One thing that has been true for me in the past and I know is true for a lot of other hard core gym goers- you just cannot grow your arms fast enough! I think I tried every arm workout I could find and I found that while I might be getting a little stronger, I was not seeing the growth like in the rest of my body. It wasn’t until I asked myself “what is different about my arms then the rest of my body” that I started to see some results. I want to share with you some tips to help turn your guns into cannons.
Most people train these major muscle groups; chest, back, legs, shoulders, and arms. So how are your arms (biceps and triceps) different from these muscle groups? One of the first things you should notice is SIZE! Your biceps, and triceps are much smaller muscles than your legs (quads, hamstrings, and glutes) for example, so should you train your arms as heavy has you train your legs? Maybe not. We have all seen that guy rocking back and forth using his whole body to curls dumbbells that are way to heavy for him. What are his arms getting out of that? Almost nothing. Do me a favor and check your ego at the door, let’s drop the weight, focus on what we are doing, and do it well. As long as you are fatiguing the muscle fibers in your arms the amount of weight you’re using becomes secondary.
Both techniques I want to share with you are focusing on VOLUME, meaning how many sets and reps of an exercise you are doing. The first technique is the Compound Set. A compound set is when you do two (or more) exercises that target the same muscle group with no rest in between. For example: doing a preacher curl, setting the bar down and going right into a dumbbell curl– both exercises are focused on the bicep. You should be doing higher reps (I like to use 10-15) and less weight than you can do with each exercises independently. Focus on each rep, if you are curling extend your bicep all the way down even flex your tricep at the bottom to get that forced stretch before you curl it back up.
The second technique to try is the Drop Set. A Drop Set is when you continue doing the same exercise but drop the amount of weight once your reach the prescribed rep range or failure. For example; you are doing Skull Crushers with 80lbs, once you can no longer do quality reps you drop down to 60lbs and keep going until you can no longer do quality reps then drop down to 40lbs and so on. I like to do as least 3 drops and will sometimes “run the rack” or go to the lowest amount I can.
Try these two simple techniques in your next arm routine and see how it feels, measure your arms and monitor your progress. When done correctly your arms will definitely feel FULL and the pump is great! Remember though, just because you are doing less weight it does not mean that you are not working! Push yourself to your limits, your body will tell you to stop long before it will give out!
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