Monday, November 11, 2013

Build Big Arms - Bill Pearl

Big arms dominate the thoughts of all bodybuilders. In view of this fact, I will try to assist you in acquiring bigger and better arms. On the following pages, you will find the three main courses I have personally used for some time and which I feel are the answer to many of the problems of building better biceps and triceps.

After many years of concentrated effort, I have designed and completed this booklet, which I am sure will help you increase your arm size considerably. Please sit down and read it thoroughly before starting the courses. You will eliminate several problems that might arise later.

The sets and repetitions are as I do them. Realizing that this will not be suitable for all of you, as some have been exercising regularly for just a short period of time and others have been training for many years. These courses are listed in two groups. #1 is the advanced group and #2 the intermediate. With limited training it is not advisable to try to work the same group as those who have spent a number of years training. Decide for yourself which category you belong in.

Please follow the sequence listed and do not alter the arrangement of the program in any way. It is my desire to help you and this I cannot do unless you follow the instructions precisely . . . trust in me.

Concentration while doing an exercise is of extreme importance in getting the maximum work from the muscle. Also, try to maintain a proper mental attitude towards your workouts and approach each workout session with a purpose in mid -- TO IMPROVE! 

Before getting into the programs, there are a few rules that should be learned and followed. These rules are very important to your building large, well-shaped muscular arms.

First, you must do all the exercises as strictly as possible. Do not cheat on any of the movements. Try to get a complete extension and contraction on each movement and handle a poundage that will enable you to do this. Concentrate on the area that you are working on and train at a speed that will keep that area warm. With a little experimenting on your part, you will be able to find the pace best suited to you. Last, but not least, keep a daily record of the weights you are using for each exercise and be sure to train in a progressive manner.

Weight Progression

The system that I have found to be ideal for myself is the following. For example, take the triceps pressdown. You are working arms three times per week. You start with 50 lbs. and do 3 sets of the required repetitions. I would do this same weight for the first three workouts, that is, one week. On my fourth workout I would do 2 sets with the 50 lbs. and 1 set with 60 lbs. On my fifth workout I would do 1 set with 50 lbs. and 2 sets with 60 lbs. On the sixth workout I would do all my sets with 60 lbs. and have now completed week two of my arm training routine. From there on advance the weight continuing to do 3 sets with the same weight, e.g., 65 lbs. for the seventh workout up to 75 lbs. for the 10th workout, using the same progression method as earlier. The poundages mentioned are merely examples. You will of course use the poundage in proportion to your ability and strength, just be sure to break in with a light weight and learn proper exercise technique at first.

In regard to the balance of your workout and training the rest of your body while on this arm program, I would suggest that you do at least 2 sets for each bodypart. For instance, do 2 sets of chest, 2 sets of thigh, etc. Never neglect the rest of your body just for the sake of arm development.

Course Number One

Follow this course of exercises three days per week for a six week period.

1) Triceps Pressdown - 3 sets of 8 repetitions.
2) Lying Barbell Triceps Extension - 3 sets of 8.
3) Triceps Dip on Bars - 3 x 10-12
4) Barbell Curl - 3 x 8
5) Incline Dumbbell Curl - 3 x 8
6) Standing Dumbbell Curl - 3 x 8

Exercise #1 - Triceps Pressdown
Inhale at the beginning of each movement and exhale at the finish of the movement. This will be followed on all the exercises. It is very important to keep your upper arms directly at your sides during this entire exercise. All work will be placed on the triceps if the elbows are held in a fixed position and used as a hinge, and the bar is pressed down until the arms are straight and the extension is complete. Use a fairly close grip and select a poundage that will keep the elbows in a fixed position and pointed straight downward when the arms are folded with the hands in front of your upper chest. This is the start position of the exercise. The finished position has arms straight and elbows fully locked. Note that the hands move in a half-circle. Do not attempt to press the bar by bending forward and letting the elbows leave proper position. Use an even pressure both in pushing down and when allowing the hands to return to the starting position. 

Exercise #2 - Lying Barbell Triceps Extension
As form is extremely important in this particular exercise, be sure you read the instructions carefully and concentrate on the triceps during the entire exercise. Lie on a flat bench with head extended over the end and pointing downward. Hold barbell at arms' length and lower bar to chin, keeping elbows in a fixed position, pointing upward and in toward each other. Next, bring the bar to the chest, about two inches below the nipples of the pectorals. In a continuous motion, press the barbell back to arms' length.

Exercise #3 - Triceps Dips on Parallel Bars
As this is a standard exercise, I will not go into much detail. The important thing is to keep your elbows into the sides as much as possible and still get a full movement. That is, dipping all the way down, pausing, and then pushing yourself back to arms' length, forcing the lockout and thereby strongly contracting the triceps muscle. Try to keep your body from swinging back and forth during the exercise. With a little practice and concentration, it will be very easy for you to control the body position. You may attach weights by means of a belt or strap when you find your bodyweight alone does not give you enough resistance.

