Stay open-minded; stay focused. Train hard and train smart. For me, the older I get, the smarter I have to train also, because the recovery time is longer. Work on everything: become a well-rounded fighter - don't just be good at one thing; be good at everything.
Experiencing this pain in my muscles and aching and going on and on is my challenge. The last three or four reps is what makes the muscles grow. This area of pain divides a champion from someone who is not a champion. That's what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they'll go through the pain no matter what happens. I have no fear of fainting. I do squats until I fall over and pass out. So what? It's not going to kill me. I wake up five minutes later and I'm OK. A lot of other athletes are afraid of this. So they don't pass out. They don't go on.
There are bodybuilders who are afraid of indulging in sex or even of playing other sports for fear of harming their bodies. I think that's silly. What's the use of building your body if you don't use it?
The men I idolized built their bodies and became somebody – like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger – and I thought, ‘That can be me.’ So I started working out. The funny thing is I didn’t realize back then that I was having a defining moment.
Just like in bodybuilding, failure is also a necessary experience for growth in our own lives, for if we're never tested to our limits, how will we know how strong we really are? How will we ever grow?
"With my desire and drive, I definitely wasn't normal. Normal people can be happy with a regular life. I was different. I felt there was more to life than plodding through a normal existence. I'd always been impressed by stories of greatness and power. I wanted to do something special, to be recognized as the best. I saw bodybuilding as the vehicle that would take me to the top, and I put all my energy into it.
I didn't leave bodybuilding until I felt that I had gone as far as I could go. It will be the same with my film career. When I feel the time is right, I will then consider public service. I feel that the highest honor comes from serving people and your country.
The unique thing about bodybuilding is that when I compete it is just me on a stage alone. There is no field, no bat, no ball, no skis, no skates. All other athletes have to use equipment, like a football. But I don't use anything in competition except myself. It's just me up there. Me alone. No coach. No nothing.