Arnold Schwarzenegger Lays Out Plan To Make Gyms More Accessible For Everyone

The world of fitness transformed Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life beyond all recognition, and Arnold wants to make sure the gym is accessible to anyone who wants to use it. Mobility, cognition, funds – all can impact a person’s ability to reap the benefits of fitness equipment, and Schwarzenegger is using his platform to change that for the better.

He’s spreading this message of inclusivity through his event, the Arnold Sports Festival, an annual multi-sport event that is considered the second-most elite event in professional men’s bodybuilding, physique, figure and bikini. It is here that Schwarzenegger is shining a light on the accomplishments and special needs of all members of society who want to use the gym.

Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses making gyms accessible to everyone who wants to use them

Arnold Schwarzenegger wants fitness and gym accessibility for everyone / Instagram

If there’s anyone who can spread a message in the world of fitness, it’s the Governator, who also has a newsletter entitled Arnold’s Pump Club, in the latest issue of which he gave a detailed outline on the need to make gyms accessible to everyone regardless of their background or differing abilities.

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“Young, old, rich, poor, black, white, straight, gay, man, woman, ‘disabled,’ able-bodied — and anything in between; no matter who you are and what your situation might be, fitness is for you,” he stressed in the latest edition.

With accessibility comes dignity while engaging with amenities others may take for granted. Arnold Sports Festival was designed to ensure there was a space for those with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, limb differences, or any other condition to get the workout they want comfortably.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has urged fitness centers to change, to better allow everyone access to healthy habits

He uses his platform to call upon gym owners to think of everyone / ImageCollect

“If you saw them outside of the fitness setting, you might feel bad for them. They don’t want that,” said Schwarzenegger. “Fitness gives each of them, and all of us, a way to overcome whatever challenges we face. It’s the great equalizer. Two hundred pounds is 200 pounds whether you live in a mansion or are struggling to put food on the table. The barbell doesn’t see your race or sexuality or gender or bank account or anything — it’s just asking to be picked up, no matter who you are.”

Sadly, real life does see all those traits and then some, and a million different factors negatively affect a person’s ability to go to the gym. Some locations may not be easy to get into. Some might have a price tag that’s far beyond a working-class citizen’s budget. Others may not feel comfortable or safe at a fitness center.

Schwarzenegger calls the dumbell the ultimate equalizer / Instagram

Schwarzenegger is fully aware of this too and acknowledges this is still a big undertaking. “You have to be inclusive,” he urged. “You can’t turn people away because of who they are, and you must be willing to help people with different issues find their way into the gym.”

He went on, “Imagine an elementary school that said I only want to take the best students, no students learning English, no students with developmental issues, no students who are falling behind. You wouldn’t look at that school as a success. I know that it might take a little work to make your gym welcoming to everyone, and you might have some members who you fear will be uncomfortable, but it is worth it. And let me be clear: it is your job to set the tone and make the gym inclusive and open.”

“That’s why fitness is for everyone,” he added to conclude. “No matter what we face, it gives us the power to change something in our lives: our strength. And when you learn that you aren’t powerless in that one part of your life, you gain the strength to deal with the challenges outside of the gym. It feels like magic, but it’s really just work.”

What would make gyms more accessible?

He acknowledges that several social, economic, and medical factors can keep a person from pursuing their gym goals / Dennis Van Tine/ STAR MAX

RELATED: Meet Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Five Children Who Have All Gone On To Be Successful

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