Thursday, February 15, 2018

Four Golden Era Arm Routines - 1968

From This Issue (March 1968)

Today psychologists call it the 'Siegfried Psyche', but since time began man has always been idealized as a tower of strength, and the symbol of this strength has been  pair of strong, muscular arms . . . arms 'as strong as iron hands' as Longfellow wrote in his poem The Village Blacksmith. Strong arms, like Siegfried's, which could slay the dragon or pull an embedded sword from a tree.

Throughout history men have pursued sports that demand and produce strong arms: wrist-wrestling, chinning, dipping, rope-climbing, shot-putting and log-sawing. The great bodybuilding champions, with their arms measuring nearly over 20 inches, are today's Siegfrieds. They exemplify the power and development that ranks them far ahead of the greatly admired old-timers such as Cyr, Zbysko, von Turk, and Apollon. Building massive, muscular arms and power in today's Space Age is easy because of the thrust given arm development by exercise techniques and training principles such as burns, quality training, isolation, peak contraction, forced reps, and others.

Each great champion has been inspired by the great champions before him. It is this visual inspiration that has spurred him on to equal or excel his idol . . . and to a man each has been successful. Yet each champion has had his own specific problems, but through the help afforded by other lifters and articles such as this they learned how to analyze their potential . . . how to hurdle individual hazards, and how to choose the most effective exercises and techniques, and the most efficacious ways of following them to reach their avowed goals.

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

The most important factor in developing magnificent arms is to know your muscular potential. Which is to say: know your strong points and how to build upon them, and know your weaknesses and how to overcome them and make them strengths as well.

This is what you should do right now. Honestly appraise yourself before a full-length mirror. Study the relation of your height, weight and bone structure with your present muscular appearance and know what you have to work with, and work for. One might simplify this by saying: if you have good triceps from a certain sport, then concentrate more on your biceps; and vice versa. If tennis has given you an extremely muscular forearm and wrist, you now have a most powerful 'lever' to assist you in building a might upper arm. You need do very little wrist-curling or specific wrist or forearm exercises, but instead concentrate most of your energy and time in your workouts on biceps basics and triceps builders.

For example, Sergio Oliva started specializing on his upper arms when he realized that his strongest point was his brachialis . . . from competitive Olympic weightlifting. While his brachialis was outstandingly developed, with a great cleavage which is the hallmark of the competitive weightlifter, his biceps lacked peak and shape, so he went all-out for the exercises which would speed development of this area. Now that he has concentrated on this for some time his arms tape more than 20" and are still moving steadily toward greater size and muscularity.

Rick Wayne had only 11" arms when he began bodybuilding. They just didn't grow fast enough to please him. Larry Scott, although having well-shaped biceps, found his triceps growing too slowly. He devised a routine which would speed their growth and equalize it with the rapid growth-tempo of his biceps. Dave Draper, like Larry, had a seemingly insurmountable problem with slow-growing triceps. As you see, none of these four champions was born with championship arms. Yet each became an 'instinctive trainer' and focused pinpoint concentration on what had to be done first, and from that point turned every weakness into a strength.

So don't be discouraged if your arms have not yet attained the size and shape you desire. By becoming an instinctive trainer you can make every training day a day of discovery . . . progress . . . and be steadily on the road to your goals.

What is an Instinctive Trainer? Simply put, it is the bodybuilder who follows the plan of not slavishly pursuing a prescribed routine that is common the the majority of bodybuilders. While prescribed routines one finds in specific courses are ideal for most beginners, and they will make progressive gains with them, sooner or later the progress will almost stop and they will have to seek other methods to advance their development. They need something special and the instinctive trainer is therefore one who tries many exercises and uses them with many different training principles, to find what works best for him at any given time . . . producing steady gains and giving him the confidence to keep inspiration and enthusiasm at white heat.

Therefore, to help you devise a personal routine best suited to your current needs, I will outline the instinctive training routines of four great champions which will help you understand how they solved their individual arm-building problems. By studying the ideas contained in them, you too may find a more productive way to solve your own current arm development problems.

