First, let me say that I hate training arms. No, it's not because they present the same challenge as legs, but quite the opposite. I have actually skipped a whole week without training arms because they represent no challenge whatsoever.
In my opinion, however skewed it may be, my arms overshadow any improvements I have made in regards to training. My arm training is in no way unique to any other, yet it lacks intensity and ambition. Nonetheless, I have made such dramatic improvements in my arms that they have grown 2 1/2 inches in less than a year.
I've found it amazing yet discomforting. I always think to myself, "Maybe I should be less competitive and less wanting to improve other body parts so they will grow as well." Maybe it is genetics, maybe it psychological or maybe its... MY ARM ASSAULT (without the sweat, blood, screaming and tears).
Before I began my ARM ASSAULT, my arm routine was that of Ronnie Coleman's, you know, the one found in that Gold's Gym book. Ronnie Coleman's face in the pictures was enough to describe the fierceness of this workout. My countenance bore very little resemblance to Ronnie's, but I did manage to get the eyes squinted and mouth open.
Whatever that workout consisted of... I wish not to remember. To make a boring storing short, I changed my name to Pierre and gave up like a Frenchman. I needed a new arm workout - one not so long, one not so boring, and most of all, one not so difficult.
I began my search for a new arm workout in the multitude of books found at your local library. I was too entertained by the pictures of these guys from the 70's and 80's working out in these little daisy dukes, knee high socks, Nike's and hair that, well... you know what I mean.
I then ventured over to the bookstore and all I received was an indignant remark from an old woman asking if I was going to be "buying or going bye-bye." Well I had to catch Matlock anyway before senior citizen dinner at 3:00. Upon my arrival back home, I decided to turn to the Internet.
The thing about the Internet is that there are so many interesting links that I sometimes find myself at swedishchickshavingsexwithafghangoatsontopofburningbarns.com (not an actual link). Well, not really that exact site, but you get the idea. All this searching for an arm workout was making me tired. It should not have to be this difficult. After all, the arm, unlike the calf muscle has a pivot point... wait a minute that's it!
I like to divide the arm into three parts - bicep, tricep and the forearm. All I had to do was find the pivot point and contract. But to find that pivot point and to make sure it contracted to its fullest potential was the difficult part...no wait, it was the easy part.
To accomplish this I turned to something I had rarely used before - the preacher curl benches.
This simple device could isolate my bicep and give me the perfect pivot point that I needed. Further, the preacher curl bench took all the "hard stuff" out of arm training. After all, I was sitting down, my arms are now isolated, I still use free weights and, most of all, I can be guaranteed proper form!
Ronnie (Need I say more)
Click Image To Enlarge.
Ronnie Coleman @ The 2005 Mr. Olympia.
The thing about Ronnie's arm workout that made me cringe... not the cringing you do when you're stuck in the middle of a rep... was that he was always standing. Standing poured the concrete for the bad form road. I hate standing and doing arm curls because of the improper form that can easily be obtained.
I've seen many people in the gym swinging the weights, humping their imaginary Swedish chick and doing other stupid things that are such a disservice to their arms and backs. I can speak from experience that back pain from swinging the weight brings you to the couch and actually gives you the time to watch an episode of Matlock. Plus, which part is getting the workout... the back or the arms? Make it easy, sit down, and isolate your bicep with some preacher curls.
To train the triceps is no different from bicep training. Find the pivot point, lock it, and execute. For example, on cable push downs, "lock" your elbows in place by your hips and execute a full rep. By "full rep" I mean make sure your forearm part comes all the way up and all the way down, while your elbow is "locked" into place.
Lower the weight if you are unable to perform this feat! The same philosophy applies to skull-crushers. Lock your elbows in place and perform full rep. Do not let the elbows flare or flank your body, keep them as close as possible to each other.
The forearms, I must admit, are new to me. I only have begun to train forearms a couple months ago. Like every other muscle, they are not special! They are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world... yeah Fight Club. Find the pivot point (one's wrist) and pivot of that.The elbow can also act as a pivot point when training forearms (i.e. executing a set of reverse curls). Arm training does not have to be hard! I only perform two exercises for the bicep, three for the tricep and two for the forearms. Already, my arms have grown disproportionately to the rest of my body and for that reason, I hate them.
- Sit down and relax... it's arm day
- Don't stand, that imaginary girl doesn't like it that way anyhow
- Find the pivot point, isolate, and contract
- Slow controlled reps, especially on the negative
- Don't wear daisy dukes in the gym...you don't want to end up in your local library