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Arnold Schwarzenegger continued his whirlwind media tour this week to promote his autobiography Total Recall – My Unbelievable True Story by appearing on CNN and doing a wide-ranging interview with Piers Morgan. Toward the end of their conversation, the "Austrian Oak" told Morgan about the traits he had as a child that enabled him to become a champion bodybuilder.
"I always had the most extraordinary talent for visualizing. I always as a kid had the vision, and the vision was so real that I really felt that I could accomplish and turn those visions into reality. Of course, I recognized quickly that that meant a lot of work – a hell of a lot of work – and I was willing to do that."
Schwarzenegger, who looks in fine fettle for a 65-year-old, then went on to tell Morgan about a bodybuilder who inspired him when he was growing up.
"I saw a photograph of a British bodybuilder called Reg Park and I read that he became Hercules in the movies and about how much he trained and how he won the Mr. Universe three times. To me, this was the road map for me to go and do exactly the same thing – to train five hours a day, to become Mr. Universe – and it took a lot of working out to become Mr. Universe.
"I progressed because I had so much talent, so much will and so much fire in my belly. I became, at the age of 20, the youngest Mr. Universe ever, and from then on I won one world championship after the next and basically dominated."
The seven-time Mr. Olympia winner then went on to explain the mindset he employed in the gym to stay focused and driven to achieve his goals.
"When I trained in the gym and everyone was running around huffing and puffing, I had a smile on my face. I couldn't wait to do the next squat with 400 pounds, I couldn't wait to the next 20 chin-ups, I couldn't wait to do the next 500 sit-ups, because to me, that meant one step closer to achieving that vision and making that vision a reality."
Morgan went on to ask Arnold what his training regime was nowadays and the former governor of California still gets the work done!
"I cannot do the 400-pound stuff anymore. I lift every day, but after my heart surgery the doctor said not to lift heavy anymore. So now I do more repetitions with light weights – I lift 150 – 200 pounds, I still do 500 sit-ups and leg raises and I ride the bicycle everyday for an hour. "
Way to go Arnold! Total Recall – My Unbelievable True Story is published by Simon & Schuster and is on the bookstands now. Check out the trailer for the book below.