To Top

Squats and Arms

I’d love to tell you yes because I like making people miserable, but it would not be true.

Q: I hear everyone saying that you can’t build big arms without heavy squats and deadlifts. Is that true?

A: I’d love to tell you yes because I like making people miserable, but it would not be true. Although heavy powerlifts will definitely help your quest for big pipes, 18-inch guns have been built without a squat rack or a deadlift platform in sight. Just look at guys such as national arm-wrestling champion Jason Remer, who sports a great bodybuilding physique. Although these days this rare gentleman athlete is serious about training his whole body, a couple of years ago Remer won his first national title with no lower-body work at all.

Before you let your squat rack get overgrown with spider webs, though, you need to know one thing about Jason’s training. Unlike a typical curl artist who bounces, pumps and burns with sissy weights and high reps, the arm-wrestling champ treats his curls as serious strength training. He lifts heavy, slow and tight. A perfect and conservative triple with 150 pounds is a routine set of barbell curls for Jason.

One of the top profesional arm benders in the Midwest, Marty O’Neal, has 17-inch pipes at 176 pounds of bodyweight on a 5’11” frame. When I met the up-and-coming athlete a few years ago, he was wiry but certainly not bursting out of his sleeves. In other words, it’s not just genetics. It’s the training: heavy curls plus arm wrestling, which is the ultimate in time under tension.

Beyond Bodybuilding

Editor’s note: Beyond Bodybuilding is availble from

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Arms

  • Massive Gains From Head To Toe

    A total body overload plan for virtually guaranteed hypertrophy. By Sarah L. Chadwell, NASM-CPT   Broscience states that lifting heavy junk...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 13, 2017
  • Pre-Exhaust Training

    Improve your form, keep your body balanced and continue progressing. By Heather Neff, CPT   Have you tried pre-exhaust training? Though...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 5, 2017
  • Better Off Deadlifting

    The deadlift has stood the test of time because it works all of your muscles. By Sarah Chadwell, NASM CPT  ...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 2, 2017
  • 6 Weeks To Be Your Best!

    A raw, full-body six-week workout that will get your body rock solid. By Sarah L. Chadwell, NASM-CPT   Want to get...

    Sharon OrtigasSeptember 29, 2017
  • The Ultimate Arms Workout

    Four to eight weeks of this workout will result in arms growth and tight T-shirts. By Michael Schletter, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D  ...

    Sharon OrtigasSeptember 28, 2017
  • Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press

    Six vital tips to ensure that you're getting the most out of this gym staple. By Patrick Thompson, CPT   From...

    Sharon OrtigasSeptember 22, 2017
  • Rise To A New Level With Laterals

    Lateral raises will push your delts and upper body to new heights. By Sarah Chadwell, NASM CPT   Every man wants...

    Sharon OrtigasSeptember 15, 2017
  • Grow With The Flow

    Try these night-time high-rep sets to induce rapid muscle growth. By Tony Estrada   Let’s face it: If this article supported...

    Sharon OrtigasAugust 28, 2017
  • Push It

    The classic chest-and-tri’s combination gets a modern makeover. By Mike Carlson   At the 2017 Mr. Olympia weekend, host Bob Cicherillo...

    Sharon OrtigasAugust 22, 2017