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Arms-Race Lagger

If you weigh 170 pounds right now, for example, don’t expect to see your arms go from their present 14.9 inches to 16, 17 or 18 inches unless you gain at least another 20 to 30 pounds of solid bodyweight.

Q: My arms refuse to grow! Recently, however, I took up the P/RR/S system, and my weights have been going up on all arm workouts. My measurements seem fairly out of proportion to me, though. I have about a 31-inch waist, 42.5-inch chest and 14.9-inch arms cold and un-flexed. Should I just be patient and the arms will come in time? I am only 18.

A: I wish you had told me your height, weight and approximate bodyfat percentage, as it would be easier for me to tell if you were on the right track. Regardless, you already have a few good things going for you, which is good news.

The fact that you’re only 18 means that you’re now entering into a time of life when your natural anabolic hormone profile is at its peak. That means you should be able to pack on new muscle at a fairly quick rate—if, of course, you train and eat correctly and consistently.

You mentioned that you’ve begun to use my P/RR/S training program and that all of your weights are going up. That’s a key factor and will soon translate into more size. At your age one of the most efficient methods of progression is to get stronger in all of your exercises while feeding your body properly, with enough calories and nutrients to fuel repair and growth.

To see the tape measure expand farther around your arms, you’ll need to see the scale throw bigger numbers at you as well. If you weigh 170 pounds right now, for example, don’t expect to see your arms go from their present 14.9 inches to 16, 17 or 18 inches unless you gain at least another 20 to 30 pounds of solid bodyweight. Arm size comes with overall size, and that must be your main goal right now.

So, my friend, don’t get too caught up in the size of your arms, and focus on getting bigger all over. Keep using P/RR/S training, but tweak it so that the weeks go more like this:


That will work even better for you at this point in your training career. Also make sure you’re eating at least six high-protein meals per day, along with complex carbohydrates and some good fats. Aim to gain about one pound of bodyweight each week, and if the scale doesn’t budge for two consecutive weeks, then bump up your calories by 250 to 500 in order to start gaining again.

It’s very important that you be patient. At 18 years old my arms were about 13 inches cold, and now they’re more than 19. Bodybuilding is about consistency and hard work. If you are willing to put the time in, you will one day win the arms race.

Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training System” is available at His e-book, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout, which includes complete printable workout templates and a big Q&A section, is available at

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