Ask The Trainer #9 – Build Arms Faster

Ask The Scientist #9 - Using Karbolyn Pre-Contest

QUESTION:

What is the best way to build my arms fast?

Brent B.


ANSWER:

Brent, arms has always been my favorite body part to train. Unfortunately, when I began working out, I didn’t understand the concept of overtraining.

Consequently, I suffered many injuries and ultimately short-changed myself in terms of the amount of possible size I could’ve gained. It just never occurred to me how much the biceps ‘overlap’ with pulling exercises for the back. The same goes for triceps and pressing exercises for the chest and shoulders.

Once I realized and understood this fact, I dramatically reduced the volume and frequency of my arm training. This led to the very best ever arm development I’ve ever had. And…gains actually came faster than before when I was grossly overtraining due to not understanding this critical concept.

Chad ShawSo, for the next few weeks try the following arm routine I’m about to outline. See if you don’t come to the same conclusion as I did…and also experience some of the best gains of your life!

Seriously, what do you have to lose?

By the way. DO NOT underestimate this routine because it’s lower volume than what you’re probably used to. Performed correctly, this is a brutally intense routine that WILL produce results.

EXERCISE #1 – SPIDER CURLS: Use a barbell and the flat, 90-degree side of the preacher bench. I don’t recommend an E-Z Bar for this because it causes the hands to be placed away from the supine position, and more towards a prone position, which reduces stress on the biceps muscle.

Warm-Up Set 1: Use 50% of your 6 rep maximum. Perform 8-10 reps, but don’t go to failure! Your aim here is strictly to warm up the muscles and joints.

Warm-Up Set 2: Use about 75% of your 6 rep maximum. Perform 4-6 reps. Again, don’t work to failure.

Working Set To Failure: Use 100% of your 6 rep maximum. Push yourself to complete muscle failure. Perform your reps in a slow and controlled manner. It should take about 3 seconds to raise the bar, and 4 seconds to lower it. Your 6th rep should be extremely hard. Once you finish that 6th rep, and you can’t do even 1 more full-range repetition, perform 3 partial repetitions. This means lowering the bar only about 3-4 inches, then curling it back into the contracted position. Your biceps should be fried. BUT… you’re not done yet! After finishing your 3rd partial rep, hold the bar in the fully contracted position as long as you can! Fight the resistance until you’re unable to any longer. Then, resist the bar as it slowly descends into the starting position. If you feel like you can do another set after this, you did it wrong!

EXERCISE #2 – Reverse Grip Preacher Curls: Use the E-Z bar for this one because your aim here will be to target the brachialis, which will push the biceps ‘up’, making them appear larger. The brachioradialis (top part of the forearm connecting to the biceps) will also be stressed.

Warm-Up Set (optional): Your biceps should already be plenty warm, but you can perform 1 set using about 50% of your 6 rep maximum for 4-6 reps just to get the feel of the movement.

Working Set To Failure: Use 100% of your 6 rep maximum. Again, this means pushing yourself to complete muscle failure. Perform your reps in a slow, controlled manner. It should take about 3 seconds to raise the bar), and 4 seconds to lower the bar. Your 6th rep should be extremely hard to complete. Once you finish that 6th rep, and there is no way to do even 1 more full range repetition, perform 3 partial repetitions. Lower the bar only about 3-4 inches. Then, curl it back up into the contracted position. Once again, after finishing your 3rd partial rep, hold the bar into the fully contracted position for as long as you can! Fight the resistance until you’re unable to any longer. Then, continue to resist the bar as it slowly descends into the starting position.


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Exercise #3 – Triceps Cable Extension (behind the head using a rope): This exercise places constant tension on all three heads of the triceps. To perform this exercise, attach a rope to a high pulley. Grasp the rope so the knots are against the bottom of your hands. Then, turn around so you are facing away from the weight stack. Place one foot straight back behind your body and the other leg forward in a bent position as though you were performing a lunge. Allow the weight resistance to draw your elbows back so your hands are just above the base of your neck. This is your starting position. Keep your elbows flared outward and use your triceps to straighten your arms until they reach a straightened position. Don’t let your elbows to drop downward. This will take the resistance off your triceps and place it on your lats instead.

Warm-Up Set 1: Use 50% of your 8 rep maximum. Perform 8-10 reps, but don’t go to failure!

Working Set To Failure: Use 100% of your 8 rep maximum. This means you push yourself to complete muscle failure. Perform your reps in a slow and controlled manner, just as you did for your biceps. Once you’ve reached 100% muscle failure, you’re going to move directly into your next triceps exercise with as little rest as possible!

Triceps Cable Extensions will be super-setted with…

Exercise # 4 – Weighted Dips: Before beginning your triceps workout, you should have a weight harness ready to go by a dip bar station. This way you can move directly from triceps cable extensions and jump right into your set of weighted dips. (If you’re too fatigued to add weight to your dips, just perform them using your bodyweight.)

Working Set To Failure: Use 100% of your 8 rep maximum. This means you push yourself to complete muscle failure. If you feel you can get more than 8 reps, then do not stop at 8! Keep going until you’re unable to perform 1 more rep. Perform your reps in a slow and controlled manner, keeping your body upright and your elbows aimed backward. After completing your very last repetition, slowly lower your body down to the beginning position.

Next…that’s it… you’re done! Just one brutal working set per exercise.

At this point, if you feel like adding a few more exercises or extra sets to this workout, I can guarantee one thing for sure: You didn’t do it right!

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

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