Aging & Longevity

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s New Diet & Workout Routine: Tips for Longevity

The 76-year-old bodybuilding icon Arnold Schwarzenegger eats mostly plant-based foods and works his muscles with high-repetition routines on weight machines.

By Bennett M. Sherman

Key Points:

  • Nowadays, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s diet consists of whole eggs, protein shakes, lots of oats, fruits and vegetables, as well as almond milk.
  • His workouts, done for at least an hour a day, entail bicycling, swimming, and a resistance training machine routine.
  • Schwarzenegger has also maintained an active lifestyle well into his golden years by prioritizing six to seven hours of sleep a night.

The bodybuilder, action hero, and former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has shifted his diet and workout routine following three open-heart surgeries as highlighted in a YouTube video. Instead of eating red meat and smoking the occasional cigar, Schwarzenegger now opts to eat a mostly plant-based diet. Furthermore, rather than lifting gargantuan free weights like he did in his younger years, Arnold now bicycles, swims, and uses resistance training machines with less weight and more repetitions for his workouts.

At age 76, Schwarzenegger embodies the physiological impact of a life-long dedication to health and fitness. Following examples from his dietary and workout regimens may serve as a way to optimize your health as you grow older.

“I don’t train heavy anymore…too many heart surgeries,” says Schwarzenegger.

Arnold’s Mostly Plant-Based Diet

For a more in-depth breakdown of Schwarzenegger’s diet, we will start with five foods he eats. First, breaking from his mostly plant-based diet, he eats three to four whole eggs every morning — a tremendous source of protein. He also chows on lots of oats throughout the day, the consumption of which has been associated with improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Another thing is that Schwarzenegger drinks a protein shake each day, composed of almond milk, a banana, protein powder, a raw egg, cherry juice, and a little bit of alcohol. Moreover, he eats multiple servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, preferring salads, and he has taken a liking to watermelon. Capping off his mostly plant-based diet, the fifth thing that Schwarzenegger consumes each day is almond milk, and he says,

“I would say that I hate cow’s milk. I drink almond milk.”

As for the foods that Schwarzenegger avoids, he does not eat red meat, focusing more on eating lean protein sources like chicken, fish, and plant-based alternatives. He also avoids sugary food products, like candies and other sweets, because they can trigger spikes in blood sugar levels, which may have adverse effects on metabolism. Arnold does not eat white bread, because it is made of refined wheat flour, which lacks the fiber and nutrients found in whole grain. Moreover, white bread can facilitate spikes in blood sugars after consumption, in a way similar to eating sugary foods.

Notably, along with his health-conscious dietary regimen, Arnold takes a daily multivitamin. However, he emphasizes that supplements can never substitute for a healthy diet and says,

“The key thing is not to rely on the supplements as much as you rely on good food.”

Arnold’s Revamped Post-Heart Surgery Workout Routine

For his workout routine, Arnold starts his day early and bicycles to Gold’s Gym in Los Angeles. He frequently goes swimming and has acknowledged swimming’s benefits as a low-impact, full-body exercise, which he uses for enjoyment and overall fitness. Moreover, Arnold does not use swimming for rigorous training purposes.

“Training is part of my life. It’s that simple. Nothing will ever change until I die. I will be working out, and I will be having a great time in the gym. And I will be getting the pump, and I want to feel good,” says Schwarzenegger.

Along those lines, Arnold does all of his weight training with resistance machines, rather than with free weights like barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells — as he did in his extreme bodybuilding days. As such, Arnold says that now, it is not about working out with the heaviest weights. Rather, he just tries to move as fast as he can from one exercise to the next.

Some of the resistance machine exercises that Arnold does include biceps training. With biceps training equipment, he does one set of 30 repetitions and four sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

Arnold also does tricep dip extensions that exercise tricep muscles on the back of the arm. He does one set of 30 repetitions and four sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for this exercise.

For shoulders, Arnold hits an overhead press machine. He performs this exercise for five sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

To work out his back and shoulders, he also does an exercise called lateral raises. He performs this exercise for five sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

Beyond exercise, Arnold prioritizes sleeping six to seven hours a night to optimize physical and mental performance. In doing so, along with a healthy diet and exercise, he believes he has demonstrated balance and sustainability in his approach to health and wellbeing.

Schwarzenegger Encourages Listening to Your Body and Adapting Your Workout Routine

Arnold emphasizes listening to your body and adapting your routine as needed. By prioritizing a healthy diet with exercise and adequate rest, Arnold has been able to keep pace with an active lifestyle into his later years of life. Following Schwarzenegger’s inspirational approach to health and fitness could help you to live longer and optimize the number of years you live with solid overall health.

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