Baroque 27 x 41″ Movie Poster, Print Storage Portfolio [Unboxing, Review, Binder Ring Fix]

Why I Chose Baroque Portfolios For Poster Storage

I collect full-size “one sheet” movie posters. They are quite large at 27×40″ or 27×41″ for older ones, so storage can be a challenge. Most people simply keep them in tubes, but it’s better for the poster if you lay it out flat. It also has the added benefit of saving you from having a pile of tubes laying around somewhere.

A few years ago I took all of my posters out of their tubes and moved them to Mylar bags and archival quality backing boards from Bags Unlimited. That solution was definitely a step up, but it was a very expensive solution and not easy to look through. What I really wanted was something similar to Itoya art portfolios, which are essentially the gold standard for print and autograph storage. Unfortunately, they don’t offer anything in a format as large as 27×41″. When it comes to portfolios of that size, really the only game in town is Baroque.

When I decided to pull the trigger and go with Baroque, I ordered a 27 x 41″ portfolio from them in April 2021. However, I didn’t receive it until mid-October. In the meantime, Baroque provided regular updates on shipping delays which stemmed from the cargo ship that carried the container with their portfolios having several delays.

If you would like to buy a Baroque portfolio yourself, you can use this link for a 10% discount. I don’t get a commission, just passing on some savings.

Manufacturer Specifications

  • Design:
    • Black durable bi-cast leather exterior (Synthetic / Vegan)
    • Fully riveted construction for strength & durability 
    • Full zipper enclosure protects your collection from dust and debris
    • Acid-free paper inserts in each sleeve 
    • Black high strength metal multi-ring binder
    • Lightweight and easy to carry/transport with the included shoulder strap
  • Each portfolio includes: 20 double-sided oversized archival and acid-free polypropylene sleeves sealed on three sides with a pocket size of 27.5 x 41.5 inches
    • Holds one sheet movie posters, artwork and prints up to 27 x 41 inches in size 
    • Reverse compatible with both our 18 x 24 and 24 x 36 refill packs!
    • Storage capacity:
      • Transport – safely hold up to 25 sleeves (50 prints)
      • Storage (Flat) – safely hold up to 50 sleeves (100 prints)
    • Additional sleeve refill packs are sold separately!

Unboxing, Filling The Baroque Portfolio

Despite being out at sea for a month, my portfolio arrived in great condition. It was well packaged with plenty of cardboard, foam, and bubble wrap. It took me a few minutes just to get it all unwrapped and free from the packaging. Though, once you actually get the portfolio out, setup is simple. All that comes inside is a strap to carry the portfolio on your shoulder and 20 sleeves which can accommodate 40 posters. The sleeves are slightly longer than the rings so when you install the sleeves, there should be one empty hole above the top ring and one empty hole below the bottom ring.

Loading posters into the sleeves was easy. You did have to be a little careful to not get the corners of your poster snagged on the edges of the sleeves, but getting them in wasn’t a challenge. The only difficulty I had with installing and filling the sleeves came from the sheer size of the product. It could be a bit of a stretch to reach the opposite end of the portfolio, but that is to be expected and no fault of Baroque’s, just something to be aware of.

The one flaw I did find was with the rings themselves. Unfortunately, they don’t close all the way and even a small gap can cause big problems. When turning these very thin sleeves, they have a tendency to slip out of the rings. Having to readjust your sleeves after every turn of a page is a considerable time sink and makes flipping through your posters on a regular basis something that you are a lot less likely to do.

How to Fix Binder Ring Gaps

A post on the Star Wars Poster Collectors group on Facebook highlighted that gaps in Baroque’s binder rings were a common issue. One solution was to place tubes over the rings to close the gap. I took that idea and decided to use heat shrink tubing to help ensure a tight fit that wouldn’t just create a new problem with sleeves snagging.

I used 3mm heat shrink tubing which can be easily purchased from Amazon. I cut the tubing into 3/4″ segments and covered each ring. I then took a lighter and carefully applied heat to the tubing to shrink it around the ring. It created a tight fit and prevented the sleeves from slipping out when turned. Granted, it didn’t make turning the pages super easy, they are still large and unwieldy, but it was a big improvement and at least the problem of pages slipping out of rings was solved.

I asked Baroque to comment on the issue and their customer service was top notch. They offered to replace the portfolio when the next shipment comes in and told me that they have done so for other customers who have experienced similar problems. If you are experiencing this, you can contact them by email. They had the following to say regarding the issue.

Unfortunately, when carriers man handle these large boxes, and drop them, it can affect the spring mechanism in the binder. We’ll work on getting you a replacement. 

Also, we always advise to flip 1 page a time… these pages with prints get very heavy, so turning 1 page at a time is always best. 


Baroque Portfolio Review

Portfolio Build Quality: 10/10
– The portfolio itself has a very nice feel and appearance thanks to the synthetic leather exterior. It is sturdy and feels like a quality build. This thing is a little heavy, which is where the shoulder strap comes in handy, so while I wouldn’t want to lug it to a convention to add signatures to a poster, I see no reason why it wouldn’t hold up for a trip like that.
Ring Build Quality: 4/10
– This is really the Achilles’ heel of the portfolio, which is a shame since it’s probably one of the cheapest components and Baroque could have easily gone for a better function binder ring. However, once you fix the rings with heat shrink tubing, it at least becomes serviceable.
Sleeve Quality: 7/10
– The sleeves are made from acid-free polypropylene and contain acid free paper, so they are perfect for archival quality poster storage. My only complaint is them snagging on the rings and the way that the seams are sealed together, which can cause posters’ corners to snag.
Storage: 10/10
– This is a great storage solution. I keep mine under a guest bed thanks to its low profile. It can store up to 100 posters if you purchase additional sleeves which makes this pretty future-proof for me.
Form Factor: 10/10
– Although flipping through the pages could be easier, I think this is the best solution out there right now. It allows me to look through my collection, easier then I have ever been able to before, especially when everything was in tubes. This portfolio is necessarily large, but it’s made easily portable by the handle and detachable strap.
Customer Service: 10/10
– Baroque’s customer service went above and beyond what was required by offering to send me a new portfolio when they come back in stock. You really can’t ask for more than that.
Overall: 8/10
– Despite the drawbacks, I am happy with my purchase. At the end of the day, it is a storage solution that will keep my posters safe and will allow me to look through them better than I have before. It’s large capacity and expandability also make it a great choice.

Michael Tomczyk: Commodore VIC-20 Developer, Computer Pioneer

Michael Tomczyk is a futurist, technology pioneer and a leading authority on best practices and strategies for developing/launching radical/disruptive innovations. He is a popular author, speaker, and consultant to corporations and government agencies. However, he is perhaps best known for his early work at Commodore for his role in guiding the development and launch of the first microcomputer to sell one million units. He did this as the Product Manager of the VIC-20, the predecessor to the better known Commodore 64. He authored the 1984 book The Home Computer Wars which compiled his own recollections and impressions of his time working at Commodore.

Michael is also an authority on nanotechnology. He is the author of the 2016 book, NanoInnovation: What Every Manager Needs to Know and during that same year served on the NNI Review Committee (National Academy of Sciences) which reviewed the billion-dollar US National Nanotechnology Initiative, to recommend changes and improvements to this initiative. He has also written book chapters and articles on the future of biosciences, gene therapy, and medical innovations.

I had the opportunity to ask Mr. Tomczyk some questions over email regarding his career, to include some about the development of the VIC-20, his friendship with Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and what he’s been up to in the decades since the VIC-20’s launch.

Commodore Video Games

Omega Race on the Vic-20

Star Raiders

TFTC: You became hooked on Star Raiders for the Atari 800, which opened your eyes to the possibilities of computers. Did you continue playing games after that?

Tomczyk: In 1979 I was general manager of a company called Metacolor based in San Francisco, that did special graphic effects for Hollywood movies and for Atari video games. To create our graphics we used a modified piece of surplus NASA gear called a Quantizer. Atari made us a beta site for the Atari 600 game computer and my team wouldn’t stop playing a cartridge game called Star Raiders where the player pilots a spaceship while enemy ships keep attacking. Star Raiders was the first video game that had 3D star fields that gave the realistic illusion of traveling through space and allowed objects including enemy spaceships to move toward and away from you. It took me 3 nights to reach the highest level. I recall looking up one morning at 6 a.m. to see a thin shaft of light streaming in through the living room curtains and realized I had been up 3 nights in a row playing this game. I got an average of one hour of sleep each night and realized that I was totally hooked on personal computing.

I recall looking up one morning at 6 a.m. to see a thin shaft of light streaming in through the living room curtains and realized I had been up 3 nights in a row playing [Star Raiders].

Star Raiders got me hooked on computing and led me to quit my job to find a way to enter the personal computer industry. I was 31 years old and before this I had been a journalist, a captain in the Army, a management consultant in Beverly Hills, and I had an MBA from UCLA. I started taking computer classes at night to learn to program in BASIC and get familiar with word processors and spreadsheets. One night we had a Commodore PET and the next night an Apple and I became ambidextrous, which gave me some keen insights into the advantages and disadvantages of Commodore and Apple.

My first article after leaving Metacolor was an interview with Doug Neubauer, the creator of Star Raiders who was a chip designer. With one article published, I was able to get interviews with Steve Wozniak and I started hanging around Apple in my spare time.

VIC-20 Games

TFTC: What was your favorite game on the VIC-20 or C64?

Tomczyk: I actually didn’t play many games after I started product-managing the VIC-20. I was busy writing manuals, evaluating games to license and defining the computer features. Jack Tramiel had made me the “VIC Czar” and I was responsible for major decisions affecting the new computer. Sometimes when we were at the office printing out a manual or some assembly code (which took a long time on a dot matrix printer) I would play a “rain” style game – avoiding falling rain – and we all tried to get higher and higher scores.

C64 Mini

TFTC: The C64 Mini has brought commodore games back to American homes once again. Were you consulted for its development or have you had a hands-on experience with it?

Tomczyk: I had no involvement with the C64 mini.

Impact of the Video Game Crash on Commodore

Jack Tramiel (Left) and Michael Tomczyk (right)

TFTC: You left Commodore in 1984, a year after the video game market in the U.S. began to crash. Did that impact Commodore’s sales or were the Vic-20 and C64 completely insulated from that due to them being home computers?

Tomczyk: When Jack Tramiel was ousted from Commodore (by Irving Gould, supported by a group of grey-haired executives who argued that “professional management” was needed) – most of the “family” departed within 6 months. In one week in May 1984, 35 top people left the company – these were what Jack called the “family” – the trusted insiders who understood his tough business philosophy which he called “the religion.” As soon as Jack departed, the remaining Commodore executives, who did not understand the concept of a full-spectrum product line, started dismantling and disabling the home computer line including cancelling products like the Commodore 364 which was announced but never produced, and the Plus 4 which had built in software but was not supported.

My contribution as Marketing Strategist – which was part of my official job title – was to help Jack develop a full spectrum product line including 1) the VIC-20, the low-end entry level computer that poor families, elementary schools and virtually anyone could afford, 2) the Commodore PET developed in 1976 that was a favorite in schools, and 3) the Commodore Business Machine (CBM) which was a business-capable personal computer. This set up a progression where a Commodore customer would get into our computers in grade school, graduate to a PET in middle and high school, and move up to a CBM in college or business.

When Jack left Commodore his culture of innovation left with him and the product line lost its cohesion. Also, the grey-haired executives who took over were cliched business managers who saw that R&D was the largest cost center so to reduce expenses they started downsizing R&D staff and projects at exactly the time when R&D needed to be increased – it was a fatal error.

Speaking at VCF East

TFTC: You were one of the keynote speakers at VCF East, scheduled for October 8, 9 & 10th. Which other speaker were you looking forward to hearing from the most?

Tomczyk: At VCF I had a chance to spend a few hours with Scott Adams, who is still a great friend after all these decades. When I desperately needed games for the VIC20 I called Scott and asked if he could port over half a dozen games to help us launch the computer. His text based games didn’t use much memory and were perfect. We sold them on cartridges and they helped launch the computer. Scott and I stay in touch on Facebook and it was great catching up in person.

I also had dinner and spent time chatting with Bill Mensch, a true guru who designed the 6800 Motorola chip and 6502 chip – Bill and I had a great time catching up and he said he was kind of surprised to learn about all the things that happened behind the scenes at Commodore that many people, even Commodore insiders, never really knew about.

Friendship with Woz and Steve Jobs

TFTC: You were friends with both Steve Jobs and Woz how did your friendship start?

Tomczyk: My first Apple article was a review of an 80 column add-on board for the Apple II, which had a 40 column display. I interviewed Woz and Andy Herzfeld, and met Jobs. After that I started hanging out at Apple, mostly sitting at Woz’s cubicle which was right behind the main entrance. One day I was chatting with Jobs and Wozniak and I said, “Hey, I’m not doing this for my health, I’m looking for a job in the industry” to which Jobs replied, “Ok, Michael. Go in the cafeteria, look at the job requisitions posted on the board, pick something you’re qualified for and we’ll hire you for that.” I looked at the job requisitions but they all looked so sterile and official, on pre-printed forms, and Apple also required me to sign in when I visited even though everyone knew me and I had the notion that Apple was kind of bureaucratic.

I started hanging out at Apple, mostly sitting at Woz’s cubicle which was right behind the main entrance.

I also felt that I had to choose one of the “three bears” in personal computing. Apple was the papa bear. They had too many geniuses. Atari was baby bear. They didn’t have enough geniuses. I got an interview with Conrad Jutson VP of Consumer Electronics at Atari and was offered a job as Director of Software. Jutson said he felt computers were going to be like stereo systems. Atari really WAS the baby bear – most people don’t realize that Atari LOST more than a billion dollars in five years. They were not well managed.

Commodore was “mama bear.” Commodore had half idiots and half geniuses. So I got myself an interview with Jack Tramiel at Commodore’s offices in Santa Clara, CA. I told Jack about 20 things that I felt were screwed up that I could help fix – bad PR, poor user group relations, 1940s style packaging, essentially no advertising—to name a few. Jack hired me as Assistant to the President and Marketing Strategist.

Apple and Gaming

TFTC: Steve and Woz both got their start working on arcade games for Atari and Woz later held a record high score for the Game Boy version of Tetris. Did video games ever come up in your conversations?

Tomczyk: I never discussed the development of the Apple computers or their involvement in video games with the two Steves. After leaving Commodore I used Apple computers mostly and at one point got hooked on a great Apple game called Mech Warrior which places the player inside a large robot that looks like the giant robots in the Transformers movies. Today there are robot prototypes that are operated by human pilots, and several types of exoskeletons that are essentially wearable robots. I talk about these in the new innovation book I just completed.

One interesting thing that happened while I was chatting with Jobs and Woz in early 1980, Apple’s president Mike Markulla came up to Woz and asked a question about something on a system software entry which was extremely technical and surprised me that the CEO was that much into the software.

Additionally, Woz and I were friendly and chatted during computer trade shows, after I joined Commodore. I also knew Bill Gates and we were friendly and also chatted at trade shows. Later I got to know Adam Osborne and Clive Sinclair, all true gurus and wonderfully charming, intelligent and friendly. Steve Jobs never forgave me for joining Commodore instead of Apple and he never spoke to me at computer events, even when I walked up to him, he turned his back on me! He was not a particularly friendly guy.

Tomczyk and Commodore

Starting Out at Commodore

TFTC: What were those early days like working at Commodore?

Tomczyk: My first day was in London around April 1—I flew to London sitting next to Chuck Peddle, Commodore’s Chief Engineer and a true computer guru. Chuck told me what I needed to succeed in a very tough business environment. He told me a meeting with Jack was called a Jack Attack because Jack was so tough on everyone. I said I don’t care about that because I had been a consultant to some very tough CEOs and in the Army I worked mostly for tough general officers. In London I made friends with Commodore’s general managers in Canada, Germany, the UK and Japan. Tony Tokai (Japan) and Kit Spencer (UK) and I especially hit it off.

At the meeting, Chuck Peddle presented a new color computer shaped exactly like the Apple II – the form factor was identical. Jack said he preferred to launch a small introductory computer first. He knew that a young engineer named Bob Yannes had developed a prototype based on a chip developed by our MOS Technology subsidiary in Valley Forge. During the debate about which computer to produce first – the Apple II style “ColorPet” or the small home computer – most of the 20-plus people at the meeting argued for the ColorPet. I argued passionately for the intro computer because we needed it to fill out our product line and provide an affordable path to the other computers. Kit Spencer and Tony Tokai joined me in making this case. Jack had left the meeting and the next day he came back, listened to all the arguments on both sides, then stood up, banged his fist on the table and declared, “Gentlemen, the Japanese are coming – so WE will become the Japanese!” Everyone had to buy his logic because he was right.

Becoming “Japanese” had more meaning than anyone realized at the time, because Chuck Peddle didn’t want to develop the new computer, he had several contentious exchanges with Jack and wound up leaving the company several weeks later, along with some key engineers. Yash Terakura and the Japanese engineering team had to do a lot of the work to make the new computer.

Building the VIC-20

For me personally, the next few weeks were like a whirlwind. After London we went to Germany and asked the government for some concessions so we could take over a failing electronics plant, to make Commodore computers for Europe. I was in the meetings. The Germans said, “Why should we give you concessions?” to which Jack replied, “You owe it to me – I’m an Auschwitz survivor” – then he added – “Besides, it will be great PR for you.” They accepted his logic and gave us the plant which was in Braunschweig, West Germany.

I asked Jack if he held resentment toward the Germans to which he replied, “The German people didn’t kill the Jews. The rules killed the Jews. Germans always follow the rules and if the rules are made by madmen, they still follow the rules.” Another time I asked him how he dealt with the memories of Auschwitz and he immediately replied, “I live in the future.”

After we got back to California Jack asked me to check out the Marketing Department which I had criticized in my first interview. I interviewed 12 people in the department and reported my findings to Jack. One day I came back from lunch and the marketing offices were empty. I asked the secretary where they were and the secretary said, “Jack fired them all just before lunch.”

I scrambled to Jack’s office and said, “Jack, what did you do?” to which he replied, “You said you hated our Marketing Department, so I fired them.” Talk about a guilt trip. I had to admit that they deserved to go, however. A few days later he announced that I would be serving as temporary US Director of Marketing. “You hire a new Marketing Department, who you think we need, and I’ll hire a Marketing Vice President. We’ll divide up the tasks like that,” Jack told me. This was only my THIRD WEEK with the company.

Becoming the “VIC Czar”

The best known story about how I was put in charge of the VIC-20 involves my famous memo. I wrote a long single spaced memo and put a happy face with a beard and mustache on the cover and tossed it on Jack’s desk. “What’s this?” he asked. “That’s everything that needs to be done with the new computer. Make sure whoever’s in charge does all these things.” A week later Jack threw my memo back on my desk. “What’s this?” I asked. “That’s everything that needs to be done with the new computer. I told everyone that nothing gets done on the new computer without your approval, but none of the people involved reports to you so you’ll have to do this mostly by persuasion.” I told him I could do that.

I wound up giving the VIC-20 it’s name, set the price at $299.95, forced engineering to use full size typewriter style keys instead of a flat membrane and after a visit to Japan where I saw a prototype (from NEC) with programmable function keys, I added function keys to the VIC-20. I also asked Jack if I could be VIC Product Manager and he said, “I don’t believe in product managers.” “So what can I be?” I asked. At this time we had a gas shortage and the President had appointed an Energy Czar. Jack smiled and said, “You can be VIC Czar.” “Can I put that on my business card?” I asked. He nodded. And the rest is history.

I wound up giving the VIC-20 it’s name, set the price at $299.95, forced engineering to use full size typewriter style keys instead of a flat membrane.

The VIC-20 was introduced as the VIC-1001 in Japan at Seibu Department Store in September 1980. I had been working very closely with Tony Tokai and I was there for the launch. I recruited a product team I called the VIC Commandos. Our motto became Benutzefreundlichkeit which means User Friendliness in German. I licensed a half dozen Adventure games from Scott Adams and bought some other games such as Jupiter Lander from hobbyist programmers.

The VIC-20 was introduced at the January CES Show in the US. It became the first full-featured color home computer and the first microcomputer to sell 1 million units. I became known as the “marketing father” of the home computer.

Commodore’s Lasting Impact

TFTC: In John Wick Chapter 2 (2017) the Vic-20 was shown to provide security through obsolescence, for a secret organization of assassins. What are your thoughts about the computer’s continued presence in popular culture?

Tomczyk: I keynoted the Vintage Computer Festival East in October and several people told me they are still using VIC-20s for various functions, which surprised me. Of course hobbyists and retro computing enthusiasts in many countries keep their VIC20s and Commodore 64s up and running. I am also gratified (and humbled) to receive one or two emails or chat messages EVERY MONTH from someone, somewhere in the world thanking me for fighting to get this computer made, because it changed their lives. 

William Shatner (left) and Michael Tomczyk (right)

Commodore and William Shatner

TFTC: When you showed Shatner the Vic-20, did he try out Star Trek and if so, what was his reaction?

Tomczyk: I was at the first Shatner TV ad shoot in New York and Shatner was friendly, cordial, warm, professional and cool. We sat next to each other during lunch and he told me he should have been a technology spokesperson after Star Trek, instead of becoming a spokesperson for margarine!  Actually the VIC20 wasn’t connected to the monitor in the photos of us together because to get a clean screen image we had to do a different type of video feed to the monitor to avoid scan lines. I hold the distinction of being the first person to actually show Bill Shatner a real computer because the Star Trek TV series computers were fake. Also, Bill was so impressed by how we described home computing that he wanted a system so we gave him a CBM computer system and I believe that’s what he used to write his first scripts and novels. We had a CBM delivered to his home with someone to show him how to use the software. 

I hold the distinction of being the first person to actually show Shatner a real computer because the Star Trek TV series computers were fake

Two years ago I asked Bill’s assistant if he would autograph a photo of him and me and Bill invited me to send several photos – he signed three. I kept one for my wall, sold one, and am keeping one for the future. 

A couple of months ago I sent a message telling Bill that I’m dedicating my new innovation book to him and included the dedication page. He sent me an email back that began “Thank you for your excellence!” That was very touching. I am totally blown away by how “fan friendly” Bill has remained over the decades, and he even made a trip to the edge of space. He feels obligated to keep promoting space travel and also promotes green energy and climate control which he feels are not incompatible. I feel a similar obligation to keep innovating and I’m still pioneering new technologies because it’s an obligation, I think.

TFTC: While working for Metacolor, I read the company used “NASA space technology to do special effects for motion pictures”, like Logan’s Run. Can you elaborate on that and talk about which effects you worked on?

Tomczyk: NASA apparently had a piece of surplus gear called a Quantizer that converts black and white images to color and can layer colors, which the founder of Metacolor adapted to create creative graphics for movies and video games.

Commodore’s Legacy

The C64 Community Today

TFTC: The C64 has a vibrant community of enthusiasts who update the system with mods like USB ports and Raspberry Pi based floppy emulators. Do you keep an eye on how your computers are being used today?

Tomczyk: I am the co-moderator (with Dave McMurthie) of the International Commodore Historical Society on Facebook and also associated with VIGAMUS the Videogame Museum in Rome. I stay connected with several retro computing groups and collectors, and I try to make items available now and then from my own collection, to preserve and archive them.

The VIC Modem

TFTC: You helped develop the first modem to sell over a million units. How would you describe the pre-internet CompuServe experience to younger readers who really only know the internet as it is today?

Tomczyk: In 1981 we were getting swamped by customer service calls, mostly from users, so I thought if we could connect user groups on CompuServe, AOL or the Source (the first telecomputing services which were like pre-Internet communities) then users could help each other. Our engineers were too busy to design a modem so I contracted a small industrial modem company and told them it had to cost less than $33 so we could retail it for $99. The key was to make it affordable just like we made the VIC20 affordable.

