Arnold Schwarzenegger began pumping iron back in the 1960s, and the Terminator star is still in incredible shape today at 72. So it's no surprise that he's a walking encyclopedia of top-shelf fitness advice, heart surgery notwithstanding. Luckily, Schwarzenegger is open about workouts, what he eats to stay in shape, and his personal protein shake recipe in a new interview with Men's Health.
The former California governor, who will return as the title character in the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate, was also pretty honest regarding the few areas where he lacked discipline in the past.
Apparently, as an actively training bodybuilder, one thing Schwarzenegger didn't bother to moderate was his appetite, earning the teasing nickname "the garbage disposal" from his friends. Men's Health reports:
At diners, he would order an omelette, and then, when asked what he wanted in the omelet, Schwarzenegger would say, everything.
"Anything that's in the kitchen sink. Anything you can find on the kitchen floor. Just scrape it up, put it in there, and I will love it,” says Schwarzenegger, one of our October cover stars. Even while training for competition, Schwarzenegger would eat. In 1970, three days before Mr. Olympia in New York, Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbu finished training and headed over to the House of Pies, where they sat down and split an entire cherry pie.
"It was so good, and I think it really contributed to how pumped we got when we went to the Mr. Olympia contest," Schwarzenegger said, laughing. "He won his weight category. I won mine. I won the competition. It didn’t hurt a bit."
He had to admit, though, that he "wasn’t always health-conscious" because the young "get away with a lot of things."
Schwarzenegger readily let the men's magazine get an inside look at how he approaches health and fitness in his 70s. Having resumed his career as an action star after leaving politics, he's definitely doing everything he can to stay ahead of the demands of an aging body.
Workout-wise, Schwarzenegger hits Gold's Gym daily around 7 a.m. Needless to say, he's not doing some kind of strongman competitor workout. "I’m not training heavy anymore," he tells Men's Health, "After my heart surgery, I was advised not to train heavy."
That means rather than knocking out three reps of the most massive weight he can manage, Schwarzenegger does "lighter weights and more reps."
He doesn't do animal proteins, for the most part ("I'm not 100 percent vegan," he admits), saying there's a "misperception that [meat is] the only way you get big and strong."
Schwarzenegger also has his own interesting twist on the protein shake. Its ingredients include almond milk ("I hate cow's milk," he says), tart cherry juice, a banana, and a whole egg in the shell. He jokes that he might add schnapps or tequila for an extra kick.
Asked about "fad diets" like keto or intermittent fasting, the Governator makes it clear he's not following those trends. "When I start a film I don't have time for fad diets or anything like that."
"I have to go and get on a real serious kind of regimen," he continues, "I work out harder, I do more cardiovascular training, and I watch much more what I eat. So I cut out just simply all the sugar products, and I cut out all the white bread."
Regarding fitness fads like CrossFit in particular, Schwarzenegger says he thinks it's good if "done the right way."
Arnold Schwarzenegger has probably forgotten more fitness knowledge than many ever learn, and it seems like what he has to say now that he's survived a major health crisis and is in his 70s might be pretty important to others who feel they're past their prime.
The action star also provided Men's Health his six best tips for building muscle in a separate article. They include getting strong in the first place, chasing "the pump," and not worrying about whether you use machines or free weights.