The Arnold Quotes

Author: Joseph Krachenfels
     
 

Arnold Schwarzenegger is perhaps the greatest body builder of all time, and definitely the most famous. Over the years the Austrian oak has had many interesting things to say on such subjects as body building, motivation, and power and authority. What follows are some of Arnold’s most famous quotes.

Arnold on drive and determination (motivation)
Arnold on posing (being on stage)
Arnold on becoming a champion
Arnold on emotions (self discipline)
Arnold on his upbringing and goal setting
Arnold on the pump
Arnold on power and authority
Arnold on being a Leo
Arnold on bodybuilding

Arnold on drive and determination (motivation)

“I was always dreaming about very powerful people. Dictators and things like that. I was always impressed by people who could be remembered for hundreds of years. Even like Jesus, being remembered for thousands of years.”

“When I was ten years old I got this thing that I wanted to be the best in something, so I started swimming. I won championships, but I felt I couldn’t be the best. I tried skiing, but there I felt I didn’t have potential. I played soccer, but I didn’t like that to well because there I didn’t get the credit alone if I did something special. I just avoided team sports from then on. Then I started lifting through the other sports and I enjoyed it the most. I won the Austrian championship in 1964 but found out I was too tall. So I quit that and went into body building. Two years later I found out that that’s it-that’s what I can be the best in.”

“I admire America because it is a powerful country. I admire its economic system, its freedom and its money. It is a rich country. Its people are open-minded. But I didn’t understand all of this when I was ten years old. There was something else. A subconscious drive to come here. When I came here, I had come from Munich where I had been training. I gave myself no choice. I almost made myself thrown out. I got in trouble with the police. Little troubles. I created a situation that forced me to leave. Somebody told me-“Split. Now you have to go to America.”

Arnold on posing

“Number one, it runs through my mind it is very obvious that I am the king. Then I thought to the audience, just keep screaming now because you’re going to see the poses for just a few minutes here, so eat your hearts out.”

“I find out which poses they really like. That’s why I don’t have a specific posing routine, because you never know what they like and what they don’t. Sometimes you think a routine is good but the applause is going down. Like Franco explained, he did one shot coming up for triceps from the side and the sound went down, so he cut the shot. You have to be very flexible in these things. You have to listen. When you hit the most muscular and they start screaming, you know they like the more freaky poses, so you keep hitting it again and maybe hold it longer to get the cuts out more. You know then they like drama shots and you can forget the symmetrical stuff.”

“A lot of things go through my mind while I am posing. When I pose, a very good pose let’s ay the most muscular pose. The audience starts screaming. In my mind I say to them, kind of like “Well, here it is here is the best body look at it and just freak out because your only going to see one of them. That’s it. I let them know that what they get is mind-blowing. They are not going to get it tomorrow, not the next day. Maybe never again. It’s a once in a life time experience. Especially since my career as a bodybuilder is almost over. I just hope they appreciate my body. Obviously they do. I hear the applause.”

“Onstage I’m always different than offstage. I can be very friendly offstage, but onstage I will pull one trick after another on my competition to wipe him out, you know-because it’s my living and I have to win. Franco is my best friend, but I will do as much as I can to make him look bad and make me look good.”

Arnold on becoming a champion

“The only way to be a champion is by going through these forced reps and the torture and pain. That’s why I call it the torture routine. Because it’s like forced torture. Torturing my body. What helps me is to think of this pain as pleasure. Pain make me grow. Growing is what I want. Therefore, for me pain is pleasure. And so when I am experiencing pain I’m in heaven. It’s great. People suggest this is masochistic. But they’re wrong. I like pain for a particular reason. I don’t like needle’s stuck in my arm. But I do like the pain that is necessary to be a champion.”

“A beginner does eight repetitions of a certain exercise with his maximum weight on the barbell. As soon as it hurts, he thinks about stopping. I work beyond this point, which means I tell my mind that as soon as it starts aching it is growing. Growing is something unusual for the body when you are over eighteen. The body isn’t used to ten, eleven, or twelve reps with a maximum weight. Then I do ten or fifteen sets of this in a row. No human body was ever prepared for this and suddenly it is making itself grow to handle this new challenge, growing through this pain area. Experiencing this pain in my muscles and aching and going on is my challenge. The last three or four reps is what makes the muscles grow. This area of pain divides a champion from someone who is not a champion. That’s what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they’ll go through the pain no matter what happens. I have no fear of fainting. I do squats until I fall over and pass out. So what? It’s not going to kill me. I wake up five minutes later and I’m OK. A lot of other athletes are afraid of this. So they don’t pass out. They don’t go on.”

Arnold on emotions (self discipline)

“If you want to be a champion you can’t have any kind of outside negative coming in to affect you. So I trained myself for that. To be totally cold and not have things going through my mind.
And it was a sad story when my father died. Because me mother called me on the phone and she said, “You know, your dad died.” And this was exactly two months before a contest. “Are you coming home for the funeral?” She said. I said: “No. It’s too late. He’s dead and nothing can be done. I’m sorry I can’t come.” And I didn’t explain the reasons why, because how do you explain to a mother whose husband died, you just can’t be bothered now because of a contest?”

“I can hide my feelings under my muscles. Definitely. I can hide them as long as necessary. And when I feel they can come out, I let them out. I think this is fantastic. It’s great to have control over my mind. Other people get mixed up. They can’t control themselves. They can’t go to work for a week or they can’t talk on the phone because they’re crying. I can switch myself back and forth. When I’m training for a competition, I can be what some people call inhuman, but really I think it’s more like being superhuman. Then after the competition, I can switch off again be human and very emotional and so on.”

