In recent entries, I have discussed bodyweight exercise for larger athletes. As stated previously, a heavier body will make certain exercises more difficult, but there’s no such thing as becoming too strong or muscular for calisthenics. Regardless of your size, bodyweight exercise can prove useful for strength and body composition. Don’t just take my word for it though. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of many strength athletes who regularly performed calisthenics along with his weight training. He was known to perform a variety of pushups, pull-ups, dips, and more.
Wisdom From Arnold Schwarzenegger
In the video below, Arnold speaks about several facets of training. If you scroll to the 5:45 mark however, you will hear him share a few thoughts regarding bodyweight exercise. He was clearly a big believer in many bodyweight based movements.
As stated by the man himself,
“All exercises that you do with your own bodyweight are great…”
Arnold is also quick to point out that lighter athletes may have advantages with bodyweight exercise but that’s no reason to dismiss those movements for larger athletes. He shares his own experience training with the legendary Franco Columbu. Columbu, a beast himself, was lighter than Arnold but that didn’t stop the two from training the same exercises together. It wasn’t about who did more, but rather each man pushing himself to the max to become better versions of themselves.
Save The Hate
There’s much more to the video above than Arnold’s thoughts about calisthenics. With that in mind, I’ll keep the written commentary to a minimum. The 40+ minute video is well worth a listen. One point that I will mention however is to save the hate regarding Arnold and anabolic steroids. Whenever I mention him on the blog, it’s only a matter of time before someone chimes in about his steroid use.
All that I’ll say is that he wasn’t the only bodybuilder in his era to use steroids. Regardless of what he took, it does not change the fact that he outworked his competition. It also does not diminish his thoughts and experience in the gym. Whether you agree with his past or not, there’s no denying his vast experience and training knowledge. He’s certainly walked the walk and defied the odds.
So while you might not look like Arnold if you only do pull-ups, you’ll certainly become a stronger version of yourself if you make it a habit to regularly pull yourself up to the bar. I’m guessing that even Arnold’s critics would agree with such advice.
“The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger