Q: I’m a former powerlifter and used to focus only on squats, deadlifts, bench presses, military presses and bent-over rows. Overall those exercises made me a pretty big dude, especially in the chest, shoulders, upper back and quads. A couple of years ago I turned to bodybuilding, which of course calls for a far more balanced physique. Right now I feel I need another solid year of training before I can compete, and more than anything I require greater arm size to help match the rest of my physique. I know you’re good at thinking outside the box and creating unique plateau-breaking routines. Can you please give me something for guns?
A: I appreciate your coming to me with this question, as I do pride myself on finding ways to break through plateaus with unique and offbeat training protocols. Interestingly, I, too, have been on a mission to increase my arm size—more triceps than biceps— for the past couple of years. That’s led me to try many interesting variations within my P/RR/S and FD/FS training systems, a few of which have become my favorite ways to absolutely annihilate my arms. In fact, as I’m typing this, I can already feel the soreness creeping into my bi’s and tri’s from the torture I put them through only a few hours ago. Here are two routines you can switch to from week to week to force your arms to catch up with the rest of your musculature!
The Low Rep/High Rep Antagonistic Superset Workout
Standing barbell curls 2 x 4-6
Rope pushdowns 2 x 16-20
curls 2 x 16-20
Close-grip bench presses 2 x 4-6
EZ-curl bar preacher curls 2 x 4-6
Bent overhead V-bar cable
pushouts 2 x 16-20
Rope hammer curls 2 x 16-20
Lying EZ-curl-bar extensions 2 x 4-6
Note: The next time you use this routine begin each superset with a triceps movement rather than a biceps movement, and continue to alternate the two formats.
The Criss-Crossing Rep-Range Workout
Seated alternate dumbbell
curls 2 x 7-9
Reverse-grip pushdowns 2 x 16-20
Spider-bench curls 2 x 10-12
Triceps dips 2 x 13-15
curls 2 x 13-15
Incline EZ-curl-bar overhead
extensions 2 x 10-12
Seated hammer concentration
curls 2 x 16-20
Lying decline two-dumbbell
extensions 2 x 7-9
Note: The next time you use this routine start with triceps at the lower rep range and biceps at the higher rep range, and continue to alternate the two formats.
Three more pieces of advice:
1) Try alternating training arms once per week and then twice per week. Make sure that when you’re hitting arms twice per week, you take at least two days off between workouts. In other words, if you attack arms on Monday, do not hit them again until Thursday.
2) Train biceps and triceps together on their own separate day rather than in combination with larger bodyparts.
3) On arm-training days increase your carbohydrate intake by about 100 grams over normal. Add 25 extra grams to your morning and preworkout meals and 50 extra grams to your postworkout meal.
Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training System” is available at Home-Gym.com. His e-books, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout and The FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout, which include complete printable workout templates and Q&A sections, are available at X-Workouts.com.