Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals his morning secret to productivity

Arnold Schwarzenegger has shared his key to a productive morning routine.

The actor, 76, opened up about how he starts his day during an appearance at the Town & Country Philanthropy Summit on 2 November. While speaking during a panel at the event, as reported by People, he said that he “doesn’t think” when he wakes up in the morning, and instead focuses on doing a workout.

“I feel good in the morning. I get up and I feed my animals, Lulu and Whiskey, and my little pig, Chanel. I feed the dogs, then I go to the gym,” the Terminator star said.

He went on to describe his mornings at the gym, calling them “kind of like a black-and-white movie,” before noting that once he comes home, his days become “a coloured movie”. Schwarzenegger further explained how that perspective is shaped by his morning exercise.

“It’s because you’re working out and having done something physical where you kind of really sweat and you train hard,” he said. “[It] makes you feel good because you’ve not done something early in the morning.”

The former bodybuilder then shared the motto that he has for others: “The key thing is in the morning, do right away something”. He also detailed why he thinks it’s best to avoid thinking in the morning.

“Don’t think when you get up because stupid stuff comes into your mind and negative stuff,” he said.

He went on to emphasise the benefits of exercising at the start of the day, continuing: “I said: ‘Just roll out a bed, get on your bike and start riding the bike and work out and do something physical.’ And then afterward you will feel much better about yourself and about the world, the way you look at the world and everything like that.”

According to Schwarzenegger, his morning routine has helped him stay “successful” while managing his career and his responsibilities as a father. The actor is the father of four children – Katherine, 33, Christina, 31, Patrick, 30, and Christopher, 26 – with ex Maria Shriver, who he split from in 2021. Two months after Shriver filed for divorce, Schwarzenegger revealed that he had an affair with the family’s housekeeper Mildred Baena, and fathered a son, Joseph Baena, now 26.

“These are the rules that I used in order to be successful and in order to be also successful in giving something back,” Schwarzenegger added during Town and Country’s event.

This isn’t the first time that Schwarzenegger has opened up about his fitness routine. During a video interview for Men’s Health in May 2023, he doubled down on how he avoids unhelpful thinking in the mornings.

“The only reason why someone doesn’t want to go to the gym when they get up is because you were thinking. That’s the biggest mistake you can make. I don’t think,” he said, before noting that he rides his bicycle to the gym every day.

He added: “Then after when it’s all finished now, when I go and have my breakfast. That’s when I start thinking.”

During a separate interview with the publication, he continued to open up about his workouts, specifying that he does 25 to 30 total sets a day. He added that he isn’t as focused on building muscles and that his point of training is to “stay alive, to be able to do my movies”.

Elsewhere in the conversation, he candidly discussed his history of drug use and encouraged bodybuilders to avoid using steroids. He claimed that bodybuilders nowadays seem to be accessing performance-enhancing drugs in a different way than he used to, before pointing out the dangers of taking steroids without the advice of a medical professional.

“Bodybuilding always, always was considered a safe sport. But now it’s not. Now people are dying - they’re dying because of overdoses of drugs and they don’t know what the f*** they’re doing,” the Predator star said. “They’re listening to charlatans. If I want to get medical advice from a doctor, I go to UCLA or I go to the Cleveland Clinic.”