Fumed by His Flexing in Front of Mirror All the Time, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Father Gave Him an Alternate Solution to Building Muscles: “Woman Is 80-Yo, She Can’t Do It Herself”

Seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger made sure to leave a legacy behind when he retired from the sport of bodybuilding decades ago. His influence was such that even now, he is remembered and hailed as one of the greatest bodybuilders to ever live. However, apart from success in professional ventures, his personal life was full of challenges. Coming from a small village in Austria, life was not easy for Arnold. This is why his father, Gustav Schwarzenegger, would ask him to put his muscles to better use than just pose in front of a mirror.

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Schwarzenegger has been open about the type of bond that he had with his father. Despite his father being abusive, Schwarzenegger admits that it was his teachings and values that helped him become the man he is today. As his new book, ‘Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life,’ is about to launch in a few weeks, Schwarzenegger gives insights into his childhood days in a recent interview with CBS Mornings.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s father gave him an alternative to building muscle


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Following a bodybuilding routine, one of the most important things is to learn how to strike poses effectively while looking effortless at the same time. This is a skill that can only be mastered with practice and time. However, Schwarzenegger admits that when he used to pose, his father would often suggest that he help his neighbors with daily chores that would help them as well as serve as a workout for ‘The Austrian Oak.’

Schwarzenegger recalled, “So when I, for instance, was getting into bodybuilding and I was training and I was standing in front of the mirror and flexing, my father would say, Why are you always looking in the mirror?”

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Continuing further, his father would say, “If you want to build muscles, by the way, why don’t you go and shove some coal for the neighbor? The woman is 80 years old. She cannot do it herself anymore.” Arnold’s father, Gustav, always asked Arnold to “Be Useful.” He asked him to help the people who couldn’t do things for themselves. And Arnold, following his father’s advice, has been doing it ever since.


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As Schwarzenegger is looking forward to the release of his new book on October 24th, he hopes that the life lessons he has mentioned in his book will prove helpful for young minds. What are your views on this? Let us know in the comments.

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