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Packing On Arm Mass: A New Angle

Q: I noticed that you do the isolated [contracted-position] exercise first in your biceps and triceps routines. In most of your Positions-of-Flexion mass programs you put the big midrange exercise first. I have the POF 3D Muscle Building e-book, and that’s how all the workouts are structured in it. Is isolating the muscle first better? I need more biceps peak, so will that help?

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #678:
Packing On Arm Mass: A New Angle


Packing On Arm Mass: A New Angle

Q: I noticed that you do the isolated [contracted-position] exercise first in your biceps and triceps routines. In most of your Positions-of-Flexion mass programs you put the big midrange exercise first. I have the POF 3D Muscle Building e-book, and that’s how all the workouts are structured in it. Is isolating the muscle first better? I need more biceps peak, so will that help?

A: You’re right: Standard POF protocol is midrange, stretch then finish with contracted. So a POF biceps routine would be…

Midrange: Barbell curls
Stretch: Incline curls
Contracted: Concentration curls

We’ve been using the Pre-Ex 3X method lately, which is supersetting the contracted-position exercise with the midrange move. For many muscles, doing the isolation move first removes the weak link so you get better size stimulation in the target muscle. What’s a "weak link"?

For example, when you train chest and do bench presses first, your smaller triceps cause you to fail early, before you exhaust the larger, stronger pecs. The tri’s are the weak link. By doing, say, crossovers first, you prefatigue the chest. Now when you immediately go to bench presses, your triceps and pecs are on a level playing field…

Your stronger triceps now force your chest muscles to continue to contract and move further into the growth zone. That was a favorite mass tactic of pro bodybuilder Mike Mentzer’s when he was competing…

When you train arms, however, there is no weak link. But you can still use modified pre-ex for major mass effects–that is, do a 4X sequence of the contracted-position exercise first. You don’t superset; you just do a standard 4X sequence…

Pick a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but only do 10. With one-arm exercises like concentration curls, you just go back and forth, 10 reps for your right arm, 10 reps for your left, then back to the right, and so on for four sets. Go to failure on your last set.

That’s similar to how champion bodybuilder Lee Labrada trains…

He says: "I’ve found that starting my biceps routine with a one-arm-at-a-time isolation exercise really helps me stimulate this muscle because the strict movement forces the biceps to work with little assistance from any other muscle group."

He does concentration curls to kick off his biceps routine; then he moves to barbell curls for his second exercise. So it’s contracted, then midrange–modified pre-exhaustion…

We have the modified pre-ex method for ALL bodyparts in the Modified Pre-Ex 3X Mass Workout in that e-book–iso exercises first. There’s also a complete Pre-Ex superset program to–like crossovers to bench presses–to remove weak links. And there’s a home-gym version too….

Will doing concentration curls first help improve your biceps peak? Very possibly. That exercise focuses on the outer biceps head, which contributes most to biceps height. It’s the in-for-out, out-for-in rule…

When your arm is angled in, you train the outer head (more peak); when it’s angled out–like wide-grip curls–you stress the inner heads (more thickness). {For more on what exercises train which part of the biceps and triceps as well as many targeted arm-size workouts, see the X-traordinary Arms e-book. Do the workouts as listed or with the 4X growth-threshold method.]

Positions of Flexion, Pre-Ex 3X, modified pre-ex, standard 4X–variation is key for more size on your bi’s and tri’s.

Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.

Special Low Price: The X-traordinary Arms e-book is available at the X Shop for the limited-time low price of only $15.99.

New Release: The Pre-Ex 3X e-book is available at It contains 3 complete programs along with how to integrate Rest/Pause 4X and Drop Set 4X–plus you get the Ultimate Mass-Building Split.

–Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

LIMITED-TIME $19.99 BEST-SELLERS: We’re offering each of these at their lowest price ever to get you big and ripped by spring. Click on the title you’re interested in for more info…

1) The 4X Mass Workout–fast, simplified supersaturation training for X-treme size

2) The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout–the latest update to our original X e-book

3) The X-centric Mass Workout–the negative-accentuated training manual

4) The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout–total body transformation training

5) X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts–10 complete mass programs

6) X-traordinary Arms–includes the 3D HIT workout system with big-arms routines

7) 3D Muscle Building–the original Positions-of-Flexion mass-training manual

8) X-treme Lean—Fat-Burning and Nutrition Guide (with training too)

9) The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

10) NEW The X-traordinary Size Surge Workout 2.0

11) The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout

12) Eric Broser’s FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout

To follow the ITRC training program in “Train, Eat, Grow,” get a copy of the latest issue of IRON MAN.

This Special Report was submitted by Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman.
The IRON MAN Training & Research Team

The ITRC Training Newsletter is not intended as training advice for everyone. You must consult your physician before beginning any diet or training program. You may forward this email to as many friends as you want, but do not photocopy or reprint this report in any format without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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