Saturday, March 24, 2018

Concentrate for Bigger Arms - Frank Zane (1968)

Frank Zane's Latest Book and DVD: 

If You Want Bigger Arms!
by Frank Zane (1968)

A pair of big, shapely, muscular arms is held in esteem by all bodybuilders, for big arms are the most visible area of the male physique, and are a symbol . . . a sign of muscular might and male virility. Big arms are in

Moreover, the recent trend in bodybuilding favors outstandingly massive arms such as those of Larry Scott, Dave Draper, Sergio Oliva and Bill Pearl. I have seen them all, and can truthfully say they possess incredible arm development. 

My Arm Limitations

I do not number among this group of fabulous arms. My arms have never measured more than 18 inches cold. Of course, they are 6" larger than the 12" arms with which I began bodybuilding, and, since I have not reached the ultimate arm potential I possess, I hope to further increase their size and muscularity. However, for me, muscularity and shape come first . . . before size. I have a strong, natural limiting factor in my arm potential and that is my small wrists which have always measured less than 7 inches.

At the same time, being small-boned can be a distinct advantage, for although I may never acquire 20-inch arms, my 18-inch arms, if properly shaped and muscular, will look larger on my small bone size than a pair of 20-inchers! One cannot change one's inherited structure, so it is wise to use it, and I am doing, to your advantage and work for the best possible physique within your structural limits. For this reason I believe the tape measure is less a criterion of what great arms really can be than are sculptured shape and chiseled definition.

Directing my thoughts toward shapely and well developed arms that would appear much larger contrasted with my small wrists, my are training routines have gradually changed from heavy weight/low rep routines to training schedules with a great degree of concentration. With this concentration motif I have used two basic principles to get full-height, high-peak  and perfect shape in my arms. They are Peak Contraction and Continuous Tension methods.

Before explaining them I want to mention that beginning bodybuilders whose arms are not fully developed . . . who have not remotely approached their development potential . . . should concentrate on cheating movements -- handling the heaviest possible weight and doing the movements fairly rapidly. The idea is to handle the heaviest weight and do no more than 8 reps for 5 sets. This will bulk the arms. However, at my stage of training, my arms are large enough and therefore need no greater bulk. So I concentrate on shaping them, sculpting them and defining them more sharply. Such an effect, as that on my present 18-inch arms will produce the quality look of championship muscle density.

How the Peak Contraction Method Works

When performing an exercise, contract fully up to the top of the movement . . . no partial movements. Then, when you reach the top of the movement, tense and contract even harder for a second or two, putting in more effort to mentally and physically contract the muscles to force in the last ounce of tension from the exercise. You will feel a small cramp, or ache (or "burn" as the West Coast bodybuilders call it) after doing each set with this method . . . a sign that you are doing it properly and effectively.

How the Continuous Tension Method Works

As you perform the exercise, you must continuously tense the muscles in movement. From the start of the rep do the movement fairly slowly, concentrating on the muscle in action all the way to the top of the movement . . . tense and peak at this apex . . . then lower the weight slowly to starting position, tensing all the way. Repeat. You must tense the muscles in action from the very beginning to the very end of the rep; this is the essence and importance of Continuous Tension.

I combine these two training methods to get the full benefit of concentration into my exercises and to make sure I get the fullest peak and shape from the muscles. Make these two methods the basics for your own concentration work, and, to repeat, use these methods only when your arms have grown to fairly large size, and need shaping, peak-height and definition . . . for the muscular density look and first class arms.

In line with this new approach to arm training I would also apply Quality Training, which indicates as little rest between sets as possible. In this way I work the muscles to the maximum, burning off every bit of intra-muscular fat and working for maximum shape and impressiveness, not just beefy size.

To me this type of training is vastly superior to the old, heavy-weight/plenty of rest, strain and puff kind. Some people have told me that lack of big arm size has been preventing me from taking the top IFBB titles, and if I can remedy this, while keeping shapely development in harmony with my bone structure and overall symmetry, this routine will be the one to do it! 