Exercise #4 - Barbell Curl
The proper way to do a barbell curl is to grip the bar with a palms up grip; the hands placed approximately shoulders width. Place your feet in a position where you have a good foundation. Start from a full arm extension and curl the weight directly up under the chin. Do not press your elbows into your sides as you curl, but have them pointed slightly upward. Return to a full arms extended position and repeat. Concentrate on the exercise and be sure not to swing the barbell.

Exercise #5 - Incline Dumbbell Curl
This is one of the best exercises for the biceps, if done correctly. Position yourself on an incline board with your head resting on the board. Do not raise the head from the bench during the exercise, as this one factor makes the exercise more effective than other types of incline curls. Let your arms hang straight downward and keep the elbows pointing straight downward. in this position the strain or work is placed on the biceps throughout the complete movement. Turn the palms upward and curl the weight until the hand is as close to the deltoid as is possible with the dumbbell in your hand. When lowering the weight back to starting position keep the palms facing upward. Concentrate and keep the movement in as steady a rhythm or pressure as possible.

Exercise #6 - Standing Dumbbell Curl
This exercise is similar to Exercise #5 in that the dumbbells are handled in the same manner. Stand with the feet spaced apart to give you a firm position. Start the curl with arms fully extended and elbows at your sides. The elbows should be pointing downward during the entire exercise. Do not elevate your elbows when the dumbbells are in the top position. Keep the palms facing upwards. Curl the dumbbells to your shoulders, making sure the biceps muscle is completely contracted. Next, lower the dumbbells to starting position, maintaining the same hand grip.

Course Number Two

Follow this program three days per week for a period of five weeks.

1) Seated Dumbbell Curl - 3 x 8
2) Incline Barbell Triceps Extension - 4 x 8
3) Lying Dumbbell Curl - 3 x 8
4) Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension - 4 x 8
5) Dumbbell Concentration Curl - 3 x 8
6) One Dumbbell French Press - 4 x 8

Exercise #1 - Seated Dumbbell Curl
Sit on the end of a bench with legs close together. keep the back as straight as possible and let arms hang freely at your sides. In this position, you will find that the palms face inward toward the body. As you start the curl upwards from the extended arm position, turn the palms upward as soon as the dumbbells clear your thighs. Keep the palms facing upward during the complete curl. Make your curl start from the bottom position and work the muscle all the way. Do this exercise slowly and very strictly. Do not swing the weights in order to handle a heavier poundage.

Exercise #2 - Incline Barbell Triceps Extension
Place yourself in position on the incline board with a barbell at arms' length overhead. Use an eight-inch hand spacing and attempt to keep the elbows in a fixed position, pointing upwards and closely inward. You will notice that in the lockout position they rotate outward slightly. When lowering the barbell they should be forced inward. Do not attempt to use so much weight that you cannot control your elbow position, for this is extremely important in working the muscle completely. Raise the head slightly so that the barbell can be lowered behind and down completely. The bar moves in a definite arc and is a half circle movement. Be sure to lock the elbows in a full extension at the top.

Exercise #3 - Lying Dumbbell Curl
In order to do this exercise properly you will need a high bench, or a regular bench placed on a platform or blocks of wood. This raised position is necessary in order to allow the arms to hang fully extended in the starting position. Keep the head on the bench throughout the complete exercise. The elbows should be pointing downward. Use the palms-facing-up grip; inhale as you curl the dumbbells to the shoulders; exhale as you lower them to the starting, stretched position.

Exercise #4 - Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension
This exercise is very similar to the lying barbell triceps extension, except the hands are in a different position. Dumbbell, although harder to handle heavy weight with, allow the use of many different hand positions that can be altered throughout the course of an exercise. Lie on a flat bench with the head extended over the edge. Bring the dumbbells together at arms' length over your chest with a palms-facing-each-other grip. Keep the elbows in a fixed position, inward and facing straight upward, and operate them as a hinge. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the deltoids, to a position where they are on each side of the head. Force them back to arms' length without jerking or pressing. the elbow position should be as immobile as possible; remember, the half circle principle and again force the triceps to a complete contraction at the top position.

Exercise #5 - Dumbbell Concentration Curl
This is as excellent biceps builder when practiced properly. Sit on the edge of a bench no higher than 18 inches. Brace your position by placing the left hand on the left thigh. With a dumbbell in your right hand, place the right elbow in the middle of the right thigh for support. Curl the dumbbell upward until it touches the deltoid muscle; do not lower the shoulder and allow the dumbbell to fall in. After holding it for a full strong contraction, lower the bell to arms' length, which is the starting point. Be sure to fully tense the biceps and hold the dumbbell at the peak of its contration and fully extend it when lowered to arm's length. Use a weight you can properly handle to strongly work the biceps both upwards and downwards.