One night I came back from a convention in Las Vegas and the engineers were sitting in front of my hotel room door. It was past midnight. “We can’t get it under $33” they said. They showed me a drawing of an acoustic modem. “Why can’t we do a direct connect modem and put it on a large plus in cartridge, like a video game cartridge?” I sketched something on a notepad. They kind of screamed “Eureka!” and scrambled down the hall like a bunch of meerkats. The result is the Commodore VICModem – first modem priced under $100, first to sell 1 million units. Then I negotiated free computing time which totaled almost $200 in free service, and put a sticker on the box advertising that. I also trademarked the phrase “The Friendly Computer” and put it on boxes, in ads and on a poster I asked an artist to design. I still have that poster and made a few copies for collectors which have been very popular.

I sketched something on a notepad… the Commodore VIC Modem – first modem priced under $100, first to sell 1 million units.

Commodore For Learning Programming

TFTC: When it comes to learning programming, do you think that the VIC-20 with BASIC so central to its operation is still a viable tool for introducing programming to young learners?

Tomczyk: Today I think it’s interesting that so many retro computing fans keep working with vintage Commodore computers. While programming was essential to operating the first home computers, software has evolved so far that we now have user interfaces that do not require programming, per se. Today most apps are written with development apps and tools rather than programmed from scratch.

Of course, we still use spreadsheets and word processors and those are pretty much unchanged except now our data and files are portable thanks to the Cloud and wireless telecom. My smartphone is my favorite device and I use it for everything I used to do on my laptop.

Michael Tomczyk Today

Michael Tomczyk—Futurist

TFTC: You are also known for being a futurist, where do you see technology going?

Tomczyk: I talk about emerging technologies that are giving us the powers that used to be reserved for gods, in my new book, which I just completed. 

I think we’ve gone FAR beyond home computing and computing as it was originally developed, in standalone devices. We are now in the era of convergence. The cloud has made the Internet a computing base. The Internet of Things links devices with computing. Elon Musk is developing Neuralink to integrate computers with the human brain. Humanoid robots exist today and they are being designed to look and talk like real people. We have so much bandwidth and speed now that we have handheld devices that can translate dozens of languages like devices we used to see in science fiction movies. Autonomous vehicles are actually robot vehicles with computers connected to the Cloud that can navigate virtually anywhere and adapt to a variety of situations. Nanotechnology allows us to use atoms and molecules like LEGO building blocks – I wrote a book on Nanotech in 2015 (NanoInnovation: What Every Manager Needs to Know) published by Wiley VCH. Computers have also allowed us to map the Human Genome and carried us to a point where we can now edit genes to cure disease.

Our cell phones have morphed into futuristic devices. We use our phones to take pictures more than we use cameras. Who would have predicted or guessed that would happen? We are all videographers now, and we are all cartoonists, using emojis and bitmojis. There is more computing power in our phones than supercomputers had a couple of decades ago.

Recently at my Vintage Computing Festival presentation, I held up a tiny jump drive on my keychain that is half an inch long and holds a TERABYTE of data! I joked that if you swallowed this little jump drive by accident, you could choke on a Terabyte. That’s a scary thought.

Fintech Corporation IPO

TFTC: You have said you adopted Jack’s mantra, to “live in the future?” and you use that phrase to justify your lifelong involvement in emerging technologies. What are you doing now in that space?

Tomczyk: Today I am on the senior management team and a founding member of the board of directors of Fintech Ecosystem Development Corporation. On 19 October 2021, we went public with an IPO and NASDAQ listing (stock symbol: FEXDU). We are bringing a variety of innovations to emerging economies such as Bangladesh, Malaysia, Brazil, etc. as well as to the U.S. and other industrialized markets. This venture involves a great deal of radical innovation, multitasking, negotiation, and business-building—which are my strong points I think.

Our Fintech venture went public on 19 October 2021 with a $100 million IPO and NASDAQ listing. (stock symbol: FEXDU)

Join Robinhood with my link and we’ll both get a free stock 🤝

Star Wars Visual Effects Artist Round-Up [From ESB to The Mandalorian]

I got in touch with three veteran Star Wars visual effects (VFX) artists to ask them about working on Star Wars and the role of VFX. Their work spans much of the Star Wars’ history going back to Empire Strikes Back and going right up to the present day.

Trent Claus

Trent Claus is a visual effects supervisor at Lola VFX. A visual effects supervisor leads the effort to translate a director or producer’s vision to the screen through the use of visual effects. Trent has worked on over 120 films, with 20 from the Marvel Cinematic Universe alone. His work for Marvel includes: Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain Marvel, and Avengers: Endgame. Also, his stunning VFX work can be seen on The Mandalorian, Blade Runner- The Final Cut, and Prometheus.

Black Widow (visual effects supervisor: Lola Visual Effects)
WandaVision (TV Mini Series) (visual effects supervisor)
The Mandalorian (TV Series) (visual effects supervisor – 2 episodes)
It Chapter Two (compositor – uncredited)
Spider-Man: Far from Home (compositor)
Avengers: Endgame (visual effects supervisor: Lola VFX)
Captain Marvel (visual effects supervisor: Lola VFX)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (visual effects supervisor: Lola VFX)
Solo: A Star Wars Story (compositor)

Jay Machado

Jay is a Model Supervisor at Industrial Light and Magic, specializing in hard surface modeling, texture painting and look development. He has worked at ILM for seven years, and has nine years of experience as a modeler. His credits include The Mandalorian, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, Rogue One, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Transformers: Age of Extinction. In addition to his work on feature films, Jay has worked on music videos, commercials, AAA games, and amusement park rides. He is also exploring physically based rendering, VR, game development, and 3D printing outside of work.

The Mandalorian (TV series) (Model Supervisor)
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run (Video Game) (Lead Hard Surface Modeler)
Transformers: The Last Night (Hard Surface Modeler)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Hard Surface Modeler)
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (Hard Surface Modeler)
Transformers: Age of Extinction (Hard surface Modeler)
Noah (Creature Modeler)

David Carson

Dave Carson is an extremely talented artist who has held many different roles on multiple films within the Star Wars saga. He is an artist who started working on storyboards, transitioned to work in the Creature Shop as a sculptor, and eventually went on to be a visual effects supervisor at a time when computer effects were just beginning to make an appearance in film. His work has left a lasting mark on so many of the movies we love. From his start on The Empire Strikes Back to bringing the Gamorrean Guards to life in Return of the Jedi, he also worked on Star Tours and the Special Editions.

Jurassic Park (digital artist – as David Carson)
Hook (computer graphics)
Willow (visual effects art director: ILM)
Star Tours (Short) (storyboard artist: ILM – uncredited) / (visual effects supervisor: ILM – uncredited)
The Goonies (visual effects art director: ILM – as David Carson)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (visual effects art director – as David Carson)
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (visual effects supervisor – special version)
Dragonslayer (dragon set designer: ILM)
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (model maker: miniature and optical effects unit)
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (visual effects supervisor: ILM – 1997 special version)

VFX Artists Q & A

How do you see the relationship between VFX and practical effects and where do you see that going in the future?

Trent Claus – The relationship between practical and digital effects is a collaboration and partnership – in the end, they are all effects trying to fool the viewer into believing in the reality of the story. The goal of the filmmaker should always be to pick the best tool for each particular challenge.

Jay Machado – Despite huge leaps forward in quality, CG VFX still work best when blended with practical effects. It isn’t just about realism anymore because CG has reached a pretty realistic look, but also audience taste. Practical effects have a certain character to them that audiences still enjoy even if it doesn’t look real which is why the puppet of Grogu is so beloved and so much effort was put into the CG version to match the motion of the puppet. Stagecraft has really facilitated that blend of practical and CG with practical props and set pieces in the foreground and digital backgrounds that not only provide actors with context and improve their performance and the quality of lighting on them but also allows us to get final shots in camera in a way that wasn’t possible before. It’s been an amazing technology to be involved with and really makes the future of movies and TV very exciting.

David Carson I think the industry is learning that certain effects are best done in the computer, others as practical, others as high-speed miniatures, etc. And the blending of effects and live action is becoming more powerful with the introduction of on-set LED screens.

What kinds of assets do you enjoy working with the most for the show?

Trent Claus – Like many, I not only worked on the show, but was also a fan. So working with anything is always exciting!

Jay Machado – Spaceships! My career has really been so awesome because I’ve had the privilege of working on so many iconic spaceships from Star Wars. I’ve always loved spaceships in general and the legacy of Star Wars ships has always been fascinating to me. It’s been fun to work on them in a modern context because it’s a perfect mix of upholding that legacy, faithfully recreating the look and feel of those old filming miniatures and adding details to them to add to the realism and scale of them. Even new designs like the Razorcrest were super fun to be involved with. I really enjoy texturing these assets as well. The “lived in universe” of Star Wars and all the rusty, oily, grimy surfaces are super fun to paint.

David Carson I’m retired now, but back when I was working I liked all of it. Practical, storyboards, sculpting, concept art – everything. I was very lucky to have a chance to work with all of those disciplines during my career.

Are there any unique challenges when working on a Star Wars property?

Trent Claus – There are always challenges on any project, but certainly one that can’t be overlooked with Star Wars is the exacting detail that fans scrutinize the work. Always keeps everyone on their toes!

Jay Machado – There is an aesthetic to Star Wars that I’ve seen people struggle with, but I think my close relationship with Star Wars from my childhood fascination to all of the research I’ve done on the subject in terms of what model kit parts were used in the original miniatures have really helped me understand it. As I mentioned before we do need to add realism and scale to some of the classic designs of the miniatures, often because the miniatures themselves are small and we need to see them up close. Finding that balance of adding detail and areas of rest is challenging. There’s a temptation to add more and more but it’s easy to get into Transformers territory in terms of complexity. Areas of rest are important, and that goes for texture painting as well!

David Carson- George [Lucas] was usually willing to spend what it took to get the work done. He was very money-conscious, but he knew where the money needed to be spent. The hardest things was knowing that the films were so popular and people had very high expectations

How to Send Fan Mail to The Harry Potter Cast & Request Autographs From the Actors

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you’ve probably thought about what it would be like to talk to one of the actors from The Wizarding World. Unfortunately, some of the cast can be quite elusive and as you’re not likely to run into them on the street, you have likely considered fan mail as the best option. Thankfully, many of the actors from the films have been very good at responding to fan mail over the years.

Writing fan mail is a great way to reach out to people who you admire or otherwise inspire you. It’s simple and anyone can get started in minutes if they read our guide on how to write fan mail and request autographs through the mail (TTM). Your chances are very good of getting a response from the MCU’s many visual effects artists or the writers who make it what it is, but if you choose to reach for the stars, you may find success there as well. While you’re at it, print out some photos and make sure to request an autograph too!

Fan Favorite Harry Potter Signers

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)

Surprisingly Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter himself, is one of the best through the mail (TTM) autograph signers among the whole cast. Although he is more likely to send out a pre-signed photo rather than signing the items that you send, he does give fans authentic autographs, and we all love him for it. After Harry Potter, Daniel played lawyer Arthur Kipps in the horror film The Woman in Black (2012); poet Allen Ginsberg in the film Kill Your Darlings (2013); the title character’s assistant, Igor, in the science fiction fantasy Victor Frankenstein (2015); Manny, a sentient corpse in the comedy-drama Swiss Army Man (2016); technological prodigy Walter Mabry in the heist thriller film Now You See Me 2 (2016); and FBI agent Nate Foster in the critically acclaimed thriller Imperium (2016).

Daniel Radcliffe
Artists Rights Group Ltd (ARG)
4A Exmoor Street
W10 6BD
United Kingdom

Miriam Margolyes (Professor Pomona Sprout)

Miriam treats her fans very well and is a dependable signer TTM. In addition to her work on Harry Potter, she won a BAFTA Award for her role in Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence (1993).

Miriam Margolyes
United Agents Ltd.
12-26 Lexington Street
London, W1F 0LE

Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell)

Harry Potter fans have come to appreciate Professor Quirrell actor Ian Hart for his dedication to fans. He is a dependable signer who happily signs the items that you send him. He is best known for his roles as Rabbit in the Channel Four drama miniseries One Summer (1983), Joe O’Reilly in the biopic Michael Collins (1996), Professor Quirrell in the fantasy film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Kester Gill in the E4 series My Mad Fat Diary (2013–2015), and Father Beocca in the Netflix series The Last Kingdom (2015–2020).

Ian Hart
Artists Rights Group Ltd (ARG)
4A Exmoor Street
W10 6BD
United Kingdom

John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick)

An English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer, John Cleese experienced fame long before Harry Potter. That has never kept him from being good to his fans though. Emerging from the Cambridge Footlights in the 1960s, he first achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report. In the late 1960s, he co-founded Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Along with his Python co-stars Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Graham Chapman, Cleese starred in Monty Python films, which include Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Life of Brian (1979) and The Meaning of Life (1983).

John Cleese
c/o Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
2000 Avenue Of The Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley)

Another actor that fans can always count on is Fiona Shaw. She is an Irish actress and theatre and opera director. She is known for her roles as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter film series (2001–2010), Marnie Stonebrook in the fourth season of the HBO series True Blood (2011), and Carolyn Martens in the BBC series Killing Eve (2018–present).

Fiona Shaw
c/o Another Tongue
10/11 D’Arblay Street
United Kingdom

Harry Potter Fan Mail Addresses A-B

Adrian Rawlins
c/o East Riding Theatre
10 Lord Roberts Road
Beverley HU17 9BE
United Kingdom
Afshan Azad
Desser & Company Ltd.
5 Bradstone Road
Manchester M8 8PS
United Kingdom
Alfred Enoch
Independent Talent Group Ltd
40 Whitfield Street
London W1T 2RH
United Kingdom
Andy Linden
Komedia Entertainment
Antrams 44-46 Old Steine
East Sussex
United Kingdom
Anna Shaffer
c/o MOT Models,
The Stables,
Ashlyns Hall,
Chesham Road,
Hertfordshire HP4 2ST,
United Kingdom
Arben Bajraktaraj
Zona Talent Agency
Skenderija 44 / IV
71000 Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Benedict Clarke
PO Box 860,
St Albans,
Hertfordshire AL1 9BR
United Kingdom
Bertie Gilbert
Matthew Harvey
12-26 Lexington Street
United Kingdom
Bonnie Wright
c/o Next London
Ground Floor Blocks B and C
Morelands Building
5-23 Old Street
London EC1V 9HL
United Kingdom
Brendan Gleeson
c/o Next London
Ground Floor Blocks B and C
Morelands Building
5-23 Old Street
London EC1V 9HL
United Kingdom
Bronson Webb
c/o Sainou
14 City Lofts
112-116 Tabernacle Street
London EC2A 4LE
United Kingdom

Harry Potter Fan Mail Addresses C-D

Carolyn Pickles
c/o The Joneses
2 Percy Street
London, W1T 1DD
United Kingdom
Charles Hughes
c/o The Joneses
2 Percy Street
London, W1T 1DD
United Kingdom
Charlotte Skeoch
c/o Andromeda Talent
Unit 33066
PO Box 6945
United Kingdom
Chris Rankin
c/o Andromeda Talent
Unit 33066
PO Box 6945
United Kingdom
Christian Coulson
c/o Coolwaters Productions
10061 Riverside Drive #531
Toluca Lake, CA 91602-2560
Ciarán Hinds
28 Cabul Road
London, SW11 2PN
United Kingdom
Clémence Poésy
IMG Paris
20 rue de la Baume
7th Floor
75008 Paris
Daniel Radcliffe
Artists Rights Group Ltd (ARG)
4A Exmoor Street
W10 6BD
United Kingdom
Danielle Tabor
Colina Management
164 Windsor Drive,
Chelsfield, Kent BR6 6HQ
United Kingdom
Daphne de Beistegui
Flat 1
22 Royal Crescent
W11 4SL
United Kingdom
David Bradley
c/o United Agents
12-26 Lexington Street
London W1F 0LE
United Kingdom
David O’Hara
Industry Entertainment
955 South Carrillo Dr.
Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90048
David Tennant
Independent Talent Group Ltd
40 Whitfield Street
London W1T 2RH
United Kingdom
David Thewlis
Shepherd Management
3rd Floor
Joel House
17-21 Garrick Street
London WC2E 9BL
United Kingdom
Dawn French
c/o United Agents
12-26 Lexington Street
London W1F 0LE
United Kingdom
Devon Murray
Julian Benson Management
The Production Suite
26 Upper Pembroke Street
Dublin 2
Domhnall Gleeson
The Agency
25 Leeson Street Lower
Dublin 2
D02 XD77

Harry Potter Fan Mail Addresses E-F

Edward Randell
c/o The Swingle Singers LLP
Kemp House
152-160 City Road
London EC1 2NX
United Kingdom
Elarica Johnson
c/o Public Eye Communications Ltd
N303, Fulham Uncommon
126 New Kings Road
London, SW6 4LZ
United Kingdom
Eleanor Columbus
2622 Jackson St
San Francisco, CA 94115-1123
Ellie Darcey-Alden
489 S. Robertson Blvd.
Suite 206
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Emma Thompson
c/o Hamilton Hodell
20 Golden Square
London W1F 9JL
United Kingdom
Emma Watson
c/o Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
2000 Avenue Of The Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Eric Sykes
c/o Norma Farnes
9 Orme St
United Kingdom
Eva Alexander
MR Management
67 Great Titchfield Street
United Kingdom
Evanna Lynch
c/o Independent Talent Group
40 Whitfield Street
London W1T 2RH
United Kingdom
Fiona Shaw
c/o Aitken Alexander Associates
291 Gray’s Inn Road
Kings Cross
London WC1X 8QJ
United Kingdom
Frances de la Tour
4th Floor, 35 Great Marlborough Street
London W1F 7JF
United Kingdom
Frank Dillane
c/o Michelle Braidman Associates Ltd.
2 Futura House
169 Grange Road
London SE1 3BN
United Kingdom
Freddie Stroma
c/o Waring and McKenna
17 South Molton St
London W1K 5QT
United Kingdom

Harry Potter Fan Mail Addresses H-I

Heather Bleasdale
c/o The Artists Partnership
21-22 Warwick Street
London W1B 5NE
United Kingdom
Hebe Beardsall
c/o Conway Van Gelder Grant Ltd
3rd Floor
8-12 Broadwick Street
London W1F 8HW
United Kingdom
Helena Barlow
c/o United Agents
12-26 Lexington Street
London W1F 0LE
United Kingdom
Helena Bonham Carter
c/o Conway Van Gelder Grant Ltd
3rd Floor
8-12 Broadwick Street
London W1F 8HW
United Kingdom
Henry Lloyd-Hughes
4th Floor, 35 Great Marlborough Street
London W1F 7JF
United Kingdom
Hero Fiennes Tiffin
c/o Storm Models,
1st Floor,
5 Jubilee Place,
London SW3 3TD
United Kingdom
Ian Hart
Artists Rights Group Ltd (ARG)
4A Exmoor Street
W10 6BD
United Kingdom
Ian Kelly
c/o 42 Management & Productions Ltd
Palladium House
1-4 Argyll Street
London, W1F 7TA
United Kingdom
Imelda Staunton
Artists Rights Group Ltd (ARG)
4A Exmoor Street
W10 6BD
United Kingdom
Isabella Laughland
c/o Bespoke Voice Agency
Third Floor, 8/12 Broadwick Street
London, W1F 8HW
United Kingdom

Harry Potter Fan Mail Addresses J-K

J.K. Rowling
c/o Box 2, 44-46 Morningside Road
EH10 4BF
Julie Walters
Lee House Farm
Billingshurst, RH14 0PB
United Kingdom
Kate Fleetwood
c/o Curtis Brown Group Ltd.
Haymarket House
5th Floor
28-29 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4SP
United Kingdom
Kathryn Hunter
Stanton Davidson Associates
St. Martinâs House
59 St. Martinâs Lane
United Kingdom
Katie Leung
c/o Curtis Brown Group Ltd.
Haymarket House
5th Floor
28-29 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4SP
United Kingdom
Kelly Macdonald
Independent Talent Group Ltd
40 Whitfield Street
London W1T 2RH
United Kingdom
Kenneth Branagh
c/o Longcross Studios
Chobham Lane
KT16 0EE
United Kingdom

Harry Potter Fan Mail Addresses L-M

Lee Ingleby
c/o Conway Van Gelder Grant Ltd
3rd Floor
8-12 Broadwick Street
London W1F 8HW
United Kingdom
Leilah Sutherland
15 Belford Court,
Laud Close,
Reading, RG1 6RE
United Kingdom
Lenny Henry
c/o JLA
14 Berners Street
London W1T 3LJ
United Kingdom
Leslie Phillips
c/o Curtis Brown Group Ltd.
Haymarket House
5th Floor
28-29 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4SP
United Kingdom
Louis Cordice
Andromeda Talent
Kemp House
152-160 City Road
United Kingdom
Luke Newberry
Luke Youngblood
Independent Talent Group Ltd
40 Whitfield Street
London W1T 2RH
United Kingdom
Maggie Smith
Independent Talent Group Ltd
40 Whitfield Street
London W1T 2RH
United Kingdom
Margery Mason
c/o Billy Marsh Drama Ltd.
20 Garrick Street
Covent Garden
London WC2E 9BT
United Kingdom
Mark Williams
c/o CDA
22 Astwood Mews
London SW7 4DE
United Kingdom
Martin Bayfield
c/o M&C Saatchi Merlin
15 Golden Square,
London W1F 9JG
United Kingdom
Matthew Lewis
c/o Curtis Brown Group Ltd.
Haymarket House
5th Floor
28-29 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4SP
United Kingdom
Matyelok Gibbs
Independent Talent Group Ltd
40 Whitfield Street
London W1T 2RH
United Kingdom
Michael Byrne
c/o Conway Van Gelder Grant Ltd
3rd Floor
8-12 Broadwick Street
London W1F 8HW
United Kingdom
Michael Gambon
c/o Bespoke Voice Agency
Third Floor, 8/12 Broadwick Street
London, W1F 8HW
United Kingdom
Michelle Fairley
55-59 Shaftesbury Avenue
London W1D 6LD
United Kingdom
Miranda Richardson
Independent Talent Group Ltd
40 Whitfield Street
London W1T 2RH
United Kingdom
Miriam Margolyes
c/o United Agents
12-26 Lexington Street
London W1F 0LE
United Kingdom

Harry Potter Fan Mail Addresses N-R

Natalia Tena
Midnight Mango Ltd
The Old Stables
Spring Farm
United Kingdom
Oliver Phelps
c/o The Joneses
2 Percy Street
London, W1T 1DD
United Kingdom
Pam Ferris
c/o Hamilton Hodell
20 Golden Square
London W1F 9JL
United Kingdom
Peter Mullan
c/o Markham, Froggatt & Irwin
4 Windmill St.
London W1T 2HZ
United Kingdom
Rade Serbedzija
c/o Agenzia Isabella Gullo
Via Cavour, 275
00184 Rome
Ralph Fiennes
c/o Mail Mann, Inc.
5632 Van Nuys Blvd, #306
Sherman Oaks, CA 91401
Ralph Ineson
c/o Gordon And French
12-13 Poland Street
United Kingdom
Ray Fearon
c/o Markham, Froggatt & Irwin
4 Windmill St.
London W1T 2HZ
United Kingdom
Rhys Ifans
Pip Gill Publicity
124 Brondesbury Road
The Coach House
London NW6 6SB
United Kingdom
Robbie Coltrane
c/o CDA
22 Astwood Mews
London SW7 4DE
United Kingdom
Robbie Jarvis
c/o Felix De Wolfe
20 Old Compton Street
London W1D 4TW
United Kingdom
Robert Pattinson
Sharry Clark Artists
14 Mill Court
Holders Hill Road
London NW7 1LP
United Kingdom
Rod Hunt
c/o TCG Artist Management
Garden Studios
71-75 Shelton Street
London, WC2H 9JQ
United Kingdom
Rohan Gotobed
c/o The Gate Theatre
12 Pembridge Road
Notting Hill
W11 3HQ
United Kingdom
Rupert Grint
c/o Hamilton Hodell
20 Golden Square
London W1F 9JL
United Kingdom
Ryan Turner
Hero Talent Group
49 Greek St,
London W1D 4EG
United Kingdom

Harry Potter Fan Mail Addresses S-Z

Scarlett Hefner
c/o Braidford Willoughby Hutton
Fan Mail
37/38 Margaret St.
United Kingdom
Sean Biggerstaff
The Alliance Agents
P.O. Box 436
Burgess Hill, West Sussex
RH15 5EQ
United Kingdom
Shirley Henderson
c/o Hamilton Hodell
20 Golden Square
London W1F 9JL
United Kingdom
Sian Thomas
c/o Conway Van Gelder Grant Ltd
3rd Floor
8-12 Broadwick Street
London W1F 8HW
United Kingdom
Simon McBurney
c/o YMU Drama & Comedy
180 Great Portland Street,
London W1W 5QZ
United Kingdom
Sophie Thompson
Independent Talent Group Ltd
40 Whitfield Street
London W1T 2RH
United Kingdom
Stanislav Yanevski
Acclaim Artists
71-75 Shelton Street,
Covent Garden,
London WC2H 9JQ
United Kingdom
Steffan Rhodri
c/o Earache Voices Ltd
73 Beak Street
London, W1F 9SR
United Kingdom
Suzanne Toase
c/o United Agents
12-26 Lexington Street
London W1F 0LE
United Kingdom
Tiana Benjamin
c/o Keddie Scott Associates Ltd.
31 Hatton Garden
London EC1N 8DH
United Kingdom
Timothy Spall
c/o Markham, Froggatt & Irwin
4 Windmill St.
London W1T 2HZ
United Kingdom
Toby Jones
Artists Rights Group Ltd (ARG)
4A Exmoor Street
W10 6BD
United Kingdom
Tom Felton
c/o Earache Voices Ltd
73 Beak Street
London, W1F 9SR
United Kingdom
Tom Knight
c/o TCG Artist Management
Garden Studios
71-75 Shelton Street
London, WC2H 9JQ
United Kingdom
Tony Maudsley
Coronation Street
c/o ITV Studios
Trafford Wharf Road
M17 1AU
United Kingdom
Warwick Davis
The Andrew Lownie Literary Agency Ltd
36 Great Smith Street
United Kingdom
Will Dunn
c/o William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME)
100 New Oxford Street
London, WC1A 1HB
United Kingdom
Zoe Wanamaker
c/o Conway Van Gelder Grant Ltd
3rd Floor
8-12 Broadwick Street
London W1F 8HW
United Kingdom

How to Send Fan Mail

Sending fan mail is easy. We walk you through the whole process in our comprehensive guide to fan mail that will have you writing letters to your favorite Harry Potter stars in minutes!

