Arnold Schwarzenegger Reveals How He Got Chiseled for ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’

Every time Arnold Schwarzenegger prepares to launch a new action movie, fans start to wonder how the actor trains his body for the demands of his role. After all, this is someone who was introduced to us in the ‘80s as a bodybuilder-turned-action star with muscles, and he’s pretty much stayed in that lane when it comes to his films.

With Terminator: Dark Fate in theaters this November, the 72-year-old is once again proving that he’ll always be back—and just as tough. No one can play the T-800 quite like he can, and Schwarzenegger was game to reprise his legendary role by getting in shape and looking ahead.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger at ‘Terminator Dark Fate’ premiere | Getty Images/Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

He had to heal from surgery and get to work

Last year, Schwarzenegger had elective heart surgery to replace a pulmonic valve that was fixed in 1997. Shortly after the procedure that spring, the former governor expressed his gratitude that all went well, and he was alive. But little did fans know that he was ready to jump into filming for the sixth installment of the Terminator franchise.

Schwarzenegger recently opened up during an interview with The Sun and spoke about how he didn’t want the surgery to disrupt filming. He told the outlet he hit the gym a week after returning home from the hospital.

“For a minute I was worried it was too close to doing Terminator 6 but I realized right away the movie is a good means to get back into shape again. I was home in no time and was back to the gym in no time. Most people baby themselves too much after surgery.”

Schwarzenegger doesn’t let age deter him

When discussing the demands of doing his own stunt work, Schwarzenegger referenced that he knows he’s a bit older, but all it takes is more training. He got it together within four months post-op.

“It’s no problem. It gets a little bit harder the older you get. The body is not as forgiving as it used to be. But you just have to train more, you have to do more reps. That’s what it’s all about.”

What fans might find to be remarkable about his post-surgery regimen is that Schwarzenegger performed his workouts (somewhat modified) with his rib cage wired shut due to his recovery. It’s like he’s a living embodiment of his character.

Schwarzenegger followed a tight regimen for last ‘Terminator’ movie

Back in 2015 when the star came back for Terminator Genisys, he told People he trained for six days a week so he could be the same weight he was during the 1984 original. Schwarzenegger drank protein shakes, performed cardio twice a day, and hit the weights daily.

He said endurance was key to building up that body mass to be able to match where he was for the first movie. He had to bulk up.

Since 2016, the actor has been following a mostly vegan diet, and he recently told Men’s Health that he enjoys almond milk, Beyond Meat burgers, and smoothies spiked with tequila as part of his diet.

Terminator: Dark Fate reunites Schwarzenegger with Linda Hamilton and James Cameron, and the film arrives in U.S. theaters on Nov. 1.