Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Massive Arms for You, Part Seven - Joe Weider (1956)


So far in this course I've been doing all the work. Now, the time has come for a more even distribution of labor, so keep your training togs handy; you'll need them soon. 

If that's Joe Weider writing I'll eat my Protein From The Sea.

Charles A. Smith? 
You bet. 

I don't blame you if you're itching to get started on some of the more than 70 basic exercises and the hundreds of variations of these I've outlined. But -- just using these exercises without knowing WHY or HOW will give you a pair of mighty sore arms, but not much else.

Obviously, you can't just pick out any exercises that might strike your fancy and then expect them to give you massive arms. But, you can be sure that there is a time and an appropriate place for each one of the exercises and their many variations. And that, I propose to tell you now.

First, you and I must settle one important point, and this is -- are you really ready for arm specialization? The chances are that you don't quite know for sure. You want to get bigger arms, of course. If you didn't you wouldn't be reading this book.
So, will arm specialization do you any real good at this time? Here's how you can tell. If you've had at least a year of regular training with a good course of instructions then you are advanced enough to benefit from specialized arm work. If you have had less than that length of consistent proper training then you will be wise to merely study this book, but to hold off following any of the routines in it until you have had the required minimum experience. 

Don't forget, even on a rather general course, your arms are definitely not being neglected. Many of the exercises I've listed are likely quite familiar to you already. 

However, the time element in itself is not the complete guide. While it is true that after a year's proper training experience you should be advanced enough to specialize on the arms, or any other part of the body for that matter, this still doesn't mean that such specialization is needed by you. Therefore, here is another condition you should obey. Besides making sure that you've been training properly for at least a year on a good all around general program, DO NOT begin to specialize on the arms unless the course you are presently following has ceased to make them grow. In other words, if your arms are still growing satisfactorily, don't make any change in their training. 

This is only common sense, for the test of the worth of any course is RESULTS! Just as long as you are getting results from any course DO NOT make a change, regardless of how long you may have been on the course. Only AFTER improvement ceases for a few weeks can you be certain that you've outgrown the productiveness of the course for now, and only then should you make a switch. I hope that point is completely clear.

And now, let us presume that after carefully reading the foregoing you decide you are ready to specialize on your arms. What should you do? 

Make up your mind what you immediate arm training goal is. In other words, decide WHAT YOU WANT AND NEED MOST. Is it more bulk, greater definition, improved proportion, or an increase in power? 

Only you know exactly what you want, so only you can make the decision. But, once you do make up your mind, train only for the one, major purpose you have picked out. Select exercises and routines devised to produce that result, and don't split up your training, following a bulk course one day, a definition course the next, a power course the third and a muscle proportioning course the next.

To gain maximum benefit from any routine you must stick to it for a least a reasonable amount of time. Then, if you find that the results you are getting from that type of training aren't giving you the kind of arm you want most, you can always change to another program.

As you advance in arm training and gain more experience, your aims are bound to change from time to time. Even great champions like Ross, Reeves and Stephan train for bulk for a time, then after their arms are somewhat bulkier they may change to a definition course, or one for power. Your ideals will change as you progress in the game, and thanks to this book you well be able to satisfy your varying needs.

When specializing on your arms, if at all possible, try to make your training of them conform with your general training ideas. This is one training principle which is frequently overlooked and I'll explain it in greater detail now.

If you decide that your arms need more bulk more than anything else, then besides following a bulk arm routine try to follow a bulk routing for the rest of the body too. If you do this your arms will grow more easily, for by eating more heavily of weight gaining foods, and doing all around exercises which are conductive of bodyweight gains, you set up a pattern of growth receptiveness within the body, which helps to add inches to your arms.

More of interest on this subject:

If the contrary is true, and that despite your bodybuilding experience your arms are still flabby and generally overweight, you'll acquire definition faster if besides following definition arm exercises you also watch your diet to eliminate fattening foods, eat generously of high protein foods and generally train for definition of the entire body. Then a cycle of harder muscularity is set up inside the body and you acquire muscularity faster.

This same is true when it comes to power, or improved symmetry. Always try to set your arm goal and your overall bodybuilding goal in the same channel. If you do this, there will be no conflicting elements, no working at cross purposes. Physically and psychologically you'll be attuned to one major bodybuilding goal, even though you may be concentrating on your arms.

Of course, this may not always be completely possible. There will be some who will, by necessity, have conflicting arms. A bodybuilder who began greatly overweight may have reduced satisfactorily in all body parts except his lower abdomen and hips. Then he will have to strive for further reduction of these two areas, even though he may want to make his arms grow as well.  Other bodybuilders who began training very thin may have experienced very rapid arm growth during their first few months of training, and because of this their arms could be slightly fleshy while the rest of their bodies are still comparatively lean. In such cases, it might be more practical for them to train the arms for greater definition and at the same time work the rest of the body on a general bulk routine.

These are the exceptions, but I know that they do exist. However, in time, as they continue in their bodybuilding, even these exceptions will equalize their development and then they too will be able to train with one major bodybuilding goal in mind; the same one which conforms with their arm aims.

So, if right now, due to developmental flaws you cannot follow the principle I have just outlined, then train as you must for the time being. But don't forget the secret I've just revealed. Sooner or later you will have to follow it to acquire the arms of your dreams.

And now we've reached the moment you've been waiting for -- your graduation day so to speak, when you can at at last put into actual practice some of the knowledge you have acquired in this book so far. You still have a great deal more to learn, you'll find that as we go along. But -- you can start getting into your training clothes for that first Big Arm workout isn't too far off now.   


The basic principles behind arm specialization are simple, once they are understood. One of the first that you must remember is that there is NO SINGLE BEST ARM EXERCISE, OR ROUTINE, FOR THAT MATTER, THAT WILL WORK 100% FOR EVERYONE. 

Each one of us is an individual, and as such is controlled to some extent by our temperament, structural build and even heredity. This in no way implies that if you happen to be of a different temperament or structural build compared to some champion that you cannot be as successful in your training as he. But, it does mean that the precise routines he follows, the number of sets, reps, arrangements of the exercises, frequency of training and so on which brings him such great success might only bring you mediocre results.

This is one of the big truths and also one of the major perplexities of bodybuilding. And yet, it is not too difficult for you to solve.

You will have to discard some of your old theories, perhaps, for what I am now going to relate is somewhat revolutionary and has never been included in any bodybuilding work before.

Therefore, right now, you are to forget about actual exercises and routines, as such, and concentrate instead on BASIC PRINCIPLES. 

To clarify this, permit me to elaborate. You know, and I know, that when we come right down to it there are no secret exercises. Some of the arm movements which I've included in this work, and some of the variations, may be new to you. But that is only because you haven't had enough bodybuilding experience to have become acquainted with them all. Certainly all of them, or at least a major part of them are known to all advanced bodybuilders.

And yet, even in the cases of advanced bodybuilders, ones who use many, or even all of the exercises in this book from time to time in their training, will have variances of arm size and quality. Why? Because those who succeed the best do not think of exercises as such. They do not think, "Now I am going to do the cheating barbell curl. And then I will do an alternate dumbbell curl. After which I shall perform a flat bench triceps curl with two hands, because these movements are among the best known for flushing up the upper arms." 

No, they do not think in that matter at all. What they do think, follows: -- "I want more bulk on my upper arms. Therefore I will use exercises which have been proven as being good for bulk and then train with these exercises using the BULK PRINCIPLES so my arms will grow."

Do you see the difference? In one case, the individual relies on the exercises to bulk up his arms. In the other, he combines both exercise and BASIC PRINCIPLES. And that is what makes the difference.

The man who relies on exercises alone never gets as far as he should. The one who combines exercise with basic principles reaches his top form.

I make this point clear so that you can understand why it should be an injustice to you, if in this chapter I were merely to set down a few routines and say, "Do these exercises in the order listed for the number of sets and repetitions given and you will acquire bulk." Of if I did the same thing for definition, power, and so on. The routines would work in some cases, but not in all. And I will only be satisfied with this course if EVERYONE reading it and putting its advice into practice DOES SUCCEED and develop more massive, powerful and muscular arms!

In the previous chapters, when I explained the many arm exercises, I gave you an idea of what each was best for -- such as bulk, power, high biceps, contraction, isolation, etc. When you arrange your own arm routines use this as your KEY and select exercises from those listed which according to my explanations fit your present arm needs.

Then you will be certain that you have selected exercises which suit purpose best. But, once the selection is made, cease thinking of them as exercises in the strict sense. Merely consider them as the TOOLS YOU WILL USE FOR THE APPLICATION OF THE BASIC PRINCIPLES which governs your specific aims.

It may remain up to you to actually arrange the very best routines for your purpose. I'm going to give you help, of course. But you can see that it would be impossible for me to set down EVERY routine that is possible with a combination of more than 70 basic exercises and hundreds of variations. A slight change in sets, repetitions, arrangement of the exercises , and an entirely new routine would have to be explained. I am not a mathematician, but I can easily guess that if I attempted such an impossible task it could easily run up to several hundred thousands of routines. And even if I did list them all you might still not find the one that suited YOU best, UNLESS you also managed to incorporate the BASIC PRINCIPLE I have been harping on in this chapter.

But -- once you know these basic principles, and are given a few sample routines to follow, then with a little experimentation on your part you can arrive at your own formula which will make those arms you desire yours.

Basic principles are therefore, all important. Actual exercises must be secondary. Learn that lesson well. It will be the most important one you will ever learn in your gaining of bodybuilding knowledge.

And now, just what are those basic principles I've made so much out of in this chapter and how do you apply them. Our next chapter will clarify everything.

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