Arnold's competiveness was legendary in his heyday, but he didn't let this blind him to ways that he could improve his approach in the weight room. After all, he wasn't just after size. He was after "maximum aesthetic development of the entire physique," as he wrote in "The Encyclopedia." He learned plenty from the bodybuilders who stood alongside him in the gym, but also from coaches of the previous generation. This included not only Joe Weider, but also his longtime rivals, like Dan Lurie and Vince Gironda.
Today, Gironda is sometimes portrayed as a relic, a cantankerous iconoclast who kicked people out of his gym, demanded strange technique on staple movements like dips, and wouldn't let his lifters perform squats. But Arnold knew that "the Iron Guru" had something to offer him, and when he began utilizing some of Gironda's ideas, he writes, "I went from simply having huge pecs to having first-rate chest development."
But Gironda's influence was perhaps most greatly seen in how Arnold trained shoulders, and the lateral and rear delts in particular. Gironda was a great proponent of the lateral raise, but recommended performing it a specific way, with the rear part of the dumbbell higher than the front, as if pouring water from a pitcher. This helped to focus the stress on the lateral delt and made it harder to cheat by using momentum. His unique take on the rear delt flye, performed while facing backward on an incline bench, gave the same level of isolation to the rear delts, which were a weak spot for Arnold in the early days.
Keep these tips in mind today when you superset lateral raises with upright rows, another Gironda favorite. On Friday, do the same with the superset of rear delt flyes.