All bodybuilders strive for perfection. In his competitive days, Arnold was no different. “I never felt that I reached my 100 percent potential. I think everyone feels that way. I felt that I wanted to have bigger triceps, I wanted one-inch bigger thighs, and I wanted more definition in my abs. I also felt that I wanted to build my lats even lower so they tied into the waist. I’ve always worked on that.”
Arnold’s successful bodybuilding career was built upon fine-tuning and attempting to perfect small physical details. “If I had clay, I could actually show to the world where I wanted to make improvements. When it comes to the last months before a competition, you can take that mass and chisel it down and work the details.”
Creating these details kept Arnold hungry and fueled his vision.”We would take photographs like fanatics,” he says. “Franco Columbu would take pictures of me, and I would take pictures of him. We would compare shots so we could see improvements and problem areas.”
Those problem areas became another driving force behind Arnold’s training. “If you train smart, you know the inventory of exercises you have for every single weak point. You say to yourself, ‘I still need to see the separation between my abs, and the intercostals, and the serratus that then connects to the lats. How do I do that?’
“Knowing the exercises and equipment you have available will allow you to set your course. So you do exercises like close-grip chin-ups, pull-overs, leg-raises, and crunching exercises.
“Do the training, eat the right way, and you’ll hit those marks. Then you move the bar higher and higher,” says Arnold. “That’s what differentiates the winner from the loser.
“With hard work, you can achieve your goals and you can become successful. This is the great thing about bodybuilding. If you get good at it and accomplish your goals, you know you can use the same principles for everything else in life.”