When developing an arm-blasting routine always keep in mind a few facts about arm anatomy.
First, remember that while the bicep is the "show-off' muscle, the tricep comprises two-thirds of your upper arm measurement. DO NOT make the beginner's mistake of overworking the biceps and neglecting your triceps.
Second, focus on the basic exercises. Chin-ups, barbell curls, and cable preacher curls should be the main focus of your biceps effort.
For triceps, close-grip bench press using both a standard and reverse grip, reverse grip press-downs, and skull crushers are a solid foundation to build on.
Isolation movements such as triceps kickbacks and dumbbell concentration curls play a role and can be added. But if your focus is mass-building, isolation movements should only be used occasionally.
Third, don't neglect your forearms. Earlier, we mentioned that your arms are always on display. This goes double for your forearms. A firm handshake is critical for making an excellent first impression.
Also, many of the compound life such as deadlifts, heavy barbell rows, and pull-ups rely on a secure grip.
In addition to standard wrist curls and reverse curls, consider adding hanging from a bar or rope for the forearm flexor muscles and fingertip pushups for the forearm extensor muscles.
Fourth, remember the importance of progressive overload. This means keep adding weight. Ultimately, more pounds on the bar is what will force your muscle to grow. And keep your reps in the 8-10 range.
The body has an incredible ability to adapt to the demands you place upon it. If you continually do the same volume with the same weight your gains will be minimal since you are not demanding more from your muscles.
The growth formula is simple: more weight and more reps = more growth.
Fifth, if your arm development is lagging, don't hesitate to devote an entire separate training session to arms. This will allow you to hit your arms with more intensity and heavier weight.
Sixth, don't forget the mind-muscle connection. While many scoffed at the idea of visualizing the muscle growing while being flooded with blood during a workout or seeing your biceps as a mountain, the skepticism stopped when many world-class bodybuilders showed the results of that thinking.
Among the many who believed in the importance of the mind-muscle connection was 7-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is to this day considered "The king of bodybuilding." Enough said.
Last, but certainly not least, consider training frequency. If your arms are not responding to once-a-week training, don't be afraid to add another session and hit them twice a week.
Stick with these ideas, be patient, and growth will come!
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