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Big arms everyone wants them, but how do I get them?
Here are some facts I want you to think about:
1. You work your triceps when you do any pushing movement for the upper body,
i.e. Bench press, shoulders, and pushing movements...
2. You work your biceps every time you use a pulling exercise i.e., back and
moving weights around the room...
3. If you are doing a work your whole body 2-3 times a week workout and you
have 2-3 arm days per week you are actually working out your arms 4-6 times a
week. 4-6 times a week is way too much!!!
4. The biceps and triceps are very small muscles and do not need much
exercise to grow. In most cases the less the better. You have to remember that
they are constantly being worked out from other exercises.
5. Think about your legs for a minute. Do you have a separate leg biceps day,
a separate quad day and finally a separate squat day? NO YOU DO NOT! If you do
let me know your results. Well some people do with great results.
6. In order to get big upper arms you must workout your forearms and grip. If
you cannot hold the weight you wish to lift, then what good is a big biceps? You
need large forearms as well. Trust me I have hurt my wrists so many times that I
have lost count. If you build up your wrists now, this will lessen the chances
further down the road of wrist injuries. A simple test of this can be
demonstrated by pinching two 10-pound weights and trying to curl them up. You
will find that that is a hard task. Some people can do it with 25 pound disks!!!
That is an awesome feat of strength. A person like that can grab you and throw
you around. I will explain grip strength down this link.
The main point I am trying to make is, that if you are not getting any gains
on your arms then you should cut down the number of sets that you are doing for
arms. You must squeeze and focus on your muscles through the whole range of
movement. The goal to building muscle is not the number of the poundage you are
using. If you have to cheat during you first 3 reps (even just a little bit or
at ALL), it is too much weight! During your weekly workout cycle, you find out
that your arms are sore before you start your arm workout, then by all means
either cut back that day or take the day off. I often skip my arm days, because
they are already sore from other things (if it hasn't healed yet then why hamper
the healing process). A basic 9 set program or less usually works best, see
Straight bar curls = (2 warm up) sets 3 working sets and pyramid up in weight
(10-10)-8-8-6(to warm up and work the mid-range of the movement. If you want to
get the most out of this exercise, try this. Do not grip the bar hard. Keep a
loose grip. This works great.
Incline curls = 3 sets and pyramid up in weight 10-8-8 (to stretch out the
Preacher curl = 3 sets and pyramid up in weight 10-8-8 (to work the lower and
Tricep push downs = (2 warm up) and pyramid up in weight (10-10)-8-8-6(to
warm up and work the whole range)
One arm triceps extensions = 3 sets and pyramid up in weight 10-8-8 (to
stretch and work all 3 heads)
Skull crushers (lying triceps extensions)= 3 sets and pyramid up in weight
Behind the back wrist curls = 3-5 sets and 15 to 25 reps
Reverse curls = 3 sets and pyramid up in weight 10-8-8 (also help build the
Hammer curls = 3 sets and pyramid up in weight 10-8-8 (also help build the
For your grip!!! This is important. Here is a good program to get your grip
up to par.
Look before you go hit your grip with full intensity, I want you to
understand that you can hurt yourself if you train the wrong way. I am a victim
of buying a damn heavy duty gripper. I wore myself out with that damn thing with
no results. Oh I did have results, I hurt my freaking joints and developed sore
ass tendonitis in my wrists. I worked my grip every day. And do you know what I
learned? I learned that I was training the wrong way and too hard.
Those heavy grippers are great for TESTING strength. Don't get me wrong they
are great for a workout here and there, but as a workout I do not recommend
them. Training with these things will really screw your hands up. Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome is easily achieved with these. Why? You put so much strain on your
grip. Also, the pressure one creates on these grippers presses down on the veins
in the hands causing poor circulation. In fact many of the gains from these
grippers probably come from better nerve activation and not from mass gained.
The average gripper is not fitted perfectly to how you normally close your hand.
Look at your hand as you close it and make a fist. You will notice that no
gripper on the market closes like you hand, so you need to modify your program
for your hand's sake. If you want o use those super grippers then hold the
gripper and squeeze it, but not all the way. Squeeze it about ¼ of the way and
hold for as long as you can. Because most of the force applied from the gripper
at ¾ of the range is transferred to your knuckle joints and not your forearms.
You will find it easier to close all the way every week. I believe that
endurance in gripping is far more easily achieved than to just try to go up in
weight each week by gripping at the 70% max range with full range reps.
The safest way to get a strong grip is to do bar hangs and weight pinches.
Just hang from a bar and time yourself. Try to use a thick bar to hang from.
Try to improve your time and your grip will get stronger. The main focus of this
is to strengthen the tendons and ligaments in your forearms and fingers. The
stronger these are the stronger your grip becomes. You can also weight yourself
down as well. You ca also fill a fabric bag with weight and hold it. Also
holding dumbbells can be used. Don't hang from a rope though. That causes a lot
of stress on the elbows. Definitely don't train every day. 2 times a week at the
most. 3-4 sets should be enough.
Weight pinches = pick up two smooth weights and pinch them with your hand and
fingers flat and grip the plates. Start with 5-10 pound plates and try to hold
for 30 seconds once you can hold for 10 seconds then go up in weight. Once you
can pinch grip 45 pound plates, you are one strong mofo.
You got to STRETCH between every set PERIOD!!! The more you stretch the more
room for growth. You also have to have a good diet, one that supports growth. If
you are not gaining weight, then you are not growing.
Here's a list of No-No's:
Do not do cheat curls.
Do not swing up the weight.
Do not pretend you are Superman.
Do not do those stupid roider arm workouts.
Make sure you do squats. This will help to raise the growth hormone levels in
your body to help you get bigger arms.
One good indicator of over training with your arms is the measurement of
them. Measure your arm in the morning before you workout and then the morning
afterwards. F the arm is the same size, you are good to go. If the arm is
larger, then great. If the arm is ¼" smaller you are pushing those puppies too
hard. I now some will think that they have a low sugar level in them to cause
that (FALSE). That means that the muscles are overstressed big time and are
Usually when I leave the gym after a arm workout, people ask me "you are
done?". I tell them "hey the only thing left to do is to stick a fork in my
muscle and poke it a few times". 20 sets will not equal big arms! I hope that
this helps you all.
Injuries play a very important role. If you are injured then you can't train
thus, no big arms. I will cover some arm injuries and some ways to correct this.
1. Keep track of what you do in the gym. If you try a new exercise and the
day after you hurt in the wrists or elbow, then don't keep doing that exercise.
Trust me I do it all the time.
2. Tendonitis of the triceps or tennis elbow is a serious condition (pain
around the elbow area that extends up or down the upper and lower arm). This can
slap you of training for a long time. The triceps do not like fast negatives or
sudden jolts. The way the triceps tendon clamps onto the bone is not the best in
the World. So, you must be aware of sudden shocks to the triceps. So make sure
you lower the weight and do not jerk any weight up or down. Some of the forearm
flexors extend and clamp into the elbow area. Having your wrists bent can cause
pain in that area. So keep your wrists straight. It is always a good idea that
if you can wrap your thumb around the bar when doing triceps, you do it. This
helps to keep the wrists straight, thus preventing strain on the tendons.
3. Wrist pain. Like I said keep the wrists straight with the thumb around the
bar as you do with your fingers. When ever possible use wrist straps to take
some stress off of the wrist. Avoid any exercise that bends the wrist in an
uncomfortable position. As much as I like rope push downs for triceps, I have a
fear of wrist injuries. Don't wait until you are I injured, before you play it
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