Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodybuilding Training Motivation - No Pain No Gain | 2018
Heroes of muscle: Arnold Schwarzenegger
InArnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuildingthere’s a sub- chapter entitled Fear of Smallness. Dealing with body fat percentages, it’s a passage almost as brief as the trunks he wore when he captured seven Mr Olympia titles. Arnold has never really done small. Or, for that matter, fear.
Schwarzenegger has always preached the power of visualisation, but what has separated him from others subscribing to the same philosophy is the vast scale of his ambition and ability to see himself achieving greatness. Seemingly, the only thing bigger than his body has been his dreams. Thus he has all but invented the sport of bodybuilding, become the biggest movie star in the world and governed an economy bigger than Russia’s for seven years. Who else on earth has achieved so much in three such discrete disciplines? It’s like Usain Bolt becoming head chef at Noma and a chess grandmaster.
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Now, he’s embarked on an unlikely fourth act, a return to the big screen and to his most famous franchise, the time-travelling cyborg with a penchant for public nudity. WhileTerminator Genisysmay not fully recapture the magic and menace of James Cameron’s first two instalments, it undoubtedly remains one of the films to see this year. Moreover, this month also sees the 67-year-old Schwarzenegger break new ground with his debut in the indie film sector with the low-budgetMaggie, the story of a father trying to protect his daughter, stricken with a virus which will change her into a zombie. It’s typical of a man not prone to looking in the rearview mirror that he should be breaking new ground well into his seventh decade.
Act 1: Genesis
Arnold Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947 in the village of Thal in south-east Austria. He was the second son of local police chief (and former Nazi) Gustav and his wife Aurelia. His father showed a marked preference for his older brother, Meinhard, and treated Arnold harshly. Against his father’s wishes, he developed an interest in bodybuilding as a teenager, idolising the English muscleman Reg Park. Emulating Park, Schwarzenegger entered and won bodybuilding competitions (in 1967, aged 20, he became the youngest ever Mr Universe) before moving to the US in 1968, where he found work in a few low- budget films.
In 1972 he met photographer George Butler, whose pictures would later illustrate a 1974 feature inSports Illustratedabout bodybuilding. This meeting led to 1977’sPumping Iron, the documentary that told the story of Arnold’s attempt to defeat fellow strongman Lou Ferrigno and become Mr Olympia for the sixth time.
Arnold Schwarzenegger:I never felt that I was good enough, strong enough, smart enough. He [his father] let me know that there was always room for improvement. A lot of sons would have been crippled by his demands, but instead the discipline rubbed off on me. I turned it into drive.
George Butler (director ofPumping Iron):This is a man of bottomless ambition. It’s always been there. He sees himself as mystically sent to America.
John Milius (director ofConan The Barbarian):Until Arnold, people thought bodybuilders were perverts or vain circus freaks. Arnold changed that. He turned himself into a household name and made it a virtue to work out.
Butler:In the early days he had this thing called The Master Plan. As I remember, it was a campy mix of of Nietzschean philosophy and a Soviet Five-Year Plan, but before Charles [Gaines, co-writer ofPumping Iron] and I dismissed it, we scratched our heads. Arnold, as we could see with our own eyes, was actually beginning to make it work.
Schwarzenegger:The only way to be a champion is by going through these forced reps and the torture and pain. Pain makes me grow. Growing is what I want. Therefore, for me pain is pleasure.
Lou Ferrigno (co-star inPumping Iron):I was ecstatic to be in that movie [Pumping Iron] because I knew that whatever happened I was going to be part of something that was history because of myself and Schwarzenegger. Arnold was five times Mr Olympia and to be on stage with him meant you were on stage with the best. It was a lot of fun and it put bodybuilding on the map.
Peter Manso (journalist who interviewed Schwarzenegger for an infamous 1977Ouiarticle):Initially I figured it would take a while to adjust to the sheer physical presence of the guy, but that wasn’t so. He didn’t appear particularly monstrous, although he’s definitely not the kind of fellow I’d like to pick a fight with. First and foremost, Schwarzenegger was a European, with the manners and humour to match. Never before in my life have I had the nerve to ask somebody the size of his cock. That was not, of course, my first question.
