Arm Training With Anthony Catanzaro

In this article Anthony will share with us strategies and workouts he uses for his arms. He has some very sound and proven strategies.

I recently spoke with model, and top natural bodybuilder, Anthony Catanzaro about his bodybuilding and modeling endeavors. During our talk, he shared with me the various aspects of his life and personality that have helped him excel in his chosen professions.

This interview was published right here on and achieved a great response. As a respected personal trainer, Anthony let me in on some of the strategies he employs to get the best from his clients. He also told me a little about the type of life he leads to prepare for bodybuilding and modeling events.

However, Anthony did not go into great detail on the finer points of his own training program. In fact, Anthony spends so much time helping others; his own training programs are very seldom discussed, and virtually never published. With that in mind, I contacted Anthony to see if we could present to the world some of the methods and strategies he uses to get into the sort of shape he is internationally respected and recognized for.

Anthony's arms, in particular, have impressed many over the years, and judging by the response to his recent interview with me, those guns are still turning heads. The fans want to know: how does Anthony build his arms and exactly what sort of program does he use? In a first, Anthony's arm training routine, in addition to other methods he employs, and his thoughts on the importance of quality arms, follows.


Anthony, can you talk about your current arm training routine?

Well, I train my arms just like any other body part with blood, sweat, and tears.

Here is a sample of what I would normally do for big respected guns!




How has your arm routine changed over the years?

To be honest, I always keep it pretty much the same. You know the old expression "If it's not broke, don't fix it."

The biggest mistake people make in the gym is their always looking for new and better exercises and routines to get in better shape! Does a bird look for a better way to fly?

No, it just spreads it wings and does it... and does it beautifully! Remember less is always more. The key to growth is keeping it simple.

Have you discovered any special arm training tips?

The only tip you need to know about arm training is just like any other muscle group. You have to train them with complete intensity, period!

Do you use any intensity techniques? Super sets, drops sets etc.

I use all the techniques from the old school. Authors note. Old school intensity techniques include:

Super Sets

Super sets can be done in various ways. The most popular seems to be combining to opposing muscle groups to achieve and extreme pump throughout the entirety of these muscles. For example, seated biceps curls can be combined with standing triceps pushdowns. The idea is to complete the first set (the curls) before going straight onto the pushdowns.

Drop Sets

To complete a drop set, go immediately from one set to a second set of a lighter weight. A third and fourth set can also be included to add intensity to the set. Just remember to lower the weight each time.

The theory behind the drop set is to thoroughly exhaust the muscle through multiple sets of an increasingly lighter weight. For example, one might go from 80-pound standing biceps curls for eight reps to 50-pounds for another eight reps, and so on, until the muscle can do no more (ouch).

Forced Reps

This is a good technique to use for the last two or three sets of an exercise to completely exhaust the muscle. The technique involves a partner assisting with the final few reps, to force additional growth.

Flexing (Isotension)

A technique used by bodybuilders for decades, which involves flexing the muscle following a set, or at any other time. This is apparently a great method for bringing out cuts and enhancing muscle density.

Have your arms responded naturally. How hard have you had to work to get your arms to their current level of size and definition?

Actually, I have been training since the age of 15. But my arms really started to grow once I realized I needed to lift heavier with the same control. You have to make your muscles grow! Nobody can do it for you!

What would be your advice for a beginner wanting to develop their arms?

Train them hard, heavy and get serious about wanting them to grow. Every guy wants big impressive guns with great separation. But very few are willing to train them in order to get them!

Who among pro bodybuilders of today and yesteryear do you admire for their arm development, and why?

That's easy; I love Arnold Schwarzenegger. I admire his arms as well as his entire physique!

I am not real big on pro bodybuilders today, but I have to say that Flex Wheeler is at the top of my list! His arms are big, separated, and actually beautiful to look at. They are like a work of art.

What are the benefits (bodybuilding and functional) of having great arm development, in your view?

As far as the benefits of having great arms in a bodybuilding show, its very important for this simple reason: you can't hide them. They will be seen in every pose you hit, think about it! The functional part of great arm development is when you need your upper body strength; they will be there to back you up.

Anthony's Arms Have Helped Him In These Contests:

2005 INBF Natural NYC Middle Weight Champion
2003 Fame America Model Universe, First Runner Up
2002 NPC New York State Bodybuilding, Middleweight winner & overall champion
2001 INBF Tournament of Champions, Middleweight Champion
1998 Natural Bodybuilding, Middleweight Champion
1997 Mr. Fitness Champion

How do you train to add fullness and peak to your biceps?

I'll use 3 different exercises for them since the biceps are made of 3 characterisitics, an inner head, an outer head, and height.

I'll do wide grip curls for the inner head. Close grip for the outer head. And concentration curls for the height, or as some people call it "the peak".

Do you do anything special for the forearms?

Not really. The forearms are built for grip. So wrist curls and hand gripper squeezers are about all I do.

Thanks Tony, your advice will greatly benefit many of our readers.

You're welcome, now go get them guns!