In his autobiography ‘Total Recall’ Arnold talks about his life growing up in Austria, dreaming of becoming Mr. universe and arriving to America.
Throughout he’s career he’s managed to fulfil his checklist of dreams which included:
- Move to California
- Become Mr Olympia Bodybuilder
- Make a million dollars
- Become the #1 actor in the world
- Get elected for Governor of California
And his little secret?
When he was 5 years old is dad would make him do 1 or 2 sets of push ups each day to earn his right to eat breakfast or play with his toys.
It’s a strategy that instilled the concept into Arnold that to get the reward you had to earn it through repetitions.
Simply called ‘Reps & Sets’: to get what you want, you practice one thing over and over until you get good at it.
Arnold used this concept throughout his life. To gain more muscles than anyone else he decided to just do more repetitions – more practice than anyone else.
To become a millionaire before 30 he went out and practiced real estate until he made his first million.
To become a Hollywood star, with his thick Austrian accent, he practiced with a speech coach 7 hours a day, as well as taking other coaching classes for the various roles he played in. And he eventually became the highest paid actor for Terminator 2 at the time it came out.
He just out practiced everyone – out hustled them by being a work horse.
And of course later in life Arnold used the same method of Reps & Sets in politics and learned everything there was to know about how to become the governor of California.
There are no shortcuts, no quick schemes, no easy methods to get to where we want to go in life. Arnold is showing us that if we want to get good at something then we simply have to do more hours of practice – more Reps and Sets.
Of course, practice can be laborious, tedious and at times boring but if we can inject some fun into it like Arnold did when he’d go to Gold’s Gym and rewire his mind to love the ‘burn’ then we too can get excited each time we practice our craft as artists and instil that love the ‘burn’ feeling like Arnold has and reap the rewards further down the line.
So, here’s to Reps & Sets and…loving the burn.