Shakira, Tiger Woods, Major Sports Stars Rush to Sell Their Digital Autographs as NFTs

I previously covered the emerging trend of artists like Taylor Swift and Camila Cabello who are promoting digital autographs as a marketing tool to help sell digital downloads. By switching up their standard cover art used for a song or album with a digitally signed version, they can effectively sell the same music over and over again by effectively just changing up the packaging.

Even celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger have embraced the trend and have been known to use digital autographs as a way to connect with fans online. However, it is very hard for many autograph collectors to understand the appeal of buying a digital autograph. But if it was hard to wrap your head around paying $5 for Taylor’s infinitely reproducible digital signature before, then autograph collectors should prepare to have their minds blown with the way the trend is escalating with the introduction of autographs into the fledgling market for non-fungible tokens (NFT).

What is an Autograph NFT?

To understand what an autograph NFT is, you have to get familiar with a few concepts. NFTs themselves have only recently come into the popular consciousness. Even more recently than that, autograph NFTs have arrived as the result of two trends. The first being the aforementioned trend of artists and celebrities creating digital signatures, which has collided with a second trend, and one of this year’s most popular buzzwords—”blockchain”. A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, and oftentimes public, digital ledger. It’s the technology that makes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin work.

Blockchain isn’t just for crypto though, it’s also what makes NFT possible. An NFT is represented by data stored on a blockchain and is a unique digital asset that is not interchangeable. NFTs are often thought of as pictures, but can be used to represent a number of different items including: photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files. Therefore, an autograph NFT is a digital asset, usually a picture, that has been autographed with a digital signature.

Just as the speculative market has driven the price of cryptocurrencies “to the moon”, so has it skyrocketed the value of NFTs. Perhaps the first notable sale of an autograph NFT was that of billionaire Twitter founder Jack Dorsey who put up for sale a signed NFT version of his first ever tweet. It received offers as high as $2.5 million. No doubt seeing an opportunity for quick and easy money, many have seized on the new medium as an opportunity to cash in as others have already done. Wants to Make Digital Autographs a Thing

One trendsetter in the field of digital autograph NFTs is Tom Brady, who founded the company Autograph to sell this unique commodity. Through his company, Brady has enlisted famous athletes like Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. According to Autograph, the Los Angeles-based company is an NFT platform that brings together the most iconic brands and legendary names in sports, entertainment and culture to create unique digital collections and experiences.

“We created Autograph as a way for fans and collectors to own a piece of iconic moments in sports and entertainment through authenticated and official digital collectibles, and we are just getting started.”

– Autograph founder Tom Brady

Autograph’s Board of Advisors

Brian Grazer (CEO & Chairman, Imagine Entertainment)
Dawn Ostroff (CCO/CABO, Spotify)
Derek Jeter (Executive, Philanthropist, National Baseball HOF Inductee)
Eva Longoria Baston (Actress, Producer, Director)
Jason Robins (CEO & Co-Founder, DraftKings)
Jon Feltheimer (CEO, Lionsgate)
Matt Kalish (President & Co-Founder, DraftKings)
Michael Rapino (CEO, Live Nation)
Naomi Osaka (Athlete & Artist)
Paul Liberman (President & Co-Founder, DraftKings)
Peter Guber (Owner, GS Warriors, LA Dodgers)
Simone Biles (7x Olympic Medalist & 25x World Champion Medalist, 23x Gold)
Steven Galanis (CEO, Cameo)
Tiger Woods (15 Major Championships, 82 PGA Tour Wins – Tied for Most All-Time, 2022 World Golf HOF Inductee)
Tony Hawk (Legendary Skateboarder, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist)
Wayne Gretzky (The NHL’s All-Time Leader in Points, Goals and Assists)

Tiger Woods Signs for Tom Brady’s Company Autograph

Posting on his Facebook page, Tiger Woods shared a video of him using a tablet and stylus to sign 287 photos that would then be turned into NFTs. According to Autograph’s website, the autograph NFTs will be released in waves called “drops” which feature four tiers of rarity: Ruby Premier (unsigned with 375 editions at $100 each), Emerald (signed with 50 editions at $500 each), Sapphire (signed with 25 editions at $750 each), and Ruby (signed with 12 editions at $1500 each).

Tiger Woods is digitally signing autographs to be sold through as NFTs.

Here is a first look at my Autograph Signature Passes that include very special moments from my career. There’s more to come in the next few months, and I hope you enjoy the first drop!

– Tiger Woods

Shakira Sells Signed NFTs & Prints

Colombian pop-star Shakira also decided to get into the NFT game by collaborating with Kode Abdo(AKA Bosslogic) who is a graphic designer and digital concept artist based in Australia. Together they created GIF-style animations of the music icon to raise funds for environmental causes and Shakira’s personal charity The Barefoot Foundation. These short animations are backed by audio tracks created by Shakira. While the NFTs she had on offer via Makersplace don’t appear to have an autograph from the pictures shown, their site does state that each asset is a “signed and limited edition digital creation”. Additionally, some buyers were given signed physical prints to accompany their digital assets.

According to Makersplace, these NFTs will also have several editions similar to what Autograph is offering with their autograph NFTs. Winners of the 1/1 auctions will receive a one-of-a-kind signed artist proof of their purchased work. Each collector of a limited edition will be entered into a raffle to win a one-of-a-kind signed artist proof of their purchased work. Collectors may purchase additional editions to increase their chance of winning the artist proof. Furthermore, collectors who purchase all four artworks will receive a set of signed, physical prints (size 18 x 24 in).

Topps’ Digital Autographs

The fact that digital autographs are moving into the NFT space and that there are uncanny similarities to digital trading cards should come as no surprise. While not NFTs, Topps has been offering digital trading cards for many years now. Their digital offerings mirrored their physical releases with parallels and numbered cards to create artificial scarcity. Of course, the digital sets have long including digital autograph cards as well. Therefore, when Autograph and Makersplace use colored and numbered editions to create scarcity, they are simply drawing from the playbook of trading card companies.

Panini’s Digital Autographs

Panini is a trading card company like Topps, but their digital autograph offerings are something of a mix between those offered by Topps and Autograph. Similar to Topps, Panini offers digital versions of their autographed trading cards. What distinguishes them is that they come in the form of NFTs. However, unlike Autograph’s NFTs, each one is not uniquely signed on a tablet. These three companies are all offering similar products and it may just be a matter of time to tell which ones, if any, have lasting success.

Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Léa Seydoux, & More! [Fan Mail & TTM Autograph Roundup]

The autograph roundup for September brings a lot of great through the mail (TTM) successes especially from via venue addresses! I was very happy to get each of this month’s returns. They included responses from Boyd Holbrook and Léa Seydoux both of whom wrote back to me while on the set of their new new films: “Indiana Jones 5” & “Crimes of the Future” respectively. I also heard back from Dave Carson, who worked behind the scenes on many Star Wars projects, to include The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, as a storyboard artist, a creature shop sculptor, and visual effects supervisor. Last but not least, was a response from computer pioneer Michael Tomczyk, who played an early role in kick-starting the home computer revolution.

Boyd Holbrook 

Indiana Jones 5 is set to release 28 July 2022

One of the earliest movies I can remember really being captivated by was “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”. My uncle had the tapes on VHS and whenever I would visit, it was a safe bet that I was asking to watch one of the Indiana Jones films. That’s where I trace my fandom for Harrison Ford back to, which only grew after I discovered Star Wars.

With Indiana Jones 5 now on the horizon, there is an opportunity to send fan mail to the set. Thanks to several delays and setbacks, filming has been prolonged. That’s bad news for the production, but actually good for TTM autograph collectors. More time for the actors on set means more time for fans to send in their via venue autograph requests. I sent a few to the Indiana Jones 5 set and just got my first return this month from Boyd Holbrook! The “Indiana Jones 5” set address is valid for the duration of production which wraps on 15 November 2021.

Robert Boyd Holbrook is an American actor and model. He has appeared in films such as Milk, Out of the Furnace, Run All Night, A Walk Among the Tombstones and Gone Girl, and starred as DEA agent Steve Murphy in the Netflix series Narcos. In 2012, he also starred in the series Hatfields & McCoys as “Cap” Hatfield.

Thanks for the note, they keep me going. Blessings to you and your family. Enjoy the movies!

– Boyd Holbrook
Days81 Days
TTM Address“Indiana Jones 5”
Pinewood Studios
Pinewood Road Iver Heath
Bucks SL0 0NH

Michael Tomczyk

Michael Tomczyk with Star Trek star and Commodore spokesman William Shatner

I came into contact with Michael by happenstance after he posted in a vintage computer group in Facebook. Recognizing his importance to computer history I quickly reached out requesting an autograph. He signed a few photos for me, to include the image above of him showing Shatner how to use the VIC-20. You can’t tell from the image but at a higher resolution you can see that Shatner is running a BASIC programming script that prompts for the user’s name. The rest of the screen is then populates with the words “William Shatner” over and over again.

In addition to requesting an autograph, Michael was kind enough to grant me an interview which will be posted on Retro Informer soon.

Michael S. Tomczyk is best known for his role in guiding the development and launch of the first microcomputer to sell one million units, as Product Manager of the Commodore VIC-20. His contributions are described in detail in his 1984 book, The Home Computer Wars: An Insider’s Account of Commodore and Jack Tramiel. His role is also documented extensively in numerous interviews and articles. The VIC-20 was the first affordable, full-featured color computer and the first home computer to be sold in KMart and other mass market outlets.

Michael joined Commodore in April 1980 as Assistant to the President (Commodore Founder Jack Tramiel who appointed him VIC-20 Product Manager). He has been called the “marketing father” of the home computer. Michael was also a pioneer in telecomputing, as co-designer of the Commodore VICModem, which he conceived and contracted while at Commodore. The VICModem was the first modem priced under $100 and the first modem to sell one million units.


Léa Seydoux

 Thank you Tim for your nice letter. I was very touched. I wish you the best.

Léa Seydoux

I’m always working on a few “projects” at any given time that involves going after the cast and crew of my favorite TV shows or movies. That can include doing big pieces like posters where a lot of signatures get placed on the same item. However, because I focus on TTM autograph collecting, that kind of project isn’t usually practical. Instead I try to assemble cast pieces by getting individual signatures on index cards which can eventually be framed together. Framing up matting out index cards along with a photo can make for a very attractive display piece.

One of the reasons I wrote Léa Seydoux is because the index cards she signed will be contributing to one of those aforementioned projects. I’m working on collecting signed index cards by the cast of “Midnight in Paris”. It’s one of my favorite movies and I’ve made some decent progress towards getting key cast members.

TTM AddressLéa Seydoux
“Crimes of the Future”
Argonauts Productions
Zaimi 27
Athens, ATTIKI 10682

Dave Carson

Dave Carson is one of the original artists behind the special effects wizardry of Star Wars’ original trilogy.

Thanks so Much for your kind letter.
I hope you enjoy the enclosed—

– dave
Sent11 Sep 2021
Received20 Sep 2021

Autograph Purchases, Past Successes

Mark Hamill

I picked up this Black Pearl comic signed by Mark Hamill of Star Wars fame. The book was published in 1996 by Dark Horse Comics and was created by none other than Mark Hamill himself. I got it for a very good price and despite the dedication to “Sarah”, I’m happy to add it to my collection!

Ghost of Tsushima Development Team

This Ghost of Tsushima art print was actually obtained back in February. It’s signed by over 40 members of the game’s development team at Sucker Punch Productions and is one of my favorite video game related pieces in my collection. If you haven’t played the game yet, you can now check out the Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut which includes the expansion and loads of new content. If you have a PlayStation 4 or 5, it is 100% worth your time to check it out.

More Stories By Tales From The Collection

Tom Kane: Health, Retirement, & New Fan Mail Address Update

Tom Kane is known for his many roles in the Star Wars universe, most notably as a voice double for Admiral Ackbar, C-3PO and Yoda. On 10 September, Tom Kane’s daughter Sam posted news about her dad’s health. She stated that her father has Apraxia which has caused him to have difficulties with speech and therefore, has led to an early end to his voice acting career.

Tom’s daughter also welcomed fans to send Tom support through the mail (TTM) and that he is also willing to sign autographs for fans. It really goes to show how much he cares about his fans. You can show Tom Kane your support by sending well wishes to the following address.

Tom Kane Fan Mail Address

Tom Kane
PO Box 23606
Overland Park, KS 66283

As always, be sure to follow best practices for requesting autographs TTM, such as including a self-addressed stamped envelope, and limiting the number of items you send to two or less.

Update On Tom Kane’s Health and New PO Box

Tom Kane’s daughter Sam posted the following on Instagram:

We’ve got a new PO Box! Our deepest apologies to those of you that sent my dad mail to his LA address since his stroke and it got forwarded back to you…it kinda brings me to my next piece of news.

Because of this stroke my dad has been forced into early retirement… He has what’s called Apraxia which means he has difficulty moving smoothly from one sound, syllable or word to another.

Because of this stroke my dad has been forced into early retirement. The damage to his speech center is just too severe. He cannot read well nor get out the words he wants, which is sort of required for voice acting. He has what’s called Apraxia which means he has difficulty moving smoothly from one sound, syllable or word to another. Groping movements like with his jaw, lips or tongue to make the correct movement for speech sounds are impaired. Essentially he knows exactly what he wants to say, he knows exactly what’s going on, but the words are trapped in his head. When then they do come out, it’s usually too slurred to understand. He has a handful of words he says perfectly, but just a handful leaving him to rely on all forms of non verbal communication now. Thank god he’s an actor and great at charades 😂

I have SO much more to say about this like how many people miss having conversations with him, especially his children and wife. How fucked up it is that in a split second one of the most talented voice actors ever lost his voice.

I’ll stop here or else I’ll cry and I’ve already done that like a thousand times this year!!

Please feel free to send him letters! He has also been practicing his signature and would love to start autographing from home!!

Please feel free to send him letters! I’ll be managing this PO Box, please add your email or Instagram handle so I can send pictures to you of my dad receiving your mail! He has also been practicing his signature and would love to start autographing from home!!

Thanks for reading all this, please take good care of yourselves.


Update: Tom Kane Resumes Signing

on 24 September, Sam updated her Instagram to share news about her father and how Tom Kane has been doing after resuming signing autographs. She had the following to say:

First day of autographing complete!! It overwhelmed my dad at first because he really wants to provide quality signatures for you guys. Ya know, something that looks like Master Yoda wrote it and not The Kid 😂 Once we got into a groove with it though, he relaxed, just had fun with it, and embraced the new Tom Kane font and that he needs a guide to help with spelling.
We’d love to continue this. We’ve been asking for $40 an autograph plus cost of shipping but with demand going up and the mental/physical energy this takes my dad, we find $50 plus shipping to be more appropriate.
Email me at to place an order ✍🏻
I sincerely appreciate the grace and patience I’ve experienced with you guys when it comes to my response time. Though it’s been a privilege connecting with you all and I truly love it, I also need frequent breaks to recharge. As do most of us in this life 😂
Have a lovely weekend everybody and stay safe!!!

Singer, TikToker Loren Gray [Email & Fan Mail Address For TTM Autographs]

Loren Gray Beech is an American model, singer, and social media personality who rose to fame on TikTok. She became the platform’s most-followed TikToker from March 31, 2019 to March 25, 2020. Loren, a Pottstown, Pennsylvania native, was signed to Virgin Records and Capitol Records until February 2021, when she became an independent artist. Also, be sure to check out her site for signed CDs as well as these 11 chart topping artists, a-list celebrities that are all well known for selling signed merch. Loren’s latest music is also available on Amazon.

Loren Gray Fan Mail Address

If you would like to send fan mail to Loren you can write to her via her record label Warner Bros. Records. Also be sure to check out our guide for sending fan mail to ensure that you have the best chance of getting a reply.

PO Box

Loren Beech
PO Box 1513
Pottstown PA 19464


Also, you can shoot her an email via her talent agency.

Loren Gray – Piece of Work

Arnold Schwarzenegger & Taylor Swift Are Pioneering Digital Signatures; Who’s Doing it Right, Who’s Doing it Wrong?
Singer, TikToker Nessa Barrett [Fan Mail Address, Email, Signed CDs]
Celebrity DMs: Why They Are The Worst Way to Make Contact & 3 Best Alternatives

Singer, TikToker Nessa Barrett [Fan Mail Address, Email, Signed CDs]

Nessa Barrett is an American singer and songwriter from New Jersey. She rose to fame following her success on TikTok in 2019. Using her social media presence as a launchpad, she began her music career in mid-2020 when she released her debut single “Pain”. She followed that up shortly after with her debut EP Pretty Poison. Check out the signed merch that she is offering her fans and be sure to write down her fan mail address if you feel like reaching out or requesting an autograph through the mail (TTM).

Nessa Barrett Offers Signed CDs

Promoting her new EP Pretty Poison, Nessa offered signed CDs and cassette tapes to her fans. If they go out of stock, make sure to keep checking back for a re-stock as well as these 11 chart topping artists, a-list celebrities that are all well known for selling signed merch. Nessa’s music is also available on Amazon.


I’ve never been so excited for something🥺September 10th pretty poison🤍

♬ Pretty poison – Nessa Barrett

Nessa Barrett Fan Mail Address

If you would like to send fan mail to Nessa you can write to her via her record label Warner Bros. Records. Also be sure to check out our guide for sending fan mail to ensure that you have the best chance of getting a reply.

Nessa Barrett
Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
3300 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505

You can also shoot her an email via the address provided on her site or you can go through her talent agency.

Singer, TikToker Loren Gray [Email & Fan Mail Address For TTM Autographs]
Felice Herrig Offers to Sign Her New Book For Any Fan Who Sends it
Celebrity DMs: Why They Are The Worst Way to Make Contact & 3 Best Alternatives

Arnold Schwarzenegger News Letters 2019 to Present

Below is a collection of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s News Letters. I will post more when they are released.

This month I’m getting straight to the point – 9OCT2021

I have been getting a lot of emails from people being hard on themselves, saying they aren’t good enough or they’re lazy because they only went to the gym 3 out of 7 days of the week. One woman was hard on herself for eating some cake! We always focus on the things we didn’t do, rather than the things we did do. How about focusing on those 3 out of 7 days that you DID make it to the gym, or the days that you chose to eat healthy! Just because you miss the gym a couple days, or you eat some cake every once in a while doesn’t mean you are a failure! I mean I love eating sweets, it is my weakness from growing up in Austria. It is very hard for me to say no to a Sacher torte or a Linzer torte.

Every time I want to eat sweets, I remember what Jack LaLanne said: “If it tastes good, spit it out!” The fact is, so many things that are enjoyable aren’t great for us, and that’s why we need to do everything in moderation.

If you just ate cake because you were down, just move on and focus on tomorrow. Don’t beat yourself up, because then you will create an endless cycle of making yourself more depressed. Focus on eating less cake the rest of the week and making a change. If you are attacking yourself, you aren’t improving yourself. Pick yourself up and move on, because you have value, and you want to grow your value like a good investment, not run yourself down.

Declare victory every day.

I want to share a story from this month about what I mean by that.

A couple of weeks ago I had a magazine photo shoot, and I had to wake up at 4 in the morning to drive to the desert to take photos at a giant wind farm. It was early, but I was excited because I had a mission: doing a great photo shoot in the middle of a wind and solar farm that started because of the clean energy policies we passed when I was Governor. This goes back to what I always tell you about having a vision. When you know what you want to accomplish, it doesn’t matter how early you have to wake up or how much work it takes, it’s a joy to do it because you know it is bringing you closer to achieving your vision or accomplishing your mission. After we finished in the desert, we drove three hours to the beach where we did another photo shoot, this time with my daughter Christina. It was a really long day, but when we finished, instead of going home, I went with my friends and my daughter straight to a sushi restaurant to celebrate.

They asked why I wasn’t tired, and I told them it was because we were declaring victory. We finished our photo shoot, but the day wasn’t really over until we could celebrate. So we gathered around the table, 16 hours after our day started, and we had a toast and a great meal to put the cherry on top of our day.

I think it’s so important to declare a victory every day, whether you went on a long walk, pumped iron, finished a great project at work, studied in school, or spent quality time with your children or grandchildren. Just declare victory every single day, and take the time to celebrate yourself.

Here’s a video of our day at the wind farm!

And for those of you that can’t relate to my photoshoot story, I wanted to share one about my Chief of Staff that may be more relatable. He decided he wanted to deadlift 500lbs before his 36th birthday. Leading up to it, he was working out more than ever, eating better, and focusing on getting where he needed to be for the lift. On his birthday he was able to lift the weight, and celebrated his big moment. But the real victory was proving to himself he could set a big goal, always keep that in mind, and do the work to achieve it! And on top of all that, he learned some important lessons. He learned that when he wrote down his lifts every day, that was its own victory. He learned that cutting bad habits and being disciplined makes a goal so much easier. He even learned that he likes lifting for an audience, even if it was just his dogs sometimes. He told me it sounded silly but when his dogs were staring up at him, he could lift more. And most importantly, he learned that every big victory comes from a thousand little victories.

Another fun thing I did this past month is celebrate my three sons’ birthdays. Patrick is on September 18th, Christopher is on September 27th, and Joseph is on October 2nd. It is always great to spend time with your family, especially on their birthday, and I’m lucky that I have such an amazing family to spend my time with. Recently, I was asked in an interview what I’m most proud of, and I had to say my kids. The joy of watching your children grow up is so rewarding. I find more happiness in their successes than mine.

