Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Example For All


by Christian Duque

As you guys know I’m not as much concerned with breaking news stories as I am sharing commentary on topics that truly touch upon important updates in the sport of bodybuilding. I have always said that heart health should be at the top of the list when it comes to the health and well-being of athletes in physique-based sports. The organs are very important when dealing with athletes that train as aggressively as bodybuilders do and take in as many substances. Notice that I said substances and not supplements.

Let’s be honest here, we’re not talking about the excesses of whey protein powder and creatine. We are talking about powerful anabolic and androgenic agents throughout years of competing at the most elite levels. For these competitors there is nothing more important than heart and renal health. And I think it’s very important to see The Oak, himself, seven times Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger take his heart health as seriously as he does.

This pacemaker procedure that he underwent at the Cleveland Clinic was not his first heart surgery. In fact it was his fourth, but he has not skipped a beat since. In fact it was a little more than a side stop after the Arnold UK and with filming in the coming weeks for his Netflix series. I think there are many important take-home lessons to learn from the fact that even though he leads a very busy lifestyle as a celebrity, contest promoter, and political powerhouse, he knows when it’s time to press the pause button and take care of business before resuming his very very demanding lifestyle.

The Terminator star is probably the most well-known fitness personality in the world. Very much like Jesus, Prince, and other folks who everyone knows simply by their first name or their stage name, Arnold is in very good company. The Arnold Classic will be offering the most prize money of any bodybuilding show in 2025 even surpassing the so-called Super Bowl of Bodybuilding, the Mr. Olympia. The Arnold Classic will offer $500,000 next year in Columbus Ohio making it the richest purse in the sport. Arnold has also been the governor of the state with the largest economy in the country and he continues to be a driving force in the world of public opinion.

This is a man who had he been born in the United States could have had a very legitimate shot at being president. But that has not stopped him at all. He continues to be a driving force in the political world and his endorsement counts for a significant amount of votes. And even though many of his opinions are oftentimes met with staunch criticism in the bodybuilding world – absolutely no one will ever turn their backs on the popular fitness icon on Earth. They may threaten they will, but they never live up to it. They can’t. Arnold is just too big for that

So why am I writing about his pacemaker surgery a week after it happened? Well it’s because in the sport of bodybuilding we have had many close calls and we have lost many great champions as a result of their reluctance to take their health seriously. We are in a world that is driven by competition. The pie doesn’t get bigger but the number of people who want a slice of it does.

Social media has also made the competitive nature of the sport all that much more pronounced. Whereas in the past there were two or three months in the year between the Mr Olympia and the Arnold Classic where the sports sort of went into hibernation mode, those days are long gone. There is no such thing as an offseason anymore. You have guys cycling year-round, looking shredded year-round. And fighting over whatever slice of the pie is available.

Companies don’t stop making money for 3 months a year – let alone 3 days. Everyone wants to make a buck and in order to do that in a sport where muscularity, symmetry, and vascularity are the name of the game you simply cannot take a break. If you’re fat or out of shape, you’re not going to make money. It’s as simple as that. And even when a competitor takes to social media to say they feel like their body is falling apart and they don’t know whether or not they will be able to compete in a few days, they somehow miraculously get a clean bill of health and they’re back on that stage because they just cannot press the pause button.

And that is why Arnold’s pacemaker procedure sandwiched in between the Arnold UK and the filming of a Netflix series is so important. Because if he couldn’t do the contest or he couldn’t film the series, he wouldn’t have done so because his health was the top priority. That is one hell of a great example to set for the young guns who would never dream of such a thing.

And don’t think for a minute that just because Arnold is worth probably well over a billion dollars if not more that he doesn’t care about losing money. That’s probably the biggest misconception about wealthy and successful people is that they no longer care about losing money or losing a promising business venture. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

They may not need the money, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want the money. They may not need the accolades, but that does not mean they don’t want them. A guy in Arnold’s position would be hard-pressed to walk away from the opportunity to have another big show or film another big series. The same temptation that is there for a young gun is there for an old veteran.