Arnold on his upbringing and goal setting

“My upbringing contributed a lot to my success. My father was a police officer and wanted his family to be the perfect example to the town. We couldn’t do anything bad. He was very strict, checking out everything…….if we were clean, if our shoes were brushed. I was brought up under great discipline, which meant that when I made up my mind I had to follow it through. I had a master plan from the moment I arrived in America. That’s still in me. Every year I set a goal: to win the Mr. Olympia or to get so many units in business school, to make a certain amount of money, to travel to five or six different countries. Every year I make a plan. I do it. It will be done.”

Arnold on the pump

“Not many people understand what a pump is. It must be experienced to be understood. It is the greatest feeling that I get. I search for this pump because it means that that my muscles will grow when I get it. I get a pump when the blood is running into my muscles. They become really tight with blood. Like the skin is going to explode any minute. It’s like someone putting air in my muscles. It blows up. It feels fantastic.”

“Body building should be fun because you get a feeling of satisfaction which is very hard to explain. A body builder knows when he pumps up his muscles it means growth. The muscles grow. So therefore he knows when he pumps up well, that is progress. And that satisfies him because he feels the progress in his body. Therefore the pump feels good. It’s actually the best feeling a body builder can have. It’s a difficult thing to explain. Like sometimes we joke around and we get a good pump and we say you have to admit that a good pump is better than coming. Somebody off the street wouldn’t understand that, but sometimes a pump is the best feeling you can have.”

Arnold on power and authority

“My relationship to power and authority is that I’m all for it. People need somebody to watch over them and tell them what to do. Ninety-five percent of the people in the world need to be told what to do and how to behave.”

“I wish I could experience the feeling President Kennedy had speaking to 50,000 people at one time and having them cheer and scream and be in agreement with whatever he said.”

Arnold on being a Leo

“I am a Leo. If you believe this kind of thing, then you find out Leos are more aggressive people than any other people and they are more physical than any others. I believe in this a little bit. Not everything, but a little bit. Because when I read what the lion is supposed to be and I check what I am, it’s exactly the same thing. So that’s why I believe in it.”

Arnold on bodybuilding

“My definition of a sport is that it’s a physical activity that involves competition. Since bodybuilders train and then compete, we are certainly a sport. The unique thing about bodybuilding is that when I compete, it is just me on a stage alone. There is no field, no bat, no ball, no skis, no skates. All other athletes have to use equipment, like a football. As soon as the football if thrown, where does the eye go? To the football. But I don’t use anything in competition except myself. It’s just me up there. Me alone. No coach. No nothing.”

“I think the public thinks I am narcissistic because I look in the mirror. What they don’t understand is that is the only way I can check my progress. How do I know that my muscles grow the way that I want? By flexing them and checking them in the mirror, by measuring them with a tape or possibly by stepping on a scale. The mirror is by far the best because I can see each muscle’s definition. That is very subtle. Sometimes even another bodybuilder cannot see what I can. A swimmer uses a stopwatch like a mirror. A jumper’s tape is his mirror. But the public is weirdly afraid of themselves. They are guilty about the mirror. They think by looking in it there’s something wrong. How many mirrors are there in America?”

“You don’t really see a muscle as a part of you, in a way. You see it as a thing. You look at it as a thing and you say well this thing has to be built a little longer, the bicep has to be longer; or the tricep has to be thicker here in the elbow area. And you look at it and it doesn’t even seem to belong to you. Like a sculpture. Then after looking at it a sculptor goes in with his thing and works a little bit, and you do maybe then some extra forced reps to get this lower part out. You form it. Just like a sculpture.”

“What I’m doing is the thing I want to do. I don’t care what other people think. If the rest of disagrees and says I shouldn’t waste my time, I still will be a bodybuilder. I love it. I love the feeling in my muscles, I love the competition, and I love the things it gives me. I have never really had to work in my whole life. I’ve never had an eight to six job. I’ve always made good money. I’ve traveled all over the world competing and giving exhibitions. I‘ve made a profession out of a pastime, which perhaps only five percent of the population can do. The other ninety-five percent are frustrated office workers, working for someone else. I’m totally independent. So, I…..feel…if I would live again or if I would be born again, I would do exactly the same thing.”

“The better you get, the less you run around showing off as a muscle guy. You know, you wear regular shirts, loose shirts-not always trying to show what you have. You talk less about it. It’s like you have a little BMW-you want to race the hell out of this car, because you know it’s going 110. But if you see a guy in a Ferrari or Lamborghini, they slide around at 60 on the freeway because they know if they press on that accelerator they are going to go 170. These things are the same in every field.”

“There are some girls that are turned on by my body, and some others who are turned off. But for the majority I just use it as a conversation piece. Like someone walking a cheetah down 42nd street would have a natural conversation piece. Then when they get to talking to me they see I am not mean but gentle to them and that’s all they want to know.”

“I have a good sense of my body in a bathing suit around people who appreciate what I’m doing, like a contest. Then I’m proud. On television I am proud. But on a beach most people are not experts. The general public doesn’t know how to look. How proud can you be when they don’t even know what they’re looking at?”

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If you have any questions about the information contained in this article you can send an e-mail to: askquestformuscle@yahoo.com

References:

Arnold Schwarzenegger, A portrait, Simon & Schuster, 1990

Pumping Iron, The Art and Sport of Bodybuilding, Simon & Schuster, 1974

 

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