Bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger maintains a strong presence in the fitness space despite moving on from professional competition decades ago. In a recent edition of The Pump Daily newsletter, Schwarzenegger shared the checklist for a healthy diet and the best practices to optimize recovery.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is widely regarded as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, along with eight-time Mr. Olympia winner Ronnie Coleman. He dominated the stages during the 1970s. He dethroned former Mr. Olympia champ Sergio Oliva to win his maiden trophy and totaled seven Sandows before retiring. Schwarzenegger helped elevate the sport into the mainstream through his lead role in the 1977 docudrama Pumping Iron.
The 75-year-old maintains his passion for working out and keeps a high fitness level into his twilight years. He has a massive following of 23.2 million followers on Instagram and regularly motivates his fans to stay healthy. About two months ago, he encouraged others to make walking and high-protein meals a part of their routine to extend their lifespan.
Arnold Schwarzenegger joined forces with social media fitness influencer Joey Swoll to promote positivity at gyms earlier this month. Some of Swoll’s recent callouts of disrespectful gym-goers caught his attention. Schwarzenegger praised Swoll for pushing back on the rise in toxic gym culture and hinted at an extended partnership to make gyms a safe space for everyone.
‘The Austrian Oak’ got involved in an accident with a cyclist two weeks ago. Initial reports cleared Schwarzenegger of any wrongdoing, but a full investigation followed.
Having competed against many notable figures on stage, Schwarzenegger backed Sergio Oliva as the toughest competitor he ever faced. He recounted his loss to Oliva in his first-ever Olympia appearance. Arnold added Franco Columbu as another tough rival whom he battled many times.
Arnold Schwarzenegger shares the healthy diet checklist
In a recent edition of The Daily Pump newsletter, Arnold Schwarzenegger shared the checklist for a healthy diet.
“Many diet books and experts will try to convince you that there’s a “best” diet. But that’s a game you can’t win, and a big reason so many people struggle with their weight.
“If you want to leave the dieting hamster wheel, it’s helpful to look for common trends instead of a specific style of eating. A 10-year study looked at more than 17,000 people and found that good health can be determined by a few common eating habits.
“The study found — regardless of your genetic risk — there are eating behaviors that lead to less body fat, more lean mass, and better overall health, and it has nothing to do about cutting carbs, avoiding gluten, or trying to detox your body.
The healthy habits included:
- Eating more than 400 grams of fruits and vegetables per day (for reference, this is about 3 pieces of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables)
- Keeping total dietary fat to less than 30% of your total daily calories (if you’re following a 2,000-calorie diet, this means you could eat up to 65 grams of fat per day)
- Limiting saturated fat to 10 percent (or less) of your daily caloric intake
- Keeping sugar to less than 10 percent of your daily total calories
- Eating 25 grams (or more) of fiber each day
- Consuming more than 3500mg of potassium (potassium is found in many foods including potatoes, avocado, bananas and oranges, green veggies, dairy, cashews, beans and lentils, and salmon)
“The diet habits provide some good recommendations without telling you exactly what to eat,” added Schwarzenegger. “And that’s a great reminder that the best diet is the one that you can follow. So don’t overthink the need for one style of eating, and instead focus on the bigger picture categories.”
Schwarzenegger shares best practices for recovery
‘The Austrian Oak’ discussed some of the best practices for recovery.
“How much time off do you need between training sessions? If you’re not a beginner, you might need much less than you think,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger. “One of the most commonly held beliefs is that your body needs at least 48 hours of rest before you train the same muscle again. So if you trained your chest and back on Monday, you’d want to wait to hit those muscles again until Wednesday, at the earliest. Researchers recently challenged this belief by seeing what happens when training four days in a row at a high intensity but with limited total volume (not doing too many sets and reps). The results? Despite working out multiple days in a row, training every day did not harm performance and even led to some improvements.
“In the study, participants performed just 2 sets of 11 different exercises. The first set consisted of 10-12 reps, and the second focused on doing as many reps as possible (with one small important limit we’ll cover in a moment). By the end of the four days, many participants actually did more reps on day 4 of the workout than day 3.
“What to make of it all? For starters, the study focused on advanced lifters. If you’re a beginner or intermediate, your body likely needs more time to recover. Additionally, the participants were not taking each set to complete failure. Instead, they were instructed to leave at least 1 rep in the tank. The combination of more lifting experience and not pushing to failure made it possible to train more often, recover, and still stay strong.
“This is good news for people who need to settle for shorter, more frequent workouts. It shows you don’t have to do endless sets in the gym. Instead, if you can push yourself hard for a couple of sets and find your way to the gym several days per week, you can see amazing results without burning out your body.
One note: the participants did perceive a high level of fatigue. While that didn’t impact results, it’s something to be mindful of if you’re trying to train this way over a longer period of time.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger gave fans some of his best tips for beginners looking to get started in their fitness journey. He believes consistency is the key and stressed the importance of making workouts a daily part of your routine.