The difference is that you would hope that the old veteran would have the sense to say “I’m going to do right by my health and well-being so that I can be around for a much longer time,” than the young gun that is unfortunately a prisoner of the short-term and a small picture mentality. A lot of guys simply will not take a break, they will not off-cycle, they will not allow an opportunity for their receptors to clean out. They will cruise and blast and cruise and blast and cruise and blast all year long.

What I thought was very interesting as well is what Arnold told People magazine. He said that it went against his upbringing in Austria to share anything about his medical journey. And I happen to understand what he is saying and I can relate to it on a certain level being of Hispanic origin. Many cultures see one’s medical history and their medical journey as something that is very private. It is not something to share on social media and it is not something to talk about in interviews or to give quotes on.

That being said, when you are as popular as Arnold is and you have the following that he does it is almost a moot point. He has to share because he wants to share but he also doesn’t have a choice whether or not to. It’s a question of whether or not he puts it out on his own or the paparazzi gets a hold of it however it is that they do.

At the end of the day Arnold is a public figure and people want to know what he’s doing, where he’s at, and what he’s going through. As a result of that transparency he has received a lion’s share of support from the public and he was very grateful as he stated on various social media platforms, print media, and televised media as well. The fans love him all throughout the world irrespective of language, regardless of age, creed, race or religion. He has transcended all of those barriers and has been able to unify an international audience behind the sport of bodybuilding.

At 76 years of age there’s no stopping him. 76 is relatively young and he has maintained a good physique that has just the right amount of muscle without being excessive. As you age it becomes very clear that a more lean structure is preferable to one that is bogged down by excessive musculature which will in turn lead to more stress on the heart and on the kidneys. Arnold is not trying to win any size contests or try to max out or ego lift. The name of the game is longevity and being around for as long as possible while maintaining the highest quality of life.

This is also very significant. Just living isn’t enough. You want to enjoy your life and enjoy what you do with it. If you are constantly out of breath, constantly having to go to the doctor, or constantly in fear that your body may shut down, you may be alive but you’re not living.

At the end of the day Arnold is setting an example not only for people in his age group but people across all age groups. Knowledge is power and health as wealth. The sooner people grasp those concepts, the sooner they will take charge of their lives and start to live life to the fullest.

If you are not following Arnold on social media you most definitely should. You can get a bird’s-eye view of his workouts, his eating patterns, and get an idea of just how busy he is. This is a person that keeps a schedule and has remained productive from his days as governor and on the silver screen. Many folks in Venice Beach will see him on a daily basis cycling to and from Gold’s Gym, others will see him at local supermarkets and farmers markets and the like. Whether it’s just to take a walk, or a bike ride, or a run down the beach – physical activity is the name of the game.

Despite being an international celebrity Arnold is still able to feel somewhat like a normal person in Los Angeles and Venice Beach. After all, this has always been the backyard of Hollywood and movie stars and musicians have been able to lead somewhat normal lives there. The paparazzi stay at a respectable distance and this is because celebrities know when and how to give them a treat. Whether it’s to chit chat with them or allow them to get some shots, it is an interesting marriage of celebrity and media that allows for this very unique reality to exist. Anywhere else it simply not work. And this is why I personally know of many people that have bumped into Arnold at the gym or on the beach and been able to get a selfie or even to make a small little Instagram reel with The Oak. It would seem unheard of at the Arnold Classic in Columbus Ohio or anywhere else in the world, but on Venice Beach it’s still not only possible but pretty doable.

In the end we would like to send Arnold all of our love from Iron Magazine and encourage the fans to take to his social media platforms and show him nothing but love and support following his pacemaker surgery and leading into the filming of Fubar, his Netflix series. As always, thanks for reading the Iron Magazine.