Arnold Schwarzenegger 12 Winning Strategies from the Icon of Strength (Book 13)

Practical advice from the most popular bodybuilder of all time

Many books have been written about the Austrian Oak, several about his training philosophy and several about his life. For his training, The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold and Bill Dobbins is a classic reference that covers all the basics of building muscle. For his life, start with Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold and Douglas Kent Hall and finish with Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold and Stephen Lang.

Of course, it would take the average reader weeks to finish all the books written about Arnold and by Arnold. That’s where this book, published in 2016, comes in.

As background, this book is a product of The Think Forward Foundation (because “thinking backward is just remembering,” says Sheldon Cooper!). This editorial staff has produced many other books about the beliefs of popular celebrities who are considered role models, including the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Jordan, and one of Charles Poliquin’s favorite people, Sir Richard Branson.

For hardcore fans of The Austrian Oak, two of the best books by Arnold are The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding and Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold.

The books in this “mentoring” series are short and written for a general audience, and this book about “The Governator” is only 25 pages, so the average reader can finish it in about 30 minutes. (Hint: For high school students writing book reports (or who just want to sound smart in class), there are books about historical figures such as Nelson Mandela and Henry. Oh, and the actual title is 12 Winning Strategies from the Icon of Strength, and the number 13 on the cover refers to it being book #13 in a series. And why the authors refer to Arnold as an “Icon of Strength” is never explained?

This book begins with a short introduction about Arnold’s accomplishments that reads like a Wikipedia page, focusing on his accomplishments as an athlete (winning the Mr. Olympia six times!), a politician, a businessman and a movie star. From here, you get into the 12 (not 13!) winning strategies that form the bulk of the book. These include: #3 Commit to Success, #6 Embrace Resistance, #9 Earn Your Respect, and course, “#12: Work Hard!

Each strategy begins with a quote from Arnold, followed by a short (often just one page) commentary. For example, the quote for strategy #6 is “The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.” This quote is followed by a one-page explanation of the comment and a reference to Arnold being able to overcome resistance to transform “into a role model for millions of people today.” Not exactly Malcolm Gladwell or TED Talks in terms of insight or research, but at least you’ll come away with some cool Arnold quotes you can recite between sets of dumbbell curls!

The authors of this “mentoring” book series says their goal is to provide “a series of role models and mentors that you can draw inspiration from, learn from and mold yourself into, no matter what your life looks like right now.” Arnold Schwarzenegger: 12 Winning Strategies from the Icon of Strength is a book that does just that!

Who needs another book about Arnold Schwarzenegger? Well, if you only have 30 minutes to spare and you’re looking for some classic Arnold quotes, you’ll probably want this one! (TSS)

[Arnold Schwarzenegger: 12 Winning Strategies from the Icon of Strength is available through]


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