“If you lift weights, make sure you also lift other people up.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ongoing endeavors, movie career and political ambitions aside, has been to bring a love of fitness and exercise to as many people as possible. In the latest edition of his newsletter, the actor and bodybuilding legend shared how he is still continuing these efforts, and spoke about how making fitness accessible means understanding that different people’s lifestyles and needs are different.
"I am for fitness and power and strength and energy for everyone," he said. "But who am I to say you have to do it my way? Who am I to say you have to squat and deadlift when I did, when some people physically can’t squat? Now, one of the things that inspires me the most is seeing the athletes who have ‘disabilities’ prove that they’re more able than anyone. Like this guy using one arm to lift a stone. Or my friends with one leg, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy lifting on the main stage of the event in front of our biggest audience because I wanted them to show all of those gym-owners and fitness company CEOs in attendance that fitness really is for everyone."
"Some of us take for granted that everyone can join a gym and work out, but what if they need special equipment?" He continued. "What if they don’t have the 50 dollars a month for membership? I want to spread the word and find solutions until we find everyone’s love of fitness."
Schwarzenegger went on to encourage his fans to think about how they can be more inclusive and supportive of other people taking up a new form of exercise in their own lives.
"If you lift weights, make sure you also lift other people up," he said. "If someone looks intimidated in the gym, make them feel welcome. If someone is out of shape in the gym, don’t mock them – give them a high five for starting their fitness journey. If you have a friend who is down and isn’t taking care of themselves, offer to go on a walk with them to get them outside and moving. Volunteer to coach some youth sports. Gyms are filled with mirrors, and when we start working out, mirrors are our best friend. We love seeing our progress. But look past that mirror, and you will find someone you can inspire to join the fitness crusade. We all have that power."
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