Arnold Schwarzenegger shares five fitness tips for beginners

Arnold Schwarzenegger has shared his expert workout advice for people looking to start their fitness journey.

The bodybuilding legend and former governor of California recently hosted a surprise “Ask Me Anything” on the Reddit forum r/Fitness. There, he answered fans’ questions about everything from his daily workout schedule, to the benefits of working out at a public gym, to his favourite protein shake recipe.

“Since I started my daily fitness newsletter, I started taking some questions from readers this week and remembered how much I love it,” he began the Reddit AMA, under the username u/GovSchwarzenegger. “My team told me it has been almost a decade since I took questions here. Should we go for it?”

The seven-time Mr Olympia winner instantly received more than 1,200 comments from fans, so much so that he fielded questions on Reddit for nearly five hours.

Here are five fitness tips for beginners from the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Start small

After answering questions on Reddit, the Terminator star compiled the highlights into a post for his weekly newsletter, “The Pump Daily”, specifically about his workout advice for beginners.

“My advice to beginners is really simple: begin,” he wrote. “And then don’t stop until it is a routine. For a lot of people, that first step is the hardest. So find something, anything, you can do.”

Schwarzenegger suggested starting small by going on a 30-minute walk. For those who walk all day but wish to gain more strength, try doing five push-ups and then five squats. Then, go down to four push-ups and four squats.

“Rest if you need to,” he added. Keep going down to three push-ups and three squats, then two and two, and then one and one for a total of 15 push-ups and 15 squats.

“If it was easy, start at 10 next time,” he said.

Keep momentum

In his newsletter, the action star explained that keeping your momentum is one of the most important parts of a beginner’s fitness journey – which is why Schwarzenegger said he “encourages everyone to set goals they can achieve when they’re just starting out.”

For example, he suggested training 10 minutes every day for a month, followed by 15 minutes a day.

“Motivation is fleeting, but routine is what carries you on,” he said. “You need to make this a routine. Do whatever you can do every day for a month, and then build on that.”

Track every workout

During the Reddit AMA, one fan asked Schwarzenegger whether it’s beneficial to track progress during a workout, and how he recommends going about it.

The Predator star responded that he used to track every one of his workouts, adding: “I used a chalkboard in the gym and marked off my reps. I wrote it down ahead of time and then marked off each set as I finished. You can use your phone for this or music – but nothing else! – in the gym.”

Avoid using phones at the gym

Speaking of phones, Schwarzenegger is a major proponent of staying unplugged during a workout. Over on Reddit, he often shared that he doesn’t “like when I see people on their phones” at the gym. When one disappointed fan shared they were sad to have missed his Reddit AMA (because they were in the middle of a workout), the Austrian actor still commended them for going off the grid.

“Devastated to have missed this,” they wrote. “However, proud to say that five-seven hours ago (duration of the AMA sadly) I was busy pumping iron in the gym.”

“Champion,” he replied. “I’m proud of you for not being on your phone during the pump.”

Schwarzenegger also made sure to point out a study which suggested that using your phone before exercise may reduce your strength by nearly 30 per cent.

Protein, protein, protein

For those who are just starting out in their fitness journeys, Schwarzenegger recommended implementing protein into their diet, especially for those trying to gain weight and muscle.

“Focus on simple things,” he told Reddit users. “Get protein every meal. Try that for a month. Anytime you put food in your mouth, make sure there is a protein source. I have a test group doing this simple challenge and they saw crazy results.”

Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger’s favourite foods to help maintain muscle are omelettes or scrambled eggs with “absolutely every vegetable in them,” along with a salad for lunch. For breakfast, he also enjoys a yogurt with granola, and almonds or a protein shake as a snack. “I just have vegetable soup for dinner,” he added.

As for his go-to protein shake recipe, Schwarzenegger goes for a plant-based protein powder from the brand Ladder, with banana, almond milk, some cherry juice, and one special ingredient.

“If I’m feeling crazy, schnapps,” he said.

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