Butler:I saw him open his mail once. Except he didn’t open it. He sat at his desk and looked at his letters against a bright lightbulb. If there was no money in it, he would just throw it in the wastebasket.
Sylvester Stallone (friend):I remember him at the  Golden Globes and I said, ‘Who is this guy?’ As big as the whole table. Kind of rained on my parade.Rockywas Best Picture and he was Best Newcomer [for 1976’sStay Hungry]. Beforehand, he kept staring at me, getting bigger and bigger. And finally, they said, ‘Best Newcomer, Arnold Schwarzenegger’ and I was like, ‘He’s a joke, no one has a name like that. He’s doomed, over, flash in the pan.’ ThenRockywon Best Picture and I jumped up like an idiot and there was this bowl of flowers and I threw them up in the air and they landed all over his shoulders and I could see him thinking, ‘Am I going to cross-pollinate this guy?’
Act 2: The Biggest Talent in Hollywood
After seeing a rough cut ofPumping Ironin 1976, producers Edward R Pressman and Edward Summer approached Schwarzenegger to appear in their planned adaptation of Robert E Howard’s Conan stories, paying him 0,000 and putting him on a retainer. WhenConan The Barbarianopened in 1982, it announced its muscular hero as an international star. Two years later, having secured the lead role in James Cameron’sThe Terminator(after the studio’s original choice OJ Simpson was rejected on the grounds that he was considered too nice to play a killer) Schwarzenegger was established in the first rank of action movie stars.
Milius:Back when I madeConan, no-one had ever made a movie like that with real athletes. Sandahl [Bergman] was a dancer and Gerry [Lopez] was a surfer, and Arnold was Mr Olympia. They are serious, hard-working people; they work harder than anyone.
James Cameron (director ofTerminators 1 & 2):We did the firstTerminatorfor the price of Arnold’s mobile home in the second.
Linda Hamilton (co-star inTerminators 1 & 2):We almost didn’t act together inT1because he chased me continuously. When he finally caught up he was an endoskeleton! Arnold hung around the set a lot though, and was a good sport. He still is. I don’t think any of us guessed how big a mega-star he would become. But he’s a team player, doesn’t keep you waiting and was very generous with his personal gym and aeroplane.
Cameron:He was put forward for the role of Reese, ultimately played by Michael Biehn. It’s a very verbal character and he basically explains the entire future world with about 20 pages of expository dialogue. When I went to meet with Arnold it basically derailed that. But when I met him he was incredibly charismatic and focused and smart. While I was sitting there, I started thinking, he would make an incredible Terminator. So maybe let’s just hang a left turn and explore that idea. We pitched the idea of Arnold as The Terminator to his agent [Lou Pitt] and the agent turned us down. Then Arnold fired him the same day and we had a deal the next day. Actually, he hired the guy back. He just fired him to teach him a lesson.
Schwarzenegger:I argued with Jim Cameron about whether I should say, “I will be back,” as it sounded stronger, more machine-like. He said, “I wrote it and it’s ‘I’ll be back,’ so do me a favour and just say it.” We argued about it but I didn’t understand why that would be an interesting line at all.
(Related: 4 ways to build Arnie's best body parts)
In the final six years of the 1980s Schwarzenegger consolidated his position with a series of hugely successful action movies includingCommando,PredatorandRed Heat. In 1990, having missed out on the lead in 1987’s RoboCop, he teamed up with that film’s director Paul Verhoeven for the Philip K Dick adaptationTotal Recall.
Mark L Lester (director ofCommando):Going around with Arnold and hanging out with him before the script was finished, I thought, ‘Wow, he’s really funny, but no-one’s utilised that.’ He already had it in him, but I brought it out, that he could be sympathetic, and that went on to be his persona for many movies.
Paul Verhoeven (director ofTotal Recall):Arnold’s confidence is not surprising if you consider what he’s accomplished. He was not a logical choice for fame. But his drive and his charm made him different. It made him a star.
Sharon Stone (co-star inTotal Recall):I remember a scene we shot where I had on a little nightgown and he was supposed to be nude. He had on tiny little underpants. He was so shy, it was adorable – there was a tremendous vulnerability.
