Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Powerful Arms For You - David Willoughby



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Powerful Arms For You

by David Willoughby & George Weaver


Chapter One:

Arm Development


Powerful well-developed arms, if not directly essential to health, are certainly to be desired by any man who is in search of a perfect physique. The arms are a conspicuous element in our physical appearance, not only in beach costume, but in ordinary summer clothing that conceals the legs while revealing the arms. Apart from a splendid chest development, nothing will enhance the impressiveness of a masculine body more than a powerfully and symmetrically developed pair of arms.


The object of intelligent physical training is to bring about and maintain a superior condition of health and strength, of mental and physical efficiency. The attainment of these qualities is more nearly certain if the body is harmoniously proportioned in all its parts. Symmetrical development of the muscular system is a condition most conductive to balanced functioning of the vital organs. It is this balanced development of the entire body that the reader should make his goal.


In application to the present subject of arm development, this means that one should not be possessed by a mania for enormous arms at the expense of the rest of the body. However, this “bulging biceps” bugaboo has been considerably overemphasized by academic myophobiacs, who apparently believe that men should strive to achieve the muscularity and bodily proportions characteristic of the normal woman. Over-development of the arms and upper body is definitely to be avoided. The various exercises hereinafter recommended for the arms should be used in conjunction with exercises for the rest of the physique, particularly the legs and back. But the fact remains that, while there are undoubtedly cases where the arms have been developed out of all proportion to the rest of the body, for each of these occasional cases there are perhaps a thousand in which the development of the arms is proportionately poor.


For the arms are the weakest spot in the physique of the average man. This fact is revealed in a glaring manner by an analysis of the measurements of the average American male adult, in comparison with what the measurements of his body should be, according to the Willoughby standard, a method for determining the optimal proportions of the body that has been presented in the Research Quarterly of the American Physical Education Association. This analysis shows that the percentage of deficiency in the various parts of the body of the average man, in relation to the ideal, is as follows:

Upper Arms – 17.3

Forearms – 13.5

Chest – 11.7

Neck – 10.0

Thighs – 7.9

Calves – 6.3

Hips – 3.1

Waist – 2.4


It is obvious, therefore, that the average man should be thinking about ways of attaining proper arm development, rather than worrying about the possibility that his arms might become over-developed!

In the normally proportioned woman, the calves are more than 2 inches larger than the flexed upper arms. In the perfectly proportioned man, on the other hand, the calves and the flexed upper arms should be of approximately the same girth. The flexed upper arms of the average man, however, are 1.7 inches smaller than his calves. Such a proportion hardly adds to the masculine character of his physique.


Fortunately, the arms can be developed. Ideal proportions of the arms can be obtained by the average man. Progressive exercise with adjustable barbells and dumbells has brought to thousands of men a degree of muscular development once considered impossible unless one was “born that way.” it has opened a new era in physical training.


The purpose of this book is to provide the man or youth desirous of improving the size and strength of his arms with trustworthy information on how to do so. That the methods recommended are without equal for the purposes intended is demonstrated by the matchless development of those who exemplify these methods. A sufficient number of exemplary subjects will be named in the text to illustrate the potency of barbell exercise for developing to the highest degree not only the arms but all other parts of the body. As the exercises hereinafter given have stood the test of time, our task is simply to transmit those exercises to the reader in such a manner that he may clearly understand them and apply them with the utmost benefit.

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