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Blow Stuff Up With Arnold

Donate to after-school programs and win a chance to wreak havoc with the Terminator himself.

What’s the next best thing to actually being Arnold Schwarzenegger? Getting to act like him for a day. For the second straight year, the former governor is raffling off a chance to hang out with him—which includes working out together, driving around in his tank, and detonating explosives—with all the proceeds going to After-School All-Stars, a group that provides after-school programs to underprivileged children. We got the inside scoop from the Terminator himself about what the winner can expect from a day with him.

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Men's Fitness: Last year, the winner got to drive around in your tank and crush things. What do you have in store this year?
Arnold: This is kind of the sequel to what we did last year. The winner is going to come out and not only drive the tank with me but blow things up. To give you a little taste of what we’ll blow up, it will be everything from boxes to cars to gummy bears. The whole thing is designed to give people a good time and give them an idea of how we do things in Hollywood. And it all benefits the after-school programs.

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You’ve partnered with for this campaign. What are you hoping it will accomplish?
There are still 20 million kids out there who need after-school programs. For each kid to have an after-school program each day, it costs seven dollars. Last year we raised a million dollars. Seventy percent of families have both parents working so those kids don’t have anyone to take care of them in the afternoon and help them with their homework, art, music, sports, tutoring, and all this stuff. So After-School All-Stars is offering this five days a week, three hours a day between three and six o’clock. This is the danger zone for kids—when they’re out there floating around in the street and can get involved with alcohol and drugs and pregnancy and juvenile crime. We can save much more money spending on after-school programs than we can paying for the damage after kids get into trouble.

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Of all the charities you could be working to support, why is this one so close to your heart?
When I was a kid my mother and dad were there for me. But today many kids don’t have that. They need someone around to make them feel like winners and that they can make it. 

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Besides “blowing shit up”, as the event promises, what else does the winner get to do with you in a day?
Last time we had breakfast together, we worked out together at my house. It’s all improvisational.

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Since this is Men's Fitness you’re talking to, we have to ask while we have you on the line: what is your best tip for building muscle?
That you have to have a very clear goal about what you want to accomplish. If you don’t have a goal, you just drift and you don’t get anywhere. You have to say “I want to look good on the beach in a month from now. I want to lose three inches around my waist.” Then it’s much more fun. You’re much more dedicated and willing to put in the work when you have a vision of where you want to go. You have to have a vision of how you want your body to look.

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How can we get kids in America to eat healthier?
I think that we need to motivate people to become fellow fitness crusaders and bring in others to become fit. The greatest movements in the world have always been grassroots operations, from the ground up. Years ago you could never find a gym in a hotel. Now every hotel has a weight room. There’s been a fantastic evolution. We can celebrate a great victory in all of that but I always say to “stay hungry”. Don’t celebrate too long, go back out there and continue to work. 

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