Arm Work Should be Divided Into Three Parts

Your biceps, triceps and forearms each should get equal consideration in your arm training routine. In my present workouts I work biceps along with legs and back on one day . . . triceps with deltoids and chest on he next day . . . and I conclude each arm workout with some forearm exercise. I also utilize Instinctive Training in that I instinctively vary my arm exercises whenever I feel I have derived full value from the routine. I choose exercises of diverse character that work the arm muscles from every angle. But I firmly believe that the most important thing in arm exercise is not the exercises chosen, but the way exercises are performed.

My Exercise Routine

 - All exercises are performed with peak contraction and continuous tension methods.

Biceps Day:

1) Incline Dumbbell Curl - 5 sets of 6 reps.
This movement works the entire biceps with special emphasis on the lower biceps when performed correctly. Make sure to begin the curl slowly, placing great stress on getting the weight started slowly, and to lower the dumbbells slowly and fully until the arm is extended and locked each and every rep.

2) Scott Bench Pulley Curl - 5 x 6 reps.
I use a light weight, 90 pounds, for peaking and shaping the biceps. Slowly and with great concentration is the rule of the day for this movement.

3) Alternate Dumbbell Curl - 5 x 8.
For a super finishing pump, this exercise is great. I use 45's with strict deliberate, concentrated form.

Alternate Biceps Routine

1) Flat Bench Dumbbell Curl - 5 x 6.
This exercise, done by Lou Degni (Mark Forest), Leroy Colbert, and Larry Scott, is particularly good for developing  biceps peak because it enables you to concentrate solely on the biceps, stretching and developing its full length.

2) Scott Bench Barbell Curl - 5 x 6.
Do this one for the lower biceps area. Extend the arms fully at the bottom and perform the movement slowly.

3) Barbell Curl - 5 x 6.
Do this movement strictly and slowly, concentrating fully and keeping tension on the muscle throughout.

Triceps Day:

1) Pulley Pushdown - 5 x 10.
I use these both to warm up the triceps as well as get a good pump going. Do full range movements and lock out fully at the bottom. Work up in weight gradually over the five sets. I prefer a V-Grip handle for these.

2) One Arm Overhead Extension - 5 x 8.
Using one arm allows my to concentrate fully on the action of the triceps. I go back and forth from arm to arm with no rest.

3) Close Grip Bench Press - 5 x 8.
Do these slowly, hands about 12 inches apart, elbows pointed out to emphasize the outer triceps. Lower all the way to the chest but don't quite lock out at the top to keep continuous tension on the muscle.

Alternate Triceps Routine:

1) Bench Dips - Higher Reps to warm up.
I do these between two benches with just my bodyweight, going through the movement slowly and carefully. Press up with triceps strength only. I gradually increase from a partial movement to the full range on the first few sets.

2) Lying Pulley Pressouts - 5 x 8.  
This movement is basically a triceps pressdown while in the lying position on the floor. I find that the variety here enables me to concentrate more fully. Lock out strongly at the "bottom" position.

3) Bent Forward Triceps Kickback - 5 x 10.
Stand with the upper body bent forward parallel to the floor, place non-exercising hand on opposite knee for support. With dumbbell in other hand, raise the arm backward and upward as far as you can, tensing strongly all the way, plus a few little extra "squeezes" (burns) when your arm has reached the very farthest it will go.

At the conclusion of each of my triceps workouts I do 4 sets of 10 reps of Triceps Dips on the bars. I do these fast, as a final pump, and they are quite effective!

Forearm Workout:

Wrist Roller - 5 sets of 5
I believe there is a definite relationship between the adjacent development of muscular parts; that is working the forearms helps the arms, working the deltoids helps the pecs, etc. By working the one area you indirectly strengthen the adjoining muscle group, thus receiving supplementary benefit. This, along with increased size and definition, is another reason to working the forearms, besides keeping the lower arms in symmetrical development with the upper arms. 



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