As far as what I’ve been up to, things are starting to get busy again! I just came home from Columbus, Ohio where we held our 32nd annual Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition. The athletes were incredible, the fans were pumped up, and the stage looked better than ever. Even with the pandemic, and only being allowed to have 2,000 people in the audience, we were able to put on a great experience for our fans, and I’m proud of that. And I am even more proud that with all of the limitations, even though we knew the event wouldn’t make as much money, we kept the prize money for the athletes at the same level. I knew I’d lose money with the fan limitations, but I was more than happy to pay them out of my own pocket because they need it more than I do. I got into promoting bodybuilding so that bodybuilding could be a profession and they wouldn’t have to lay bricks like I did, and I always have that in mind. I can’t wait to be back next year, when hopefully we can get back to our full fitness expo. Check out the highlight video here, and catch the whole broadcast here. For the first time in years, I did commentary with the team, and I had a fantastic time.

One thing I mentioned on the broadcast that really bothers me is how dangerous bodybuilding has become. In the past 10 years, bodybuilding lost more competitors (14!) to early deaths than any other sport, including MMA and football. In fact, most football players that die from CTE problems die much older than bodybuilders, and with the exception of a tragedy this week, MMA fighters die at a much lower rate than bodybuilders. You would think that the head trauma from MMA and football would outweigh the organ failure in bodybuilding, but bodybuilding is much, much worse. We need to fix that, because bodybuilding should be about promoting health and fitness. I don’t know if the answer is more testing or promoting the smaller divisions more. What do you guys think? Check out these two stories to read more about bodybuilders who have passed recently.

We also had successful Arnold Classic events in Spain and the UK, where I appeared virtually. I want to thank Rafael in Spain for putting on a good show, and I really want to thank Stephen Olexy and Eddie Hall in the UK. They had a show I couldn’t believe, with Sly and Dolph Lundgren and Khabib and Georges St. Pierre. It was HUGE, and I can’t wait to be there in person next year.

A Cleveland Adventure!

Speaking of good news, on the way to the Arnold Classic I stopped in Cleveland for my one year checkup after my heart valve replacement surgery. My valve is working perfectly and I couldn’t be happier! I can’t thank all of the doctors and nurses and everyone at the Cleveland Clinic enough. And a funny story, my friends and my team decided that they would explore Cleveland, Ohio while I was at the doctor, so I told them they should go see the sculpture “The Thinker” by Rodin outside a museum not too far from the airport. It is one of only ten 6 foot tall Thinkers in the world that was actually cast under Rodin’s supervision. Long story short, they spent 4 hours looking for the statue, wandering through Cleveland, and ended up in East Cleveland by accident, but they persevered until they found the statue.

UFC Featherweight Championship

After the bodybuilding finals in Columbus on Saturday night, my team and I went back to the hotel to watch UFC 266 on pay-per-view. What a fantastic night of fights. We didn’t get to see all of them, but the main event was one of the best fights I have ever seen. The champion, Alexander Volkanovski from Australia, versus Brian Ortega from right here in Los Angeles. At first I thought Volkanovski was going to walk right through him. I mean the first 2 rounds weren’t exactly that close and Ortega was starting to fade. Then came one of the best rounds of fighting I’ve ever seen. Volkanovski got knocked back with a jab, and Ortega locked him up in a guillotine choke. A guillotine choke is when you grab your opponent in a headlock while they are facing you and choke them. This was one of the tightest chokes I’ve seen, but the champion managed to get out! Look at the highlight video below! Then next thing you know Ortega locks him up in a triangle choke, which is where you choke your opponent with your legs when you are on your back!

Then Volkanovski gets out again and starts hammering Ortega with huge ground shots. At this point I thought the fight was over and the ref would stop it. But they let him go on until the end of the round. At that point there was some confusion because Ortega did not look all there, and seemed to be answering the concussion questions wrong, but they let him fight anyway, and he ended up winning the last round of the fight. These are two of the toughest fighters in the world. They never gave up, even in the face of danger. I heard that Volkanovski thought of his family while he was caught in the choke, and used the motivation to give it all he had to get out. He didn’t want to lose the belt for his family, or for himself. That is a champion’s mindset. I am sure Ortega will be back fighting for the belt in no time, too. He is one tough son of a bitch.

A special cigar…

This month I also got together with my friend Danny DeVito to promote our movie Triplets! Ivan Reitman, our director who you know from Twins, Kindergarten Cop, and Ghostbusters, wanted to get us together with our new, third brother, Tracy Morgan over Zoom. Naturally, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to bring back a prank Danny pulled on me all those years ago on the set of Twins. You may remember the story about Danny putting marijuana in my cigar. Well this time we turned the tables! We waited until the end of the shoot and gave Danny the gift. But unfortunately he still has the nose of a bloodhound, and sniffed out the special ingredient right away. Here is the video of me giving him the cigar. I’m still waiting on Danny to send me the video of him giving it a try later that night. . .

Raising money for After School Programs

Earlier this month, I hosted a fundraiser at my house for After-School All-Stars that has become an annual tradition until last year, when the pandemic hit. In our best year, we raised $5.3 million from 150 guests, so we weren’t sure what to expect since we limited the number of people and required COVID testing. But we blew our record away! We were able to raise $6.3 million dollars from 75 people in order to make sure kids have a safe place to go between the hours of 3 and 6. This issue has been a passion of mine for more than 30 years, and I’m so glad we were able to put together a safe event during the pandemic to keep the momentum going! I love to get dressed up in Western attire and smoke cigars with my friends, but the best part of it is raising money for kids who really need it. Check out this recap video:

Community Heroes!

Here was a bright spot in my month! I always love to visit our firefighters and pay my respects. I’ve said this for years but they are the real action heroes in the world. Especially with how bad the fire season has been this year, they deserve a little pumping up. They are this month’s community heroes, and I hope you all remember to thank your local first responders.

I also want you to check out the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative newsletter. It may not be as wacky as this one, but you will learn a lot about the environment and saving our planet. It even includes my first in-person Stammtisch! Subscribe here.

Animal Update!

This month’s animal update comes with a lesson. If you haven’t noticed, I love lessons.

Here’s a video of me dealing with Whiskey and Lulu in a way you haven’t yet seen.

See, on social media, we always share the positive: our vacation photos, the shots where we look our best, and our animals in their great moments. I saw a recent study that said social media is ruining people’s confidence. A big part of that is because we don’t see the struggles. This goes back to why I started this newsletter. Remember the person who emailed me beating themselves up about having some cake? They probably don’t realize that the people they look up to also eat sweets, because everyone has a tendency to only show their best side. And mostly, you guys have only seen the best of Whiskey and Lulu, which is why they have become stars on the internet. But I don’t want you to think it’s all play and no work. There is always a lot of shit to be shoveled. Reality is never what it appears – everyone has ups and downs. Always remember that when you’re looking to social media for inspiration.

Check out this article to learn more about what I’m talking about.

Fan Questions:

What exactly is the muscle-mind connection?

There are so many answers for that.

There are certain things we need to train our minds to do automatically by creating a routine. My morning routine is getting up, taking care of the animals, making the coffee, turning on the music, going on the bicycle ride to the gym, and working out. The first three hours of my morning are on autopilot. There is an art to thinking, and there is an art to not thinking. Maybe part of your routine is learning Spanish, so you might be thinking while you learn, but opening the app to learn Spanish should be automatic. The first and most important muscle-mind connection is making it automatic that you go and do your training every day. It should require no thinking. It should become an instinct that you train no matter what. You do this by training every day and creating a real routine.

The other part of the muscle-mind connection is what Plato talked about: “Mens sana in corpore sano.” Sound mind in sound body. Socrates said, “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” Even the greatest philosophers of all time knew that you could have the smartest mind in the world, but you needed to build your body to have one worthy of carrying your strong mind.

And one other thing: just like muscles, the mind grows with resistance. Every mistake, every error, and every struggle builds your mind’s ability to deal with the future.

If you just meant the muscle and mind connection just when you’re in the gym, that is the most important part of a successful work out! Have you ever tried to workout when you are distracted, and you pace around for too long between sets, and then when you lift the weight it feels heavier than usual? This is because your mind is not connected to your muscles. In order to get the perfect pump, your mind has to be the body’s guide, thinking about every part of the movement, every contraction, every squeeze. If your mind is involved in your workout, there is no way you can lose. I look at it as a form of meditation! The more I focus on the lift that I’m doing, the more present I am in the moment, meaning I can feel exactly how my body reacts to the lift. Get to know your body, and get your mind working in sync with it.

There was a book called Inner Skiing, and they write about how the mind is so important to physical activity. When a downhill skier is going down a course at 96 miles per hour, they are going so fast that their brain can’t react to the gates, so they visualize the entire course before they leave the start gate. The mind has to be connected and working totally in sync with the body during any physical activity.

When I do a bicep curl, I am not mindlessly doing reps. I am concentrating on the whole muscle and the whole movement. I feel the muscle contracting. I put my mind right inside the muscle for all 15 reps. Yes, like all of you, I get distracted. But then I bring my mind back into the movement. You can call this meathead mindfulness.

What do you mean by sleep faster?

You might have heard me say this before in one of my speeches, but we all have one thing in common: 24 hours in every day. Say you work 8 hours. That means you have 16 hours left. Maybe you commute an hour each way. You have 14 hours left. I sleep 6 hours a night, and I tell people who need more sleep to sleep faster, but let’s be generous right now and say you get 8 hours of sleep. Now you have 6 hours remaining.

Imagine what you can do in six hours! You can learn a new language, work out, and read a book for an hour, and still have three hours of real quality time with your family.

When I met Pope John Paul II years ago, I found out he worked out, and I said right then and there, if the Pope has time, everyone has time. When a lot of people say they don’t have time for working out or learning something new or spending time with their family, I just hear that they aren’t prioritizing. We all have 24 hours. The question is whether you use them to live, or just to exist.

How has aging affected you physically and mentally?

Aging is an interesting thing. I feel much smarter than I was when I was younger, because I’ve read more, I’ve met more interesting people, I’ve become wiser, and of course, I’ve learned from my successes, and I’ve learned even more from my mistakes. The older you get, the more your horizons expand and you can see more and more. Today at 74, I’m fighting for a clean environment, I’m a fitness crusader, a good government reform campaigner, a businessman, and of course, an entertainer. In my younger days, I couldn’t have talked healthcare policy or infrastructure in a really intelligent way, but now deep conversations about those topics bring me great joy. And I’ve learned life is about giving back, because in the end, we won’t be judged by how much we make, but by how much we give. It’s not just about me, it’s about we. In those ways, my life has only gotten more fulfilling.

Physically, you just have to accept reality and do the best you can. It is always difficult to accept that you aren’t where you once were. You look in the mirror and you think, “what the hell happened here?” More than 2,000,000 Americans over 65 suffer from depression. I think a lot of that comes from hormonal changes that cause us to lose muscle over time. The global anti-aging market is worth 58 billion dollars. That is a lot of people trying to hold on to their youth.

But none of us can beat time. So you can either mope around and be mad about it, or you can adapt. I’ve chosen to adapt to my age, make my workouts a little bit different and focused on staying lean, and avoiding injury. This is why I’ve moved away from free weights and stick to the workout machines. But I still workout, because luckily, I’m addicted to training, and I have to start my day in the gym. So today, even though my body won’t react the way it did 50 years ago, I can maintain as much as I can and it brings me great joy.

How do you create your visions? Do they just come to you?

I created my vision by spending time with myself to give myself space to daydream and explore other parts of the world and other ideas through things like movies and reading. I had a window to the world from my little village where I could see and read things that inspired me when I had time to daydream. I’ve said this before, but that was easy for me. We didn’t have all these machines and social media distractions. And don’t sugarcoat it, they are almost entirely distractions. It’s not all that bad, and we all need to tune out sometimes. But if you’re looking for a vision, you won’t find it scrolling and scrolling through your feed – you need quiet time for your mind. Sometimes I have my best thoughts at night when I put away my iPad and go and sit in my backyard.

First, I saw a short 8mm film about America in school. That was the first window that opened for me. The big cars, Muscle Beach, Hollywood, the Empire State Building. I thought: this is where I belong. That was step one in my vision.

Then, I started to think, “How do I get there?” I read about the greatest boxers, and then I read an article about Reg Park, a bodybuilding champion who played Hercules in the movies. Another window opened. I realized bodybuilding could get me to America, where I thought bodybuilding was wildly popular based on everything I was reading. And I saw Reg’s movies and that gave me another window: I’d get into movies like Reg. That was step two in my vision.

This wasn’t an overnight epiphany. From the time I learned about America, to the time I decided bodybuilding was my path, and then I’d get into movies, years passed. I had time to think and plan, because there wasn’t much to distract me. And I also had my window to the world.

Take the time to look out your own windows to the world, and sit with yourself and daydream.

Here are a few of my favorites from last month:

Pump of the month: Arnold Press

Song of the month: You Could be Mine- Guns N’ Roses

Movie of the month: Pumping Iron – I watched this with some friends for the first time in a long time, and it brought back great memories.

Book of the month: Bully Pulpit-Doris Kearne Goodwin

Archive shot of the month: Since this month was the 36th anniversary of Commando, here I am with Alyssa Milano, who became a fantastic actress.

Your Friend,

Schwarzenegger Climate Action News – 29SEP2021

Dear friends of the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative! 
Gigantic forest fires, destructive storms, unimaginable floods – more than ever the past months have shown what the state the world’s climate is in. The images of the catastrophic consequences of the climate crisis went around the world this summer, millions of people and countless animal and plant species are suffering from increasing temperatures and extreme weather conditions. Last but not least, the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides a gloomy forecast of what lies ahead if we do not take immediate and real action.
Yes, the climate issue can be overwhelming at times. The media reports on climate catastrophes and dramas, while politicians debate endlessly about the costs of climate protection measures. But there is another way! Instead of focusing on challenges and costs, putting the opportunities at the center of the climate debate could provide new inspiration and motivation for action. Instead of frightening figures and warnings, we need more encouragement to reach more people with the topic of climate protection. These were at least two of the numerous solutions discussed at the latest episode of “Arnold’s Stammtisch”. For the first time, it took place not virtually, but in person amidst the picturesque vineyards of the wine tavern Fuhrgassl-Huber in the 19th district of the beautiful city of Vienna. If you want to get more inspiration for new ways in climate communication from Arnold Schwarzenegger himself and guests like the Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen or the Austrian Federal Minister Leonore Gewessler, you can find the video of “Arnold’s Stammtisch” below. In less than a month, COP 26 will begin in Glasgow and the climate crisis will once again be in the midst of international media coverage. However, these conferences only make sense if fast and real actions finally followed the many, often empty, words by the heads of states. For this to happen, it would be important that all of us together, as Arnold Schwarzenegger said at the Stammtisch, “speak to the heart not just the brain.”  All the best, 
 Director, The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative 

Arnold’s Stammtisch live in Vienna

SPIRULIX – Algae made in Austria Have you ever heard of spirulina? Spirulina is a microalgae. The mixture of minerals, B vitamins and omega-3 fat is said to be optimal to satisfy daily nutritional needs and be particularly suitable for a low-meat, climate-friendly diet. Since 2017, SPIRULIX has been producing innovative snacks and food supplements on its own spirulina farm in Lower Austria. To ensure that as many people as possible have access to these foods, SPIRULIX offers a selection of different products: from crackers to chocolate to nutritional supplements. More…
Continued Support for “Bosco Children” in Ethiopia in 2022 The COVID-19-related health crisis has worsened the situation for street children in Ethiopia. “The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative” has therefore decided to continue supporting the Bosco Children project in 2021/22. The centre in Addis Ababa not only provides accommodation and care for street children, but also teaches them ecologically sustainable principles and skills in agriculture and renewable energies. Read here what was made possible in the past year: More…
New Schwarzenegger Institute study on offshore wind power in California 
According to a new study by USC’s Schwarzenegger Institute, offshore wind energy could lead to more jobs, cost and Co2 savings. At the same time, it would improve the stability of California’s power grid. The institute hosted a webinar on August 18th to talk about what the research means for California. Schwarzenegger opened the webinar by emphasising: “We’ve got to move forward until every California kid can breathe clean air. That’s why I’m so proud to highlight another innovative clean energy solution at the Schwarzenegger Institute. Offshore wind has great potential to provide a huge amount of clean energy. It is something that will save us all.”  More…

We Need to Talk – 28AUG2021

Hello again to all of you.

I am going to cover the elephant in the room, but that’s a very serious subject, so I wanted to start with some candy before we get to the medicine.

First of all, I have a great charity contest going on where if you donate to After School All Stars, you get the chance to come to LA with a friend and attend an outdoor party at my house and hang out with me. It will be fun – trust me. Enter Here! 

People have been asking for updates on all of the animals. So here we go.

Cherry continues to bite anyone’s ankle who comes to meet with me. Dutch and Lulu team up and chase each other around constantly, since they’re the puppies of the house. And Whiskey seems happy that Lulu has someone else to play with most of the time, because she can eat grass and destroy my lawn without having to deal with either of them. Now please enjoy the animal content you all ask me for every month…

Cherry and I were photographed on my electric Hummer for my Der Spiegel article.

Did everybody watch the Olympics? I loved watching the Olympics this past month. Even amidst all the turmoil in the world, it was amazing to see all of the countries come together through the different challenges so the athletes could compete and inspire millions of people. I am a fanatic about watching the Olympics. I love the old school sports, like shotput and the hammer throw, and I always watch gymnastics and weightlifting. I also love how the Olympics can inspire us, no matter our age. We saw a 13 year-old win gold in skateboarding, and a 62-year old equestrian rider win silver! If you missed it, here is a great recap of the best moments.

I was also on the cover of the big German magazine, Der Spiegel. I am so happy that our environmental work in California is drawing attention all over the world, because California can inspire the world to clean up the air while building the new clean economy that’s made California number one in economic growth over the past 5 years.

Last week I went on a bike ride and worked out at Gold’s Gym with my friend Michael Regan, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency! We talked about environmental issues, the mind connecting to the muscle, and we had a really great training session – chest and back for those of you wondering. I explained that a training program for the gym is no different than a plan to clean our air. And we had a great pump. Check out the video below!

The Controversy…

Now, let’s deal with the COVID stuff. If you are furious at me for my comments, read this because I think you can learn something. You might hate 90% of it and agree with 10%, but I’ll take that. If you agreed with me and think you’ve heard enough, please read this because there might be something here that helps you deal with people who don’t agree with you.

Earlier this month, I spoke with my friend Alex Vindman and Bianna Golodrya of CNN about Alex’s new book, and during that interview, I was asked about a Facebook comment I made back in January that had just gone viral again, where I discussed COVID, masks, and vaccines, and my opinion that we should listen to experts when 9 out of 10 of them agree.

In my answer, I had some harsh words. Here is the video:

And here is part of the transcription for those of you who prefer that:“People should know there is a virus here. It kills people, and the only way we prevent it is to get vaccinated, wear masks, do social distancing, washing your hands all the time, and not just to think about, ‘Well, my freedom is being kind of disturbed here.’ No, screw your freedom, because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities. We cannot just say, ‘I have the right to do X, Y and Z.’ When you infect other people, that is when it gets serious.”

Of course, some outlets decided to take one line out of this conversation which was, “Screw your freedom,” and ran with that. That’s fine! They have the right to choose clickbait instead of informing their audience.

The outlets began printing it, right-wing pundits tweeted that my father was a Nazi (they thought this was a revelation, because they probably missed my video after actual neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville chanting, “Jews will not replace us,” and I guess they also missed my video after January 6th), and some fitness influencers decided that this was the last straw and they could no longer support me. That is also fine! That’s also their right.

If they listened to the whole quote, they would have realized that I am talking about all of the whiny babies that I see going viral on the internet who think that being asked to put on a mask is a perfect reason to throw a toddler fit in a grocery store and look like an absolute child. These are people who yell “FREEDOM” in their American flag hats while not taking any time to study the history of our nation and how freedom and duty have ALWAYS gone hand in hand. They think being an American means not caring about their fellow Americans, and I’m sorry, I can’t accept that.

That’s why I wrote my piece in The Atlantic to explain the history behind my thoughts, with quotes from the founding fathers and our Constitution that emphasize the responsibility that comes with our hard-earned liberty.

But my favorite quote came from a member of the World War 2 generation. That generation sent its men and boys all over the world to fight, and asked the people who were at home to ration food and gasoline and sacrifice all types of things to ensure America’s victory.

He said:“Wearing a mask is nothing compared with what we were going through then. It’s so comical nowadays to think that somebody won’t wear a mask when in those days they would do anything for the United States.”

Thank you Bill Platt.

With all of this going on, it was a wild week! One of my favorite strongmen I’ve ever worked with took my poster off of his gym wall, then a bodybuilder who played me in a movie copied that move, which wasn’t very creative. We lost a sponsor of the Arnold Sports Festival, we added new sponsors immediately, and angry people yelled at me on the internet, accusing me of being a liberal, and selling out – I guess they think I get paid to promote health, and they missed my fitness crusade for the past 50 years. But I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. They might have been confused when I donated $1,000,000 to buy protective equipment for our healthcare workers at the beginning of this pandemic and thought I made money instead of giving it.

So you might be wondering how I’m doing!

The answer, as always, is fantastic. When the worst thing that happens to me this month is some people yelling at me, then losing a sponsor for the Arnold Sports Festival, that’s when you realize how lucky we are to live in this country.

In fact, if nothing else, this whole episode has made me say, “I love this fucking country.” Because you know what? All of these people have the right to complain, and they won’t be sent off to prison. And I have the right to say what I believe. That’s beautiful.

What Can We Learn?

I have looked at this as a learning experience. I’ve seen so many people make up their mind based on three words of a 5 minute answer, but I’ve also seen tons of them change their mind when they saw the full context. I have seen outlets try to educate people instead of firing up their passions and succeed. I have also seen outlets that post a photo of me walking outside in a parking lot with no mask to try to get their readers and viewers as angry as possible about me… following the rules. Yes, you can tell your friends, even Arnold says you don’t need to wear a mask outside.

I’ve watched all of it and learned. A lot of our news sources, whether it’s social media or mainstream news, and whether it is left or right, prefer that you’re emotional instead of informed. Yes, the bulk of this outrage came from the right wing, from my own party. But I also saw liberal accounts clip my speech to a 10 second clip because they agreed with it.

There’s an old joke this brings to mind, and I think it’s true. If Jesus showed up today and had a press conference in Santa Monica, and he showed he could walk on water, half of the press and social media accounts would write, “This guy is supposed to be the son of God, and he can’t even swim?”

We know that outrage and controversy sells in the social media age. So how do we break out of that?

One quick question that I think could help all of us when we see things on social media or the news is to ask: “Is this teaching me something, or is it making me feel something?”

All of us could do with a lot more teaching and a lot less feeling these days.

It makes me worry about us as a people. We are constantly choosing our feelings over learning and being open-minded to other ideas. We haven’t been able to come together around very simple steps that can help prevent the spread of this disease. That makes me worry about how we would respond to an even bigger challenge. We have to stop making everything political, or we will be in big trouble when the next crisis strikes us. We have to be able to come together.

A mask should not be political, and it should not be the reason for a protest – I can tell you that right now.

A lot of my friends asked me if masks really worked last year, and this is the story that I shared with them. Two hair stylists who were infected with COVID and symptomatic treated 139 clients over several days. But everyone wore masks. And they spread it to zero people.

If you are someone who thinks masks are an infringement on your freedom, can I ask what happens to you when you get caught not wearing a mask? Is it that you are politely asked to put one on? Or is it that you may be asked to leave the business if you refuse? At worst, you might have paid a fine? Was your freedom really taken away? Think with your learning brain, not your emotional brain right now. Even in the worst case, if you paid a fine or got kicked off an airline for refusing to wear a mask, did you lose your freedom?

No, you didn’t. If you live in the United States, you probably made a social media video complaining about it, and you might have even gone viral. That’s not the behavior of a dictatorship.

We live in a wonderful country where you have boundless opportunity and more freedom than anywhere else. You’re lucky.

But with your liberty comes responsibility. I used traffic lights as an example in my answer, and I think most of us have accepted the limitation traffic lights place on our freedom. We also have speed limits and rules against drunk driving. When an ambulance turns on its sirens, you pull over, even though you don’t know the person they are trying to save. Men in this country still register for the Selective Service, which means that if we end up in a war, the government can draft you to send you off. It is against the law for a man between 18 and 25 to fail to register. Think about that.