Click Pic to ENLARGE

Sergio Oliva and His Super-Set, Tri-Set 'Burns' Routine

These routines are arranged as follows: 

1) Forearm/Triceps Superset #1
2) Mass/Bulk Superset #2 (with cheating)
3) Shaping/Definition Superset #3 (with burns)
4) Triceps Tri-set (for all three triceps heads)

In these routines Sergio employs these principles:
Burns (the addition of half- and quarter-reps at the conclusion of any set of an exercise which acts to produce a tingling 'burn' in the muscles)
Isolation (by which a particular muscle or a sector of that muscle is so concentrated upon that the stress of the exercise works specifically on that part alone).

Here then are the four routines, broken down into their individual groupings, with the exercises, sets, and repetitions for each listed as Sergio performs them. Take what you can from them, alter them where necessary to fit your own needs, but do remember that we are all individuals. 

Superset #1 (for forearms, brachialis, and triceps):

Reverse Curl, 6 sets of 15 reps, 80 pounds, superset with ->
Supine Triceps Extension, 6 x 10-15, 125 pounds. 

The Reverse Curl is begun identically to the Regular Barbell Curl except that instead of the palms facing forward, they face backward. The bar is lifted slowly to shoulder height, and slowly returned. The tension is not felt greatly on the biceps, but mostly on the forearms and the brachialis (that unusual cup-like cushion on which the biceps rest, and which, when fully developed, adds new dimension to the arms). 

The Supine Triceps Extension is the standard exercise, but done in this lying manner the triceps can be isolated strongly . . . the other muscles do very little assisting as they often do when triceps extensions are performed upright. 

In this Super-Set (as in all supersets) you perform one set of the first exercise, then, without pause, do one set of the second exercise. A very brief pause at the end of this combination set, then repeat the entire combination in the same way until fully 6 sets of each exercise have been done. 

Super-Set #2 (for building size in both the biceps and triceps): 

Cheating Curl, 6 x 10-12, 150 or more pounds, superset with -> 
Standing Triceps Extension, 6 x 10-12, heavy weight. 

In the Cheating Curl the weight handled is considerably more than you would use in any other kind of curl. Begin as in the Regular Barbell Curl, but get the heavier weight started by shoving or swaying the hips and thighs. However, as soon as the biceps take over try to complete the curl as strictly as you can. If you must cheat all the way, that is all right, just be sure that you lower the weight slowly, and in strict form, so as to permit the biceps to get a resultant action. This bulks the biceps more than any other type of curl.

The Standing Triceps Extension is the upright version of the triceps extension performed in Super-Set #1. However, this upright position permits you to use a heavier weight, and to cheat somewhat . . . a slight sway or hip-bend which will help you in getting the weight aloft. Return to starting position slowly and ins strict form.

Again, alternate one set of the first exercise with one of the second, Super Set fashion, until all sets have been completed. 

Super-Set #3 (for building maximum shape and cuts in the biceps, with burns):

Scott Bench Curls, 5 x 10-12, 100 pounds, superset with ->
Seated Dumbbell Curl, 5 x 10-12, 50 pound dumbbells. 

In the Seated Dumbbell Curl the dumbbells are lifted at the same time, and when the 10-12 reps have been completed you continue to do hand and/or quarter curls from the shoulder as far down as you can, and up again. This 'burn' is essential for biceps definition. 

Tri-Set #4: 

Triceps Pressdown, 5 x 10, 125 pounds, tri-set with ->
Pulley Triceps Kickback, 5 x 10, 60 pounds each hand, tri-set with ->
Pulley Triceps Extension (one arm), 5 x 10, 60 pounds.

This group brings into play Continuous Tension, as well as Isolation, in such a tri-partite way that the entire three heads of the triceps are vigorously attacked from many angles. 

The Triceps Pressdown works the inner head of the triceps especially. The Pulley Triceps Kickback isolates the triceps and carves out that 'horseshoe' effect. The Pulley Triceps Extension works the outer head very strenuously particularly if the palm is kept facing outward throughout the movement. 

