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Do Olympic Lifting Exercises Increase Arm Size?

Q: Do Olympic-lifting exercises have any value to a bodybuilder in increasing arm size?

A: Yes, strange as that may sound. In fact, I’ve found that power snatches are one way to help overcome a slump in biceps training.

There are two reasons for that: First, lowering the bar from doing power snatches or power cleans provides a rapid eccentric stretch for the elbow flexors. It recruits them in a manner they are not accustomed to and helps break a plateau. Second, power snatches help develop better thoracic and cervical alignment, which provides better neural drive for the elbow flexors.

Where is the research on it? Nowhere. Just years of strength coaching and living in the now, paying attention to athletes’ training journals and eventually looking at progression curves with the strength-training software I developed.

Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med-alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit Also, see his ad on page 147.   IM



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