It goes without saying that should you grow up with Arnold Schwarzenegger as your father, you can expect fitness to be a part of your DNA. The Terminator has cemented his position in pop culture as a weight-lifting sensation, a man who made pumping iron not only a hobby, but a manifesto, and who continues to defy his age with intense workouts and gruelling gym schedules. By all means, these are big shoes to fill, but Patrick Schwarzenegger is embracing the challenge and just recently gained close to 12 kilograms (27 pounds) for his 27th birthday.
After suffering a rather debilitating shoulder injury that saw him sidelined for close to two years, Schwarzenegger set about embarking on new goals in an effort to ease back onto the fitness bandwagon. He started what he called the “5am challenge,” whereby he recruited more than 400 people on Instagram to join him in chasing their own fitness goals. Done in an effort to hold himself accountable to his daily workouts and stay motivated, Schwarzenegger would start the day by sending the group a motivational quote and interact with others embarking on their own fitness journey.
As he explained to Men’s Health UK earlier this year, “I’m just trying to get more calories, more protein, and more complex carbs in my system. I’m also trying to eat something before my workouts to have enough energy to get through the workout. Before, it was always an empty stomach and trying to use the fasting to burn off fat.”
With his first workout at 5am, Patrick would consume a smoothie at 7:30am with peanut butter and banana, sometimes even oatmeal, chia seeds, flax seeds and whey protein. At 10am, he consumes a breakfast or oatmeal or eggs, and then has another smoothie again at 2 or 3pm, after lunch. Key to keeping his body fuelled, he’d then consume a snack of yoghurt or beef jerky at 5pm, before eating a dinner of meat and vegetables, with complex carbohydrates at 7:30pm, drinking a protein shake before bed.
So, just how did that all pan out for Schwarzenegger and his weight gain goals? In a recent Instagram post, Schwarzenegger shared the results of his physical transformation and it just goes to show what a clear vision and dedication can do. “Getting in the best shape of my life. Both physically and mentally,” he wrote, adding that he put on 22 pounds of muscle (approx. 10kg) and lost 5 per cent body fat.
What’s more incredible is that 412 people completed the challenge with Schwarzenegger through the 5am Challenge, and some even reported results that ranged from 30 pounds in weight loss, to increased energy, better nutrition and improved sleeping habits. It’s basically wins all round for this group.
“I love creating goals/challenges because it gives your brain a literal GPS to a destination you’re seeking,” wrote Schwarzenegger. “The biggest mistake we make is thinking it will come overnight. Everything takes time. That’s why I made the challenge 50 days so people wouldn’t end after the first week.”
Ah, like father, like son.