Of all the people you think would be totally confident about their physical appearance, Hollywood mega-star and bodybuilding legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger would rank high on the list. However, in a recent interview, the action hero icon talks about his low self-esteem when it comes to his physique.  

“When I look in the mirror I throw up,” Arnold, says in the upcoming February issue of Cigar Aficionado. “And I was already so critical of myself, even when I was in top physical shape. I’d look in the mirror after I won one Mr. Olympia after another and think, ‘How did this pile of s— win?’” He continued, “I never saw perfection, there was always something lacking. I could always find a million things wrong with myself and that’s what got me back into the gym — because I started out with that mentality.”

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It was this low self-perception that gave Schwarzenegger the motivation to push himself harder than anyone else in the gym. Clearly the hard work paid off, as the The Austrian Oak quickly racked up bodybuilding’s most prestigeous awards. 

“When I was competing at bodybuilding, I did so many hours of reps – on the weights, practicing the poses – that when I got onstage, I was comfortable and confident. The more reps you do, the more you look smooth and convincing. The more you do it, the better you get… That’s how you gain confidence,” Arnold says. 

Today the multi, Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia champion is still as motivated as ever to exercise in an effort to stay in great shape. “My day cannot start without doing something physically, Schwarzenegger admits. “And I work out at night before bed — cardio, weight training. I want to stay in shape as long as I can.”