The Ultimate Arms Workout
Iron Man Magazine|August 2017
The Ultimate Arms Workout

Four to eight weeks of this workout will result in arms growth and tight T-shirts.

Michael Schletter
Curls, rope pressdowns, reverse curls, dips and done. Sound like a familiar arm workout? It’s probably because that’s the one you see everyone doing all the time, so you do it, too. The problem is that your progress has stalled, and even though you still get a solid pump from the workout, once that pump disappears your arms are still the same size and the sleeves of your shirts fit the same as they did six months ago when you started doing your current arm workout. If you were truly into building strength and muscle, you might want to ask yourself: Why aren’t my arms growing anymore? The answer is easy: You need more variety.

However, there are a few principles that need to be defined and understood first in order to really see a major difference, the first of which is the size principle. Forget the biology for a second. What you need to take from this principle is to work big muscles first because they are stronger than the small ones. Think your chest isn’t involved in triceps-focused movements? Think again. Yes, there are variations of the standard bench press that focus more heavily on the triceps, but because your chest typically is stronger than your triceps, you can load up the weight on a close-grip press far more than you can on a rope pressdown and more weight means more gains.

The second concept that must be understood is that your muscles work and grow in what are called antagonistic pairs. In other words, you have one muscle or muscle group that performs one action (for example, the biceps flex the elbow), and another that performs the exact opposite action (for example, the triceps extend the elbow). When it comes to growth, you can’t increase the size of a muscle without increasing the size of its antagonist.

In the previous example, your biceps can’t grow without triceps growth and vice versa. One important distinction is that you need to work both the agonist (the biceps in the previous example) and the antagonist (the triceps in the previous example) in order to see improvement. You can’t just grow one. An individual muscle won’t increase in size until the other one does.

Choosing Your Exercise

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August 2017