It’s probably drilled up in your head that building massive arms is not possible without training them every other day and that too with as heavy weights as possible. But surprisingly it’s nothing but a lie. Read along as I take you through profound principles of arms workout that every young bodybuilder should follow –
1) Always Remember – No Overtraining for Arms
The irony is – In spite of being one of the smallest muscle groups in the body, arms are subjected to heavy workload now and then. Almost every one of us had this period when we trained our guns like every other day – all in a hope to grow them fast. And no wonder, many people follow such practice even today.
An average gym goer’s arms workout start with 3-4 exercises, and as soon as he feels the pump, he adds another one and then another one and so on. No doubt that with each progressing set in arms workout, the blood starts to fill in your biceps and triceps, and you see them growing bigger, and then you flex them in the mirror.
However, believe me when I say – MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER!
Unlike major body parts like back and thighs which are trained beyond failure by including forced reps, partial reps and rest and pause technique, you cannot train your arms the same way. When you subject a small muscle group like bicep to heavy stress, it puts a lot of negative impact on your CNS and may even lead to injury.
Legendary bodybuilder and 6 X Mr. Olympia, Dorian Yates believes – LESS IS MORE for arms. He suggests young bodybuilders to NOT to train their biceps more than twice a week and thereby give them enough time to recover and regrow.
You should also read – 3 Reasons Your Biceps are Still Flat
2) Train Smart – Have a Proper Form
Big guys who feature on sports magazine cover curling giant weights will make you believe that the only way you can get massive arms is by lifting heavy ass weights in the gym. The above concept may hold true for people who have an exceptional genetic potential for bodybuilding, but when it comes to an average gym Joe, heavy weights are not the answer.
One of the smartest ways to train arms is to squeeze the muscle on the top of the rep and feel it contract during the negative half of the rep and this is only possible when you can control the weight throughout the exercise.
A champion of his class, Dexter Jackson advice every bodybuilder to let go heavy weights and focus more on stimulating growth by emphasising on contraction and stretch of the muscles.
You should also read – 3 Biceps Training Tips to Maximize Arm Development
3) Keep Your Ego Aside While Lifting
The fact is that you can have a good form only if you keep your ego aside while lifting. It’s very common that most of the people these days train or rather imitate from what they see in online training videos of PRO who pound of enormous weight recklessly. But come on guys you can’t cheat on the REP ONE!
There’s a big difference between simply moving the weight from A to B with no stress on arms whatsoever and lifting the weights from start till end with utmost concentration and stretch in the arms and thereby activating maximum muscle fibres to work and believe it or not – it’s the difference that gets all the gains.
The 2014 Arnold Classic Champion and known as The Big Bad Wolf among his fans, Dennis Wolf recalls, “When I started training at a small gym in Germany, I just imitated what I saw all the other guys doing.” But very soon he understood that lifting heavy weights with improper form won’t do any good to his arms workout, and that’s when he switched up things. “I was using not much more than half the weight I had been before, but I saw ten times the results.”
4) Chase the PUMP!
Yes, get a pump by every means. A pump, I am quite sure you all are aware of, is nothing but a temporarily increased blood flow to the targeted muscle group. For a layman, who does not indulge much in science and stuff, a pump is what decides the quality of the workout.
And believe me that there is no purpose to train if you don’t achieve that swelling up of muscles aka pump during the workout.
One of the most efficient ways to get a good pump during the workout is by refuelling yourself with slow digesting carbs before your training session. Some of the best sources of complex carbs include – baked potatoes, pasta, whole grain bread, yams and brown rice.
I have seen a lot many people who supplement with fast carbs before their workout and by the time they have finished half of their workout, they are completely exhausted. Slow carbs, on the other hand, burns much slowly and keeps supplying the fuel to the body throughout the workout and thereby generate a good pump.
You should also read – Kickass Bicep Workout Routine Tips from Top Bodybuilders
5) Variation is the Key to Overcoming A Muscle Plateau.
Your arms get bored and resistant to growth when you subject them to similar exercises day in day out. Very often people forget that our muscles are very adaptive in nature. When you train them with the same intensity and same training for days, the muscles get used to it and eventually they show no signs of growth.
“Your body adapts to stimulus very quickly. So you need to shock it and get it to respond all over again,” says Phil Heath. “I like to do four exercises for both bi’s and tri’s every workout. Work those angles and hit every area of the muscles with a variety of different exercises.”
The bottom line is, get rid of staleness in your arms workout by all means. Try new exercises, vary the old ones, vary the rep range and add new techniques – rest and pause, 21s, tri-sets, super-sets, drop-sets and every other thing that will shock your muscles and lead your arms to maximum growth.
You should also read – 4 Training Tips to Change your Boring Workout Routine
6) Don’t Copy Others – Do What Works for You.
Generations of bodybuilders have built strong arms by adding barbell and dumbbell curls in their arms workout. However, that does not ensure that everyone is going to experience the same amount of benefit from those exercises. In fact, not all exercises show similar muscle stimulus for every individual.
Some may show greater muscle response to let’s say incline DB curls than preacher curls. And thus, rather than just copying the entire workout of PRO bodybuilders, learn to make your training program.
And more importantly, do away with exercises that don’t give your muscles enough burn and include those exercises which leave you with nothing but gains.