How to Get Fit After 70: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Inspiring Journey

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the man that needs no introduction: the Terminator, seven-time Mr. Olympia, and 38th governor of California. At the age of 77, Arnold still radiates strength and vitality. Yet, behind this aura of invincibility lies a remarkable story of resilience, determination, and an unwavering spirit to defy the odds.

Arnold’s journey to maintain peak fitness past the age of 70 is not just about pumping iron or sticking to a strict diet—it’s a testament to the power of perseverance and the human spirit. Born with a bicuspid aortic valve, a genetic heart condition, Arnold has faced numerous challenges. Over the years, he underwent multiple heart surgeries, including valve replacements in 1997 and subsequent procedures in 2018 and 2020. Despite these health hurdles, Arnold’s resilience and disciplined lifestyle have kept him strong and vibrant.

In this article, we delve into the secrets behind Arnold’s enduring fitness, exploring his workout routines, dietary habits, and the mindset that keeps him going. This isn’t just a guide for those in their golden years—it’s a source of inspiration for anyone looking to lead a healthier, more active life.

Embracing a New Fitness Mantra

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s fitness mantra echoes the iconic Nike slogan: “Don’t think, just do it.” His approach to exercise is simple yet profound. Every morning, he pedals his way to Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, a routine he has maintained for decades. Now in his 70s, Arnold has modified his workouts to suit his age and physical condition, focusing on 30-minute sessions that provide the pump and energy he needs for the day.

Arnold’s regimen begins with bicep curls, a foundational exercise for arm strength. He starts with a set of 30 reps to gently warm up his muscles, followed by four sets of 10 to 12 reps to refine his form and build endurance. This methodical approach ensures that he maximizes the benefits of each exercise without overexerting himself.

Transitioning seamlessly, Arnold engages in machine dips to warm up his lower back and knees, fostering flexibility and resilience. The emphasis here isn’t on lifting heavy weights but on cultivating fluid movement and activating key muscle groups. Arnold’s workout is a masterclass in precision and determination, focusing on exercises that enhance his overall fitness and well-being.

Arnold’s shoulder circuit is another key component of his routine. He performs overhead presses, machine lateral raises, and rear delt flies with unwavering determination. These exercises are not just about maintaining muscle mass—they are about preserving his functional independence and ensuring he remains active and capable.

The Importance of Strength Training

For seniors, strength training is crucial. As we age, sarcopenia, or muscle loss, accelerates, making it essential to incorporate resistance training to preserve strength and mobility. Arnold places significant emphasis on this aspect of fitness, understanding that maintaining muscle mass and bone density is vital for long-term health.

Arnold often talks about the importance of exercising with training partners. “When you have a good training partner, he can inspire you,” he says. Having a training partner provides accountability, motivation, and ensures proper form, reducing the risk of injury and enhancing the overall effectiveness of workouts.

Fueling the Body Right

Arnold’s disciplined approach to fitness extends to his diet. At 77, he is more health-conscious than ever, focusing on nutrient-dense foods that fuel his body and support his active lifestyle.

Oatmeal: Arnold swears by oatmeal, a nutritional powerhouse that he often enjoys for breakfast or snacks. Rich in soluble fiber, oatmeal helps lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Its low glycemic index helps manage weight and stabilize blood sugar levels, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to lead a healthier life.

Greens and Vegetables: Arnold’s diet is rich in greens and vegetables, which are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are particularly rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and iron. These nutrients support immune function, bone health, and red blood cell production, contributing to overall well-being.

Watermelon: During the hot summer months, Arnold enjoys watermelon, a refreshing and hydrating fruit. Rich in vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants like lycopene, watermelon helps maintain hydration, supports skin health, and promotes cardiovascular health. Its natural sweetness makes it a satisfying alternative to sugary snacks, while its low calorie and high fiber content support weight management and digestive health.

Radler: Arnold also enjoys radler, a German drink made by blending beer with lemonade or fruit juice. While he savors this beverage in moderation, he emphasizes the importance of mindful consumption to avoid the negative health effects associated with excessive alcohol intake.

What Arnold Cuts Out

To maintain his peak fitness, Arnold avoids certain foods that can negatively impact his health. When filming, he completely cuts out sugar and white bread from his diet. These foods are high in refined carbohydrates, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and contribute to weight gain, insulin resistance, and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Arnold also avoids cow’s milk, preferring almond milk instead. While cow’s milk is a rich source of nutrients like calcium and protein, it can cause issues for those who are lactose intolerant or have allergies. Almond milk is a lower-calorie, lactose-free alternative that fits well with Arnold’s dietary needs.

Additionally, Arnold has significantly reduced his consumption of red meat, opting for plant-based protein sources instead. In his younger days as a bodybuilder, he relied heavily on meat for protein. However, given his heart condition and advancing age, he now favors protein shakes and plant-based options to meet his nutritional needs.

Arnold’s Secret Protein Shake Recipe

Arnold’s protein shake is a staple of his diet, providing the nutrients he needs to support his active lifestyle. The base is a generous amount of almond milk, making it a lactose-free option. He adds cherry juice for taste and its rich nutrient content, including potassium and antioxidants that reduce inflammation.

A fresh banana adds fiber and electrolytes like potassium, essential for proper muscle function. Arnold then incorporates plant-based protein powder from his own brand, Ladder, co-founded with LeBron James. This protein powder provides 26 grams of protein from whey protein isolate, supporting muscle protein synthesis and recovery.

The final ingredient in Arnold’s protein shake is a raw whole egg, including the eggshell. Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamins, and antioxidants that support overall health. However, it’s important to be cautious when using raw eggs due to the risk of salmonella contamination.

Arnold’s Supplement Choice

Arnold also takes multivitamins as part of his daily routine but reminds us that supplements are just an addition to a healthy diet and active lifestyle. “Because they all want to look like me. It’s never going to happen,” he jokes, emphasizing that there are no shortcuts to achieving lasting health and fitness.

Conclusion: The Power of Perseverance

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s journey to maintain fitness after 70 is a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit. Through disciplined exercise, a nutrient-rich diet, and a positive mindset, Arnold has defied the odds and continues to inspire millions around the world. His story is a testament to the fact that age is just a number, and with determination and the right approach, anyone can achieve their fitness goals.

So, whether you’re 70 or 17, take a leaf out of Arnold’s book. Embrace a healthy lifestyle, stay active, and never stop striving for your best self. As Arnold himself says, “Don’t think, just do it.”

Submit comment!