The Tri-Set is performed like a Super-Set, except that there are three exercises in the group. Do not pause until you have completed one set of each exercise without pause between the three exercises. Then a brief rest of about a minute before doing the next Tri-Set.

Words of Caution

This is a very demanding routine for the arms, and one which cannot be followed in the usual three-times-per-week plan, even on alternate days. Sergio works only two days each week with this group of Super-Sets and Tri-Set. Work into it gradually, space it into two days far apart in the workout week such as Monday and Thursday, and on the intervening days do no other arm work.

Dave Draper's Burns-Blitz Triceps Specialization 

Because Dave Draper has had no difficulty in building his biceps to their great size, and because he has had a triceps problem, he has specialized on the triceps, and with the thought that you may have a similar problem you are invited to try this unusual specialization routine which consists of two Super-Sets. 

Super-Set #1:

Reverse Grip Bench Press, 5 x 8, very heavy weight, superset with ->
Pulley Pushdown, 5 sets of high reps, until the triceps really burn.

The Reverse Grip Bench Press is performed like this: lie on your back, grasp the barbell with approximately a shoulder-width grip or narrower, and perform the bench press as you normally do. However, the hands do not face away as they do in the Regular Bench Press, but face backward towards the head, so that the triceps are engaged strongly. Try several hand-spacings until you find the one which will give you the most triceps activation.

In the Pulley Pushdown strict form must be followed, and at the end of each set continue with half and quarter pushdowns from the shoulders, until a great burn is felt in the triceps.

Remember, as in all Super-Sets, perform one set of each exercise . . . then pause no more than 30 seconds . . . and repeat the Super-Set until all 5 have been done.

Super-Set #2:

Seated French Press, 4 x 10, moderate weight, superset with ->
Face-down Pulley Triceps Extension, 4 x 10, with strong pulley resistance. 

In the Seated French Press use a little cheat to get the weight started, then lock out hard at the top. In the Face-down Pulley Triceps Extension use Continuous Tension . . . concentrate strongly on the triceps as the movement is continued, and at the 'end' of the set do some extra 'burns' until the triceps are really fried. 

Dave believes in great concentration on the muscles being exercised. Then, when he has concluded each group of Super-Sets, instead of pausing he uses his rest-pause to practice triceps tension. 

If triceps growth is your problem, you may wish to work them 7 days a week for periods of time. Dave's routine is not extensive . . . but quite intensive, hence you may incorporate it in your regular upper-body workouts without undue fatigue. However, in accordance with muscle priority, the triceps should be worked first in your upper body program when specializing on them. And, always try to force out extra reps in each exercise. Never miss a workout, and be consistent in training. 

Rick Wayne's Pre-Contest Arm Bulking/Shaping Routine

Before I detail Rick Wayne's routine I should explain the very rugged and unique tactic he uses to shock his arms into new growth. He uses what he calls a Super-Super-Set, which is the combination of a Super-Set for biceps alone, followed by a Super-Set for triceps alone. His arm workout therefore consists of 6 Super-Sets for the biceps and 6 Super-Sets for the triceps. 

Super-Set #1 (biceps super-set): 

Cheating Curl, 8 reps, 150 pounds (swing up fast, lower slowly), superset with ->
Close Grip Strict Curl, 12 reps, 120 pounds (slowly up and down, concentrate). 

No rest is permitted after this Super-Set, so Rick goes right into ->

Super-Set #2 (Triceps super-set):

Triceps Pressdown, 12 reps, heavy resistance (slowly, tense extremely) superset with ->
One-Arm Triceps Extension, 12 reps, heavy resistance (slowly, concentrate). 

If any of you do not understand how this Super-Super-Set is performed . . . it is done like a regular Super-Set only there are two biceps exercises to be done, followed immediately by the two triceps exercises . . . with no pause until all four have been completed. 

Perform 6 complete Super-Super-Sets. 

Super-Set #3 (finishing-off super-set): 

Lying Triceps Extension, 12 reps (cheat to get the weight going upward), superset with ->
Alternate Seated Dumbbell Curl, 12 reps (use a heavy weight and cheat to get it going up). 

