deadlifting and rucking dad
Recipe of the Week: Daniel’s Way-Too-Easy Healthy Pasta
A few months ago, we shared research that suggests pasta is not the cause of weight gain, being overweight, or obesity. In the study, scientists reviewed 38 studies examining pasta intake. They found no direct relationship between eating pasta and gaining weight — and that, in many situations, eating pasta was associated with weight loss.
And because we like to practice what we preach, Daniel has made a habit of enjoying pasta and staying strong and lean. Here’s his go-to pasta recipe: big on flavor, loaded with high-quality protein, and low on guilt.
1 pound ground Maui Nui Venison (we love their blend because it’s 53% higher in protein than beef and has almost no saturated fat; use code PUMPCLUB for 20% off)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 package of pasta (choose the noodle of your choice)
1 handful of baby carrots
2 handfuls of artichoke hearts
3 handfuls of spinach
15 oz can of crushed tomatoes
*Note: There are no onions in this recipe because Daniel’s daughter feeds her food to their dog. But feel free to add if you enjoy!
1. Boil a big pot of water and turn the heat on a sauté pan to medium, and add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan.
2. Chop baby carrots and prepare ground venison (you can use any ground meat or plant-based meat) with salt and pepper.
3. Crumble the venison into the pan with your hands (because it’s easier than using a spatula). Add the baby carrots to the pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Throw in a couple of handfuls of frozen artichoke hearts and a couple of handfuls of spinach. Use a spatula to keep everything moving until the artichoke hearts are cooking and the spinach is wilted.
4. Add a 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes to the pan. After mixing it well, add more salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder, and turn down the heat to a simmer.
5. Add pasta to the boiling water and set a timer for 11 minutes.
6. Drain the pasta, mix it into the sauce, and enjoy! You now have a delicious meal loaded with protein, veggies, and pasta — it’s all done in less than 30 minutes.
Give it a try, and let us know what you think!
From Arnold: A Special Podcast
Tomorrow, I’m getting together with over 400 people — my team, reporters, and friends from my time as Governor. This is a reminder to celebrate. Because 20 years ago, I was sworn in for the first time. I held my hand in the air and took the oath in front of the cameras, but I didn’t do anything alone. Our great environmental laws, our political reforms to take power from the politicians and give it back to the people, our historic infrastructure investment — I could go on and on.
Those successes were not mine alone. They were a team effort. My time as Governor was a success AND A joy because of them. So tomorrow, I am not just celebrating my 20th anniversary of becoming Governor; I am celebrating them. We’ll have drinks and mariachi, remember the good old days, and connect. We changed the state for the better and had a good time doing it. That’s worth celebrating.
One of the reporters who covered me, Joe Mathews, wrote a history of the Recall election. The great voice actor Edoardo Ballerini narrated it. It’s basically a 2-hour audiobook. It won’t be for all of you, but I knew some of you might like it. So, I’m sharing it here as a bonus episode. You can listen on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you enjoy your podcasts.
To my team — see you tomorrow!
Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger