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Thread: Arm Size

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sun's Avatar
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    Arm Size

    You'll never look at direct arm work the same again. I saw an arguement about this on here. I do believe this article:



    THE ARMS EXPERIMENT



    by Bill Piche

    From Hardgainer #53 - Mar/Apr 98'



    Can someone build their arms to their maximum potential without direct arm training? Without hesitation, my answer is resounding YES! This contradicts what is often published in the mainstream publications. Mr. Bodybuilding champion typically recommends 20-set arm routines with such nonsensical tips as "go for the maximum pump" and "go for the burn." Over the last ten years I have been asked numerous times how to build big arms. Most people are puzzled by my answer, which advises doing little to no direct arm training. Recently I had the opportunity to personally perform an arm experiment to provide a good example to those who were non-believers.

    GETTING BIG ARMS

    Before I describe my personal experiment and the results, I would like to touch on what I believe are two of the most important factors for obtaining big arms.

    1. Genetics

    You have to face facts: the size of your arms are limited by your genetics–what you were blessed with from your ancestors and parents. A common belief that contradicts the role of genetics is "building the peak." You can't simply build a peak on your biceps. Your genetics determine what your biceps will look like when they are fully developed. If you could build a peaked biceps, then why doesn't everyone have a great peak to their biceps? The common myth portrayed is that there are some special biceps exercises to build peak. Well, there aren't. Besides, how do the biceps know the difference between a so-called "peaking exercise" and a "mass-building exercise"?

    2. Body size

    If you want to get significantly bigger arms you must increase your overall muscle mass. You can't have 18-inch arms and have a bodyweight of 160 lbs. How do you gain more overall muscle mass? You gain more muscle by performing compound, multiple-joint exercises such as the squat, bench press, deadlift, dumbbell row, or dip. Exercises such as the dumbbell triceps kickback or the biceps concentration curl aren't going to get the job done. If you train consistently hard, consume enough good food, get enough sleep at night, and allow enough time for muscle recovery, your overall muscle mass will increase. When this happens, it's a sure bet your arm size will increase as well.

    THE EXPERIMENT

    In my training, have all but eliminated any direct arm training. In fact, in the last few years the only direct arm training I did was an afterthought. One significant observation I made over the last few years was that when my upper-back strength improved, so did my performance in any direct biceps training. The opposite was not true, however. When I totally cut out direct biceps training, my upper back size and strength increased. Was I sacrificing anything by not doing any direct biceps training? Everything in my training log pointed to "no" as the answer. However, I wanted to add a final exclamation point on the answer.

    I saw my opportunity when I discovered that the Natural Athletes Strength Association (NASA) Iowa Regional Powerlifting and Power Sports Championships was being held within a short driving distance, and included the strict curl as an event. The strict curl is an arm-curl event (no cheating) where an ez-curl bar is used. Could I be successful in an arm curl contest without doing any direct biceps training prior to the competition? My experiment was now clear.

    The training and results

    I basically did not perform any direct biceps training before the competition. Since an ez-curl bar would be used for the meet, I knew I had to at least practice the event. Therefore, I did a few sub-maximal singles with less than 100% effort once a week for five weeks prior to the competition. I did this to get the feel of the ez-curl bar since I had not used one in more than ten years.

    What I considered my real training was simple. I tried to train my upper back as hard as possible in the five weeks before the competition. >From past experience, I've found that performing one set of negative-only chins (4-second negative) for 10-12 repetitions over a short period of time (3-4 weeks, once a week) would boost my upper-back strength. An increase in the strength of my biceps always followed. So, that is how I decided to train for the competition.

    The results of my experiment? I weighed in at 202 lbs and was in the 205-lb weight division. In the competition, I made all three of my attempts and finished with 67.5 kgs (148.5 lbs). I considered this to be a personal record. The lift was a new Iowa state record, but another lifter got the record because he weighed 4 lbs less than I did.

    Let me also mention that my arms have never been bigger. Fifteen years ago, when I was 19, I curled a personal record 150 lbs, but this was in training and was done with a slight cheat. At the time, I was also doing direct biceps training.

