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Q&A: Big-Arms Workouts and Exercises

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: What were the most effective arm programs you ever followed?

A: They were usually programs that didn’t specialize on my arms.

When I was young, I was fanatical about bodybuilding in general, but because I didn’t have terrific genetics for it, and because I never used bodybuilding drugs, arm-specialization routines didn’t do much for me no matter how much I applied myself. I wasn’t able to trigger much arm growth in isolation, and neither can most other typical bodybuilders.

The only way I could build individual -bodyparts, including my arms, was by building my entire physique as a whole. And the only way I could do that was by training my whole body—usually twice a week—using a simple routine that focused on a handful of big exercises, with the central creed of getting incrementally stronger, for plenty of reps, in good technique. If a routine included the chinup, a curl wasn’t necessary, but if a routine had a row rather than a chinup, I’d include a curl. I got triceps work from doing benches (or dips) and overhead presses. The programs were founded on building overall size, with my arms growing along for the ride, so to speak.

—Stuart McRobert


Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the new BRAWN series, Book 1: How to Build Up to 50 Pounds of Muscle the Natural Way, available from Home Gym Warehouse (800) 447-0008 or

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