During his spectacular career in bodybuilding, the movies, and as governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger succeeded in part because of his ability to accurately assess situations in which he found himself and out-smart and out-think his opponents. Sometimes it seemed he was a grown-up in a world of children, a Great Dane in a pack of poodles.

How was he able to do this? How exactly does Arnold’s mind work? I’ve known him since 1975 and we’ve worked on three book projects together. For anyone wondering how this collaboration has worked, let me report that I did all the typing.

So I have had ample time to observe Arnold and how he deals with the world. Read on below for some insights into his thinking process and psychological makeup. Arnold’s approach to life is not only valuable when it comes to achieving a variety of life goals, but it’s also the basis of the work ethic he followed to achieve maximum results when it came to diet and exercise.


9 Things You Didn't Know About Arnold

A photo tribute to the bodybuilding legend.

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Bill Dobbins is a legendary bodybuilding photographer and founding editor of FLEX magazine. Photos for this story are from the archive of the late Gene Mozee, who was a competitor himself and a prolific bodybuilding photojournalist.