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Arnold Schwarzenegger Nutrition and Fitness Blueprint – How He Stays in Terminator Shape at 70+

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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Dive into the world of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the epitome of fitness and discipline, as we unveil the secrets behind his legendary Terminator shape.

Discover how this icon maintains a rigorous regime that blends nutrition, workouts, and a dash of unconventional wisdom to defy age and stay atop his game. From his unique protein shake recipes to adapting workouts post-heart surgery, Arnold’s holistic approach to health is a masterclass in balance and perseverance.

Arnold fitness regime
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Learn how you, too, can incorporate Arnold’s principles into your life, whether you’re a fitness aficionado or simply seeking inspiration to kickstart your wellness journey. 

Gym and Dietary Insights

Beyond common health foods, he shares an exclusive look at his unique protein shake recipe: almond milk, bananas, and at times, an unexpected ingredient like raw eggs, schnapps, or tequila for an extra kick of flavor.

Arnold has modified his dietary habits with age, now prioritizing foods like oatmeal and greens over meat and animal products. He believes in the nutritional power of a balanced diet and often prepares steak, a personal specialty, especially when his bodybuilder friends visit.

His open-minded approach to food has historically tagged him as the “garbage disposal,” not shying away from a vast array of meals or experimental omelettes incorporating whatever ingredients are available, an attitude reflecting his adventurous palate.

Peek Inside the Chiller

Arnold Eating
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Top-Shelf Favorites

  • Watermelons: Especially prized during hotter seasons.
  • Radler: A favored German beverage, blending lemonade with beer.

Exclusive Muscle-Recovery Beverage

Almond milkBase for the mixA dash
BananaImmune boost and flavor1 unit
Whole eggProtein source1 unit
Schnapps/TequilaOptional for additional flavorTo taste

Almond Over Cow’s Milk

  • Preference: Almond milk is favored over cow’s milk.
  • Reason: Better taste and health considerations are cited.

Eating Preferences

Present Nutritional Choices

He focuses on consuming oatmeal, greens, vegetables, and an array of healthy foods, minimizing meat and other animal products due to evolved views on health and strength.

Food Preparation

He enjoys cooking, particularly steaks, and often entertains his bodybuilding friends with hearty meals, despite their jests about achieving his physique.

Between-Meal Consumption

During the day, he opts for protein shakes mixed with almond milk or juices and occasionally energy drinks, based on his mood and energy levels.

Less Preferred Ingredients

He avoids cow’s milk, preferring almond milk, and doesn’t have a particular dislike for any foods but chooses to avoid some for health reasons.

Trendy Eating Patterns

Instead of engaging in popular diets, he emphasizes rigorous exercise and attention to diet, cutting out sugars and white bread rather than adopting specific regimented diets.

Nutritional Enhancements

While he takes supplements like multivitamins, he stresses the importance of relying on natural foods and views supplements as an addition rather than a primary source of nutrients.

Disliked FoodsPreferred Alternatives
Cow’s MilkAlmond Milk
Sugary FoodsHealth-Conscious Options
White BreadOatmeal, Greens, Vegetables

Cheat Days

Arnold Schwarzenegger maintains a nutritious diet but confesses that he indulges himself occasionally. Despite his focus on good nutrition, Arnold doesn’t shy away from enjoying his favorite foods now and then. He believes in balance and advises that it’s essential to burn off the calories one consumes, to maintain health.

Workout Routine

Arnold Working Out
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Regarding his fitness routine, Arnold dedicates himself to daily workouts, often cycling and returning for a second round in his home gym.

He’s adapted his workout intensity after heart surgery, focusing on lighter weights and higher reps. To him, the pursuit of the “pump” remains an integral part of his training philosophy.

Frequent ActivitiesPurpose
CyclingCardiovascular Fitness
Light Weight TrainingMaintain Muscle Tone
Social Cooking/EatingEnjoyment & Camaraderie

His day typically starts with early morning workouts, considering both squats and deadlifts indispensable.

He regards all forms of exercise, whether CrossFit, dumbbell, or kettlebell workouts, as valuable so long as they’re approached correctly. For Arnold, a workout could take place on a treadmill or outdoors—he sees benefit and enjoyment in both.

  • Workout Schedule: He sustains a consistent exercise routine. Regular morning workouts from 7:00 to 7:45, plus a cycling session for about 45 minutes. His workouts also sometimes extend to night-time sessions in his home gym.
  • Training Intensity Adjustments: Post-heart surgery, his workouts are less strenuous, and he focuses on lighter weights with higher repetitions, as opposed to seeking maximum lifts.

Rigorous Exercise Explained

Though his current exercises are less strenuous than in the past, focusing on lighter weights and higher repetitions. This shift comes from medical advice post-heart surgery, steering him away from heavy lifting and maximum effort lifts. Today’s workouts are more about staying fit and healthy rather than pushing the limits of his strength.