We can see limitations on freedom all around us, because that’s how society works. It is how every society since the beginning of civilization worked, and the United States, with all its flaws, is the pinnacle. We will always have more work to do, but that’s part of what makes us great.

If all of us ran around only caring about ourselves, be honest, we’d have a pretty shitty country. It might work out for a few people who make themselves into warlords, but eventually they’d have their own limitations on freedom, and who would you complain to then?

Talk to your doctor

I have had a few friends ask me if I would do all of this over again. My answer is, I maybe would be a little less Arnold in the answer and simply explain that freedom has always come with responsibilities without saying “Screw your freedom.” I love the freedom and opportunity this country offers, and I talk about my devotion to the United States and the debt I owe to this country in every speech. I am always giving back to this country because of what its freedom offered me, because as I found success, I also found that freedom comes with a duty to help your fellow Americans.

But I received several messages from fans who said my outburst caused their grandparent or friend to be vaccinated, and to me, that’s worth it.

While we are talking about vaccines, I want to be clear about my views on what you should do if you’re on the fence.

Talk to your doctor.

That’s what I did. I talked through the vaccine with my doctor and he told me it was definitely the right move, that we knew COVID could be deadly. And I got both shots. I have been perfectly healthy, and the best part is, I’ve been able to go back to mostly my normal life, and soon I will be talking to my doctor about a booster shot. The best argument I can make for the vaccine is that I want our economy booming and I don’t want this virus to slow us down ever again. I doubt any of you do, either.

Listening to your doctor can be the difference between life and death. Believe me, I know. My mother had the same congenital heart issue I have in her aortic valve. I had my first surgery to repair it in 1997. They told me I’d need to get it replaced again and you probably remember my screwed up heart surgery a few years ago.

My mother was a different story. The only reason the doctors checked my heart initially was because they found the aortic defect in my mother and knew I might have the same issue. But she didn’t want to listen to the doctors and have it repaired. She told me “When God wants me, he can take me.” I debated and debated with her. I told her God might have inspired the surgeon who knew how to fix it. I tried everything. We were lucky, she made it to 76 and got to meet my kids and see me on movie sets and meet American Presidents with me. I always made sure my mother felt like a queen, because that was what she deserved. But one day she went to visit my father’s grave like she did every week, and she just collapsed. Her heart failed her. A part of me will always think, if she had listened to the doctor, she might still be here. She might have even gotten to meet her first great-grandchild.

It reminds me of the old story of the man who sat on his roof during a huge flood. A rowboat came by and offered to rescue him, but he said “God will take care of me!” Then a motorboat came by, then a helicopter -same thing. When the guy drowned and got to heaven, he asked God how he could have let him down, and God said, “I sent you a rowboat, a motorboat, and a helicopter. What else could I do?”

I personally feel the same way about the vaccine when I see people searching for miracle cures, from hydroxychloroquine to this horse parasite medicine. People are searching for a miracle cure from the influencers who agree with their politics. Meanwhile, the miracle might be right in front of them.

I also know that there are some people with conditions that prevent them from getting the vaccine. Besides protecting ourselves, one reason the rest of us are getting the vaccine is to protect them.

Talk to your doctor, not people who don’t have your health as their main responsibility. The Instagram and Facebook accounts you follow that give information on vaccines are not concerned about your health. They are concerned with getting more followers and making money.

I have seen way too many stories about people who listened to politicized information about the vaccine instead of their doctors, and then changed their minds when it was too late.

At the end of the day, everyone has to make their own decision about getting vaccinated. But if I can inspire even a few of you or your friends or family to avoid another one of these tragic stories that tore families apart, I want to do it.

First, I want to talk to my fitness friends, because I know how being fit can make you feel invincible.

Bill Phillips is a fitness icon who thought he was safe because he had already had COVID. He is a great guy who has furthered our fitness crusade and changed millions of lives. But he ended up on a ventilator after contracting the Delta variant. For my friends in the fitness industry, this particular fact may matter the most: he lost 70 pounds of muscle. I am wishing Bill all the best in his continued recovery and I know he’ll be back, but I also want to thank him for using his tragic situation to encourage people to talk to their doctors and get vaccinated. Read more here.

I told my team to go ahead and collect stories of people who shared or believed in misinformation instead of their doctors’ medical advice, just in case it helps you convince any of your friends or yourself. I don’t want any of you to end up in this position.

COVID-19 Obituaries

Former Newsmax host dies of COVID after deathbed about-face on anti-vax beliefs [Dick Farrell, 65]

Pastor Landon Spradlin died of coronavirus after Facebook post doubting its threat [Landon Spradlin, 66]

Former Nashville official who publicly doubted COVID-19 dies of virus [Tony Tenpenny, 57]

Conservative talk radio host dies of COVID-19 [Phil Valentine, 61]

Unvaccinated Las Vegas man died regretting not getting vaccine [Michael Freedy, 39]

Dickinson City councilman dies after contracting COVID-19 [H Scott Apley, 45]

Man who made fun of vaccination efforts on social media dies of Covid [Stephen Harmon, 34]

COVID-19 Killed Their Brother. Misinformation About The Virus Divided Their Family. [Kyle Dixon, 27]

Ohio man dies from COVID-19 after ripping DeWine’s lockdown – New York Daily News [John McDaniel, 60]

South Carolina local GOP leader dies of COVID-19 [Pressley Stutts, 64]

Fitness enthusiast, 42, who rejected vaccine, dies of Covid [John Eyers, 42]

Coronavirus-denying fitness influencer dies from COVID-19 [Dmitriy Stuzhuk, 33]

Anti-vaxxer Colorado sheriff’s deputy, 33, dies of COVID complications [Daniel Trujillo, 33]

Top Fox producer Eric Spinato dies from coronavirus [Eric Spinato, 52]

After La. nurse dies with COVID-19, vaccine posts go viral [Olivia Guidry, 24, Michael Pappas, 30]

Congressman-elect Luke Letlow dies after battling Covid-19 [Luke Letlow, 41]

Norway: Top COVID-19 Denier Dies From Virus After Hosting House Parties [Hans Gaarder, 60]

Covid denier, 28, warns mum ‘this is not a hoax’ before dying from coronavirus [Curt Carpenter, 28]

Texas Anti-Mask ‘Freedom Rally’ Organizer Fighting For His Life With COVID-19 [Caleb Wallace, 30]

Your doctor took an oath to protect you, that guy on Instagram didn’t.

If you took the time to read any of these stories, I think you can understand that this virus isn’t some hoax.

People are so obsessed with being contrarian and “questioning everything” that they have lost sight of the truth. We have listened to our doctors for years, and now that something serious is happening, suddenly some people say, “well, instead of listening to my doctor, I am going to do my own research.”

I understand you don’t have faith in government, but that doesn’t mean everything is a conspiracy and all of our institutions are broken. In fact, our medical institutions have continued to progress and innovate even as government has been frozen and failed the people for years. I mean, did we not all get our polio shots when we were younger? What about smallpox? Measles? It is a victory for medicine that these diseases have become problems of the past. But somehow today medicine has become political.

It’s because people are dividing us on even the simplest issues, and they are doing that for one reason only: to make money. Whether it’s for their Instagram or their campaign accounts, they just want money.

I can already hear, “Don’t doctors make money, Arnold?” YES! Because they went to medical school for years, then had a residency and an internship, we pay them to take care of us. They also take an oath to protect us. If I went to my doctor and said, “Fuck you, I’m getting out of this office and only getting medical advice from the internet,” he would try to convince me that’s a very bad idea. Not because of money – he has a hundred other patients paying his bills, too. Because he took the Hippocratic Oath. 

Do you think the influencers you see on Instagram took an oath to take care of you? Of course not.

We seem to be living in a world where people think they can be famous with no success and a few hot takes. They make money from your fear and anger, and they thrive on it. They can choose that path, but it burns fast, not long. Lasting influence requires credibility.

Back in my day, I had to win 5 Mr. Universe competitions, 5 Mr. Olympias, and 1 Mr. World before anyone wanted to make a movie about bodybuilding. Today, people have learned that they can be famous just for yelling on the internet and profit just by making people angry. I’ve had it with them, but I want to reach out to those of you who have been misled and say one last time:

Don’t listen to me. Don’t listen to the people you follow. Your doctor took an oath to protect you. None of the rest of us did. I’ll always try to give you the best advice because I don’t need any more money or more fame, but I still haven’t taken the oath your doctor took or done the work to be an expert in medicine, and no amount of googling will change that.

Faith in Institutions

As I’ve continued to learn from this, one thing that really strikes me is that so many people have lost faith in institutions.

As I said, I think our medical institutions have succeeded for years, but if we are talking about government, our institutions have failed the people for years.

When is the last time our Congress invested in our infrastructure? Hopefully they will pass the money we need for roads and schools and broadband and the real infrastructure we need to rebuild America soon, but we have had decades of bridges collapsing and roads falling apart, and government hasn’t done its most basic job. The last major investment in our infrastructure I can remember was when Eisenhower was President and we built the interstate highway system. That was more than 60 years ago!

And for years now, we have read article after article about income inequality, and the growing concentration of wealth among the top 1% (like me) while the middle and working class are left behind, but has government sat down and seriously tried to deal with the issue, the way Teddy Roosevelt did during his presidency? He had problems with companies consolidating too much power over American workers, and the country’s politics, and he used his office to do something about it. All our politicians seem to do is fight with each other.

And then there is our insane racial inequality, where the average Black family that attended college has $70,000 in wealth compared to $268,000 for the average White family. Black Americans still deal with appraisers putting lower values on their homes, like this couple that saw their appraisal go up by $135,000 when they removed any evidence that a Black person lived there. THIS HAPPENED IN 2020! It is a huge failure of our institutions that these things still happen. As a guy who got his start in real estate, I know the value of an appraisal. That can get you the loans to put your kid through college. And what big things has the government done to make things better since the Civil Rights Act? That was more than 50 years ago!

So if you don’t have much faith in government, I don’t blame you. Our politicians have been failing to deal with the big, big issues for years.

But I will tell you this: You don’t fix government by acting just like the politicians that fail to deliver big wins by acting just like the politicians. Politicians love to fight. They love outrage. They love it because that’s how they raise money. They lock your grandparents and your relatives into monthly contributions using their fights as their fundraising appeals.

Don’t Play the Politicians’ Game

I don’t have much faith in government, but I try not to respond with more of their anger. WE DO NOT HAVE TO PLAY THEIR GAME.

Politicians love to talk about problems and not solutions. The fact is, problems are better for fundraising than solutions.

I believe we have to respond, the way my heroes Teddy Roosevelt and California Governor Hiram Johnson did, by changing the game.

Ask yourself: Am I part of the solution here, or am I part of the problem?

If you are always hungry to learn, you will always find solutions. So before you let the politicians get you angry, ask yourself, what reforms can you fight for to encourage politicians to work instead of fight?

When I became governor, I didn’t know that political reform would become part of my legacy. I was always hungry, and I learned like a sponge, so when I saw that the Democrats and Republicans couldn’t come together, I asked why? I found out that through gerrymandering, they draw their own districts to make sure they always get re-elected. So I stumbled into what we call redistricting reform. In California, we ended the 200 year old system of gerrymandering by putting the people in charge of drawing the lines, not the politicians. Everyone said we couldn’t do it, but we did. And then we campaigned around the country, so that this year, one-third of congressional districts will be drawn in a bipartisan way, instead of by the politicians. This is how you drain the swamp and produce better politicians who want to work for the people instead of for themselves.

I also learned that our primary system drags politicians to the extremes, and then it’s too hard for them to come back together when they need to actually work. So we passed an open primary system, where all of the candidate have to appeal to all of the voters. Research has shown that that reform has led to the people being much happier with their representatives who now actually work together to get things done. Because let’s not forget, since the time of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, the work of government has been to compromise to get things done for the people. We have always had parties, even though my hero President Washington was an independent and advised against them. But they knew their first job was getting things done.

This latest generation of politicians seems to think their job is tweeting or screaming crazy shit on TV that they can use in a fundraising email before they fly off to Cancun to get away when their state is in crisis. We need politicians to re-learn their jobs, because these decades of gridlock are weakening America. They need to look at the founding fathers and how they had vicious partisan battles but still came to work planning to pass laws for Americans, not to just block everything.

And I tried to pass some campaign finance reform measures. It didn’t go well. You don’t get everything done on your to-do list when you’re governor.

These are just some of the reforms to our system that can put the politicians back to work and give the power back to the people. Right now, politicians and pundits are the only ones who profit from our complete stagnation and nonstop fighting against each other instead of fighting for the country.

So if you are worried about our institutions, the answer isn’t to behave like them and scream at each other. The answer is finding ways to repair our institutions. What have you done?

I will continue fighting to return power from politicians to the people, but I can’t do it alone.

After you ask yourself what reforms you will fight for, ask yourself this.

Did I vote for a politician because of their accomplishments, or because of their political party or the way they talked? Whenever I see Congressional approval, I wonder how more than 90% of these people get re-elected every year. They’re less popular than herpes. You would not vote to re-elect herpes. But many of us vote emotionally. Instead of thinking, “Did this politician improve my life and the lives of his constituents,” we tend to think “This politician seems angry about the same things I am, so let’s re-elect.” But now think about the things you’re angry about, did your representatives do anything besides talk? Maybe it’s time to rethink the tremendous power of your vote. Vote out everybody who doesn’t do their job, no matter what party.

We need to get away from this unserious business of yelling at each other online for clout and get back to working with each other to fix things. We have to restore faith in our government by electing people who treat working on policy as the job, and don’t think the main responsibility that comes with their taxpayer-funded paycheck is getting re-elected.

I am really worried about us if we can’t find a way to work together again and do the people’s work, not the party’s work.

If you remember the book I recommended you read in April, Think Again by Adam Grant, it is all about changing your thinking to listen to new ideas. There is even an entire chapter in there about vaccines. I recommend it again!

Community Heroes

With all of this going on, it can be easy to become too negative. But remember, there are stories all around us of people who have been lights in the darkness of this pandemic. There are heroes all over the world who have stepped up to help their fellow humans. If you get too sad about everything going on, look to them and be inspired. Because we always have the ability to have an impact on the world around us, and even if you just help one person, you’re taking control and turning this negative into a positive. I think a lot of this desperation and anger we see in the world is because people feel a loss of control, and I want you to remember that you always have the ability to take some control back by helping your community. I want to highlight three stories about people who have been heroes during this time to inspire all of you.

15 Incredible kids who stepped up in 2020

Heroes Among Us: East Side Riders Bike Club serves up free pancake breakfast meals in Watts

Muralist EZRA L.A. elevates community heroes and Feed SoCal

Help our Firefighters!

I want to also talk to you about the wildfire situation on the West Coast, because our firefighters do everything they can to protect us and they can always use our support.

Every year we go through what seems like unimaginable tragedy. People are displaced from their homes, entire towns burned to a crisp, and many of us are left wondering what comes next. Will it get worse? As governor, I’ve seen first hand how our California firefighters are the toughest and bravest in the world. These guys need our support now more than ever. Usually I host an annual event to raise money for California firefighters, but with COVID we’ve had to cancel it two years in a row. So this year I‘d love for everyone to donate to their local fire departments. Most of them have funds to take care of widows and children and support firefighters. Here are the ones I support:

And finally, I know some of you might have thought I forgot about this one, but the Zoom winners from last month will get a separate email today so we can schedule this, and I can’t wait to get on a Zoom with all of you.

Fan Questions:

Can you give your fans an update on filming?

I have a few projects that are very close to being ready: Triplets, an action film, and my Netflix TV show. They’re all racing to see which we will film first, and I hope by the end of this year, I’m finally back on a set. It’s been too long with this pandemic!

How did you keep such a close relationship with Franco over 50 years, and what advice(s) could you give me, and others, to strengthen relationships, so that we can have meaningful life long friendships?

Franco and I just immediately clicked. From the first moment we met in Europe, we knew that we both helped each other. Franco made me stronger, and I helped him with his bodybuilding. Later in life, we always gave each other advice and cheered for each other’s successes and were there to comfort each other after our falls. So the first piece of advice I would give is that any long-lasting close relationship has to go both ways. It has to be symbiotic, where you both help each other, or it won’t work.

The second piece of advice I’d give is that you have to make an effort. When I moved to America and Franco was still back in Europe, we had to write letters to communicate. But it kept us in touch, and eventually I was able to convince Joe Weider to bring Franco here. Until Franco passed away, we were constantly making an effort to email and FaceTime each other, and hang out in person. We played tennis for years (even though Franco sometimes didn’t show up), we had dinners all the time, we hung out with each other’s families, and sometimes we just sat up late laughing and playing chess over a bottle of Franco’s homemade wine. When we each got married, we were groomsmen in each other’s weddings. When we had our kids, we were the first ones to show up in the hospital with flowers. When our kids had their christenings, we were always right there for each other. We were even godparents to each other’s children. And in the sad moments, we were also always there for one another. Franco was the one who gave me the news that my brother had died when we lived together in Santa Monica, and when one of his parents passed away, we canceled our training session and sat on the couch together watching TV all day, just to be together. You have to make an effort to make any relationship work and make sure you stay connected.

And finally, you have to accept that your friend isn’t the same person you are. I know you guys got a kick out of the stories about Franco disappearing in the middle of a tennis game, but if I got enraged about that, it could have led to a major fight. I just laughed about it, because I knew Franco had this very outlaw upbringing in Sardinia, and that goofy sneakiness was part of his personality. Instead of getting upset, I got a kick out of it, and those moments that could have been fights became stories we told while we were laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe.

This weekend is the 2nd anniversary of Franco’s passing, and I miss him every day. Thank you for this question because I got to spend a lot of time reminiscing.

When Franco was sick with his heart issue, I always read him funny stories and shared old photos on my iPad to cheer him up.

Do you have any advice for a girl getting into weightlifting?

I would have the same advice for you as I do for any boy!

But it really depends on what type of weightlifting you want to do. Do you want to lift to just feel better and look better, or do you want to get into powerlifting, or are you inspired by the Olympics and want to start Olympic lifting? They’re all good options.

First of all, don’t get discouraged because of your gender because, remember, fitness is for everyone. If anyone gives you crap about it, let your lifting do the talking. If you want to just start lifting to feel better, take it one step at a time, start with lower weights and really focus on your technique. Slow and controlled. Don’t worry about the fancy exercises you see on Instagram either, stick with the basic lifts like the squat, deadlift and press until you master them. After a while you’ll see yourself getting better and stronger, and before you know it you’ll be deadlifting more than all the guys in the gym.

If you are like me and you were inspired by the Olympics and you loved watching these men and women do their lifts, read about Kate Nye. Until 2014, she was trying to make it into the Olympics in gymnastics. She didn’t achieve that dream, but only 5 years after she started weightlifting, she had the United States’ best result in over 20 years by winning the silver medal in Tokyo. She overcame some tremendous mental health struggles, and I hope she inspires you, because she definitely inspires me. Read more here.

Stay consistent and stay confident and no one can beat you! One day I’ll be talking about you in my newsletter to inspire another young woman to start her fitness crusade!

Here are a few of my favorites from last month:

  • Pump of the month: Pull-ups. It is always important to mix in bodyweight exercises with your weight training.
  • Song of the month: Shine a Light- Rolling Stones
  • Movie of the month: Gunpowder Milkshake
  • Book of the month: Here, Right Matters by Col. Alex Vindman

Archive shot of the month:With Guns N’ Roses on the music video set of “You Could Be Mine”

Your friend,

It’s my birthday! – 30JUL2021

Hello to all of you!

It’s my 74th birthday today, and a lot of people ask me what I want for my birthday. I don’t need more stuff, so please don’t send anything. But here’s what I will ask from you. Do one thing every month this year, not for yourself, but for others. Once every month, instead of just thinking about “me,” think about “we.” Just give back once a month. That would be the greatest gift.

This can be anything – reaching out to a neighbor and telling them you’re there if they need something, volunteering at an after-school program, tutoring a kid in a subject you excel at, helping someone with their groceries, teaching someone to play chess, picking up trash in the park or a beach, helping a friend through a tough time, or if someone doesn’t have transportation to get to a COVID vaccine, driving them. Just one thing.

Now I don’t want to limit you to one act of kindness, you can do as many as you want, but one is a good place to start.

That’s a gift I’ll be truly grateful for, because we need to start coming together. And I think you’ll love the joy you feel when you do a good deed.

In fact, I want this gift so much more than I want more artwork or cigars or shirts, I’m going to do something I’ve wanted to test for a while. Email me your act of kindness, and I’m going to jump on a Zoom call to thank the first 10 of you who reply. Make the subject of your email ‘Birthday Gift’ so it’s easy for me to find.

I also hope you had a great 4th of July weekend with your friends and family, no matter where you might be. I was in Graz, Austria during the holiday, after our environmental summit in Vienna. I went on long bike rides, stopped in the town square to have my usual sausage, krainerwurst, to see the store where I bought my first bodybuilding magazine when I was 15, and had something I was looking forward to for a long time, a great wienerschnitzel. Even though I am mostly off meat, I will always enjoy a schnitzel in Austria.

We also celebrated my daughter Christina’s 30th birthday last week. Time flies, and I am so proud of her. I’ve talked to you before about my painting, but her talent is unbelievable. We painted together to celebrate, and just look at it!

Our Austrian World Summit was a huge success. We reached over 2 billion people worldwide and hosted some of the most powerful voices in environmentalism. We heard from Lisa Jackson (Chief Sustainability Officer at Apple and former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Administration in the Obama Administration), Jim Farley (CEO of Ford Motor Company), Greta Thunberg, Secretary John Kerry, the list goes on and on. I am so proud of what we have built over the last 5 years with the Austrian World Summit and I can’t wait to see all of the amazing work we will continue to do to make the planet healthier and to terminate pollution.

Breaking through a Brick Wall

We host these large conferences every year, with hundreds of environmental leaders from all across the globe to accomplish one goal, stopping pollution. Too often, politicians talk and talk but don’t act. They will tell you that they want to make sure that environmental policy doesn’t crush the economy. I know that’s wrong because since I signed California’s historic environmental policies in 2006, which are the strictest laws in the world, our economy has literally DOUBLED from 1.6 trillion to 3.2 trillion. To give you an idea about how much that is, if the United States economy grew as much as California’s, our national GDP would be 27.6 trillion today – it is 21.43 trillion.

We have the fastest growth rate in the United States, and our economy is now the 5th largest in the world, behind only the US, China, Germany and Japan. California has its share of problems, from homelessness and drought to income inequality and wildfires, but our environmental policies did not hurt our economy. We have proven that green businesses can boom, because our green jobs grew last year by 35%, four times the global rate, but we have also proven that all businesses can boom, because we lead the nation in manufacturing and agriculture, tech and biotech, and obviously entertainment and tourism.

So any time you hear a politician talking about environmental policies hurting the economy, that’s crap. It just means they don’t have an interest in doing the hard work.

That is also why this year it was fantastic to highlight some heroes of the private sector like Jim Farley of Ford and Lisa Jackson of Apple. Lisa and Jim aren’t worried about getting reelected, they are worried about a sustainable future and getting their companies ahead of the curve. They know that going green means making money AND protecting the environment. Pretty soon other companies will follow their lead, and we won’t need to worry about the politicians failing to act because people like Lisa and Jim got off their couch and did something about it.

As you’ll see in the videos, they’ve created a lot of action. At Ford, I bet all of you have seen the F-150 Lightning, which is revolutionary not only because they’ve electrified the most popular car in America, but also because it’s affordable. Since Jim took over, they’ve increased their investment in clean cars by 30 billion dollars! And at Apple, they are beating everybody in terms of terminating pollution. They’re already carbon neutral, so by 2030 their goal is to make their entire supply chain worldwide pollution free. This is big stuff, and I was proud to highlight both of them. Watch below!

