Monday, July 23, 2012

Reload Your Guns Pt. 1

Want big arms? Use the right ammo: Sculpt your biceps and triceps with lifts that target your weakest links. Your arms are too small. Or at least you probably feel that way, if you're like the average guy. Chances are it's not because you're neglecting those muscles. In 15 years of training clients, Alwyn Cosgrove C.S.C.S. has yet to find a would-be arms dealer who hasn't tried every biceps curl and triceps extension in the book.

So what's the problem? Your upper back, your core, and your glutes. When all of those muscles are weaker than they should be, they act like brakes on the strength and size of everything else. Especially your arms. The problem is simple to correct, as long as you're willing to invest time doing the Big Arms Workout to be discussed at a later posting. In 4 weeks you can build new muscle from head to toe, and put yourself back in the arms race.

Call in the Reinforcements: Physiology 101. Your biceps bend your arms, and you work them with curls. You probably figured this out as a kid when Dad told you to make a muscle for a photo. Chances are you did a curl the first time you ever picked up a dumbbell, and you've been doing them ever since. Ask yourself when the last time is that you increased the weight that you use on arm exercises.

Physiology 201: If you want your arms to grow, you need to create overload and challenge them with progressively heavier weights. They'll adapt by growing bigger and stronger. Since they aren't receiving that overload from curls, you need to recruit bigger muscles to help them grow in tandem.

Start with the chin up. This move forces you to lift your entire body--several times the amount of weight you could curl--on each rep. Your lats are the fan-shaped middle-back muscles that run from your armpits to your spine. They do a great deal of the work. Your biceps are more than just bystanders and are working as hard as they can. Without their help, you couldn't do a single rep. Target your triceps the same way. Do body-weight dips or close-grip bench presses with a weight you use for extensions. Make these heavy, multimuscle exercises the focus of your upper-body training. After you've performed them, add curls and extensions to give your arms some extra oomph.

Source: Men's Health

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