Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s dedication to health and longevity drove him to become one of the best bodybuilders of all time. In a recent Arnold’s Pump Club newsletter, Schwarzenegger discussed the importance of training despite age and detailed his harrowing experience with a third open heart surgery.
In the 1970s, Arnold Schwarzenegger became an instant attraction in the bodybuilding world. His long frame, full muscles, and powerful chest and biceps proved to be a lethal combination on stage. “The Austrian Oak” would enjoy success against some of the world’s best during his tenure, which included names like Sergio Oliva, Frank Zane, and Franco Columbu.
Schwarzenegger won the Mr. Olympia title a total of seven times (1970-75, 1980) before stepping away from the sport. Having transferred his charisma from the stage to his acting career, Schwarzenegger emerged as an international icon with regular appearances in blockbuster movies and TV shows.
At age 76, the bodybuilding legend’s top priority is health and wellness. Whether he’s spreading tips for anti-aging or offering a circuit grip strength workout, Schwarzenegger is determined to preserve his body even with a hectic schedule.
“It Is Never Too Late to Start Training” – Arnold Schwarzenegger on the Importance of Exercise
Regardless of age or health challenges, Schwarzenegger stresses that exercise “will improve your life.” He credits regular training for helping people avoid osteoporosis, dementia, and injuries from falls. In addition, he said it lowers the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
“I have heard from a lot of you that you think you’re too injured or too old to start training.
I want you to know that it is never, ever too late. No matter how old you are and no matter what health challenges you are dealing with, training will improve your life.
We have shared countless studies in the daily newsletter about how resistance training increases bone density and helps avoid osteoporosis, protects the mind from dementia, helps prevent injuries from falls, lowers cancer risk, and helps prevent cardiovascular disease. The list goes on and on and on.”
“If you didn’t notice, these are the common problems that come with aging. No part of getting older isn’t made a little better with resistance training. And I will say again: it is never too late to start. We all have problems. Men and women have hormonal challenges that come with aging. But we are here for you and will provide workouts and information that help you.”
Schwarzenegger underlined that the starting point doesn’t matter, just as long as the person follows through with the exercise.
“I always believe in looking at the positive. I love that there is an unbelievable hunger among the older members of our village for fitness knowledge. Our younger members want to get their parents and grandparents training so they can be healthier longer for their kids and grandkids.
It does not matter if you’re starting from nothing. What matters is that you start.”
“I’m here for you. And I want you to know that even though you see me as Mr. Universe and the Terminator, I’ve also had to start from scratch. When I had my heart surgery five years ago, a non-invasive procedure went south and became full-blown open-heart surgery. I told the story about coming back from that in my e-book, which many of you downloaded when you subscribed.
Since I was starting from zero, my daily exercises became the breathing exercises that would keep me from getting pneumonia, the big danger for patients after open-heart surgery. Then, there were walks around the nursing station. Eventually, I went home and walked around my property.
The key was, even though I wasn’t doing my normal training, I was training. I was keeping track of my reps — instead of 5 sets of 10 reps of barbell rows, I was doing reps of breathing exercises. I was doing reps of walking. And eventually, I was doing reps of exercises without any weights, just going through the motions. Eventually, my doctors cleared me to add weight, and I was ready to film Terminator 6 three and a half months later with no limitations,” Arnold Schwarzenegger shared.
Schwarzenegger Recaps Open Heart Surgery in Never-Before-Seen Video: “I Was in the Middle of a Disaster”
Next, the 76-year-old talked about his third open heart surgery and shared that doctors made a mistake that caused internal bleeding. Despite the disaster, Schwarzenegger knew even on the hospital bed that he’d have to dig himself out of this hole.
“No one had ever seen video of me during this time. But I shared it with my little app village two weeks ago to help inspire a few of our users who were worried about coming back from their own surgeries. And now, I’m sharing it with you.”
“I remember when I had my open heart surgery, the third one which was just a few years ago just before we started Terminator 6. I was really freaking out. I woke up all of a sudden and doctors were standing in front of me, and they are like, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry. Unlike what we planned, a non-invasive surgery to just go up the groins and to the heart and replace your valve.
We made a mistake a poked through the heart wall therefore we had internal bleeding. We opened you up very quickly to save your life.’ I said, ‘Great. This is really great news.’ The bottom line is you cannot roll the clock back. It’s a disaster. I was in the middle of a disaster. So now, it’s how do I get out of it. You have to shift gears, collect yourself, and say, okay what I need to do now is get out of this hospital number one,” Schwarzenegger explained.
Schwarzenegger fondly looked back on his friends coming to the hospital to help him regain the ability to walk.
“I called my buddies in and told them you have to fire me up and count the amount of steps I was doing. That’s what we were doing every day everyone came in the hospital, okay, Arnold, let’s get up and walk the hallway. I was walking down the hallway, ‘You were doing really well.’ I wasn’t doing well. I looked like an idiot. But I was getting going.”
“The doctors said you have to exercise your lungs because if you get pneumonia you could die. So I really wanted to get really going on exercise, get out of the hospital as quickly as possible and then get going with the training again.”
This isn’t the first time Schwarzenegger has encouraged people to work out. He often speaks about taking proactive measures at the gym for a variety of benefits. In a recent Men’s Health Magazine appearance, Schwarzenegger revealed his biggest tip to ensure gym success was to ‘roll out of bed, and don’t think, just do.’
With decades of training under his belt, Schwarzenegger is a living legend who practices what he preaches. Despite a number of health setbacks during his illustrious career, Schwarzenegger continues to give back in retirement.