Old Friends

Now this month I wanted to talk to you all about the importance of staying in touch with old friends. Some of you have friends who you have known since birth, since high school, or since college, and some friends you have met recently. I have always had a special place in my heart for those friends I’ve known my whole life. Recently, in Vienna, some of my friends from elementary school came to visit me during my Austrian World Summit and we could not stop laughing and thinking of all the fun times we used to have growing up in Styria. It was like nothing had changed, we were all back in the classroom making trouble again, and we even almost got my friend Karl to crack a smile! He was always the stoic one. Take a look at a picture of us together in Vienna a few weeks ago!

There are things in this life I would not change for the world, like my family, my career, or the friends I’ve made along the way, but something that has always been strange to me is fame. I love meeting fans, I love signing autographs and taking selfies, but sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I could go to the grocery store without being recognized. I have been so recognizable for so long that sometimes I forget what my life was like before, back when I was just starting in bodybuilding and didn’t even know what an autograph was the first time a fan asked. That is why I love hanging out with my old friends, because they remind me of those old days. They are really proud of my accomplishments, but they also remind me that I am still just Arnold from Thal, and that is important for me to remember. My friends don’t care who I am or what I’ve done. They may think it is really cool that I’ve accomplished so much, but they knew me before all of that, and they were my friends because of me, not my money or my career. We just talk about normal things like our kids and grandkids, our aches and pains, and retirement. We still argue about who makes the best schnapps, and whether hazelnut or plum or pear is better. And we talk politics – we’re a mix of conservatives and liberals, but we still get along!

The bottom line is that it is always important to keep in contact with your old friends. Those same old friends that knew you when you were just a kid running around getting into trouble, learning to ice curl and ice skate and bicycle ride, playing soccer and on and on are the friends who you can count on to bring you back to Earth, and remind you that you are still the same person you were all those years ago. All the fame in the world won’t change that.

When I was in Graz, I was also reminded of my great friend and mentor Fredi Gerstl, who was a political leader in Austria. Fredi was a really smart guy and encouraged his son Karl and me in our workouts, but also reminded us that we needed to train our minds as much as our bodies. He was always recommending books, and maybe more importantly, letting us sit in when he had discussions with other adults, from philosophers to professors to politicians. He would always make sure we were paying attention and learning. It was his birthday on July 3rd, and to celebrate I went to the local synagogue that was destroyed during Kristallnacht, when the Nazis demolished synagogues, destroyed Jewish businesses, and terrorized Jewish people. The synagogue was then rebuilt after the war on the original brick foundation. Fredi always taught me about history and tolerance, and that if we don’t remember our history we are doomed to repeat it. The amount of anti-semitism and racism in general that has gone on in this country and all over this world lately is disgusting. Synagogues are being vandalized with swastikas, Congresswoman Greene is saying our wildfires are caused by Jewish space lasers, Asian Americans are being viciously attacked, and of course Black Americans are still fighting for equality and justice. All of this is inexcusable.

I will not sit here and keep quiet about this kind of hatred. If the next generation of Austrians can rebuild a synagogue that was destroyed by Nazis, then the next generation of Americans can create a more inclusive and equal America for everyone. Ask yourself every day, what am I doing to make this world more tolerant and equal? Progress is not passive – we all have a role to play. What’s yours?

Every single person on Earth is unique. We believe in different religions, have different skin colors, practice different traditions, and wear different clothing, but we shouldn’t see these differences as bad or threatening. We should want to learn about these differences, and study them. That is what makes our world interesting and great. I love traveling to all of the continents because every place has something to teach you. I love going to Asia and seeing the incredible architecture and the infrastructure. I love going to Africa and going on safari with the beautiful animals. I love the jungles of South America where I traveled with Jim Cameron to meet villagers who live with no phones, no electricity, nothing, like it was a hundred years ago, and I love the beautiful European Alps and the buildings from 600 years ago. And I love talking to the people in every place I travel, to learn about their challenges and their successes. Everywhere I go, I have something new to learn. We need to cherish our differences and make a better world for the next generation. To do that, we need to embrace a learning mindset. If you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing. Be curious.

Silly Stories

Now, on a less serious note, I thought I would share with all of you a funny story about my best friend, Franco Columbu.

As you know, Franco and I were always together. We were training partners, we were business partners, we were competing against each other in bodybuilding contests, but more importantly we were best friends. One thing that we always loved to do together was play tennis, so Franco would always come over to play at my house, and most of the time we’d eat and schmooze afterwards. So one day, Franco and I head over to the tennis court to play. The game was going well, very back and forth, when all of a sudden I hit the ball over the fence. Franco told me not to worry and that he would go get the ball. All of a sudden I hear a car starting up and zooming down the driveway. I am standing there on the court like a total idiot when I realize Franco has just gotten into his car and left in the middle of the game. I just stood there and shook my head, but that was just Franco! I mean this wasn’t the only time something like this happened when we were supposed to play tennis.

Another time, Franco and I made plans to play the next day and he said he would see me at 9 in the morning, sharp. I was sitting in my living room the next morning waiting and waiting for Franco, and at 10, I decided to call his wife Debbie to find out what the problem was. She picked up the phone, and when I asked her where Franco was, she responded “What? Franco has been on a plane to Sardinia for four hours, I don’t know why he told you he’d play tennis!” These stories are Franco in a nutshell, always unpredictable, always making me laugh.

The funniest part about these stories is I never complained about it, and the next time we saw each other, we would never even talk about it. We always just picked right up where we left off with no judgment, playing tennis, playing chess, making wine together, training. That was just our friendship.

I miss him every day, so please make sure to enjoy all of your time with your friends. Here is a photo of the two of us:

While we’re on the topic of friends and training partners, here is a video of my friend Doug pumping me up at Gold’s Gym the other week. The guy does not let me get away with anything.

Now, I saved the best training partner story for last. Back in the day, Ed Corney and I would always compete with each other during training. We had so much fun in the gym, and once a week, we would train with really heavy weight, so one day I loaded up 405 pounds on the squat rack and started repping it, really pushing myself. Sometimes we would have an oxygen tank by the rack when we did this because it really wiped you out. After I squatted, it was Ed’s turn, and he wanted to beat me so badly that he gave it all he had, rep after rep, until he stood back up, racked the weight, and fell over from exhaustion. You might have noticed the scene in Pumping Iron where we had our squat battles and I helped him up.

He looked like this:

Well, this time, I naturally saw an opportunity, so I stepped over him and kept doing my reps, and on every rep I was almost low enough that my ass would hover right above his face. The guys in the gym thought it was hilarious, and once Ed got back up he thought it was pretty funny too. The memories and laughter we had in those weight rooms never seemed to end. There was always something going on in there.

TV Interviews

I want to also share with you two interviews about saving the environment that I did recently on Fox News with Steve Hilton and on CNN with Chris Cuomo. I know some of you may be saying “I can’t stand Cuomo!” or “I can’t stand Steve Hilton!” Well, first of all, let me tell you that I like both of them, and I am very proud of how far they have come in their careers, but it is also important that we keep an open mind and listen to different perspectives. For me, the goal is to reach the widest audience. Not a conservative audience or a liberal audience, but the biggest possible audience. That is why it is important for me to do both CNN and Fox News. My goal is not political, my goal is to help educate people. Take a look at the full interviews below, and if you would normally watch Cuomo I encourage you also to watch Hilton, and if you normally watch Hilton I encourage you also to watch Cuomo.

Go to Twitter to see my interview with Cuomo!

And here is Hilton:

Community Action Heroes:

I told you last month I wanted to highlight community action heroes every month, so keep sending me the heroes serving your community. This month, I want to share with all of you a profile of Los Angeles resident, Pastor Kathy Huck. Pastor Huck founded a group called AMFB or “About my Father’s Business,” a homeless outreach ministry that helps homeless people in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Kathy and her team visit homeless encampments, provide residents with meals, water, tents, sleeping bags, seasonal clothing, personal hygiene products, and also help them register to vote. Pastor Huck is a total powerhouse. Not only does she provide these services for the homeless, but she also takes the time to get to know them, give them advice, and be their friend. Sometimes the greatest gift we can give someone in tough times is someone to talk to. If you want to learn more about her and her organization, go to 

Fan Questions

Do you think life can be fun and great as an adult? I’m a 19 year old, and I see so many adults, just depressed with life, stuck in jobs they don’t like with no social life and no goals or aspirations? I was talking to my mum and she just said “That’s life” and it’s just ugh I hate how accepting they are of it.

This is like holding up a mirror to my life. This is exactly the situation I was in as a kid. I would say, “I’m not happy here.” And I heard, “that’s the way it is.” I heard everything you’re hearing right now. It fueled my drive to prove that there is another way. It made me focus on finding a vision to create my own way and follow my own dreams.

You are 19 years old. When I was 19, I was still in Europe dreaming of making it to America, and I did everything I could to make sure that dream became a reality.

I think the key thing for leading a great life, and I end up saying this in every newsletter because it is so damn important, is having a vision. Sit down and really figure out who you want to be and why, not just what you want to be. I don’t mean sit down and look at Instagram and think “I want to be an influencer like this person.” Put the phone down! I had all the time in the world to think and train compared to kids today. We didn’t have a phone or a TV in our house.

I just saw a stat that teens spend 7 hours a day on their phones. I always tell people you only have 24 hours every day and you have to use every minute. Compared to you guys, when I was a teenager, I had 7 extra hours every single day to figure out my vision and start working on it. That’s 49 hours every week – more than a full work week. It’s 2,555 hours a year. 106 days! ON A PHONE!

Put it down. Take at least two of those seven hours to work on yourself, read books, try hobbies, and find what makes your passion click. Then you can build a vision, and I can promise you, whether your vision is having a normal job and being a great dad or mom or becoming a great artist, if you know who you want to be, life will never be boring. Because every step will mean progress toward your vision.

Let me explain what I mean when I say decide who you want to be and why, not just what. If you just think “what do I want to be?” and you decide to be a lawyer because that makes you money, you’ve decided what you want to be and your why is money. If you decide to be a lawyer because you’re passionate about criminal justice, or constitutional rights, or maybe even business law, you’ve decided who you want to be and your why is because it is your vision. So many people chase their parents’ visions of themselves, or they chase money despite not caring about how they make it, and I don’t think that will ever lead to fulfillment. Find your vision. Find who you want to be. And chase it. I promise it won’t be boring, even when you’re old like me.

Hell, I have had friends who worked into their 90s, whether it was Dino DeLaurentiis, the great film producer, or Jack LaLanne, the fitness expert, or Jim Lorimer, my friend who built the Arnold Sports Festival with me. My friend Warren Buffett turns 91 this year and he’s still going strong! The one thing they all have in common was that their job wasn’t just a job – it was part of their identity. It was who they were. It was their vision.

What is your bench press max?

My best bench press was 525 pounds, and in those days that was a big lift. I won international powerlifting championships.

I loved mixing in powerlifting with bodybuilding one day a week. This was my heavy day: I warmed up with 135, then 225, then 275, then 315, 375, then 405, then 455, then 495. From that I would know the weight I could do for 3 reps, sometimes it was 455, sometimes more or less, it depended on the day. I would do 5-8 sets of 3 reps. It was a way to get my body used to lifting very heavy. And then I would take off the weight so it was only 315 and do as many reps as I could, and then I was finished with my bench press.

There is a lesson in setting a goal and hitting it that has helped me all throughout my life, so if you’re young, set yourself some big goals and work on a sustainable plan to achieve them. What you learn is simple: failure is not losing, failure is part of growing. Before I lifted 500 pounds, do you know what I did? I failed to lift 500 pounds, not once, not twice, but tons of times.

One of the best lessons the gym can teach you is that failure is not an end – it’s a means to an end.

I want to get my son Rocco into some resistance training but he is only 12, how do I make it entertaining so he will stick with it for life?

I think you are on the right track here, you have to make it fun. Since he is only 12, you might want to start with bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, knee-bends, and crunches.

I learned a lot from the way I was parented, which was incredibly strict, and the way Maria and I parented our kids, which was much more encouraging. When I grew up, a lot of times we didn’t do things because we wanted to, we did things because we were told to, like when my dad made us do push-ups before we could play. That method of parenting worked for me, but it doesn’t work for everyone. It can break some kids.

It’s much better to do the encouraging route, and use rewards. So maybe when Rocco wants to watch TV, make the commercial breaks your time for some exercise. To make it more fun, get a deck of cards, and deal yourselves both a card, and decide whatever number on each of your cards is the number of push-ups you will both do during that commercial break. That’s also a key – to make it fun, you need to be doing this with your kids, so they see that you enjoy it and you aren’t just making them do something you wouldn’t do yourself. I think a big reason my kids love exercise is that they grew up hanging out with me in the gym. You have to be part of it. You have to enjoy it, or why would your kids?

Sometimes a little discipline is ok. When I wanted my kids to learn to ski, and they would complain about the cold, I would tell them they just need to ski with me for two hours and then we would all get a big hot cocoa with marshmallows. Now that they’re adults, they love skiing and they thank me for making them ski to earn their cocoa. Now enjoy this photo of Christina and me in the gym from when she was a little kid and now!

I hope you and Rocco have a great time.

Here are a few of my favorites from last month:

Pump of the month: Bent-over rows.

Song of the month: Yakety Tak – The Coasters. I know you are probably excited I’m not recommending country music. What you might not know is I LOVE 50’s music, because that’s all I heard when I saved up enough money to buy my little radio in Austria. So this song wasn’t in Twins by accident.

Book of the month: Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Many Immigrants, by George W. Bush 

Joke of the month: I love Rodney Dangerfield and I always use this one on my birthday: “I can never get any respect. When I was born, the doctor came to my mom and said, hey, we did everything we could, but you know what? He pulled through. I can’t get no respect.”

Movie of the month: Tomorrow War

Archive Shot of the Month:

Keep pumping,

Be useful – 25JUN2021

I hope everyone is having a good month!

First of all, happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Fatherhood is my favorite job. I hope your kids gave you the celebration you deserve!

My daughter, Katherine, asked me to join her for her Instagram show about parenting, and I think you’ll love our conversation. We talked about my strict style, and we also discussed the importance of both parents being on the same page when it comes to raising the kids. You can argue about other things, but you have to present a united front for the children. Check it out here!

I sometimes play around and design different t-shirts, and then I go to the gym and sometimes people ask, “Where do I get this?” It started with my “Come with me if you want to lift shirt.” Just recently we came up with one with Conan lifting a barbell with skulls and it says “Bar-Barian.” You never know what design is going to be a hit, but this one was, so I decided to make it for all of my fans.

You can buy it here:

I also want all of you to tune in on July 1st to the Austrian World Summit. The entire environmental conference will be broadcast on my Facebook page, so mark your calendars! Here is the Facebook event page so you don’t forget.

The weather has been beautiful in Los Angeles. I’ve been going on my daily bike rides, getting a pump at Gold’s Gym, preparing for the Austrian World Summit in July, and mostly staying on track with my daily routine. Now, that doesn’t mean I haven’t had an extra pastry with Lulu, but I don’t want to be too hard on myself. You never want to get caught up in being hard on yourself. As I told a friend on reddit, we all go through challenges and we all go through failure, but the key thing is you get up and take it one step at a time. Don’t beat yourself up over something like eating a tasty treat. Think about it this way: When you conquer a workout, do you celebrate yourself as much as you beat yourself up when you miss the gym or eat something you shouldn’t? We all have a tendency to be harder on ourselves than we would be to our friends. I am guilty of it, and you are probably guilty of it. So this month, I want you to focus on writing down a win you had every single day, no matter how small. Maybe you went for a walk – count the win and record it! By the end of the month, you’ll see that the little victories built a foundation for bigger wins. We are going to conquer the month together, whether it is doing a few pushups in the morning, or setting a new personal record in the gym. Now, let’s get to some fun stories.

Schnitzel Behind-the-Scenes Storytime

Last month I gave you my favorite on-set story of the time when Danny DeVito put marijuana in my cigar. I totally forgot my lines and stood there like a statue. But when my team and I were working on last month’s newsletter, I told them a story that I said I would save for this month. Most of you may know my True Lies costar Tom Arnold. He is a wacky guy, and he is also one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met. Even to this day Tom helps me at my charity events with After School All Stars, the nationwide after-school program I started 30 years ago which has spread like wildfire around the United States, or the Hollenbeck Center in East LA, one of the greatest community centers in Los Angeles, where we give away turkeys at Thanksgiving and toys at Christmas.

Anyway, one day Tom and I were filming True Lies in Washington DC, and Jim Cameron decided that he wanted to move the shot they set up on the street in Georgetown to the opposite corner. This might not seem like a big deal, but on a movie set, by the time I walk out to do my scene, the hundreds of crew members have spent hours rigging lights and cameras to make sure it looks perfect on the screen. And they have spent hours parking the cars along the street to look perfect on screen. That’s one of the many reasons I say I am not self-made. But I heard the crew tell Jim resetting the lights and moving the cars would take 2 and a half hours, so I thought we had at least an hour for some sightseeing. I knew Tom was from a small town in Iowa and had never seen the inside of the Capitol Building, so I thought I would show him around. I grabbed a van from the transportation guys and Tom and I took off for the Capitol across town thinking I’d show Tom some of my favorite memorials on the way. Well, before we could even get to the Capitol, we heard a commotion on the walkie-talkie in the car. Apparently they had pulled off a miracle and flipped the entire production in half an hour because Jim decided not to move the cars, and now they were looking for their actors. And we, naturally, were driving around DC in a van.

To say that Jim wasn’t happy would be a major, major understatement. We drove back right away, and I got the beating of a lifetime in front of the whole crew. Jim told me the whole movie was over budget and three weeks late because of me. I said, “Jim, how can we be three weeks late when we have only been shooting for a week?” That didn’t go over well, but eventually we made up and got the shot. In case you ever wondered, does Schnitzel ever get in trouble at work, the answer is yes, especially when Jim is directing.

Wilt‘s Strength

Another fun thing I saw over the last month was a video on YouTube talking about how I admitted that Wilt Chamberlain was the strongest NBA player ever, and it’s true! Well maybe not ever, but for a guy who wasn’t directly involved in strength sports, it was wild to see how much weight he could lift. I always tell people that Wilt was the only guy who could do the tricep cable pulldowns with the full stack of weight. He was doing it no problem, and all of us bodybuilders were blown away. When I saw this pop up on reddit I was brought back to all the good times I had with Wilt. We even filmed Conan the Destroyer together! He was such a great guy to have on the set, except when one of the 45 pound dumbbells in the gym went missing. I asked Wilt if he had it and he played innocent until one day I went to his room to pick him up and I saw him hiding it under his bed. That son of a gun was trying to do extra concentration curls alone so he could outshine me! Here is a photo of us both with Andre the Giant while we were filming. They made me look so tiny!

Porcupine 1, Dutch 0

And as promised, here is a pet update for you. They are all doing well! However, Dutch had a scare this month, when we were in Sun Valley, Idaho, and he came back from roaming outside with a face full of porcupine quills. I rushed him to the vet and I held him during the procedure while they pulled out all of the quills. He was completely fine as soon as we left, which made me think how dogs almost have superpowers. If any of us got a face full of needles, we would need weeks to recover. Dutch was back to his normal self immediately. And the vet told me he probably didn’t learn his lesson – she’s had several dogs come in five times for porcupine emergencies.

Also, I had my friend Frank send me over a clip of when the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica decided to have a mural painted of me above their gym. I thought the whole process was pretty fantastic, so check it out below and let me know what you think!

When I am riding around Venice on my bike, I laugh every time I see these murals of me.

Stop Trolling and Open Your Mind

Now let’s get serious for a second. Every day on social media I see people losing their minds. Social media has given everyone a platform, which I think is a major positive. But the way people use their platforms has become more and more negative. I see posts about Pride Month and Juneteenth where hundreds of people just comment “I don’t care.” OK, let’s be honest, if I don’t care about something, you don’t see me commenting on social media to let everybody know how little I care. And those aren’t the meanest commenters.

Pride Month and Juneteenth are celebrations of America and our ability to constantly do better and move closer to the goal of true equality. They shouldn’t make anyone upset. I think social media has taught people that everything has to be political, and I want all of you to think about that. I can’t even post about eating less meat, or my electric Hummer, or fighting gerrymandering without people in the comments calling me a communist. If you’re someone who gets angry on social media, I want you to think really hard about it. What are you accomplishing? You’re getting attention for being an asshole? What did you achieve? Some likes? Whose mind did you change? Absolutely no one’s.

I think we should all be very engaged in the issues facing our communities and our nation, but I also think we need to step back from this cliff where we make every subject political, and we change our mind based not on the merits of an idea, but on which party is talking about it.

Here’s a good example I saw of someone who supported Juneteenth when President Trump said he supported it and turned very strongly against it the moment President Biden signed the bill. If something was a good idea when a Republican was in office, HOW IS IT A BAD IDEA THE NEXT YEAR WHEN A DEMOCRAT IS IN OFFICE? STOP IT! If you act like this, take a week off from social media and really think about what you are adding to the world. If you follow people like this, think about whether you want to follow someone who has no interest in anything but partisan fighting. What a waste of time. It takes me back to what my father always said to me: “Be useful.” Instead of pissing away your time with stupid arguments, ask yourself if you have improved the world. Ask if you were useful!

Every political conversation I see on social media reminds me of my time fighting Triple H in the WWE ring. We made a big scene for the audience, and I was smacking him and hitting him in the crowd while Stone Cold Steve Austin watched me from the ring, but I hate to break this to you: Triple H and I are friends. Too many people on social media set out to be a heel or a hero without thinking about just having a conversation and learning from each other

Here is an example of a really constructive conversation I had with a redditor yesterday when she thought I arrived in America with a lot of money because of something she read. Neither of us got angry or defensive, so we were able to find common ground without fighting. I want to thank her for being a great example for the whole internet.

If you want professional wrestling, here’s that video of me with Triple H and Stone Cold.

We need to come together right now. My challenge for you this month is to post absolutely nothing negative on social media. You can post constructive criticism – but no trolling. Tell me how you feel at the end of the month. My guess is you will feel a lot happier, a lot more relaxed, and you aren’t going to miss the “likes” you would have gotten from dunking on someone.

The more we can have open and honest conversations and be inclusive, the more we can move forward as a country. We are in a major rut.

And if you think you can’t do anything to make things better, I have news for you. When I was getting ready to compete in the 1975 Mr. Olympia competition, they had scheduled it in Pretoria, South Africa, and the country was still under apartheid. For those who don’t know, apartheid was a mandatory segregation enforced by the government of South Africa between white people and people of color, and if you weren’t white in South Africa, you were treated as less than everyone else. Because of apartheid, black bodybuilders could not compete, and fans of color were not able to sit in the audience. Of course Ben Weider, the head of the International Federation of Bodybuilding, and I thought this was total bullshit, and at the 1973 International IFBB Congress when they were considering South Africa as a host, we decided if there were going to be no black bodybuilders competing, and if people of color were not going to be allowed inside, we didn’t want to be a part of it – there would be no competition. I met multiple of times with the Secretary of Sports, Dr. Koornhof, in South Africa and insisted that this would be an inclusive event. In 1975, Ben received this letter from the government.

Take this as a lesson. This was just the President of a bodybuilding federation, and a bodybuilder from Austria taking on one of the largest governments in the world. Even though we didn’t end apartheid, it was a big step forward for the country of South Africa. It was the first time there was an integrated sports event under the apartheid government, and I am so happy I got to be a part of it. You can create change, and it might not be the big solution you want, but celebrate every change in the right direction.

Community Action Heroes

Now here is a good news story that I wanted to highlight. If you live in California, you’ve probably complained about our dirty streets. I recently heard about a man named “Todd the Volunteer” who became homeless in 2015 after a motorcycle accident, and decided that the best way to get himself on his feet was to purchase a trash grabber tool from the 99 cent store and get to work. He has been cleaning up the streets of LA and Orange County ever since. If you drive on our streets and you see rows and rows of trash bags filled with litter that has been picked up, that’s probably Todd’s work.

