So you want to free tickets to the gun show? Well I found some great articles for you on how to build arm muscle. Ben Pakulski is the man. Check out his 4 Uncommon Tips To BIGGER ARMS.
1) LESS VOLUME!
Small muscles require less volume, and recover faster. Basic logic says, a smaller muscle has less overall total volume of muscle fibres. It takes LESS overall stimulus to fatigue these muscles and less overall training volume to exhaust glycogen stores (stored muscle energy).
2) HEAVY WEIGHTS (WITH PERFECT FORM)
Heavy weights are going to fatigue a greater overall percentage of muscle fibres in a shorter amount of time (aka less sets). Heavy weights also have the added benefit of stimulating “high threshold motor units”. These are the muscle fibres that require a lot more stimulus to grow and respond, but also the fibres that are more likely to be responsible for muscle hypertrophy or GROWTH!
3) ARMS RECEIVE A LOT OF STIMULUS ON A REGULAR BASIS
Arms receive a lot of stimulus on a regular basis. For most people, this tends to occur in the middle of the range of motion where the muscles are strongest. In order to get the arms to grow and respond, it is necessary to subject them to a different type of stimulus. One of the best ways to improve arm development is to subject them to more tension and continuous tension at the extremes of the range of motion (a.k.a, when a muscle is fully lengthened or fully shortened –where muscles are weakest). This will allow for greater time under tension as well as targeting different points of the strength curve to force the nervous system to adapt and stimulate new muscle growth.
4) YOU MUST ENGAGE THE TARGET MUSCLE FIRST IN ANY MOVEMENT
The FIRST muscle to engage in ANY movement must be the muscle you are trying to target. If you are working your biceps, to most effectively stimulate the bicep, it must be the muscle to initiate the movement. As mentioned, muscles are weakest at those extremes and that makes it LEAST likely to contract. This is where your conscious intent and control is vital! The best way to ensure this is happening is to CONTRACT its antagonist muscle. This will ensure a fully lengthened working muscle and make it much more likely that it will initiate the movement(provided youre using proper control).
e.g. when working your bicep, to fully stretch your bicep at the bottom of the range, it is necessary to contract your tricep before initiating the movement of contracting your bicep again.The opposite is true when training triceps. Contract your biceps at the top of the range when a tricep is fully stretched(forearm touches biceps).
Awesome article by Ben Pakulski is won 2nd in Flex and placed 4th in the Arnold Classic. He has a kick ass muscle building program called MI40.
Here’s another great article of how to build arm muscle by Lee Hayward. Lee really is super through with this great post.
|here are few things in bodybuilding that are as desirable as big muscular arms. In fact when most people pick up a dumbbell for the first time they try to perform some sort of bicep curl with it. And when people ask you to “flex your muscle” you automatically assume that they are asking to show them your bicep.We all want big baseball biceps and horseshoe triceps. The kind of arms that will make you proud to wear a short sleeve shirt and show them off. But most people go about arm training the wrong way. A typical arm workout for most guys involves endless sets of curls, usually lifting way too heavy and swinging and cheating the weights up.When training the major muscle groups like the legs, back, and chest I generally recommend that you constantly strive to increase your training poundages on a regular basis. After all a stronger muscle is a bigger muscle. However, with arm training constantly trying to up the weights can actually back fire. There is a big difference between adding 5 lbs. to a 400 lbs. deadlift and adding 5 lbs. to a 30 lbs. dumbbell curl.|
With arm training you’ll make better gains over the long term if you focus on simply working the muscles, rather then moving maximum weights. Obviously, as your arms get bigger they will also get stronger and you’ll have to increase your weights accordingly, but don’t force it. You’ll know when it’s time to up the weights for your arm workouts.
Since your arms come into play with so many other bodypart workouts (i.e. biceps are worked with all rowing exercises and triceps are worked with all pressing exercises). You’ll only need to devote one training day per week to direct arm work.
One of the most effective workouts for building muscle in the arms is using a training technique called “Positions of Flexion”. Which basically means training each muscle group through it’s full range of motion; starting with a compound mid-range exercise, then moving on to an exercise that works the muscle in the completely stretched position, and then finishing with an exercise that works the muscle in the fully contracted position.
IronMan Magazine writer Steve Holman has written a lot about “Positions of Flexion” workouts, but the concept is certainly not new. In fact if you watch the movie Pumping Iron you can see that Arnold used this style of training for his workouts, and his arm development was simply incredible, even by today’s standards.
