I will map it all out for you up and comers--what to do, what not to do, mindset, intensity, and attitude. I am doing everything for you except fucking feeding you.
We begin Volume 1 of our five part series on the development of the physique. So why not start with one of everybody’s favorite beefy bodyparts, arms? This along with chest is the bodypart that is associated with most bodybuilders. Who doesn’t want huge triceps and bulging biceps? I will map it all out for you up and comers--what to do, what not to do, mindset, intensity, and attitude. I am doing everything for you except fucking feeding you. But I do have faith in all of you readers out there that feel the need to read this article because you know that you will walk away learning something. So let’s get started, shall we?
No arm workout is ever truly great unless you have a good partner to lift with. But if he’s late, fuck him; you’re not there for his convenience. So you and your partner walk into the gym. You assess the situation. It is Monday, so you know everyone and his mother is doing chest today… No worries on waiting for a machine. You have a plan of attack as soon as you walk into the space that you claim your own. Today is a superseting day: One bicep movement followed by one tricep movement. You decide that you want to start with a cable tricep pushdown supersetting it with a standing EZ bar curl. Your partner does not like the idea and offers a different alternative. However, you being the more knowledgeable tell him to shut up or go home. He accepts.
You do a warm up set of 15 with a light weight. You break a small sweat as you progress into both sets. For this first set, your form is immaculate, but this won’t last for long. You decide to go up 4 plates on the pushdown station and another 30 pounds on the EZ bar. You do a hard set of 12 on each, struggling with the last rep on each movement.
The weight feels good, so you decide to go up again on each exercise… Another 4 plates on the pushdown and 30 pounds on the curl. Taking weights on and off of the bar is a pain in the ass, but in order to grow, it is one of those necessary evils. Your next set is a tough one; you get 10 reps on the pushdown with a small spot from your partner, who is amazed at the intensity and desire you show. Catch your breath for a half minute and move right into the curl. This gets fucking heavy. You barely get 10, cheating on each rep, with the help of a 2 rep spot, but that’s OK, you felt them. In between your third and your last working sets, you stare at the pushdown rack, amazed that you are doing weight that you never thought you could do.
Since you are already three-quarters of the way down the rack, you rack the whole fucking pushdown machine! You start your set fighting your way through 8 reps and almost getting a ninth. You do a drop set to half the weight which still feels like a thousand pounds. Your triceps are burning, feeling like they are about to tear off your skin. You barely get 8 with such a light weight. You scream with effort. Everyone is looking at you like you just lifted the world over your head. Take a breather.
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You go to the curl, adding another 30 pounds. Just lifting the weight from the rack and holding it makes that small little vein in your neck look like it is about to explode. 1… 2… 3 (rest a second). “Three more,” your partner yells. 4… 5… and 6. As your bicep feels like it just was pierced with a knife, you do a drop set with half the weight. You get barely get another 6, looking like you are rowing the weight at the end since you are cheating so much. Remember, cheat to grow--it is philosophy that should always be practiced when in the gym. Your arms are tired and hard as rock. Your partner is hurting and ready to go home. As for you, you’ve just gotten done with your warm up sets…
By now, your shirt should be fairly soaked and sweat should continually be dripping down your brow. You continue on to a close grip bench press, supersetting it with a machine preacher curl. Since you are so knowledgeable, you know that the close grip bench press is a major mass building movement and a preacher curl promotes a bicep peak--good combo. Since the warm up is done, you decide to go heavy to start on both movements.
Starting with 225 lb. on the bar, you easily perform 10 reps. No need to do any more reps because you want to save your energy for the next 3 sets. You walk over to the preacher curl machine. You place the pin halfway done the rack; you pick up the weight and still feel that it is too light so you add another 5 plates. You perform a set of 12. Since this is a shaping movement, no need to perform any less than 10 reps (yeah right).
Back to the bench, you add another 50 lb. to the bar and get set to launch that weight for a tough 10 that ends with a grunt of relief. Shit. Ever wonder why we describe a good set or a good workout with an inappropriate four letter word? Going back to the preacher curl, you stop and sip some Universal Nutrition Atomic 7. Why not pump the muscles up with glycogen and some essential aminos now? No need to wait.
You down a quarter of it and raise the weight on the preacher curl to rack the stack. You get yourself set, armpits on the pad, back straight, and only moving the lower arm. Yeah right... You rack the weight to move more weight, to get bigger, even if it is a shaping exercise. You grunt out another set of 12, not paying attention to the 20 people looking at you wondering how a human being could possibly be that strong. Sip some more of that drink… That grape flavor tastes soooo good.
You now throw 315 on the bar to close grip for a set of 8. Your partner at this point has already quit and is only there to root you on. You get under the bar and think to yourself, “Why not do a triple drop set?” You begin your set, arms shaking as you lower the weight to the bottom of your chest. Exploding up, the bar just gets heavier and heavier with each rep as you struggle to get 8. Come on you pussy, push it up! “Strip,” you yell to your spotter. Down to 225 you barely get another 8. Strip one more time. This shouldn’t be difficult now… It’s only 135 lb. You barely get 8 reps, dying on the last one.
You sit up trying to catch your breath and shake out the pain. Your arms are so fucking pumped now… Huge. Have another sip of your Nitro G and head on to the last set of the preachers. On the way, you grab 20 lb. to place on top of the machine to add some extra weight to an already racked stack. You get set, picking up the weight and curling it with a mission… 6… 7… 8… Drop. Cut the weight in half… 6… 7… 8… Drop again. You try to drop the weight and curl but your bicep physically does not let you. Alright, I think you’re done with this exercise.
Almost at the finale of the workout, you decide to throw 3 sets of the dip machine in with 3 sets of a seated dumbbell curl. Your arms are so fatigued and pumped at this point you can’t even scratch the top of your head. You do a set on the dip machine for 12 with a fairly heavy weight. Right now, a milk carton would feel heavy. You’re curling 45 pound dumbbells for a hard set of 10 with each arm. One set felt like an eternity. Your arms are killing you.
You finish your Atomic 7 and sit on the bench next to your partner who half-assed the workout. Getting some blood back in your head, you repeat the same movements, this time feelin even worse. You decide not to do the last set because you can’t move and have no blood left in your head.
So let’s recap our arm regimen:
Close Grip Bench Press:
Preacher Curl Machine
Tricep Dip Machine: 12 reps x 3 sets Superset with Seated Dumbbell Curls: 10 reps x 3 sets
Over twenty sets for arms in a matter of an hour. As you sit on the bench to regroup, you feel the Atomic 7 replenish your body. You get some feeling back in your arms and a semblance of consciousness back to your brain. Then as you drag yourself to the locker room to gather your belongings, you ask yourself, “How the fuck am I going to drive home?”
This, my friends, is an arm workout. Work your ass off, intensify your sets, and leave knowing that you accomplished something. This is the workout of someone who wants it bad… The workout of a champion. If this doesn’t motivate you or your partner to finish the workout, then I don’t know what will. Volume 2 of this series, “Back To Basics”, will illustrate the intricacies of training back and show you what it takes to bring about the development of a legendary backside. Until then, have fun training arms and remember to call a cab after you’re done.
5 part series on the development of the physique.
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