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Squats and Arms

I’d love to tell you yes because I like making people miserable, but it would not be true.


Q: I hear everyone saying that you can’t build big arms without heavy squats and deadlifts. Is that true?

A: I’d love to tell you yes because I like making people miserable, but it would not be true. Although heavy powerlifts will definitely help your quest for big pipes, 18-inch guns have been built without a squat rack or a deadlift platform in sight. Just look at guys such as national arm-wrestling champion Jason Remer, who sports a great bodybuilding physique. Although these days this rare gentleman athlete is serious about training his whole body, a couple of years ago Remer won his first national title with no lower-body work at all.

Before you let your squat rack get overgrown with spider webs, though, you need to know one thing about Jason’s training. Unlike a typical curl artist who bounces, pumps and burns with sissy weights and high reps, the arm-wrestling champ treats his curls as serious strength training. He lifts heavy, slow and tight. A perfect and conservative triple with 150 pounds is a routine set of barbell curls for Jason.

One of the top profesional arm benders in the Midwest, Marty O’Neal, has 17-inch pipes at 176 pounds of bodyweight on a 5’11” frame. When I met the up-and-coming athlete a few years ago, he was wiry but certainly not bursting out of his sleeves. In other words, it’s not just genetics. It’s the training: heavy curls plus arm wrestling, which is the ultimate in time under tension.

—Pavel
Beyond Bodybuilding

Editor’s note: Beyond Bodybuilding is availble from www.Home-Gym.com.

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