Arnold Schwarzenegger On His Favorite (and Most Hated) Exercises

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER IS arguably the fitness world’s most iconic figure. As a key player in the golden days of bodybuilding in the 1970s through his ultra-successful career as an action star, he established the standard of what muscle means for millions of people.

But he’s not done yet. Schwarzenegger has a new Netflix series, FUBAR, premiering on May 25, along with a life-spanning (and self-narrated) three-part documentary series, simply titled Arnold, following in June. And in October, his first book in a decade, Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life, will hit stands. First, however, Schwarzenegger caught up with Men’s Health for a wide-ranging cover interview, touching on everything from his earliest fitness memories to the next steps in his illustrious career.

Along with details about his current gym routine and growing social media status, we asked Schwarzenegger about some of his all-time picks for fitness and life.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Favorite Exercise of All Time

His favorite exercise of all time might surprise you. Remember, this is a man who helped to codify many of the most popular training approaches still used today to build muscle in the Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding and has a namesake exercise whose purpose is to pack mass onto the shoulders (the Arnold press). Instead, Schwarzenegger opted for a more functional pick. “If you do one thing, clean and press,” he said. “It covers everything.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Most Hated Exercise of All Time

As painful as leg day can be, you won’t hear Schwarzenegger complaining about the squat rack. Instead, he identified a potentially injurious movement as his most hated exercise of all time: abdominal twists. “They’re bad for your back, and they do not spot reduce” he said. “People think if they twist from here to eternity, they can twist.” MH fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., agrees. Here’s how he wants you to do a version of the Russian twist that will be safer for your spine.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Best Physique Ever

As a bonus, we asked Schwarzenegger when he was at his all-time best physique. Out of all the options—his early days training, his breakout as Conan the Barbarian, his Terminator 2 glory—he picked one very specific moment in time.

“1974,” he said. “That was the year I was 237 pounds [at Mr. Olympia].

Headshot of Brett Williams, NASM

Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. You can find his work elsewhere at Mashable, Thrillist, and other outlets.

This article was originally posted here.

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