Arnold Schwarzenegger was all laughs at the launch of this year’s Arnold Sports Festival. Picture: David Caird
Arnold Schwarzenegger was all laughs at the launch of this year’s Arnold Sports Festival. Picture: David Caird

Arnie’s incredibly simple trick for staying fit

WHEN he shakes your hand, you feel it. Arnie is still a giant man, even at 70. He's big in stature and huge in personality.

The former Governor of California and star of - well, you know all his films - touched down in Melbourne on Friday for a charity fun run, a sports festival named after him and ... a spot of chess, apparently.

"When you're playing chess, you cannot think about anything else otherwise you get beaten," he says.

"You have to stay focused every second. It's a really great form of disconnection from everything else."

His vehicle in Los Angeles.
His vehicle in Los Angeles.

It's part of his routine and it keeps him sharp mentally. But you don't still look like The Terminator in your eighth decade on the planet without shifting a bit of tin.

"I lift all the time, I go every day to the gym," he told news.com.au on the first day of the Arnold Sports Festival at the Melbourne Convention and Entertainment Centre.

"I bicycle, I lift, I ski, I do everything else."

Schwarzenegger has landed. Picture: Ellen Smith/AAP
Schwarzenegger has landed. Picture: Ellen Smith/AAP

The surprising thing isn't that he still works out, it's the sheer amount he gets done before most of our alarms go off - and before we snooze them three or four times.

"I work out every day, I get up at 5am and I ride the bike to the gym. I work out there for an hour then I ride home and have breakfast. My day starts like that. Before I ever get to the office, I've already done my workout for the day. I've done something."

Arnie. Big hands, big personality. Picture: Nicole Garmston
Arnie. Big hands, big personality. Picture: Nicole Garmston

He knows staying in shape isn't easy, but there's a trick to it. "Don't think". Simple, right? Arnie explains: "(Working out) is not just difficult to do in the beginning. It's always going to be difficult. I say to people, 'don't think'. Just get up, get on your bicycle, ride the bike, then start thinking. Because as soon as you start thinking, you will have 5000 reasons why you shouldn't do it.

"I'm in such a routine now that I don't even ask myself, 'should I or shouldn't I'."

If you've ever watched Pumping Iron, the 1977 documentary about Schwarzenegger's quest for a sixth consecutive Mr Olympia title, you'll know lifting for him was never a chore. He loved it. He loved the pain and he chased "the pump" fanatically.

(He'd go on to win seven Mr Olympia titles, a feat only bettered by behemoths Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman, who won eight apiece).

Arnold Schwarzenegger in a scene from the 1977 bodybuilding documentary, Pumping Iron. Picture: HBO
Arnold Schwarzenegger in a scene from the 1977 bodybuilding documentary, Pumping Iron. Picture: HBO

These days Schwarzenegger still finds ways to compete, even if his body can't do what it once could.

"I'm kind of competing all the time but it's in different things," he said on Friday.

"I left body building, then it was competing in the box office with my movies, then you compete when you run for governor ... it's always a competition one way or the other, I thrive on that.

"The key thing is you have a very clear vision of where you want to get then you just follow through with the whole thing."

Left field questions received this curious look at Arnie’s press conference. Picture: David Caird
Left field questions received this curious look at Arnie’s press conference. Picture: David Caird

This weekend he'll tour Australia's largest fitness expo where 10,000 professional and amateur competitors will take on events from Strongman to MMA. Some giant athletes who Arnie says can lift 450kg will try their luck pulling a tank for fun. An. Actual. Tank.

He'll be on hand for the start of the annual Run for the Kids event on Sunday morning to help raise money for the Good Friday Appeal.

For more information, or to try your luck pulling a tank, visit the Arnold Sports Festival website.

Oh, and here's a picture of Arnold and me.

Email: rohan.smith1@news.com.au | Twitter: @ro_smith



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