Exercise #6 - One Dumbbell French Press 
Stand in a solid position and holding one dumbbell in both hands overhead.. The hands are held flat against the plates. It is important to lower the weight as far behind the back of the neck as is comfortable. Try to get a good stretch on the triceps during the lowering part of the exercise; lock the arms when the dumbbell is overhead; attempt to keep the elbows fixed and immobile. There will be a tendency for the elbows to fan outward, but make an effort to keep them pointing ahead. Under no circumstances allow the elbows to fall forward. 

Course Number Three

This is the final program and it is recommended to be followed three days per week for a period of four weeks.

1) Standing Barbell French Press - 4 x 8
2) Lying Barbell Triceps Extension - 4 x 8
3) Standing One Arm Dumbbell French Press - 4 x 8
4) Incline Dumbbell Curl - 3 x 8
5) Incline Inners - 3 x 8
6) Pumping Concentration Curls - 3 x 15

Exercise #1 - Standing Barbell French Press
This exercise is similar to the dumbbell French press, only performed with a barbell. Use the same stance and use an 8-inch hand grip. Begin with the barbell at arms' length overhead. Keep the elbows in and pointing upwards through the exercise. Slowly lower the barbell to its furthest position behind the neck, then press the weight to arms' length overhead. Do the entire movement slowly and smoothly, keeping tension on the triceps at all times.

Exercise #2 - Lying Barbell Triceps Extension
Even though this exercise may seem to be the same as others you have done in the first two courses, there is a difference, and enough of it to work the triceps in a sufficiently different manner. Approach this exercise as if it were entirely new. First, lie on a flat bench with head slightly off the end of the bench. Use a 10-inch grip spacing on the barbell. With the barbell at arms' length, lower it into a position just about the point of chin. Keep the elbows in a fixed position, press it in an arch back to the starting position, using steady and consistent pressure. Lock out the arms and flex the triceps at the full extension of the arms.

Exercise #3 - Standing One Dumbbell French Press
Stand in a solid position, and follow the same procedure as in the barbell French press, elbow pointing upward and inward. The hand is held with the knuckles facing out throughout the exercise, palm facing the head. It is important to remember to lower the weight as far behind the back of the neck as is comfortable. Try to get a good stretch on the triceps during the extension part; lock the arm out and contract strongly when the dumbbell is overhead; attempt to keep the elbow fixed and immobile. There well be a tendency for the elbow to fan outward, but make an effort to keep it pointing ahead. Under no circumstances allow the elbow to fall forward.

Exercise #4 - Incline Dumbbell Curl
See Exercise #5, Course Number One.

Incline Inners

Exercise #5 - Incline Inners
This is a fairly difficult exercise to do properly, but if it is done correctly it well add a great deal of thickness to the biceps. Use the same starting position as in the regular incline dumbbell curl. Hold dumbbells at arms' length with palms facing inward toward the body. Curl the dumbbells by rotating them outward so they are directly in line with the shoulders. You curl the arms out to the sides, laterally, forming a cross shape. Keep the elbows pointing downward when curling the dumbbells to the shoulders. The palms must be in an upward position during the entire exercise, except at the beginning position. At this time, rotate backwards so the palms are facing inward toward the body. It is important to lower the dumbbells in the same pattern as you raised them. You may notice a stretching feeling in the deltoid muscle, which may be uncomfortable. If this is the case, I suggest that you raise your head up off the bench.

Exercise #6 - Pumping Concentration Curls
Again use one dumbbell, but this time a lighter poundage. Curl the dumbbell with a steady rhythm for the full 15 repetitions, pumping the bicep, yet peaking the muscle with a concentrated contraction at the fully contracted top point of the curl. It is advisable to cramp the biceps at the top position if possible. Do not allow the biceps to relax on the downward motion to arm's length; this would defeat the purpose and effectiveness of the exercise. To pump the biceps a full tension must be maintained.

Triceps Pump
The object of this exercise is to keep the triceps pumped and full of blood while working the biceps. I suggest that you do not try this method or working the arms on any of the other programs because it is too much for the average person. Also, you will not get the full benefit from it.

After having worked the triceps as explained in Course Number Three, and started on the biceps exercise, this movement may be used as a means of keeping the triceps pumped during the biceps work.

I have found the following workout is best: Complete two sets of the Incline Dumbbell Curls and then do a triceps pump. Do the final set of Incline Dumbbell Curls and one set of the Incline Inners and another set of the triceps pump. In other words, after every two sets of biceps exercises, do a triceps pumping movement. This should be carried out throughout the entire biceps workout.

The proper way to do the triceps pump is as follows. Place yourself in starting position as shown in the diagram below, with your head lowered. Obtain an object that is about 25 inches off the floor that will enable you to get a good hand grip and extend out far enough. With your back and buttocks in a straight position, lower yourself to the position shown in the lower diagram. Notice that you lower yourself until your head is between the hands and the forearms and biceps are compressed. Use the triceps to raise the body back to starting position. Again, it is very important to keep the elbows in as much as possible and put all the strain on the triceps.

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