The bottom line is, life is going to get you down sometimes. Maybe you got a parking ticket, maybe you are fighting with your girlfriend, or maybe you just lost your job. No matter what the case may be, it is important that you don’t let these setbacks get you down. Get up, get moving and do what you can. Todd’s motorcycle accident was an unexpected setback in his life, and he could have given up, but he decided to make his town a better place. Todd showed us how to be useful. Think about that. What are you doing to make life better for your community? How are you being useful? You can support Todd’s gofundme here.

I want to start highlighting community action heroes in my newsletter and I thought that Todd was the perfect guy to show you all to start it off. If you have good news or community heroes I should highlight, make sure to email them to me!

Now, let’s get into some of your questions…

How many days per week should a guy who is well trained train each muscle group. And how many exercises per muscle?

I just want to say that being “well trained” has nothing to do with how much you should train each muscle group or how many exercises you should do per muscle. What matters most is what your goal is. If you want to run a marathon, or if you want to lift 500 pounds, your training is going to be based on your goal. And then you need to adjust your goal to your body. Every single person is different and every single body is different. My chief of staff is a stockier guy and sticks to compound heavy lifts and he stays very physically fit. My assistant is tall and lanky and works out with lower weight and higher reps. He also stays in good shape. Again, every goal and every body is different, and the key thing really is to find out what gets you excited to train.

So before I can tell you how to train, tell me your goal.

My method these days is to train 6 days a week, hitting chest and back one day, biceps, triceps, and shoulders another day, and legs the third day, and then I repeat all three. I make sure I do 30 sets in the gym. So a chest and back day might look like this:

5 sets each:

  • Machine Bench Press x 20 reps
  • Lat pull down x 20
  • Machine flyes x 20
  • Rows x 20
  • Incline bench x 20
  • Pullover x 20

I am not training to win Mr. Olympia, I am training to stay as lean as possible, so I go through those exercises as a circuit with almost no rest. If you’re trying to gain more muscle, do less reps and instead of a circuit, do each chest and back exercise as a superset. Finish the 5 sets of bench and the pull down and then move on to the next two exercises.

But I really recommend experimenting in the gym until you find what your goal is, because once you have that in mind, that will keep you consistent. Some people want pure strength, some people want less fat, some people want more muscle, but the key is that you show up every day.

How do I find my energy? I am 52 years old and still getting started on fitness. How do you start your day?

First of all, it is never too late to get started on your fitness routine. The very fact that you want to get started is fantastic – congratulations!

This is really two questions. How do I find my energy? I find my energy by doing things I love and that bring me closer to my vision. I can be reading a script and I will fall asleep. But then I play a game of chess, which I love, and I’m wide awake and can finish the script. This morning, I woke up at 4:00 am to have a zoom with the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. That’s even early for me, but I was wide awake because I have a vision of making my environmental summit in Austria a huge success. So find your vision and you’ll find your energy.

As far as what I do to start my day, I don’t think. I just do. I get out of bed, have my coffee and read the newspaper, then I immediately go on a bike ride to Gold’s Gym, have my workout, and then ride my bike to get some breakfast. At that point, my mind is clear, the hard part is over, and I can focus on work for the rest of the day.

What has kept me consistent is that I never have to think about this. It’s a routine, so it is ingrained in me. There is no thinking, no “should I skip the gym today?” I get out of bed at 5am and everything starts. The next three hours are automatic. Motivation is important, but routine is what builds consistency. The first month of building a routine isn’t easy, so start small. Maybe the first thing you do when you get out of bed is some pushups and squats. Add something to your routine every week, and then eventually, you’ll have an hour or two hours every morning that are purely automatic and focused on improving yourself.

This one wasn’t a question, but I loved this email and wanted to respond:I find your motivational newsletter so helpful. I’m a very shy girl and my vision is to fly to America, find a job and enjoy the experience. It’s not for the job per se, I’m looking for the opportunity to open up, become more confident and find my independence (and get rid of this shyness!). I think we must strive to always improve ourselves, for us, our family and our community. I know my big opportunity is going to come, I’ve almost saved the right amount of money to afford the trip (here the work situation is not the brightest, but never give up, right?). I’m afraid that I’ll fail, that I won’t find a job and have to come back to Italy and it will be just a nice and frustrating vacation, but I know that I must try, in spite of fear. And if I fail, I will find another way to make it. I want to thank you,I loved the way you opened up about struggling and overwhelming moments and why it is important to take a break and try to change your mindset to face upsetting situations in a better way.

First of all, you have the right mindset. I have seen so many immigrants with the fire in their belly to move here, and they always seem to make it. Not just me, I’ve met so many people at the gym who moved here. I remember a French guy at the old World Gym who showed up barely speaking English trying to be a personal trainer. He worked his ass off, and a year later, he was pulling up in a Corvette. I have seen this story over and over and over. This is the beauty of America. If you come here ready to hustle, you will find a job. I don’t know how good your English is, but if you’re like me, you can go to a community college to improve it and who knows, you might get a degree like me. I still believe America is the land of opportunity that I found in 1968.

I remember when I was moving to America, I didn’t have anything but a gym bag, and I didn’t know anyone here yet. I was used to not having anything at that point because I had been living in the gym I worked at in Munich, so that gave me an advantage.

I was nervous, but my mind didn’t allow me to think about failure. I was coming to America to compete in the Mr. Universe, and then my goal was to never leave. I didn’t have a Plan B. Plan B was to try harder at Plan A. But you mentioned your fear of failure, so I want you to explore that. The worst thing that can happen if you fail is you’ll be back in Italy. You’ll be where you are right now. You won’t be a loser, you’ll just be living your current life.

I think a lot of people get hung up on a fear of failure because they think about how the people around them will judge them. But if failure just means you’ll be back where you are right now, what’s the fear? You are living your life right now, it can’t be that scary – unless you’re in an abusive situation, where this advice doesn’t apply. I use this mindset a lot. My agents will call about a movie and say “Hey, we don’t know if this deal will come together, the studio is being a real pain in the ass, this is a disaster.” My response is “It isn’t a disaster, I haven’t made this movie yet, and my life is good, so what’s the problem?” If I don’t make this movie, the worst thing that can happen to me is that I’ll just be where I am today.” When I think of failure, I try to ignore what other people will think and only focus on what I can control.

You said that if you fail, you’ll find another way. When you said that, I knew you’d probably succeed. You have your vision. That’s where everything starts. Now you just need to take the next step and put that fear of failure behind you.

Now, I have something pretty exciting for you guys. I tell you over and over that getting fit starts with your first step. You move more than you did yesterday, you walk a little farther and then you celebrate your success.

When OpenFit acquired Ladder and we became partners and I heard about their Every Step walks where people pump each other up while they burn calories, I knew I had to be involved. So I asked my friends at reddit for questions and sat down and recorded my answers. Now you can go on walks and listen to me! Check it out here!

Here are a few of my favorites from last month:

  • Pump of the month: Tricep dips
  • Song of the month: Ring of Fire-Johnny Cash – You might notice I share a lot of Johnny Cash. Country music has always been a love of mine. When I moved to America, I loved everything country western – boots, hats, music. Today in my gym, you almost always hear Johnny Cash.
  • Movie of the month: Gladiator. I watched it for the third time this month. Man, what a great film.
  • Book of the month: Battle for the Soul by Isaac Dovere
  • Joke of the month: One time I was driving through the countryside with my friend, and saw a group of cows. I looked to my friend and said “Did you know those cows are award-winning?” And then he said “For what?” I said “For out standing in their field.”

Archive shot of the month:

Here is a shot of me in Munich, Germany. When I moved to Munich from Austria, I managed a gym (and I also lived in it). I was always trying to find new ways to promote the gym and get new members, so one day I went with a photographer around Munich in my posing trunks. It was freezing cold, and I got a lot of strange looks, but we got 50 more members at the gym!

Keep pumping,

This is a long one (but it’s worth it) – 19MAY2021

It has been a busy month for me! Between reading your emails, getting my workouts in, having meetings about Triplets (the sequel to Twins), FUBAR (my television spy series with Netflix – by the way, FUBAR stands for Fucked Up Beyond All Repair or Recognition), and other movie and TV projects, doing interviews to promote Superhero Kindergarten (my animated series for kids), and recording conversations about getting rid of pollution while we prepare for my Austrian World Summit in July, a lot has been going on.

Of course, I’m also feeding Lulu at 6 every morning so that she doesn’t scream and wake up the whole neighborhood, after which Whiskey and all the dogs come begging for their food, so I don’t get to pouring my own coffee until 7. I spend lots of time going on bike rides and workouts with my kids or just hanging at home with them, and I really love getting to play with my granddaughter on the weekend.

Here is a video of me getting a pump at Gold’s Gym this past week. I love that I am vaccinated so I can be back in the gym – working out at home is just not the same.

Life is all about balance.

Some people hear my motivational speeches where I say things like, “Sleep faster!” or “There are 24 hours in a day!” and get the idea that I never relax and never take a break. But I have learned throughout my life that balance is important, so let’s talk about that this month.

While it is extremely important to work your ass off and get your reps in, sometimes the brain or the body needs a reset. I learned this when I was transitioning from my bodybuilding career into my movie career. I had just finished filming Stay Hungry in the summer of 1975, my first serious movie, and I had cut my weight to 210 pounds at the request of the director, Bob Rafelson. Then George Butler and Charles Gaines came and told me I couldn’t retire from bodybuilding, like I had announced in 1974, because they wanted to follow up their successful book, Pumping Iron, with the documentary, and they told me they couldn’t raise the money unless I was in it, competing. So now I had to try to get back to 240 pounds of quality muscle, not fat, by the Mr. Olympia in October. At the same time, my mail order business was exploding, my real estate investments were growing, and I started to get overwhelmed. It seems strange that everything going right is a problem that has to be solved, but sometimes when everything is hitting at the same time the mind becomes frantic.

I had friends who swore by meditation. So I set up some classes at the transcendental meditation center. It took a lot of training and practice, but gradually I learned to quiet my mind. I meditated 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night for a year, and I learned that through all of that mental training, I was able to conquer one thing at a time and focus on what was in front of me in the moment. With all of those things going on, my mind had resorted to a shotgun approach, thinking about all the different things at once. Training, movies, real estate, mail order – it was too many targets, and the shotgun approach just had my brain all over the place. Meditation taught me to use a rifle approach. I learned to hit the bullseye and completely focus on my training before moving on to reading scripts, and to fully focus on that before moving on to researching real estate, and on and on. One victory at a time.

I really recommend learning to meditate, and I know there are a lot of apps and free YouTube videos out there today to help you get started.

Nowadays I live by the focus principle – that whatever I’m doing is ALL I am doing. My team can tell you that if we are getting ready for a USC Schwarzenegger Institute meeting, I won’t even get involved in discussions about movies or business. What I am doing is all that matters until that work is done, and then I can move on to the next thing.

I still have moments where my mind is overwhelmed, but today I have many different ways of meditating. My time in the gym is meditation. I don’t have a phone or anything. Each exercise is deliberate, and my mind is inside the muscle. My chess games are my favorite way to hit reset and get my mind out of a slump throughout the day. As a matter of fact, I will load up my iPad to play chess with friends from all over the world. When I play with my animals, I am 100% there with them, and when my kids come over, I am only engaged in talking to them and catching up. The key thing is whatever I am doing is all I am doing.

Vince Lombardi once said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” Learning how to find moments to hit reset does not mean you lost or you failed. It means you’re learning how to win. And we all have those moments, so remember that we are all in this together.

A poem I share with people all the time by Samuel Beckett says:

Ever tried.

Ever failed.

No matter.

Try again.

Fail again.

Fail better.

I’m back in kindergarten (and other life updates)

One of the fun things I got to do this month was make a video for NASA, when they landed their first helicopter on Mars. A few months ago I got to have a video call with Chris Cassidy on the International Space Station, and seeing the Earth from his view was a mind-blowing moment, so when NASA asked me to help them celebrate this big milestone, I was in. I knew they needed a “get your ass to Mars” and a “get to the choppa.” I was so proud to share in their great achievement and I can’t wait to see what is next.

I also launched “Arnold’s Stammtisch” for my Austrian World Summit. In Austria and Germany, a stammtisch is a regulars’ table or a locals’ table in beer halls and restaurants, where people can talk about the issues that matter to them casually and openly. I thought it would be perfect to have my own virtual stammtisch so we could relax and have fun, while also getting into important issues. I started by talking with my old friend Jim Cameron, and we got into the environment and Austrian fashion, drank some Austrian beer, and shared our visions for the future of our planet. Jim has been a great friend of mine for so many years. People talk about his passion on a movie set, but his passion for the environment is second to none. I learned a lot from him, just like I do every time we talk. Here is the video if you haven’t watched yet:

This month I had a moment that went beyond all of my dreams, and it was a reminder that even when you have a really big vision, you can still be surprised. When I had my big dreams to move to America and succeed in bodybuilding and show business, I didn’t dream that I would become Governor, and I never, ever dreamed that one day a president would paint me. But President Bush called and said he wanted to paint me for his book on immigrants who have had an impact on our country, and I absolutely loved the idea and the painting. It is a good lesson that the bigger and crazier your dreams, the more crazy stuff ends up happening to you.

And speaking of the unexpected, this month I finally get to share the first few episodes of Superhero Kindergarten! Who would have thought that you’d see me in an animated show? So far the response has been huge, with almost 20 million views, and I couldn’t be happier. As I’ve said before, this show is fantastic for the whole family. One kid’s superpower even involves farting, but I’ll let you guys see for yourself. Here are the first two episodes. Please let me know what you think!  

After the release of Superhero Kindergarten, I went on my friend Jimmy Kimmel’s show to talk about it, and I even mentioned the newsletter! But you’re really going to love my cartoon voiceovers for Little Mermaid and Tweety Bird.  

I always told you guys my newsletter has exclusive videos, so here is an outtake of me voicing Stewie from Family Guy. My friends couldn’t stop laughing so I know you’ll love it.  

And finally, I got to read the script for Triplets. Breaking news: I absolutely love it! I am so excited about this project, and it sounds like Eddie Murphy and Danny Devito are as fired up as I am, so after we go through some little notes, I hope we can get going. This has been a long time coming, and I’m so pumped to get started. What was your favorite scene from Twins?

LAST MINUTE BREAKING NEWS: I just got the phone call that Netflix has greenlit FUBAR, so I can’t wait to get to work with Nick Santora, the creator of the show, and Monica Barbaro, who will play my daughter. The whole team at Skydance has been incredible, and the father/daughter spy dynamic is going to be such a wild ride for all of you.

The art of improvisation

Early this month, a journalist for the New York Times, Shawn Hubler, interviewed me to talk about what I’ve been up to during the pandemic, and how I have become the “elderly statesman” of California. I’ve shared interviews before, but something that I thought you would all enjoy is seeing how an interview comes together because many people aren’t familiar with how the media works.

First, Shawn reached out to my team and basically said, “Schnitzel has been doing all this crazy stuff this year, giving a million dollars for PPE, doing PSAs with his animals, spending more than 2 million on opening polling stations, and I’d love to talk to him about why he is doing this and how he feels about what’s going on in the world.”

I wasn’t sure about doing a story until they told me they wanted a portrait of me with Whiskey and Lulu, and then I was in. So my team told Shawn I would give her an hour, which for me is a long interview.

Normally, when I was Governor, before an interview I was intense about reading everything I could so I was fully prepared, and then I would ask my team to make up crazy questions and test me. Reps, reps, reps! But this time, I just improvised and when Shawn came over, after an hour we were just warming up, so we talked for two hours, and by then we were getting into the fun stuff, so we ended up going for three. This is why I tell people improvisation is the art of fieldwork. I never give interviews that long, but Shawn was improvising and asking different questions than she planned so I figured as long as we had a good conversation it wasn’t worth stopping — until my team told me I had to get ready for Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show. We floated from family to the animals to global and state politics, and Shawn really had fantastic questions even though we weren’t talking about what we planned. I’m really happy with how it came out and I hope you all appreciate the behind-the-scenes. Read the story here. 

And they published more of my thoughts in their California Today edition here.

A lesson from an unrelatable moment

I also had a funny conversation with my team this week that they said was inspirational, so I’m sharing it with you. For background: I’m never going to pretend to you that my life is relatable because I hate when rich people do that.

My dream was always to move to this country and become a millionaire and I owe this country everything because I was able to accomplish that. Once I hit a certain level of stardom, I started to fly everywhere on private planes. I couldn’t walk around the airport or pick up my bag without being bombarded by people taking photos of me when I was exhausted. Imagine getting off a 12 hour flight and having hundreds of people taking photos of you and crowding you for autographs. I love my fans, but it was too much. Then at some point when I was Governor, I flew commercial to an environmental event, and I realized my routine didn’t make sense anymore because the airlines could get me to the plane without all of the chaos, through a private terminal or with an escort. Ever since then I’ve flown commercial for my international trips, because it’s more environmentally friendly and I actually love it.

Now, I should say that I sit in first class. I’m a big guy and the one time I sat in coach for a connecting flight in Europe it became chaos with all of the passengers basically creating a photo line down the aisle. But this time I got on a plane for a flight to Australia, and didn’t see first class anywhere. I said, “this couldn’t be” and looked around, until a flight attendant told me that yes, this small seat was mine. I realized this was going to be a painful flight for 15 hours bumping elbows with the lady next to me, and I started to get upset.

When I land somewhere, the action starts immediately, I don’t schedule time to sleep off jet lag, so getting sleep on the plane is important. It wasn’t looking good and I felt my mood going south. But that’s when it’s time for Arnold to have a talk with Arnold. I am not shy about having talks inside my mind, and I use them to keep myself in line. I can be meaner to myself than anybody, so I also have to remind myself to take it easy sometimes. I told myself, “Arnold, you can be a spoiled little brat right now or you can make the most of it, but either way, you’re sitting in this seat for 15 hours. So you might as well find a way to enjoy it.” I took a deep breath, sat down, smiled, and said to the lady next to me, “Hi, I’m Arnold, it’s so great to meet you.”

We ended up having the greatest conversation! It turns out she taught business classes at a major college and was really into horses. By the time we landed, I had learned more about horses and business and she had learned about all the Arnold Sports Festivals we have around the world. I told her to stay in touch, and to this day, she writes me the most interesting letters about what’s cutting edge in business and horses, and she’s attended a few of our festivals and given me helpful notes. If I was grumpy, I never would have learned anything new or developed that friendship. So thank you, Melanie, for reminding me, and now all of my readers, about the power of self-talk to reset your mindset.

You might not find yourself in a situation where your airplane seat is smaller than you planned, but all of us have situations where things don’t go our way. In those moments, remind yourself to do the opposite of what the spoiled brat inside of you wants to do. Just try it one time. If someone cuts in line at the airport, you can think, “I want to tear this guy’s fucking head off,” but then do the opposite. Say, “How are you doing today? That suitcase is fantastic.”

You know how many people I know who hold on to these little slights and vendettas for days or weeks? What a waste of energy. It ruins your whole mood. Think about what happens every time you let your anger win. Do you ever end up happy? No! Not even if you get your revenge. So the next time you are ready to rip someone’s head off, try the opposite, and tell me how it goes.

Now, let’s get into some of your questions…

How did you deal with the Fear Of Missing Out throughout your life?

I only learned recently about this idea of FOMO. I think I have three advantages that helped me avoid this throughout my life. One is that whenever I see something in my vision I go all out. That means I don’t ever have to worry whether I did enough or whether there was something I missed. I always know I left no stone unturned. The second advantage is there are other things I don’t worry so much about, because they aren’t part of my vision. Becoming a great golfer is not in my vision, so I bumble around the course and have a great time and don’t worry about anything but having fun. My third advantage is that I just don’t worry that much about what other people are doing, because I have enough to worry about with my own life. I have movies, I have TV, I have Arnold Sports Festivals, I have investments, and I have all the time I want to spend with my kids and my family. I’m proud to run After-School All-Stars, my institute at USC, and my Austrian World Summit for environmental work, so with all the things I have going on, I don’t waste any energy worrying about what other people are doing.

Now looking back, living my life without worrying about everyone else, I think “what did I miss out on?” I was the Governor of the 5th largest economy in the world, I raised an amazing family, I was the greatest bodybuilder of all time, I was a movie star – so what would I ever complain about? If I spent my time worrying about what other people were doing, that would have been less time to achieve all of my dreams. Protect your time. Don’t waste it chasing other people’s dreams.

What’s your favorite on-set story?

Here’s a behind-the-scenes story I’ll always remember about Danny Devito. He’s a brutal prankster, and he’s as funny in real life as he is on the screen. He’d always make me the most delicious pasta at lunch and we’d eat and schmooze and have a cigar before we went back to work. One day, he packed my cigar with marijuana without telling me. I’m a fanatic about memorizing my lines so I never touch the script once I arrive on a set, but when we got back after lunch, Danny said his line and I just stood there. “Duh.” Before lunch, we had filmed this exact scene for the master shot, and we both had nailed our lines. Now, after lunch when we came back to cover our closeups, in front of hundreds of people, I was speechless. Ivan Reitman reminded me of my line and asked the script supervisor to show me the script, and it was like I was seeing something for the first time. My brain had completely forgotten the scene I had no trouble with before lunch. Danny was laughing up a storm, and Ivan flipped the cameras to film Danny’s close-up so I could read my lines off the page and we wouldn’t waste any time. As we went on, it all slowly came back to me and I could join in the laughter and finish my scenes. I can’t complain because once on a movie I worked with the effects guys to put a small explosive in someone’s cigar. We were lucky this was on Ivan’s movie because if this ever happened on a Jim Cameron film, we would have been in real trouble.

What do you think about death, how do you overcome it, and how would you like us to feel when you are gone?

Well, unfortunately, death is the one thing we can’t overcome. And I have to say, that pisses me off. I have such a great time here that I hate the idea of death. I don’t like to think about it, I don’t even like to say the word. I actually talked about this on Howard Stern.  

My whole life I’ve worried about one thing and one thing only: that one day I am going to wake up and this whole fucking thing was a dream. My mother will be shaking my arm and waking me up and saying, “Arnold, get up and go to the factory.”

If I am that worried that my whole life is a dream, imagine how I feel about the whole thing ending. I know some people say you should consider your own mortality in order to live every day like it’s your last day. I am fortunate that I don’t need that – every day is filled with joy and opportunities to do what my dad said and be useful. And I know other people aren’t worried about death because they are looking forward to heaven or some other afterlife. I’m not quite there yet. My life is heaven.

Despite my anger, I don’t want you to feel pissed off on my behalf or even sad when that day comes. I want you to be inspired. I want all of you to pick up wherever I leave off, because God knows, the work won’t be finished. Whether it’s spreading positivity and motivation, leading my fitness crusade, working to terminate gerrymandering and pollution, bringing sanity to our polarized politics, or just loving your family and enjoying every moment, keep it going for me. Be useful.

Here are a few of my favorites from last month:

  • Pump of the month: Deadlift – because nothing is better than the basics.
  • Song of the month: Johnny Cash – Run On
  • Movie of the month: Staircase (Netflix) – I started this over the weekend and I’ve watched 8 episodes in 3 days. It’s fantastic. You’ll know why I got into this soon – I am a proud dad.
  • Book of the month: The Premonition, by Michael Lewis. For some of you, it might be a little early to read a story about the pandemic. But I was so angry because so many people were not ready for a pandemic even after Wuhan was locking down and welding people’s doors closed, and that’s inexcusable to me. We were selling all of our masks and ventilators to China so that we wouldn’t be ready when it hit us! How stupid can you be? This book is a great lesson in preparedness and I enjoyed reading about some of the people who really believe in being ready. I hope we listen to them next time.
  • Joke of the month: Two nuns were riding their bikes down a beautiful cobblestone road. The first nun looked at the other nun and said, “I’ve never come this way before.” The second nun said, “I think it’s the cobblestones.”
  • Archive Shot of the month: This is a shot from when Franco and I visited prisons around California to teach the inmates about physical fitness and bodybuilding. We were at Chino Prison here.

I look forward to hearing from all of you. And I have a favor to ask: this year at our Austrian World Summit, I want to include as many of you as possible. We are using a smaller venue to be safe, so I want everyone to be part of it virtually. Besides streaming online, we are going to have a huge LED screen behind me and the other speakers with a virtual audience. If you can submit a 10 second video of you clapping to be part of the summit, I would love it. You can upload here.

