“I Cried Myself to Sleep”: Just Like Arnold Schwarzenegger Once, ‘Village’ Member Overcame Self-Doubt After Suffering From a “Broken Back”

Seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger started a fitness newsletter in January 2023. His goal was to make fitness easy and efficient for the average working adult. However, Arnold’s Pump Club has evolved beyond fitness, where Arnie even helps his over 400,000 “village” members with mental health. According to the bodybuilding icon, mental health and fitness, are related, and when one suffers, the other follows.

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However, Schwarzenegger didn’t give mental health advice in the latest edition of the daily fitness newsletter. Instead, it was Adam Bornstein, who penned an inspiring story of resilience and mental fortitude. Bronstein is a renowned author in the fitness realm and has co-authored a book with Schwarzenegger. Here’s what the former LIVESTRONG.com editorial director had to say.

How Adam Bornstein buried his self-doubt


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The author narrated his experience in the Adam’s Corner segment of the newsletter. “I remember the first time I broke my back. I spent the night in bed, questioning everything,” wrote Bornstein. The fact that he was just a teenager didn’t make things easier mentally. “The doubts, worries, and disbelief were overwhelming,” said the Born Fitness founder.

“I cried myself to sleep,” he wrote in Adam’s Corner. However, the following morning, the fitness enthusiast woke up with a different mindset. Beonrsetin said he knew, “No matter how bad the situation, the only way out is to realize you control how good or bad the outcome will be.” While the injury wasn’t under his control, taking steps to recover well was.

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Just like Bruce Lee, who devoured book after book while recovering from a spinal cord injury, Bornstein “became obsessed with the human body, nutrition, and exercise.” Despite some doctors suggesting his life would never be the same, the Bron Fitness founder built a strong and resilient body.

The author said his decision led him to success and the opportunity to work with celebrities and athletes, including Arnold Schwarzenegger. Interstingly, Bornstein’s story echoes the emotions Schwarzenegger felt in 1968.

Arnold Schwarzenegger bounced back after his defeat


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The seven-time Mr. Olympia came to America in 1968 with no shortage of confidence. The then-young bodybuilding was coming off a triumphant showing in London. After landing in America, his first bodybuilding contest was the 1968 Mr. Universe. The Austrian Oak was confident he would win the contest. However, Frank Zane had different plans.

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While Schwarzenegger won the tall class of the contest, during the final posedown, Zane defeated Arnie, winning the overall title. Arnold Schwarzenegger was devastated. On the night of the defeat he couldn’t process the shock defeat and “cried like a little baby.” However, the following morning, with newfound determination, Schwarzenegger started training and defeated Zane the next time they met.


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What did you think of Adam Bornstein’s inspiring story? Tell us in the comments.


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