Sustaining Exercise Intensity

Despite the more moderate workouts, he still pursues the feeling of ‘the pump’ — a term he uses to describe the rewarding sensation of blood engorging the muscles, indicating a good workout. He enjoys seeking out this feeling, affirming that it remains an integral part of his exercise routine.

In a hypothetical scenario, he’d choose to train with Eugen Sandow, a pioneer in bodybuilding and one of his idols. The variety in Arnold’s fitness routine reflects his balanced approach to training and his commitment to staying active and healthy.

The Psychological Edge: Mindset and Motivation

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s journey across bodybuilding, Hollywood, and the political arena showcases not just a man of physical prowess but a titan of mental fortitude. His narrative is a testament to the indomitable spirit, where psychological resilience intertwines with sheer determination to chart paths previously untraveled. For those on a quest to elevate their fitness and enrich their lives, Schwarzenegger’s mental blueprint offers a treasure trove of insights.

Mental Toughness and Vision

Goal Setting: Dive into the essence of Schwarzenegger’s storied career, and a pattern of meticulous goal setting emerges as the backbone of his success. Arnold didn’t just dream; he crafted visions with precision, setting ambitious yet achievable milestones. This methodical approach to goal setting, underscored by a relentless pursuit of success, illuminates the power vested in clear, measurable objectives. Arnold’s philosophy teaches us that a well-defined vision is not just a beacon but a roadmap guiding us towards our ultimate destination.

Positive Mental Attitude: If there’s one creed that Arnold lives by, it’s the unwavering belief in the power of positivity. Schwarzenegger consistently highlights how a buoyant mindset is instrumental in navigating life’s tumultuous waters. This isn’t about ignoring challenges but facing them with a conviction that solutions exist and success is attainable. Arnold’s life illustrates that a positive attitude does more than surmount obstacles; it acts as a magnet for success, drawing opportunities and fostering an environment where health and happiness can flourish.

Discipline and Consistency: The Pillars of Success

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s storied achievements in bodybuilding, acting, and politics share a common foundation: discipline and consistency. These principles transcend the realm of fitness, offering invaluable lessons for anyone looking to excel in their endeavors.

Routine and Habit Formation

Schwarzenegger’s unparalleled success is largely due to his strict adherence to routines, effectively transforming productive actions into second nature. Arnold knew that the secret to long-term achievement wasn’t in sporadic bursts of intensity but in the unwavering consistency of his efforts. This methodical approach to fitness emphasizes the importance of establishing routines that evolve into habits. It’s not about making a monumental effort once in a while but about committing to small, daily actions that compound over time. Schwarzenegger’s philosophy teaches us that consistency is king, and by integrating fitness into our daily lives as a non-negotiable habit, we set the stage for lasting success.

Time Management

Mastering the art of time management was crucial for Schwarzenegger, as he juggled the demands of a burgeoning acting career, intense bodybuilding training, and later, political responsibilities. His ability to maintain peak physical condition amidst these commitments is a testament to his disciplined approach to scheduling and prioritization. Schwarzenegger’s routine was not about finding time but making it, demonstrating that with proper planning and commitment, it’s possible to balance personal health and fitness with professional and personal aspirations. This balance is achievable for anyone willing to make fitness a priority, proving that you don’t need to sacrifice career success or personal time to stay in shape.

Adapting Arnold’s Strategies for Different Fitness Levels and Ages

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s fitness and nutrition strategies are versatile and can be tailored to fit a wide range of individuals, irrespective of their fitness level or age. His philosophy centers around discipline, consistency, and smart training, principles that are universally applicable.

Beginners: Laying the Foundation

For novices embarking on their fitness journey, Schwarzenegger’s approach underscores the value of starting with basic exercises and steadily ramping up intensity. This mirrors the principle of progressive overload, gradually increasing the challenge to your muscles to foster growth and strength. Key for beginners is prioritizing form and consistency. Heavy weights should take a backseat to mastering technique, as this ensures safety and lays a solid foundation for future gains. Small, consistent steps, much like Schwarzenegger’s own journey from a young weightlifter to a bodybuilding champion, pave the way for lasting success.

Seniors: Emphasizing Mobility and Health

As Schwarzenegger transitioned to lighter weights and more cardiovascular-focused routines in his later years, he exemplified how fitness regimens can evolve with age. For seniors, integrating exercises that promote flexibility, balance, and joint health is crucial. These activities not only aid in maintaining mobility but also significantly reduce the risk of falls and injuries. Tailoring workouts to include resistance training with lighter weights, stretching exercises, and low-impact cardio can support active aging, echoing Schwarzenegger’s adaptability to changing physical needs.


Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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