“I feel like I’m getting a little leaner,” the 25-year-old son of Arnold Schwarzenegger exclusively told Us Weekly following his performance with pro Daniella Karagach on the Monday, October 10, episode. “I’m losing weight, for sure. It’s definitely a change of pace. … The body’s changing a little bit.”
Baena explained that dancing requires “a lot more cardio” than he expected. “It’s a lot more core [work],” he added. “[Daniella’s] kicking my butt in the ballroom. … [I’m] drenched in sweat basically every night because of these workouts.”
The fitness model joked that it was “a blessing in disguise” that Karagach, 29, had to sit out for the previous two weeks of the competition after testing positive for COVID-19. Baena teamed up with troupe member Alexis Warr in Karagach’s absence — and he thinks his partner’s rest paid off.
“We have been beating each other up [with these flips],” he teased on Monday. “I have bruises under the sparkles here. … I have scrapes, I have marks. But the regimen of working out [is] completely different.”
The dynamic duo performed a Charleston to “A Star Is Born” from Hercules in honor of Disney+ night, scoring a 28 from the judges. In rehearsal footage, Baena opened up about feeling “very insecure” about his body while growing up because he “was overweight,” comparing his own fitness journey to what Hercules goes through in the animated film.
Carrie Ann Inaba was quick to praise the real estate agent’s vulnerability — and muscles — as the dance concluded. “Put your shirt back on because it was distracting,” she teased, while fellow judge Bruno Tonioli raved over Baena’s “pecs appeal.”
Monday night’s performance held another special meaning for Baena, whose Hercules tribute doubled as a shout-out to his famous father, 75, who played the same character in 1970’s Hercules in New York. When asked how it felt to be compared to Schwarzenegger, the California native said he doesn’t let the pressure get to him.
“He’s so happy, he’s so proud [of me],” Baena told Us and other reporters. “I love my father. He’s the smartest, best man I can think of. So, you know, to be compared to him — to be in the same character, Hercules — it’s amazing. It’s awesome. And, you know, who doesn’t want to be like their father, right? It’s great.”
Schwarzenegger shares Baena with former housekeeper Mildred Baena. The Terminator actor is also the father of Katherine, 32, Christina, 31, Patrick, 29, and Christopher, 25, whom he shares with ex-wife Maria Shriver.
Dancing With the Stars airs on Disney+ Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi