Monday, September 30, 2019

Advanced Arm Training - George Coates



Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed



This routine is to be used by the advanced man only. I read with amusement the length of time some writers consider a man has to train to reach the advanced stage. Some say six months, which is pure bunk as far as I am concerned. Others are a little more "generous" allowing a year to become "advanced." I am going to stick my neck out here and state that I don't consider a man in the advanced category until he has completed at least three years of hard, consistent training with satisfactory results showing. Of course there are always the exceptions to the rules and if you are on of the very fortunate few to be thus endowed, then you are extremely lucky. In matter of fact, I see guys who have been working out ten years or more and as far as muscular development is concerned, they are still far short of being termed advanced. Like I mentioned before, some guys, on the other hand, progress at a fantastic rate and will reach the advanced stage after just two years or so. However, I am willing to wager that if you were to ask the best built guys at your gym how long they have been working out, they will, almost without exception, give you a figure in excess of three years. 

Having thus eliminated some of the readers for a while, I will now proceed to eliminate a few more. 

To get big arms you must have ample bodyweight. Regardless of how long you've worked out you will never get big arms if your bodyweight isn't great enough for your height and relative bone structure. In fact, if you are underweight you will do just the opposite. To go on a specialization program such as this could actually shrink your arms from overwork.

Nothing impresses the layman as much as a well developed pair of arms. I remember working in Seattle about six years ago. It being winter when I arrived, I worked for months in my office wearing long sleeved shirts and a jacket. As the weather began to warm up, one day I went into the office wearing a short sleeved shirt without my jacket. My arms were over 17 inches at the time and the stir they created among the young engineers was amazing. I was actually embarrassed at the attention I was getting. All of a sudden I had become a "muscleman." Instead of being called "that limey engineer," I was now being referred to as "muscles" just because a few inches of cloth had been removed from my arms. They apparently figured that because my arms were quite well developed, then I must be muscular all over. 

The arms, as far as we are concerned right now, consist of the biceps and the triceps. I won't bore you with any technicalities except to say this. The bicep is a two headed muscle which bends the arm and the tricep is a three headed muscle which straightens the arm. Thus, arm work falls into two distinct categories; bending movements which we call curls, and straightening movements which are usually referred to as extensions or presses. One point I wish to stress here and now is that you MUST perform the exercises in strict form. I believe the cheating curl can help the man with 19 inch arms gain a little more if used correctly, but I am assuming that the readers of this article have arms in the 15 to 17 inch category. Therefore, please perform every exercise in super strict style! 

To make things even easier for you, I have mapped out a whole routine to follow for best results. The reason for the rest of the routine being so short is this: This is an arm specialization program and is to be treated as such. You will notice that I have put in a muscle mass exercise for every major body part. In fact, a lot of you guys that have been doing too much will probably get a lot bigger all over if you follow this course to the letter for a minimum of six weeks. I won't describe in detail these muscle mass exercises because if you are an advanced bodybuilder you should know what they are and how to perform them. Just remember to do them all in strict style! 

Here, then, is your arm specialization routine to be followed for a minimum of six weeks. Please do this workout three times a week, NO MORE, NO LESS! 

1) Press Behind Neck, 4 x 6 reps
2) Squat, 4 x 6
3) Bent Arm Pullover, a set after each set of squats, 4 x 12
4) Bench Press, 3 x 8
5) Barbell Row, 4 x 8
6) Triceps Pushdown, 5 x 8-10
7) Triceps Extension (pulley), 5 x 10
8) Dip, 3 x 10-12
9) Barbell (or E.Z) Curl, 5 x 8
10) Incline DB Curl, 5 x 8
11) Concentration Curl, 3 x 8

After you have done the first five exercises your arms should be sufficiently worked so that you already have the beginning of a pump. If not, then one of two things is wrong. Either you are not working strict enough or you are not working heavy enough, or perhaps both. Your press behind neck and bench press will have already prepared the triceps for what is to follow. In the same way the pullovers and rowing should have warmed up those biceps. 

Once again I urge you to do the routine exactly as shown and I'll guarantee your arms will grow; also quite a lot of the rest of you. 

We gave this routine to a fellow at Stern's gym and in just six weeks his arm went from 16.25 to 17.5 inches after he had been standing still for ages. He also came up in bodyweight about 15 pounds and grew all over. 

 While you are on this program please try to ingest large amounts of protein by way of your regular meals plus a good food supplement if your budget will allow it. 

Here in detail is how you should perform the arm exercises to obtain maximum results:
Triceps Pushdown. Start with the hands in line with the pectorals. Keeping your arms held vertically by your sides, press the arms using the elbow as a fulcrum down to full extension. Use a fairly close grip and move only the forearms and hands. Make sure your triceps lock out fully and strongly at the bottom position. In other works, make the extension complete. Keep the body upright throughout and you will find the hands will perform in a gentle arc in moving each way. If the hands travel straight up and down it means you are moving the body and not doing the exercise correctly. Inhale up and exhale down. 

Triceps Extension (pulley). This may be performed single arm or two arm, as you prefer each session. We will assume you will be doing single arm for illustration purposes. In a kneeling position, grasp the pulley handle, palms facing front and triceps to be worked supported on the bench. Now fully extend the lower arms forward and lock out. If you do it right and use enough weight you should feel a sharp pain in the triceps as you lock out. Pause in this contracted position, then slowly return to the starting position, resisting all the way. Inhale at bent arm position and exhale as the arm is extended.  

Parallel Bar Dips. This is a terrific triceps builder. We are putting it at the end of your triceps workout to be used as a pumping exercise. After performing the two previous exercises it will be all you can do to force out the reps without any weight added. However, for you supermen, a small amount of weight can be used, although I would like you to do these 3 sets a bit faster than you did the other exercises. Keep the elbows in as close to the sides as possible, lower all the way down until you reach bottom position, pause, then push yourself back to arms' length, forcing the lockout and contracting the triceps vigorously. Do not allow the body to swing back and forth during this movement as this will take much of the work away from the triceps.

E.Z. Curl or Barbell Curl. If you don't have access to an easy curl bar, an ordinary barbell curl will be just as efficient. Grasp the bar with palms facing up, with the hands about shoulder width apart if using a barbell, and a little narrower to suit the E.Z. curl bar. Feet slightly apart, and brace the whole body. Noting moves in this exercise except the forearms, hands and bar. Start from the full extension and slowly curl the weight up directly under the chin. Pause and try to tense the biceps strongly in this position, then slowly lower the bar back down to full extension. Concentrate as strongly as possible and be sure not to swing the bar, but rather make it a slow, deliberate movement. 

Incline Dumbbell Curl. This was a favorite of Steve Reeves and I believe every big arm man has used this movement extensively in the quest for bigger arms. Lie on the incline board or sit on an incline bench. YOUR HEAD DOES NOT LEAVE THE BENCH OR BOARD THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE EXERCISE. If it does, much of the value will be lost! Let your arms hang STRAIGHT DOWN, palms facing front. Keep your elbows pointing down from start to finish and you will ensure the work will be placed directly on the biceps. Curl the weight completely until the dumbbells are as close to the deltoids as possible. When the biceps are fully contracted, pause, and tense the biceps as you are able. Slowly return to starting position of full extension, resisting all the way.

Concentration Curl. Leo Stern put me onto this one a few years ago and I think if used correctly as a finish to your arm routine it is one of the most effective movements I know. Take a light dumbbell, about 25 or 30 pounds will be enough. Begin in a lean-forward position with the exercising arm hanging down in a straight line with no support whatsoever. Now, concentrating on your biceps, slowly curl the weight up to a contracted position. When you reach this position, tightly "cramp" and flex the arm until you feel a sharp burn in the biceps. It sounds easy, but it isn't, and if you don't feel like crying much at the 8th rep then you are NOT doing this exercise right. Return the weight under constant tension all the way back to full extension and allowing only a brief pause at the bottom proceed with the next rep. 

Keep the exercises in the exact order shown. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT WORK THE ARMS FIRST as so many others tell you to do on an arm specialization program. If you must do abdominal work try to do some at home on your off nights while on this program.

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