Can you achieve 24-inch arms like Morgan Astes? Probably not, but it never hurts to try!
Most bodybuilders’ nicknames are a bit of an exaggeration, purposely intended to conjure up images of sheer size and/or portray an individual as inhuman or even immortal. There was “the Oak” (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and “the Myth” (Sergio Oliva) in the 1960s and ’70s, and now we have “the Big Bad Wolf” (Dennis Wolf) and “the Gift” (Phil Heath) in the current crop. Impressive physical specimens, all of them, with monikers that progress their legends even further.
One current competitor, however, has a nickname that, while substantial, seems to fall short of his stature. They call Frenchman Morgan Aste “the Big Rock,” but most stones don’t weigh 350 pounds like Aste does in the off-season. (He competes at just under 300 pounds.)
At his size, you’d expect Aste to follow a training plan that calls for equally huge volume, yet he doesn’t. Rather, he follows a training protocol–MACS7, created by his trainer, René Même–that allows him to keep his workload modest. In the following pages, you’ll find a sample biceps/triceps workout Aste favors for his 24-inch arms. Yes, 24!
FLEX: Are your biceps and/or triceps a strong point?
Morgan Aste: Perhaps, but even if my arms are my strong area, I train them with the same determination as all other muscle groups. I don’t give them any particular attention, as I know that everything is important and nothing can be overlooked. I’m always looking to improve both the size and quality of my arms.
Do you prefer to go heavy or are you more into lighter weight, higher reps, and really feeling the contraction?
My training is based on alternating between heavy loads and lighter, more technical loads using the MACS7 method. I try to get the best-adapted distribution depending on the muscle groups. This strategy allows me to obtain better results.
You’re also an elite strongman competitor, arguably the best in all of France. How do you balance the two disciplines (bodybuilding and strongman) in your training?
When I decide to compete as a bodybuilder, I don’t change a lot of things in my training except adding more specific isolation exercises. My usual training always includes exercises for developing strength; I just need to specialize a little more for bodybuilding or strongman when I prepare for a contest in one or the other.
Which bodybuilder do you compare your physique to? At your size, it’s probably difficult to find a worthy comparison.
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