This finishing-off Super-Set should be done in the usual way until 6 complete sets of each exercise have been done. 

Larry Scott's Routine for Triceps Size and Symmetry

Larry uses this routine in two ways: when he wants to bulk up he does sets of from 5-10 reps with heavy weight; when he wants to get cut he does sets of 12-20 reps, naturally with a somewhat lighter weight. 

He Tri-Sets the exercises given below . . . one set of each exercise until all three have been done, or one full Tri-Set . . . then a brief pause . . . then continuing as before until 8 full Tri-Sets have been done. Larry uses his rest-pause time between Tri-Sets to practice arm flexion. 

Occasionally he likes to do extra triceps work, and he deviates from the basic layout, as in this interesting routine; 

Triceps Kickbacks, 8 x 10 reps (done strict), triset with ->
One-Arm Braced DB Triceps Extension, 8 x 5-10 or 12-20 (as explained above), triset with ->
Lying Barbell Triceps Extension, 8 x 8-12
Horizontal Press, 8 x 12-20. 

The Horizontal Press is easy to do: just do a Military Press while lying on a bench. After the first rep you only need to bring the bar to the forehead each time. 

Often Larry mixes up this group of exercises still more. One day he will do 1 and 2 . . . the next time 3 and 4 or 2 and 4 . . . other times he may use all four as a Giant Set. 

Of all bodybuilders, Larry Scott favors strict form. He is a stickler for doing forced reps . . . never does an exercise without forcing out extra reps. And he is a devotee of the 'burns' technique, which as I explained earlier is the addition to (or continuation of) a set after the full number of complete reps have been completed, by making half and quarter movements of the exercise to generate a terrific burn in the muscles under exercise. Larry uses full concentration, plus a variety of training principles he has explored, including variations of his own. 

To Sum Up

What we have learned from these champions is: 

1) Each had specific troubles in developing his arms.

2) Each had to solve his problems in a way that suited him best . . . thus they are "Instinctive Trainers" and invariably compose their own routines and execute with this in mind. Their earlier experiences with standard exercise procedures had failed to produce the results they desired . . . hence this exploration of new ways and new ideas to bring about the transformation. After you have about six months standard training behind you, you should begin to examine your programs through the light of instinctive training. You must strike out on your own and develop a routine that suits your specific problem(s) . . . that is Instinctive Training. 

Also, it must be forcefully brought out that large arms can be build only after a bodybuilder has packed on weight and gained as much as he needs for his physique type. You can not build big arms with exercise alone. You must beef up your weight. 

You should not begin to practice routines such as these if you are still underweight. Put on some overall bodyweight, not that much is necessary, and then go on to routines that contain arm specialization. 

Underweight individuals, or those tending toward slow weight gains, should not do high-repetition exercises. Instead, concentrate on the heavier movements such as Cheat Curls, Heavy Dumbbell Curls, Bench Presses, Incline Bench Presses, Cheating Triceps Extensions etc. Limit your sets to 5 of each exercise and do about 6 reps per set. You should also try to force out reps when possible, because it helps to add size to your body.

Cheat to get the weight in motion, for the sole purpose of these movements are to help you handle consistently heavier weights in each exercise. Then, when you have gained some necessary muscle bulk you can work for shape, definition, and muscle density. Don't forget: for building muscle bulk handle heavy weights and the reps a bit faster. Only the last rep of each set should be done slowly, and force out reps when you can. 

Now, let's turn the picture. If you are presently too heavy . . . too bulky, you must first knock off weight and bring it down to where you look and feel your best. You must remove inter-cellular fat that hides your definition (you will have a 'too smooth' look, your first cue that you have inter-cellular fat). Sometimes the removal of only a few pounds makes the difference between a too-smooth and an ideal bodyweight. 

Limit your sets to 5, and your reps to 9-12 per set, with little rest between sets, and handling lighter weight, doing the reps slowly and with extreme concentration. It is important that you do the exercises slowly, and force yourself to concentrate through the full exercise motion. Also, so some running.  




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