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Fast Arm Bulking Routines

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: I’m a fast-twitch athlete and don’t seem to respond well to higher reps. Are there any good workouts you can provide to bulk up my arms—fast?

A: One method that works well is to use lower-rep protocols—keeping the time under tension at 20 seconds or so—but shortening the rest intervals. I cover this in my hypertrophy boot camps, and as such it’s considered proprietary information—so you have to promise not to share this workout with anyone.
First, let’s start with the triceps:

A1) Floor presses: 5/0/X/0 tempo, 5 x 2
Rest 10 seconds
A2) 30 degree, neutral-grip triceps extensions: 4/0/X/0 tempo, 5 x 4
Rest 10 seconds
A3) Supine, neutral-grip triceps extensions: 3/0/X/0 tempo, 5 x 6
Rest 10 seconds
A4) Standing neutral-grip rope French presses: 2/0/X/0 tempo, 5 x 8
Rest 120 seconds
And here’s one for the biceps:

A1) Undergrip chinups: 5/0/X/0 tempo, 5 x 2
Rest 10 seconds
A2) Seated 45 degree, mid-reverse-grip EZ-curl bar Scott curls: 4/0/X/0 tempo, 5 x 4
Rest 10 seconds
A3) Unsupported, thick-bar seated Zottman curls: 3/0/X/0 tempo, 5 x 6
Rest 10 seconds
A4) Thick-handle dumbbell 45 degree supinated-grip incline curls: 2/0/X/0 tempo, 5 x 8
Rest 120 seconds

The concept behind this workout is that you still perform lower reps, but the shorter, 10-second rest intervals between sets will create more lactate. Also, due to the great number of sets in the workout, you need to use a weight that will enable you to complete the rep goal for each set. For example, if you are performing five sets of two reps, don’t use your two-repetition max but perhaps your 4RM. If you cannot perform all the reps for the last two sets when following that guideline, the workout is too advanced for you.

Those who are familiar with my work know that my programs fall into two basic categories: accumulation (emphasizing volume of training) and intensification (emphasizing intensity of training). The above two routines would belong in an accumulation phase.

Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc­cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med­alists 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 IM

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