    THE FINAL ANSWER

    The results of my personal experiment provided me with irrefutable evidence that you don't need any direct biceps training if you are working your upper back hard. I don't believe the triceps to be any different. If you perform a major pressing movement, and you do it with gusto, no direct triceps training is necessary. The key to big arms is not direct arm training. The key is to train hard, brief and infrequently using basic compound exercises that hit the major musculature of the body (legs, glutes, chest, back). Throw in some good food and sleep into the formula, and you will develop your arms to their maximum potential. The answer has never been more clear.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cackerot69's Avatar
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    Hmmm...direct arm work still looks the same....

  3. #3
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    Arms

    This guy obviously has great genetics. I don't !!!! So therefore I need to do direct arm training...

  4. #4
    WBBs motivational Speaker Rock's Avatar
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    Man that was good aticle, thank you for posting it.
    I never knew that Curling and E-zbar could be in a competition.
    Is there a world record in E-Zbar.
    A big thanks to all my friends in the USA, I am deeply grateful for your hospitality and kindness.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sun's Avatar
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    My genetics aren't what I would call spectacular, but it's a proven fact that BIG ARMS belong to BIG MEN. To add to that, I am not big by any means, however my arms have grown well without much direct arm work at all.
    Last edited by Sun; 08-22-2001 at 09:14 AM.

  6. #6
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    Not me.. I have to hammer my bis and tris.
    You bet your sweet ass!

  7. #7
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Contrary to what that author has to say, I will state that irrefutably one much train the arms directly to maximize their size. Now, I believe they can and will get bigger without direct work, but you cannot maximize their potential without direct training.

  8. #8
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Originally posted by chris mason
    Contrary to what that author has to say, I will state that irrefutably one much train the arms directly to maximize their size. Now, I believe they can and will get bigger without direct work, but you cannot maximize their potential without direct training.
    *** Took the words right outta my mouth.
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    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Sun's Avatar
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    ... Without much direct arm work at all. I do believe some needs to be done, but I guess I don't believe we need to focus and make it such a huge priority to do this and that if we're doing compound movements already.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cackerot69's Avatar
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    I agree with Chris.

  11. #11
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    "Geordie/'d3c:di/n. & adj. Brit colloq. n. 1 a native of Tyneside. 2 the dialect spoken on Tyneside. adj. of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or its dialect. [the name George + -IE]

  12. #12
    Senior Member Sun's Avatar
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    Originally posted by The_Chicken_Daddy
    I second that. I was expecting Cack to say, "**** I don't even know what a bicep curl is."

  13. #13
    Banned Praetorian's Avatar
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    A very good article, but none the less ; Do you have any prove that this guy never did any direct biceps excersice?
    Come on.......

  14. #14
    Senior Member Sun's Avatar
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    LOL!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Cackerot69's Avatar
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    LOL, kinda like chris saying "but you've never actually seen powerlifters train, so how do you know they don't train to failure?"

    They secretely train to failure during the night when nobody is looking and lie about it to everyone....Bahahaha....

  16. #16
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Well Cack if you believe everything you read, you might believe the posted routines of pro bodybuilders in Flex magazine, or you might believe that Boron really alters testosterone levels etc. Facts are that some people lie to sell something, whether it is a tangible item or an idea. You see Cack, the difference between you and me is that I have seen powerlifters (one in particular who holds a record in the bench press) and professional bodybuilders train. I have lived and experienced enough to realize that many things in this world are not really as they seem. Hopefully, when you get older and more experienced you will realize this as well.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Cackerot69's Avatar
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    lmao.

  18. #18
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    i know piche (who wrote the article) and hes legit. as always find out what works for you.

  19. #19
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    The results of my experiment? I weighed in at 202 lbs and was in the 205-lb weight division. In the competition, I made all three of my attempts and finished with 67.5 kgs (148.5 lbs). I considered this to be a personal record. The lift was a new Iowa state record, but another lifter got the record because he weighed 4 lbs less than I did.

    Let me also mention that my arms have never been bigger. Fifteen years ago, when I was 19, I curled a personal record 150 lbs, but this was in training and was done with a slight cheat. At the time, I was also doing direct biceps training.
    I dont see how that proves anything personally. In 15 years of training the curl has come down 2lbs. That just seems to disprove the theory to me. If it had increased over 150lbs then id agree but it hasnt. I think you dont need to train biceps directly to maintain their size and strength but to increase the size and strength you do have to. That is what I have found anyway.

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