To give you an example, here is a typical bicep workout that Arnold used to do:
- Barbell Curls
(this is a mid-range exercise as most of the tension is on the biceps in the middle of the rep)
- Incline Dumbbell Curls
(this is a stretched position exercise as most of the tension is on the biceps at the bottom or fully stretched position)
- Concentration Curls
(this is a peak contraction exercise as most of the tension is on the biceps at the top of the rep when the biceps are fully contracted)
Lately I’ve been focusing my own workouts around the “Positions Of Flexion” concept and the results have been awesome, I’ve gotten the most intense muscle pumps that I’ve felt in years. In the past I usually just focused most of my efforts around the big basic compound mid-range exercises, but by incorporating fully stretched movements and fully contracted movements I can tell that I’m working muscle fibers that are not getting touched with just basic compound lifts. POF training utilizes the best of both compound and isolation exercises to work the muscles through a complete range of motion.
Start each bicep workout with a basic exercise such as the standing barbell curl. Do a couple progressively heavier warm up sets and then keep the same weight for 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest about 2 minutes in between each set.
This is the way my sets usually go:
- On the first I will get all 10 reps with good form.
- On the second set I’ll usually have to use a slight bit of body momentum on the last few reps to complete the set as my muscles are a bit fatigued from the first set.
- On the third set I’ll get about 6-8 reps and then have to put the bar down for a 10 second rest pause before completing the rest of the set.
Incline Dumbbell Curls
Lying back on a 45 degree angle incline bench. Let the dumbbells hang down at your sides so that you feel a good stretch in the bottom. Really emphasis the stretch position during the entire exercise.
You should use a slight rebound out of the bottom position to help lift the weights back up. When you use a quick twitch at the point of stretch, you activate the myotatic reflex, which sends a shock to the nervous system and forces reserve muscle fibers to come into play.
Obviously, start off light and build up gradually. This is definitely not an ego exercise. You are doing this to work the muscles, not see how much weight you can lift. Training in the fully stretched position has a lot of potential for growth, but it also has an increased risk for injury if you are not careful.
Again, do 2-3 progressively heavier warm up sets and then keep the same weight for 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest about 2 minutes in between each set.
This exercise isolates the biceps and is good for getting a peak contraction in the muscles. The peak-contraction effect finishes off the muscle and helps further stimulate those reserve fibers you recruited with the stretch in the previous exercise.
Sit at the end of an exercise bench with your legs spread. Reach down between your legs and pick up a dumbbell with one hand. Brace your elbow against your knee and fully straighten your arm. Place your other hand on your opposite leg to support your upper body.
Moving only your forearm, use your bicep strength to curl the dumbbell up to shoulder level. Hold this position for a couple of seconds to maximize the peak contraction in the biceps. Slowly lower the dumbbell to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps. Do the same for your other arm.
Since your biceps are all pumped and warmed up at this stage you can just jump to your working weight and do 3 sets of 10 reps for each arm. Rest only 1 minute in between each set, while you are training one arm the other will be getting a rest.
Close Grip Bench Press
Start your tricep workout with a big basic compound movement that heavily works the triceps throughout the mid-range of the exercise. Lie down on the flat bench press and grab the bar with a grip no wider then the width of your torso, generally for most guys this will be with the index fingers on the smooth part of a standard Olympic barbell. Using too close of a hand spacing will only place excess strain on the wrists and limit the amount of weight that you can lift.
Do a couple progressively heavier warm up sets and then keep the same weight for 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest about 2 minutes in between each set.
Overhead Tricep Extensions
I like to do this exercise with an ez curl bar as it is more comfortable on the wrists. By doing tricep extensions overhead you’ll get a better stretch throughout the muscles and it will work more of the long head of the triceps. Make sure to use a full range of motion and use a little bit of a rebound out of the bottom position to help lift the weights back up. Working in this stretched position point where you rebound and change direction between lowering and lifting can help trigger hyperplasia or fiber splitting and thus improve overall muscle growth and size gains.
Do 2-3 progressively heavier warm up sets and then keep the same weight for 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest about 2 minutes in between each set.
Dumbbell Kick Backs
This is a good exercise to hit all three heads of the triceps with a good peak contraction and finish off your tricep workout with an incredible skin stretching muscle pump.
Brace yourself against a flat exercise bench. Grab a dumbbell in one hand. Place your other hand on the bench to support yourself.
Keep your upper arm along the side of your torso during the entire exercise. Moving just your forearm lift the dumbbell in an arc motion until your arm is straight. Hold this position for a second to maximize the peak contraction in the triceps. Slowly return the dumbbell to the starting position. Repeat.
Since your triceps are pumped and warmed up at this stage you can just jump to your working weight and do 3 sets of 10 reps for each arm. Rest only 1 minute in between each set, while you are training one arm the other will be getting a rest.
Well there you go. 2 great articles on building arm muscle. What is your favorite arm workout?
Leave a comment below.