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Thread: Arm Training

  1. #1

    Default Arm Training

    Und now,for zee ooltimate ahm vorkout...
    Does the world really need another arm training article?Probably not.

    Back in the day,I trained in a gym where the WWF guys would train when they were in town for a show.One day Ultimate Warrior came in.His arms and shoulders were incredible.I watched in amazement as his arms blew up even more.He was supersetting bis and tris,a novel idea to me at the time.He had a leather lace that he tied around his upper arms,just below the shoulder.This seemed to increase his pump and probably hold it longer too.

    This began my experimentation with alternating antagonistic muscles in a training session.I talked about this in the bodypart split thread,so I won't go into it here.Suffice it to say that I believe in alternating biceps and triceps in an arm workout.

    The triceps straighten the arm,the biceps bend it.The biceps also supinate the hand,that is,turn it palm up.You may have seen people supinate at the top of a curl.I don't think this does much as there's no real resistance against the supinating movement.The solution to this is to hold the bar "off-center".

    This would mean in the case of a dumbell,that your thumb would be up against the inside of the plate,and your little finger away from the other side.You have "more" weight hanging on the little finger side,so that there is resistance against the supination.I prefer to use a light "pre-made" barbell,like 15 or 20 lbs.One arm at a time.Hold it off-center,not too far.Make sure you can supinate against the resistance.If it's too easy,move your hand away from center,towards your thumb.If too difficult,move towards center.One you have the spot,lean forward a little,while standing.This will feel something like a concentration curl.As always,initiate the movement with the biceps.As you curl,also supinate,so that when you reach the top,your biceps will be both bending the arm and supinating the palm,at the same time.

    Another thing I'd like to discuss is training first with a movement that emphasises the "stretch" position of a muscle.This is followed by a movement that emphasises the "contracted"position.Stretching initiates the Golgi Reflex,which means that when a muscle senses that it about to be overstretched,it is temporarily capaple of contracting harder than usual.This is for self-protection,but we can use it to our advantage.

    What I like to do for biceps is to stand or sit facing away from a stack with an adjustable pulley.I adjust the pulley to the height of my hand,with my arm hanging by my side.This is going to be similiar to an incline curl.We only want to work the stretch position.If you don't have an adjustable pulley,then kneel and use the low pulley.Start with your arm somewhat behind you with your hand fully pronated.That is with the palm away from you.This insures starting from a full strech position.Now,initiating the movement with the biceps,curl your arm forward,supinating your hand at the same time.Do not allow your upper arm to move forward.This is true of curls in general as the biceps do not bring the upper arm forward.That is the work of the front delt,which we are not wasting energy on at this time.Curl,maintaining constant tension,to a point where your arm is bent to about 90 degrees.Now,under control,reverse the movement to the starting position.Repeat.

    This doesn't have to be super heavy.If you have problems with your bicepital tendon,use as light a weight as you feel comfortable with.Otherwise use a weight you can control without jerking,etc.

    I have seen people standing between two high pulleys doing an exercise that resembles a front double biceps.They are on the right track,because the biceps goes across two joints.That is your elbow and shoulder.If your arm is hanging down,the biceps are being "stretched" at the shoulder joint and cannot contract fully.Thus the reason bodybuilders hold their elbows nice and high to pose the biceps.Hold your arm by your side and flex your biceps as hard as you can.Now hold your upper arm against the side of your head and flex.Notice anything?

    For the contraction position,kneel at a high pulley,facing away from the stack.Your upper arm is glued to the side of your head.Curl your arm down behind your head,supinating your hand as you do so. (I know...there's no resistance.Do it anyway.) Now under control go about halfway back to the starting position.Repeat.We are only concerned with the fully contracted position here.SQUEEZE that sucker under tension until you feel like it's going to explode.I usually follow this with some "extreme" stretching by standing up and letting my arm go straight out behind me,palm up as I hold the pulley handle for 30-60 sec.

    For triceps,everything is pretty much the opposite,as you might expect.For the stretch position,stand facing away from the stack,with your upper arm again glued to the side of your head.Your arm is completely bent with your hand behind your head holding a high pulley handle palm down.Your knuckles pointing to the rear.With the opposite foot forward,brace yourself in a strong stance as you lean forward.You should look like you're trying to stretch your triceps.Now straighten your arm as you pronate your hand (palm down) Reverse the motion to the starting stretch position and repeat.

    For the contracted movement stand facing the stack.Adjust the pulley to hand height with your arm hanging down.If you don't have an adjustable pulley,then kneel.With your arm bent at about 90 degrees and your palm facing up.Straighten your arm behind you as you pronate yor hand.Palm facing the rear.SQUEEZE that sucker.Reverse the motion to the starting position and repeat.

    For all of those about to die of laughter at the thought of doing kickbacks,I will say only that I like reverse grip bench press for my "heavy" triceps work,and close-grip chins or pulldowns for biceps.

    The next thing I'd like to discuss,is "muscle planeing" in the woodworking tool.Which is a fairly accurate description.This comes again from John Parrillo,God bless him.The idea is to "extreme massage" the muscle as it were,whilst having a pump.As explained in the Extreme Stretching thread,John felt that restrictive fascia inhibited muscle growth.His idea was that by releasing that tissue,while the muscle is pumped,the pump will expand and make room for new growth.Anyway,I'm throwing this out there because it's something I do from time to time.

    For the biceps,after you're starting to get pumped,place your upper arm against a preacher bench.With the arm bent at a right angle,place your other palm against the bottom of your biceps.Now slowly straighten your arm,as you push your palm into your biceps,sliding your hand from bottom to top.This should be aggressive,and depending upon how tight you are,may not feel pleasant.Oh well...

    For the triceps,place your elbow on the knuckles of your other hand at the top of the preacher bench.Your arm is straight.Now slowly bend your arm as you slide your upper arm down along your knuckles,putting as much weight on it as possible.Fun stuff.

    Do this a few times during your workout and when you have a nice pump,stroll over to the mirror and hit a front double biceps.I think you'll like what you see.This isn't something to necessarily do every workout,but once a month is a good idea.

    Another thing I like is hold a bar off-center as mentioned earlier.This can even be one of those weighted sticks or a straight bar handle.Hold your arm hanging at your side at a right angle with your palm up.In this instance we are not curling.Just supinating.Now try it with the palm down.Still supinating,but both these also hit the forearms in a way they don't usually get it.You can hold the bar with your arm hanging straight down using a neutral grip and raise the heavy end either fore or aft.Again these work muscles in the forearm in a rather novel way.

    I'm going to leave you with a routine that is similiar to something that Sergio Oliva supposedly did.It's more supersetting,with the idea of the pump.Depending upon your energy level,etc,do 3-5 sets of each super set.Do 8-12 reps per set.This workout is actually pretty fun for about a month or so.

    1.Biceps curl,supersetted with Reverse Biceps curl
    2.Preacher curl,supersetted wuth Overhead Triceps Extensions
    3.Skull-crushers,supersetted with Two-hand Dumbell Extensions behind the head
    4.Concentration Curl,supersetted with Rope pulldowns.
    5.Finish up with the "stretch-contract" routine I described above.

    Be sure to try some muscle planeing in there.

    I think that's about it for now.As always,have fun.
    I wish you sucess in everything you do...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002


    very nice, I've tried it works great

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    in the building overlooking Gator's cardboard box that he lives in


    I usually do bis and tris on the same day but supersetting like this is new to me. I'm definitely going to give it a go.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003


    works nicely i've done it that way b4
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