Donkey Plate Calf Machine @ up to 3 plates (side) x 10
Leg Press Calf @ up to 4 plates (side) x 15 + drop set
Lying Leg Curl @ 8 plates x 4 x 6
Reverse Dumbbell Lunge @ up to 75 x 12
One Leg Press @ 85 (side) x 4 x 20
Stir The Pot
This morning my training partner asked me who the most influential person in my life was. I answered without hesitation: "Arnold Schwarzenegger." His next question was, "Do you know him?"
"No," I said.
"Well, that's weird," he said.
He's right. It is weird.
But I've been sort of enamored of Arnold since I first saw him in movies in the 80's. Then again when I bought the Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding and did my first bodybuilding show. And even this year when I read his amazing autobiography, Total Recall, I'm still blown away.
I mean, here's a guy who wasn't the greatest actor, a publicly-shamed husband, a questionable governor, and still, when I hear his name I grin broadly and think: "That guy's awesome!" Why? Why do I think that? What's that about?
Well, he's a polymath. He's the real deal. He was a champion athlete, real estate investor, movie star, politician, and now, mostly, a humanitarian. He's done many things at a professional level, and yet he continues to try to do more. I aspire to do the same.
My training partner and I walked into Gold's Gym Venice trying to get psyched up to train legs. We started with calves to delay the inevitable, and with a decent lower leg pump, we hobbled to the third room--the one with all the cardio machines--on our way outside to do reverse dumbbell lunges.
As I walked up the steps I looked left and there he was. The Terminator, the Austrian Oak--Conan the fucking Barbarian--was right there, watching that look come over my face that he sees hundreds of times a day at this point: "Is that...? That's goddamned Arnold Schwarzenegger!"
It was a brief moment, and I may have nodded to him in recognition. While I wanted to go over and tell him that I had just claimed he was the most influential person in my life... it was, after all, leg day. We were focused, and I assume he was, too.
I worked hard the rest of the training session, bolstered by the presence of my hero and the unlikely chance that he might see me giving less than my all. If there's one person in the world you don't want to see you half-assing it in the gym, it's Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Now, I realize how weird it sounds for a grown man to be inspired like this--the psychology of men searching for approval from older, more accomplished men is a little bizarre. But the lunges alone were a beast, and I felt great at the end of the training session.
I didn't see him again.
Looking back on it, I like to think that a powerful connection was made in that moment. That perhaps all kinds of mutual respect and understanding was conveyed in the space of that shared glance. And maybe just then I was laying the foundation for a life-long mentorship, where Arnold would endorse the ideas I have to change the way people eat.
And that could ultimately change the world.
But the reality is, he may just have been checking out the woman behind me.