Hey everybody,

I've been promising an AMA about fitness for the /r/fitness crowd for a while. I'm on a plane for an hour... so why don't I take a few questions?

Looking forward to starting in the next 15 minutes.

Twitter Proof: https://twitter.com/Schwarzenegger/status/320296360937140225

Update: Thanks guys, that was a lot of fun. I'm landing and losing my signal, but you know I'll be back. Don't be surprised if I stop by and answer a few more over the next few days.


Comments: 2451 • Responses: 13  • Date: 

Jahmay1882 karma

Arnold, this isnt a question. I just wanted to show you that I look at you everyday I workout with every rep I take

pictures of you

Thanks for everything you've changed in my life.

GovSchwarzenegger3292 karma

This reminds me a little of my room when I was a kid. Only I had Reg Park and all the older guys on my wall.

My mom was more than a little concerned that I had half-naked, oiled up men everywhere, but when she finally called the doctor over to see if I was ok, he assured her it was perfectly normal, I just looked up to those guys.

Thanks for sharing.

phrakture1188 karma

If you had to start all over from scratch, what sort of routine would you do as an absolute beginner?

GovSchwarzenegger1736 karma

I would do basically the same thing I did.

The only thing I would change in a perfect world is I would add the training I couldn't do, because of the lack of equipment. I would add much more direct calf, rear delt, and hamstring work. We didn't have machines for those things in Graz. It was all barbells and dumbbells, which was great but not the best for bodybuilding.

That training was a blessing, though. It's why I was able to get so big. Plus, I was strong and my body was ready for the isolation stuff by the time I got to Munich and had that equipment.

ImNickJames564 karma

Would you change anything diet-wise?

GovSchwarzenegger2072 karma

Again, this wasn't something I could change because it wasn't possible, but in an ideal situation I could have had more meat. My family just didn't have enough money. I knew I needed more protein, but it just wasn't a possibility. Until I was 18, I could only get meat once a week, and I drank skim milk powder with yeast and eggs. It was a horrible drink. In an ideal world, I would have had at least three meals a day with meat.

The year I spent in the army and had meat every day, I gained 25 pounds.

Snickerslol1786 karma

and crashed a tank.

GovSchwarzenegger4206 karma

True. I never said I was a good tank driver.

MistaPea1016 karma

Just saw your twitter so hope this doesn't get buried. What is your most recommended exercise to do without any weights or machines. Push-ups?

GovSchwarzenegger2214 karma

Chin-ups, no question. I think if you are doing only one exercise, you're getting your most bang for the buck. The biceps, serratus, forearms, lats, the whole back. You can switch grips to change the focus, too. So if there is only one, that's it.

bondinspace868 karma

My overweight dad (51 yrs) was just told he has hypertension for the first time (runs in the family). I've been trying to get him to eat healthier for years and let me teach him how to power-lift, and now I'm worried more than ever.

Could you offer my mother and him any motivation or advice to start taking some time out of their day for this, even if it's just a half hour of cardio? Something that would say "Hey, I'm not talking crazy over here"?

GovSchwarzenegger3201 karma

I have to close with this one, because we are landing soon and the wifi goes out at 10,000 feet.

First, take the positive approach, and tell him how much you love him and want him to be around. Don't try the negative approach and tell him he eats junk and needs to fix it.

Just remind your dad that there is nothing more important than his health. Everything comes from health. Work, money, family, whatever he enjoys. He can't have any of that without his health.

The only time to go negative: if he says there isn't enough time, tell him that's just terrible math. Any minutes or hours he subtracts from his day right now for health and fitness is multiplied in the months and years he would add to his life. That's fitness math.

Tell your dad the first step might seem impossible, but like Mandela said, "It always seems impossible... until it's done." And once he starts, a body that is in motion tends to stay in motion.

Good luck. And he might like this challenge I'm doing with Fitocracy: www.fitocracy.com/spark (It is geared toward beginners. I hope to add one for the more serious lifters next month.)

a_f_b837 karma

What is your opinion of the 5x5 workout?

GovSchwarzenegger2556 karma

You probably won't like this... When I was gaining strength, I liked to warm up with 10,8,6,4 and then stay at 2 reps for five sets, and then back to 4, then 6, and then use the stripping method and just drop plates and keep doing 4 reps until I couldn't.

thename226317 karma

I'd like to know the answer to this one too. Aronld, here's a link to the program: http://stronglifts.com/stronglifts-5x5-beginner-strength-training-program/

Here's the program:

Workout A:

Squat 5x5

Bench Press 5x5

Barbell Rows 5x5

Workout B:

Squat 5x5

Overhead Press 5x5

Deadlift 1x5

You alternate between the two exercises and increase the weights by 5 pounds every workout.

GovSchwarzenegger728 karma

I like that you're doing the big lifts. I wish there were chin ups. I think this would be great if you added in a day with some more assistance style work. But everything depends on your goal. This is a great start for lifting.

jdemart686 karma

As people get older their workouts tend to change. Are you still doing the same lifting you were doing when you were younger? Or has it shifted in a certain way? Or have you taken up something like yoga?

GovSchwarzenegger1184 karma

My workouts have definitely changed. I can't do as many free weight exercises because of injuries. Luckily, the technology has moved forward and I can find some replacements with machines. Here is an example: I loved barbell curls. Because of my two shoulder surgeries, I avoid going heavy, and I use the preacher curl machine.

But I still can do my t-bar rows and bent-over rows, which I love.

Snowman24640 karma

When trying to cut weight after a bulk, what was your best method? In terms of cardio, diet, etc? Do you believe in ketosis at all?

GovSchwarzenegger1781 karma

Pretty simple... I would add in extra cardio - running on the beach, swimming, and bicycling. I cut out bread, pasta and desserts. It definitely wasn't rocket science, but it worked.

Indi90550 karma

What are your PR's in the standard powerlifts, i.e. bench press, squats, and deadlift, also have you ever done any Olympic weightlifting?

GovSchwarzenegger1255 karma

Bench: 518 (500 in competition) Deadlift: 710 Squat: 540

I started out Olympic lifting. These numbers are from when I was 17:

Clean and jerk: 245
Press(which they don;t do any more): 210 Snatch: 200

IdiosyncraticOwl468 karma

What is your favorite exercise or lift?

GovSchwarzenegger1222 karma

Clean and press. It trains every muscle at once. Think about it... you could do calf raises, squats, rows, high pulls, shrugs, and military press... or you can do a clean and press.

I also always loved to deadlift.

zergcraft399 karma

How do you feel about the popularity of Mass Monsters in today's bodybuilding scene?

Would you like to see it go back to a focus on Aesthetics, muscle symmetry, smaller waist lines and stomach vacuum poses?

GovSchwarzenegger990 karma

First, I have nothing against monsters. It takes a lot of effort to get there. But we shouldn't go away from the basic principles of proportions, symmetry, muscularity, performance on the stage, and the idea of a small waist and big shoulders. The further we get from those principles, the further we get from the ideal.