Keep pumping,

Well here we are again – 15APR2021

Well, here we are again, and it has been fantastic to hear from all of you!

My second newsletter is here, and I think that your input has been fantastic. I have absolutely loved reading all of your responses, whether you were telling me about your fitness journey or your favorite songs and movies. Some of you even started to paint!

I doubled down on my workouts and bike rides and cut out the bread this month and I’m almost at my goal weight of 218 – well, to be totally honest, I actually still have 5lbs to go, so I’m not there yet. But I am celebrating my progress so far! I normally ignore the tabloids but my kids sent me stories about my “toned” biceps on my bike ride, so it was nice to see people are noticing. Are you guys hitting your goals this month or reading anything interesting?  

Beyond my bike rides and training sessions that I do no matter what, I also enjoy getting exercise by skiing, and I hit the slopes a lot this month. Here’s a video you’ll only see here . I think it’s so important to get your regular exercise, but also to participate in activities that make you happy and remind you why you train, even though somehow my thighs are always destroyed after a skiing weekend, despite my bike rides and workouts. What are the activities that bring you joy?  

And I finally filmed the final two episodes of my first-ever cartoon, Superhero Kindergarten, where I take the students on a field trip to Vienna. I can’t wait to share this with you. I spent months during lockdown doing voiceover work with our director, John Landis, the King of Comedy who directed Animal House, Three Amigos, Coming to America, and Blues Brothers. Who better to direct a show? Although I have to admit, every episode takes three hours to record because John can’t stop telling jokes. This is such a fantastic project, with action, life lessons, and a ton of laughs. Stan Lee was a true visionary, and it is an honor to get to continue his work and see his vision become a reality.

I always love doing this kind of voiceover work, because I can go all out in the booth and try different things – like I always say, too much is not enough! That reminds me, here is a funny video my assistant took of me doing voice over work for Predator: Hunting Grounds:  

Super Hero Kindergarten is out on the Kartoon Channel April 23, and I hope you all love it.  

You might not know that I am obsessed with boxing. I grew up boxing in high school, and we all wore white shorts, because László Papp, the three-time Olympic champion, wore white shorts. I loved following the great boxers Sonny ListonMuhammad AliFloyd Patterson, and Ingemar Johansson, always at the strangest hours because of the time difference in Austria, and always either on the radio or at the electronics store because having a television at home was for rich people.

I was so lucky to become friends with Ali later in life. We always ended up in green rooms of TV studios together, and at one point we even auctioned off our watches together for our charities. I’ve never met someone like him. I’ll always remember when I asked him how many sit-ups he did and he told me he didn’t know, because he only starts counting when it starts hurting. That’s discipline. We had some great times. I remember one time in a green room for an interview, he asked me to push him against the wall to show his friends how strong I am. I thought it was a strange request, but I shoved him about ten feet, he smacked into the wall, and he and all of his buddies got the biggest kick out of it.

This past month, it was so sad that we lost the boxing legend Marvelous Marvin Hagler. My thoughts are with his family. My team is much younger than me so they don’t know as much about older boxers as I do, so one day this month for an assignment I asked them to watch Hagler vs. Tommy Hearns.

This fight was considered one of the greatest fights of all time, if not the greatest, when Hagler knocked out Hearns in round 3 to gain the World Middleweight Title. After they watched it, they couldn’t get enough. My team spent the rest of the day watching Hagler’s fights, and now they have a new appreciation for his life and career. They said they had not seen any boxer in the modern day fight like this, and I don’t think I have either.  

I also became friends with Sugar Ray Robinson over the years. When Franco and I were hosting the Mr. International Competition in Los Angeles, we didn’t have money for the trophies, and someone told us to call Sugar Ray. Without even thinking about it, he gave us a couple thousand dollars to get the trophies. Think about that generosity. This is why I tell people there is no such thing as a self-made man and you have to remember the people who helped you along the way. Later in life, when I made my own money, I was proud to return the favor and support his foundation. The day he passed away, his wife called me and asked me to come over, and I was surprised that she called, but I immediately drove over and held his hand and talked with him. Never, ever pass up a chance to say good bye.

And speaking of boxing, I had a chance this week to sit down with one of the greats, my friend Mike Tyson. I love how he’s lost weight and gotten back in fighting shape and turned his life around.

One thing that you have all been saying is “Where are Lulu and Whiskey?” So I thought I would give you an update on how they are doing. Whiskey is as healthy as ever, devouring her carrots and celery, while Lulu is getting a little hefty because she has kept up her career as a cookie thief.


Now, I wanted to get into some of the questions I have been receiving since the last newsletter. Here are three questions that stood out to me:

  • How did I stay focused on my goals in my 20s, when people around me weren’t focused on their success?
  • How do I get in shape when I have a physical challenge that holds me back?
  • Do I feel fulfilled with my life?

To answer the first question: First of all, when I was in my 20s, I didn’t worry if the people around me were lazy or more focused on partying, because I took that as an advantage. If everybody was as ambitious and hard working as me, that meant more competition. But later in life, I realized I wanted to help everyone be successful. What I tell people is this: you have to start with a vision. I was always driven by my vision. Whether that vision was being the best bodybuilder there ever was or being a leading man in the movies or being a millionaire, that’s all I ever thought about. I knew that if I just outworked everybody every day, if I did more bicep curls, if I spent more hours practicing my lines, or if I studied the real estate market more than anyone else, I would be a winner in whatever I did. People around me often thought these goals were crazy – my advice to you is to take that as a compliment. When people think your vision is too much, that’s a sign that you are on the right track. Once you have the vision, it takes reps, reps, reps. You have to do the work. And you might have a job right now to make ends meet while you chase your vision. That is not an obstacle! I was laying bricks at the same time I was taking acting classes and business classes and working out five hours. Luckily, there are 24 hours in a day, so I worked for 8 hours to make the money I needed to survive and then spent the rest of the time learning and chasing my vision. But it’s also crucial to have a good team of friends and supporters and mentors. Never be too proud to listen and learn from the people who have succeeded in what you want to do. It is so important to surround yourself with people who share your vision and your drive because they will always push you to be better. I always say I’m not a self made man, and if I didn’t have my friends like Franco Columbu or Sly Stallone to push me to be the best version of myself, then you would not be reading this newsletter right now, and I would be yodeling in Austria.

To answer the next question: A person I want you all to check out is my friend Miles Taylor. Miles is 25 years old and has Cerebral Palsy. But this doesn’t stop Miles, he continues to break down barriers. He has deadlifted more than twice his body weight, lifted atlas stones, and is currently even learning the log press. He is one of my heroes, check out more here. You don’t have to deadlift twice your bodyweight to get started – just start moving more. Just a week ago on reddit, I saw a post of one of the adaptive athletes at the Arnold Sports Festival doing stone lifting with one arm! He had to change the technique, but he did it! And for all the gym owners and fitness professionals out there, it is so important that you find ways for everyone to be able to succeed. Make your gyms accessible, and be inclusive. Fitness is for everyone. Give EVERYONE a place to train and compete.  

Final question: Do I feel fulfilled in life? I think that question is tough, because even though I have accomplished so much, I still want to do more, and over the course of my life, my goals have shifted from being about me, to being about how I can help people in America and all over the world. I don’t seek fulfillment as much as I seek joy. The most joyful thing in life is the climb. Think about it, when you plan to climb a big mountain, you have so much joy in the training and the preparation and the climb, and then when you get to the top of the mountain, it’s over – unless you start planning the next climb of the next mountain. If the climb wasn’t where the action is, people would just fly a helicopter to the top of the mountain and take a photo. Embrace the climb, no matter what your end goal is. Fulfillment to me means the work is done, and I don’t think our work is ever finished. Retirement isn’t my style. I believe in always staying hungry and reaching for the next goal. But everything I do brings me great joy, and I believe that’s the secret to life. Whether it is helping After-School All-Stars raise money for kids, trying to terminate pollution, or fighting for a better political system, the work is never over. Those are goals that are so much bigger than we are and they will never be completed in my lifetime. I will continue fighting for everything I believe in until I can’t do it anymore, and then I will need all of you to pick up the slack and continue where I leave off. I believe it’s our duty to keep writing our life story until we can’t anymore, so I am filled with joy with how much I have achieved so far, but the story never ends. The work goes on, and I will never, ever sit back and relax.

Here are a few of my favorites from last month:

  • Pump of the month: Seated machine press
  • Song of the month: Toby Keith- should’ve been a cowboy
  • Movie of the month: The Irishman
  • Book of the month: Think Again- Adam Grant. This book has a great message about keeping a learning mindset throughout your life and never thinking you know everything. I can tell you that part of the reason I loved being Governor was that every single day I was learning. Sometimes it was something as simple as learning how many patients each nurse could take care of at a time, and sometimes it was something as complex as gerrymandering or diversity in the judiciary, but I was always happy to hear from everyone and learn everything I can. None of us are ever done learning, and this is a great book to keep you inspired.
  • Joke of the month: Here’s a cartoon my Hungarian friend sent to me. The text says “I’d love to report it, but I don’t see anything.”

Archive shot of the month:

Here I am with Tommy Chong in the gym. Back in the day, at Muscle Beach, the guys like Joe Namath and Wilt Chamberlain attracted all the autograph seekers, but the outsiders like me and Cheech and Chong shared the dream that we would become international stars. We did it!

Keep sending me your feedback and questions! I love reading your responses.

Keep pumping,

My first-ever monthly newsletter – 11MAR2021

Hello my friends!

Welcome to the start of my monthly newsletter. One thing we’ve learned during the pandemic is that connection is more important than ever. From Zoom meetings to FaceTimes, we have all found new ways to stay connected. I’ve watched my institute become more and more successful with their email newsletters every month, and I realized it was time for me to do my own.

I get questions non-stop about how I stay positive during the pandemic, how I train, how I eat, and I decided I can use this newsletter to answer questions and keep all of you up to date on what I’m doing, what I’m thinking, and what vision I’m currently chasing.

I ride my bike every day. I train every day. And I’m keeping my diet pretty clean, although I am not exempt from the COVID-10. I’ve gained 10 pounds, and when I wear dark clothes during Zooms I feel pretty good, but when I look at myself in the mirror at night and see the belly, I’m cursing at myself, saying, “Arnold. You won 13 world bodybuilding titles. The Guinness Book of World Records called you ‘the most perfectly developed man in the history of the world!’ What the hell happened to the six pack? What is going on here? This is depressing.”

I decided to switch from sweatpants to regular pants for a meeting recently and let me tell you, I spent the whole meeting feeling like I was in a straitjacket, just waiting to put my sweats back on. I know I won’t start shooting any movies or TV shows until the summer, so I haven’t had that big vision or motivation to avoid the bread and the sweets and get in perfect shape.

Now I’m committing to all of you: This month I am going to drop the weight I gained and get back to 218 again. I am going to conquer March. Who is with me?

It’s March 11th. You might have started the month with a big vision of how you were also going to conquer this month. If you didn’t start with a vision, sit down now and write one down. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be “move every day.” Or “finish this book.” Or “perfect my resume.” Then get going! If you did start with a vision and got derailed, dust yourself off and get going. We all have setbacks, but they aren’t permanent – you can do it. And if you’re just kicking ass, take a second to congratulate yourself, and then keep going.

I had a lot of meetings this month through the Schwarzenegger Institute, with everyone from environmental leaders to voting rights lawyers, but I want to share the one that meant the most to me.

I sat down with the leaders of the USC GOP and Trojan Democrats to discuss bipartisanship and political civility. One thing that has always bothered me about politics is that some people refuse to even sit down and talk with people from the other party. It’s absurd. But political parties are in the business of villainizing the other side. That’s how they make money – the more they make you hate or fear the enemy, the more donations come in. I’ve had it.

When I gave my address to America after the January 6th riots, I was approached by the Trojan Democrats to speak at a virtual event about how we can come together so I told them I’d love to, but I wanted the Republican and Democratic students to come together. I knew they didn’t work together too much, so I thought if I could talk to both about my vision of bringing people together, it would be heaven. I want to teach them that together, we are always stronger than when we are divided. Even though we all have different views, I wanted them to understand that together, we have 100% of the brainpower working for our country, instead of the 50% you get when you only work with one party.

I was inspired by the way they worked together to put the event on and I’m planning on bringing them together to discuss specific issues now. Imagine the power of the college Republicans and Democrats bringing a homelessness proposal together to the Legislature: “See, you foreheads, we worked together since you wouldn’t.” This is exactly why I started my institute at USC, to preach the message of bringing both sides together, starting with the students.

Check out the video and let me know what you think on reddit.

If there is one political message you leave with, please don’t make people the enemy over politics, because then you can’t talk and find common ground. Even when someone is prejudiced, I try not to demonize them, because once I do that, I have lost my chance to open their mind and get them to think differently.

On a much lighter note, here is some advice for those of you always struggling with finding gifts. I celebrated Valentine’s Day by painting some handmade cards like I always do. I’ve been doing this ever since my kids were born – Christmas cards, birthday cards, Easter cards… My family always loves when I paint things for them and if you ever need a good gift idea, I promise you, paint something. I use painting as a form of meditation, and sometimes I even make my staff stop working to paint with me, even if they don’t want to! Everyone who paints with me agrees that these gifts are the absolute best. Of course there are the gifts you buy, but painting shows you put time, effort, creativity, and heart into your gift.

This was my painting for my granddaughter, Lyla

Besides that, I’ve been doing my normal work of Zoom meetings and reading scripts. My Netflix spy series – which reminded me of a new version of True Lies, so I signed on immediately – is coming along and once it’s safe to shoot we’ll get going. I have also signed on to a few other scripts I’m excited to share but the one I’m really excited for is the script for the sequel to Twins, Triplets, that we’ll get any day. We plan to shoot that later this year and after seeing Eddie Murphy in Coming 2 America, I’m so excited to work together finally.

And finally, I thought I would give you guys a fun video that you won’t see anywhere else. I grew up in a family of ice curlers. My father won the European championship, and I won the youth championship. But this is not the ice curling you see on TV with the brooms. Here, you throw the 15.5 lbs stone as far as you can. Some people throw it and it slides 200 meters. When I was skiing last month, I decided to go back to my roots.

I hope all of you are ready to conquer this March. Keep me updated with your big wins.

Here are a few of my favorites from last month:

  • Pump of the month: If you’re joining me in getting back in shape, here’s my at-home workout that I wrote for reddit at the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Song of the month: The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash
  • Movie of the month: Harriet
  • Quote of the month: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” -Theodore Roosevelt
  • Book of the month: The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

Archive Shot of the month:

Before we go, I have a couple questions:

  1. Would you prefer to get this on the first of the month, or a little while later like this to give you a push if you lost your motivation?
  2. If I shared a joke every month, do you want me to keep it safe for work and politically correct or go a little bit out there?

Keep pumping,

I hope you all had a fantastic week – 29JAN2021

I’m back…teaching Kindergarten!! 
Dear friends, 

I hope all of you have had a fantastic week. I wanted to share with all of you something I have been working on for a long time. Before he died, Stan Lee talked to me about doing a project together, based a little bit on my character from Kindergarten Cop. I play Captain Fantastic, a superhero teacher with a classroom full of child superheroes who need training and mentoring, and I could not be more excited. This show has everything, laughs, action, and even some great life lessons about inclusion, not bullying your peers, and the importance of physical fitness. I hope you will all watch the sneak peek that came out today at noon on Kartoon Channel,  Let me know what you think! 
On a very serious note, this past Wednesday was Holocaust Remembrance Day. Instead of just listening to me, I’d like to ask you all to please visit the Museum of Tolerance. the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum Spend some time and really reflect, because we must never, ever forget. 


Arnold  Find Out More

Come with me if you want to live! – 22JAN2021

This week, I got my COVID-19 vaccine at Dodger Stadium. I was so happy to see all of my fellow Californians over 65 in line for theirs, I even saw Mayor Eric Garcetti greeting patients! If you are over 65 or your parents are, you can sign up here: “Come with me if you want to live”I have been seeing a lot of misinformation in my comments on social media lately, especially on Facebook. I decided that it was time for a teachable moment. It is common sense, this virus is real, and we should do everything we can to protect ourselves. Find Out More

My Address to America – 13JAN2021

 In case you missed my message after the attacks on the US Capitol, please watch here! This is my message to my fellow Americans and my friends around the world after January 6, 2021.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Watch me hand out Democracy Action Hero Awards – 22DEC2020

In case you missed it!  

2020 Democracy Action Hero Awards

Check out our Democracy Action Hero Awards, where we awarded 5 individuals who preserved the integrity of our elections, and fought for everyone’s right to vote. The Democracy Action Hero Awards follow the nonpartisan Democracy Grants for Voting Access and Election Administration initiative in wake of the 2020 Election.

Administered by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, the initiative awarded $2.5 million in grants to 33 counties in eight states formerly protected by the Voting Rights Act. This funding helped reach 3.5 million voters. Counties that received nonpartisan Schwarzenegger grants opened 1,305 early voting and election day polling places, and voter turnout increased by 6.3% points.

Happy Holidays from Arnold! – 18DEC2020

Hello again, everybody! It’s fantastic to check in with all of you and I’m excited to share what’s coming up this week.

On Tuesday, I’ll be giving awards to “Democracy Action Heroes” for their efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections and expand voting access around the country. You can watch that on my YouTubeFacebook, or Twitter at 8am PST. These public servants deserve the spotlight, so I encourage all of you to tune in.

And this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, you can catch me on TV talking about those Democracy Action Heroes, my work to open up polling stations through the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, and the future of the Republican Party. 

Saturday, I’ll be on CNN with Michael Smerconish. His show starts at 9am EST. 

Sunday, I’ll be on MSNBC with Jonathan Capehart. His show starts at 10am EST.

Don’t miss it!

If you missed out on my new shirts and hats, check out our new merchandise with new logos:

Keep pumping,


Today’s a Big Day – 29NOV2019

Giving back is an essential part of the Thanksgiving holiday. But this year, I want you to do more than give back to others — I want you to give back to yourself. 

Too often I see people going easy to end the year. Instead of taking action on becoming better, you spend your time waiting in lines, spending money on gifts, and letting your fitness slide. 

Not this year. 

Instead of waiting in line on Black Friday, I want you to head to the gym — or train at home (I’ve included a bodyweight workout below).

Instead of letting Thanksgiving pie last for days, I want you to commit to one healthy habit. I recommend starting your day with protein. If you can win your first meal, you can win the day. 

To help, we’re having our only sale of the year at Ladder. It’s 30% OFF everything. If there was ever a time to commit to your health, there’s no time better than now. 

And for everyone that purchases in the next 72 hours, I’ll be sending a special bodybuilding workout that’s been in my vault. 

To access the workout, use checkout code Arnold30 for 30% off anything you get on the site, and you’ll receive the workout next week. Click here to take advantage.

Remember, giving back to others doesn’t mean taking away from yourself. 

Your Post-Thanksgiving Bodyweight Workout

The Plan: Alternate between 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest for each exercise in the following circuit using the bodyweight exercises below. Completing all 7 moves is 1 round. Perform a total of 3 to 6 rounds. 

1. Bodyweight squat
2. Pushup
3. Hip raise
4. Reverse crunch
5. Close-grip pushup
6. Alternating lunges
7. Plank
Copyright © 2019 Oak Productions, All rights reserved.

I’m Back – 22AUG2019

There are few things I enjoy more in life than celebrating achievements.

And what I’m about to share is an important message for all of you.

I want to congratulate the Ladder team, which just had it’s best month ever. Watching our nutritional supplements help thousands of people makes me incredibly proud, and I want the team to know that LeBron and I couldn’t have done this alone.

From Mike and Adam formulating these incredible products to Danny and Kendall creating a message that strikes a nerve, Alex keeping you updated on social, Patrick and Andrew making sure you receive everything on time, Therese researching products, Jonathan keeping our finances in line, Alicia meeting with the dozens of pro teams that are making the switch to Ladder, Moses and Vince ensuring our site looks great, and Brittany keeping the entire office in check — this was a record-breaking month because of all of you.

Why am I so thrilled about this team and their work? Because, for me, Ladder represents something much bigger.

I always tell people that you can’t fear failure. If you have ever lifted weights, you know that failure is part of progress and necessary for growth. I didn’t bench press 500 pounds the first time I stepped into the gym. I didn’t do it the 100th time I stepped into the gym. But, eventually, I did it.

Now, imagine what would’ve happened if I would’ve quit the first time I failed at lifting more weight? I’d be off yodeling in the Alps and you wouldn’t be getting this email.

I’ve had many failures in my life, movies, and politics. I’ve also failed in supplements. I had a previous endorsement deal where I wasn’t happy with the products. But, I didn’t let that define what could be done.

You can’t always win. But, you can let your failures push you to even great heights if you don’t quit.

So, when LeBron told me that he was taking a protein powder he formulated for himself, I had to try it. And once I did, I knew we had to share this with everyone. Because everyone deserves access to better supplements that deliver better results.

But, this isn’t just about supplements; it’s about a way of life. I always share what I love with the world. What fun would it be to learn new things, to travel to new places, to see a new perspective if you kept it all to yourself? That’s selfish.

That why I Snapchat my travels so you can see the world with me. If I can visit the Vatican or the President’s palace in France, I want you to be there with me.

It’s also why I was an executive producer for Game Changers. Recently, I started eating less meat. Surprisingly, I started feeling better, didn’t lose strength, and my doctors are in heaven. These are all things that I want the world to know.

And it’s why I travel the country fighting gerrymandering. We saw how well reform worked in California, and how people finally felt like their legislators were accountable. I want the rest of the country to have that same experience, and last year we won campaigns in five more states where the politicians will no longer be allowed to pick their voters.

Life is all about constantly learning, growing, and being hungry.

But, it’s also about sharing and recognizing that “self-made successes” are a myth.

Once you recognize that we all receive help, guidance, and support along the way, that’s when you also realize it’s your duty to pass it on. That’s what my fitness crusade is all about.

I can’t take credit for Ladder. That goes to LeBron because he’s a fanatic about testing and safety, and he was intent on making himself the perfect protein. He didn’t just find the best experts, he also tests every single batch in a way you don’t see in this industry.

As we developed more products, I realized how much his approach helped me fall in love with supplements I had never taken before.

The Greens drink and Pre-Workout were new for me. I don’t use a Pre-Workout because going to the gym is the only pump up I need, but when I’m in my office for meetings and the afternoon slump hits, I use Ladder Pre-Workout. Although, now my staff will only give me half because they say I completely take over meetings with a full serving and we need to give other people a chance to talk.

In the old days, I used to play chess when I was filming nights, working from 6pm to 6am. It was the only way I could stay awake when I had to be ready to be on set at any moment. Now, I take my Pre-Workout and no one can stop me – I still play chess during breaks in the action, and I think it improves my game. But I’m always sharp and ready to get back to work.

And when I don’t want a heavy meal before doing stunts, my chocolate plant protein, mixed with a banana and some almond milk, gets me through. By the end of filming Terminator, I had a hard time keeping enough for myself because all of the cast and crew were robbing me blind.

I’m proud of what we have built and I love using our products. But at the end of the day, we built Ladder for you. So you can also have supplements you can trust. We want to share it with the world, and that’s why I’m so proud of our team for our success.

If you’re looking for a place to start, I recommend our protein. Whether you choose our Whey (sourced from grass-fed cows) or our Plant (from peas and Austrian pumpkin seeds), protein is the building block of muscle and every cell in your body. It’s a habit that is the foundation of health.

As a thank you, I want you to have the same shaker bottle I use every day. If you purchase any Ladder supplement, just add a shaker bottle and it’s on me. Add the bottle to your cart before you checkout and add the code ARNOLDBOTTLE.  

I don’t believe in shortcuts. Every journey takes commitment, patience, motivation — and a little bit of help. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we all stand on the shoulders of giants. My life was supported by mentors who shared wisdom and advice and by those who gave me a competitive advantage.

Ladder is my way of paying that forward and giving you the edge you need. We all need fuel.Copyright © 2019 Oak Productions, All rights reserved.