Lester:Arnold tells a story, and it’s true, that he wanted to cut a guy’s arm off and slap him with it, and he wanted to say, ‘I’ll give you a hand,’ but it got way beyond campy, so we didn’t do it.
John McTiernan (director ofPredator):I like Arnold, I’ve always liked him. He’s as strong as he looks. He’s as strong mentally as he looks physically. I wasn’t tempted to somehow make fun of him.
Hamilton:I can’t honestly say, hand on heart, that Arnold is a wonderful actor. Yet he knows how to use his persona well and smartly. And when it comes to merchandising and marketing you can’t argue with him. He’s also a lot braver than people imagine. He had this wonderful moment where he smiled at John [played by Edward Furlong]. The rushes were hysterical. But Arnold went for it and I really appreciated the dedication.
Act 3: Becoming Expendable
Schwarzenegger’s decade-long hot streak came to an abrupt halt with the release of John McTiernan’s uberflop,The Last Action Hero. It proved the limit of Arnie’s popularity and ushered in a decade of movies which performed badly and received critical kickings galore. Whether Patrick Stewart, considered for the role of Mr Freeze in Joel Schumacher’s disastrousBatman & Robin, has ever bought Schwarzenegger a drink is not known.
McTiernan:To be rejected so soundly…it kind of broke his heart.
Schwarzenegger (on playing Mr Freeze):I don’t regret it at all. I felt that the character was interesting and two movies before that one Joel Schumacher was at his height. So the decision-making process was not off. In most cases I don’t regret the movies that failed or were not as good. It’s always easy to be smug in hindsight, right?
(Related: the evolution of bodybuilding)
Kevin Pollak (co-star inEnd of Days):I started to realise that he really is to the cinema, to Americans, our Superman. In the sense that when you meet him and talk with him initially, it feels like you’re interacting with an action figure, not someone human or real. But he is also very aware of and comfortable being sort of a tourist attraction on any set that he works on. When friends and family of anyone visit, he’s quick to pose for a picture, very gregarious and friendly in that regard.
Roger Spottiswoode (director ofThe 6th Day):He has a public persona that’s not quite what he is. He has a macho image, but he spends time playing chess – and he’s very good at it. Yes, he is The Guy, but he also thinks a lot more than he lets on.
Act 4: The Governator And Beyond
Schwarzenegger proved Spottiswoode right, reinventing himself in the most spectacular style. With his action hero status diminishing, Schwarzenegger moved into politics with his wife, Maria Shriver, scion of the Kennedy clan, playing a key role. He wrongfooted his opponents by announcing his intention to run for the Governorship of California at the 11th hour to Jay Leno onThe Tonight Showin August 2003 and was elected in October of the same year.
Initial success and popularity soon gave way to an all-too- familiar political impasse which saw his ratings plummet. In 2011 he left office and resumed his movie career. In the wake of the revelation that he had sired a son with his housekeeper, Shriver left him. The success ofThe Expendableshas restored his box-office muscle and helped makeTerminator Genisysa reality. If his current plans come to fruition he will soon be making sequels toTwins, hisConanseries and furtherTerminators.
Schwarzenegger:My relationship to power and authority is that I’m all for it. People need somebody to watch over them and tell them what to do.
Susan Kennedy (Democrat and Schwarzenegger’s Chief of Staff):There were a lot of times when we said, 'You just can’t do that'. He was always like, 'I don’t care'. Ninety percent of the time it was a good thing.
Stallone:He’s my best friend now. It’s strange, given what big rivals we used to be. He’s still ridiculously competitive, though. I have this watch which is the only one of its kind in the world, so I wore it to our last lunch. Arnold was desperate for me to get him one but I had to explain that wasn’t possible. He was so mad!
Lane Leavitt (stunt man onThe Last Stand):Arnold at 65 was more of an athlete than most Hollywood actors at 25.
Henry Hobson (director ofMaggie):He has this mantra which is, ‘Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance’ and he would repeatedly say this on set. Once he believed in the project and in me it was full steam ahead and he was very generous with his time and energy.
Butler:In the beginning he was an awkward bodybuilder in a dark subculture that America wanted no part of. At the end he was an international star, ready to become the richest man in California and eventually the highest-paid movie actor in history.
Schwarzenegger:What is the point of being on this earth if you’re going to be like everyone else?
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