The Pumping Station

Bicep Blast

Bicep Blast

Peter Sisco is co-author of Power Factor Training, Static Contraction Training and other books. He is also the editor of the five-book "Ironman's Ultimate Bodybuilding" series and the author of the best-selling e-Book, TRAIN SMART!

Learn the TRUTH about training from one of the most famous bodybuilding authors in the world!


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Every guy wants bigger arms! There really is no bodypart that says "big and powerful" as clearly and obviously as a big pair of python arms.

I get a ton of e-mail from guys wanting to maximize their arm training. I've created optimized routines for many but if you want a 'quick and dirty' method that delivers high intensity overload and results that you've never experienced before... here it is.

The Big Hurdle

First I have to tell you the biggest hurdle most people face when wanting to increase their workout intensity and their progress in the gym. This first step results from the fact…yes fact…that over 90% of the regular trainees in your gym are overtraining. And once your body is in an overtrained condition no routine can help you.

The first priority of your body is to fully recover. Then, and only then, will it go to work creating new muscle. So step one of my Add One Inch to your Arms Workout is to take two weeks off all strength training! I can hear the groans now. "But I "need" to work out 3 times a week." No you don't. More likely you've turned a love of the gym into a too-frequent training schedule. Hey, if I liked getting my hair cut it wouldn't help me to go to a barber 3 times a week. Growth takes time. That's a fact you need to face if you want to train rationally.

So if you lack the mental toughness to handle the above hurdle, you might as well stop reading this. This routine won't do anything for guys in an overtrained state. These are the guys who haven't added any size to their arms in months. But they train more than anyone else. See the connection? The exception, of course, is for guys just starting out and for guys who understand training frequency and have adjusted their training days to compensate for their ever-increasing intensity of workouts. Those wonderful people can do this workout today.

The Workout

Years ago I conducted a study to measure the relative intensity of all the common arm exercises. (And other bodypart exercises, by the way.) This brief article won't permit the space to explain all that was measured and analyzed so I'm going to give you the conclusions. These exercises will add the most muscle to your biceps, triceps and forearms. Guaranteed.

Seated Biceps Curl: Sit on a bench and rest a barbell in your lap. Take a shoulder-width underhand grip on the bar and curl it upward toward your chin. Use a weight that is so heavy you can only perform eight reps. This exercise allows you to use more weight than you normally would because the seated position limits the range of motion. Try to curl 150% of your normal biceps curl weight. Perform one set of eight reps, rest 30 seconds then increase the weight 10% and perform as many reps as you can.

Close-Grip Bench Press: Do yourself a big favor and perform this exercise in a power rack or on a smith machine. Limit the range of motion to the top third of your range. By limiting the range of motion you will be able to hoist a much heavier weight and it's that big weight - not the range of motion - that triggers new muscle growth. Grip the bar with your hands spaced about six inches apart and contract your triceps to lift the bar off the support and to full extension. Use a weight that is so heavy you can only perform eight reps. Again, with this restricted range you should be able to use at least 50% more weight than normal. Perform one set of eight reps, rest 30 seconds then increase the weight 10% and perform as many reps as you can.

Forearms tend to be neglected in most workouts but these two exercises are fabulous at generating an awesome intensity of overload to these highly visible and impressive muscles.

Seated Wrist Curls: These are performed from the same position as the biceps exercise, above. With an underhand grip on a barbell, rest your wrists on your knees so your hands extend beyond your knees. Allow the weight of the bar to force your wrist toward the floor. Use your forearm muscles to power the weight back up. Perform one set of eight reps, rest 30 seconds then increase the weight 10% and perform as many reps as you can.

Wrist Curls Behind the Back: These are performed by holding a barbell behind your back with your palms facing backward. It helps to have the bar on a rack to start or to have a training partner place the bar in your hands. The heavy bar will naturally hang down and your wrists will be in a relaxed position. Use your forearm muscles to power the weight up by bending your wrists. You can use a lot more weight on this exercise than you think you can. Go heavy. Don't worry about getting a full range of motion. Perform one set of eight reps, rest 30 seconds then increase the weight 10% and perform as many reps as you can.

Each time you perform the four exercises in this arm workout try to increase your weights by 15-25%. Doing the same workout each time gets you nowhere. It's all about making progress. Progress drives new muscle growth.

Go Buy Some Bigger Shirts

Perform the above workout three times over the next twelve days. Avoid any other arm training during this time. You can also train your other muscle groups and you can perform all the low intensity aerobics you want during this time. But remember, if you started this program in an overtrained condition you won't see results.

Done the exact way described, this routine will add new muscle strength and very significant size to even the most developed arms.

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