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Train To Gain: Gun Fight

Winning the arms race by devoting time to train them.

Are you satisfied with your arm development? I doubt it. Not many bodybuilders are, which is the reason you see arm-training articles every month in every physique publication. Why is it that most of us have such trouble making gains in the bi’s and tri’s after a certain point?

Bodybuilding tradition usually pairs biceps with back and triceps with either deltoids or chest. That may seem to make sense, since the arms assist in those larger muscles’ movements and are already warmed up by the time you get to them. What’s really happening, though, is that the arms are getting fatigued while assisting the larger muscle group.

Think about a back-and-biceps session. You do a few sets of chins, a few sets of rows, maybe deadlifts and then shrugs before commencing your various curling movements. By the time you start in on bi’s, they’re halfway trashed! Some trainees realize this and try to remedy the situation by pairing bi’s with chest or delts and tri’s with back. While that may be a slight improvement, it still means you don’t start working your arms until after you’ve done many heavy sets for a larger muscle complex.

If you’re serious about improving the mass of your arms, give them their own training day. If that means you have to double up a couple other muscle groups, then so be it. First, be objective and try to think of something else on your physique that isn’t going anywhere. Say your chest is great and always has been. Drop your chest-training day and just do a few sets for maintenance on the day you train legs, back or shoulders. That frees up a day to focus purely on arms. You won’t believe how much more weight you can use, how much better a pump you achieve or how your biceps and triceps will actually start to grow. Don’t go crazy with extra sets and exercises. Just do a better job with no more than three exercises each for the bi’s and tri’s for three to four sets. Soon your arms should look significantly better, surprising your gym mates and even yourself with the results. IM

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