Build Impressive Arms
Some things you can see in the second photo:
To develop shoulders, see our Build Impressive Shoulders article.
Here are some fat loss articles:
The main thing to understand from this photo is you are not going to get impressive arms without total conditioning. The same is true of impressive abs or an Impressive Back.
Unfortunately, many people misapply this truth and try to build everything on the same workout. That does not work, one reason being it sacrifices Intensity.
|Those of you who reading this hoping to find out how to build bulging biceps won't be disappointed, after all. These last two photos show the eponymous bulging biceps.|
You can also see definition, vascularity, etc. Notice the size of the pectoral in that last photo.
The biceps consists of two muscles (the Latin "bi" meaning "two"). What makes the bulge like that is the brachialis, which is the underlying part of the biceps. It anchors at the elbow. When this muscle enlarges, it pushes up the other muscle. That gives the biceps a rounded appearance.
A classic exercise for building the brachialis is the hammer curl. But just doing hammer curls will not give you great guns.
A common approach in gyms is to do a bunch of pansy routines on fancy machines. These do not:
How do we know these things? The fact that people routinely do this kind of "workout" three times a week tells you it's ineffective. Especially if combined with work on other body parts. You cannot do an effective biceps workout 3 times a week as part of a circuit training regimen. You'll see this when I describe my biceps training, next.
My biceps workout
I do two biceps workouts on the same day. My next day for biceps workout will occur 3 to 5 days later. I work myback in this same workout. Throughout, I maintain a high level of intensity with every rep of every set.
All of these are done at an ultra-slow speed. For example, I may take 20 seconds to lower the weight during a curl. The whole point here isn't to tear down the muscle but to get the adaptive response.
There is no way you can do this kind of workout without a few days rest between a repeat of it. In fact, when my rotation falls such that I have back/biceps, chest/triceps, and squats occurring in succession with no rest day between any two of them I know I have to pick one workout to scale back on. Sometimes, I skip the afternoon back/biceps workout or sometimes I skip the afternoon chest/triceps workout. I cannot do but one squats workout on the same day, so there's no afternoon squats workout to skip (squats work so many muscles, you can't recover enough to do anything more later in the day without overtraining).
I alsosupplement appropriately, get adequate sleep, and maintain a healthy diet. These three practices are foundational to building a great body, yet few people put much thought or discipline into them. With a little attention to this area, you can really put your program on the fast track.
What was that about rotation? I do a split routine program. There is no single right way. There are a few ways that are generally accepted by serious athletes. Here's mine:
I do these workouts on a rotating basis on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Three workouts and four days means the pattern changes each week.
In addition to this rotating pattern of upper body workouts, I do these:
In these photos, I was at 5% body fat and am still there about a month later as I write this. In fact, I have been at 5% bodyfat since early this year. I'll probably stay that lean well into the future.
One reason I can be that lean is the way I have these workouts scheduled. This kind of scheduling plays off the cortisol/testosterone responses the body goes through when subjected to the kind of stress that an intense workout puts on it.
Of course, eating six small meals a day and paying attention to what's in those meals is another factor that allows a 50 year old person to be at 5% bodyfat. It isn't genes, trust me. If I can do it, anyone else can do it.
This article touches on the key aspects of building powerful, impressive arms. Many people will focus on some minor detail or another, but not properly assemble the big pieces. Now you have a good idea of how the big pieces go together. In our other articles, you'll find the details of exercises and diet. Before you implement those details, put together your total fitness plan based on what you've just read.
Photographer: Aaron Lindberg,http://www.aaronlindberg.com/
The articles on this site are authoritative, because:
Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.
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