Wenn Schon, Denn Schon

Whatever you do in life, an old German saying can help make sure you do it the right way.

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

  • Monday Motivation

  • The surprising muscle protector

  • 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.

Monday Motivation

I always tell you to be a sponge, to never stop learning, and to listen more than you talk. A whole chapter in my book is called “Shut Your Mouth, Open Your Mind.”

For the past month, I’ve been running around all over the world talking about Be Useful. Talking, and talking, and talking.

But I want you to know that I’ve also been listening. I see your emails, and I learn a lot from them.

A common theme has been, “Arnold, what if I don’t want to shoot for crazy goals? Not all of us want to be the best bodybuilder, an action star, and a Governor.”

One of the members of our village, Brad, said this very eloquently last week, so I want to share part of his email:

“Can we talk about what success is, give people a working definition? Very few of us will ever get the chance to be a movie star or Governor or even be on that person’s team writing a newsletter and books and designing and updating and writing content for a really nice app. Of course, that is in addition to whatever else you have going. Most of us are working stiffs trying to support and raise our families and do right by them, our neighbors, and co-workers. 

A really good working definition for what success can look like can change how we see a whole lot about ourselves. It can also help us make good or better decisions for how we allocate our time and energies.

My definition is to do well at everything I am touching, whether that be work, coaching my kids in their sports or spending time with family and giving them the attention they need as they need it.”

Brad, let me tell you, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Success isn’t just defined by chasing crazy goals. Success can be as simple as being the best teacher you can be, the best plumber you can be, the best nurse you can be — you name it. Success can be raising amazing children who know you care about them and you’re always there for them. Success can be working your hardest to overcome your struggles and challenges.

So here is my working definition: Success is not a paycheck or a job title.

If it were, there wouldn’t be so many rich, famous, or accomplished people who are deeply unhappy.

Success is knowing that whatever you do, you are going all out. You’re doing it 100%. You aren’t half-assing it. And whatever “it” is for you, it doesn’t matter. Success is the same.

Success is whole-assing whatever you do.

In Be Useful, I explain this using a German phrase. Wenn schon, denn schon. It basically means, if you’re going to do it, do it.

When I say to have a big vision, it doesn’t mean you have to find crazy dreams like me. It means that if your vision is raising fantastic children, don’t set out to be an OK parent or even just an above-average parent. Set out to be the best parent you can be.

If you give whatever you’re doing your all, you’ll never regret it. You’ll never look back in 20 years and say, “I wonder what might have happened if I tried harder.”

One of the biggest challenges we face in going all out is the rise of the machines. For those of you who are new here, that’s what I call phones and iPads. They are great tools that give us access to all the information in the world and let us connect with people we would have never met otherwise.

But they also inspire half-assing. They are designed to distract us from going all in on whatever we are doing.

It drives me crazy when I see someone at the gym sitting and staring at their phone while they’re on a machine or someone out to dinner with their family just looking down at who knows what — it could be social media, it could be the news, it could be a work email. Whatever it is, it takes you away from being all-in at that moment.

If you think whatever is on your machine is more important than whatever is right in front of you in the real world, you’re setting yourself up for a life with a lot of regret. You probably won’t remember the news article or the Instagram post in ten minutes. Meanwhile, if you weren’t looking down, your kids might have said something hilarious that you’d be telling stories about in 50 years.

Whatever you’re doing, remember this: you chose to do it. There was a reason for that. So doesn’t it deserve 100% of you?

That’s my definition of success.

Whole-ass whatever you do. Go all out. Wenn schon, denn schon.

The Surprising Muscle Protector

Are you worried about muscle loss as you age? We frequently recommend protein (and for good reason), but it’s not the only food that packs some power. 

Scientists found drinking tea and eating fruit could help preserve and increase muscle. 

A recent meta-analysis suggests that consuming flavonoids can benefit skeletal muscle health, helping combat muscle loss and improve overall physical function. Flavanoids — which are found in foods such as black and green tea, berries (blueberries, strawberries), citrus fruits, onions, apples, grapes, and cocoa — appear to have protective qualities, acting as a shield against age-related muscle decline, thereby preserving muscle mass and strength.

The research suggests that consuming flavonoids might prevent muscle loss and support muscle growth. While more research needs to be done, the scientists believe that flavonoids enhance muscle protein synthesis, improve mitochondrial function, and increase blood flow to muscles, all leading to the potential benefits. 

Workout of the Week: Classic Supersets

Last week, we opened the doors to The Pump (email members can still access a free 7-day app trial using the code ARNOLD). The positive corner is growing, and the feedback from new members is what we’ve seen for the last six months: Arnold isn’t messing around. The workouts aren’t complicated, but they are challenging, effective, and enjoyable. 

Whether or not you join the app, we’ll keep sharing workouts on Mondays each week. Here’s another workout that gives your muscles a steady diet of movements that deliver results. 

How to do it

This full-body workout is built around Arnold’s classic supersets. The workout consists of four different supersets. You’ll do two exercises back-to-back with as little rest as possible. Then rest for 1 to 2 minutes and repeat. After you’ve done two sets of the exercise pairing, move to the next superset. If you’re more advanced, you can do three to four supersets of each pairing. 

Bodyweight version

Superset 1: Chest and back

Pushup: 8-12 reps

Superman “W” or Inverted row: 8-12 reps

Superset 2: Shoulders, biceps, triceps

Bent-over IYT: 8-12 reps (do 8-12 reps for the I’s, Y’s, and T’s)

Backpack curls (put books in a bag and curl the weight)

Incline pushups: 8-12 reps

Superset 3: Legs

Rear-foot elevated split squat: 8-12 reps

Single-leg deadlift: 8-12 reps

Superset 3: Abs

Leg raise: 8-12 reps

Plank: 8-12 reps

Dumbbell version

Superset 1: Chest and back

Chest press: 8-12 reps

Bent-over row: 8-12 reps

Superset 2: Shoulders, biceps, and triceps

Seated dumbbell press: 8-12 reps

Dumbbell biceps curl: 8-12 reps

Lying triceps extension: 8-12 reps

Superset 3: Legs

Goblet squat: 8-12 reps

Dumbbell Romanian deadlift: 12 reps

Superset 4: Abs

Leg raise: 8-12 reps

Plank: 8-12 reps

Give it a try, and let us know how it goes!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell