Thursday, November 8, 2018

Arm Development - Eric Pederson

Here's an article from the '40s.
Must be useless, right?

It is with reluctance that I write about myself, for it makes me feel as though others should do that id they want to, because words on self cause an inner disturbance with me. But Earle Liederman has been after me every time we meet and if there is one man with persistence it is he, so I suppose the only thing to do is to yield and as he requests, tell readers of YOUR PHYSIQUE how I trained for my development. This time I shall cover my arms, and in my next article I will write about another body part.

Okay, the article is from 1948. January issue.
A sweet video that goes well with this one:

First of all I want to impress upon everyone who reads this that I believe in extra strong concentration throughout each and every movement done in training, and unless you put your mind on what you are doing, watch the muscles work, and think strongly on every flexion and extension, you must not expect to make the gains you are after.

I practice this method myself and I really think that this strong concentration has done a lot for me and my development. I watch my biceps from the start of each movement until they reach their full  contraction, and this is done not for admiration, but to 'tell' the muscle exactly how much extra force I desire to give that muscle, and I keep this plan up with each and every repetition and throughout the number of sets I may do.

Of course, the muscles can be developed without much concentration if sufficient resistance is used. That is, if the dumbbell is heavy enough to thoroughly tire the muscle, that muscle will gain in strength and size, given the right conditions; but the point I am driving at is, if forcible, extra concentration is placed upon the muscle used while you watch the muscle work, you will perform the movement correctly and the muscle will exert greater power while you do your reps.

Naturally you will need a mirror for this, especially when triceps work is done, for you cannot very well watch the movements of the triceps without a reflection. This reflection need not be a vain one, but merely to study and afford means of concentration on muscles that cannot be watched without a mirror. You can watch and concentrate on all biceps work without a mirror, for you can bend forward while curling and exercising the biceps individually.



I firmly believe in individual muscle work besides group movements, for it again reaches the state of concentration - watching that biceps move and contract with all the force the weight, the thought, and the eye can furnish during each movement.

I believe in sitting down, also in  bending forward while doing the curling motion, because this puts more individual strain upon the biceps itself. And it is the constant curling, the continual concentration while curling, and watching the muscle work that will produce rapid results.

I advocate using much lighter dumbbell for individual arm muscle work than you can lift while in an erect position. If you can curl 50 lbs. with one arm while standing erect, this same 50 lbs. would be a bit too much if you curl while bent over watching and concentrating on the action of the biceps. Then, I think, 25 to 35 lbs. when working my biceps, and with this poundage, I perform about 15 reps or so.

After that tiresome one, dig up "The Art of the Poetic Line" or something similar. Yes. Something older might be better, no? May be. May be. You too, with the aid of a Master Mentor can disembowel King Lear, read the entrails, and go on your own merry little literary way, Sir! It was the use of commas in this article that brought me to such a temporal, horrid place stinking of symbols and all that we lose upon agreeing to common naming of the physical manifestations abounding, Ma'am! But back to biceps, triceps, and this one of many methods of building 'em. 

It is the concentration I put into each curl that does the work, more so, than the poundage used. And as for sets, I do about three or four. And I take my time. I do not rush from one exercise to another, but stick to the biceps work and train with deliberation until all my biceps work is done, all reps and all sets. Then I rest awhile before tackling triceps work.

The pictures used in connection with this article, and which were snapped at Bert Goodrich's gymnasium where I do all my training, will give you an idea of what exercises I use for my arms three times weekly. However, in addition to these, I do a lot of chinning, both front and back chins, as well as plenty of handbalancing, especially handstand dips. Remember, I am writing about arm work, therefore will not mention all of the other exercises I do for other bodyparts. These will be left for other articles.

In performing all biceps work, the arm should be forced, or brought forward while the biceps is being flexed. This makes the movement harder and places more direct force upon the biceps. If you use the same amount of weight and perform the curl in an easier manner you only fool yourself, so right with the start of the curling movement, and as the dumbbell is brought to the shoulder while you are in a bentover posture, force the arm a bit forward and give pressure to that curling biceps. Always equalize the reps and sets, but if one of your arms is a bit larger than the other, then by all means perform additional curls for the smaller arm, even to the extent of making another full set of reps.

In all triceps work, always start with the arms thoroughly bent, as far as you can bend them, before attempting to straighten them out or contract the triceps. The same concentration and force that you apply to biceps work must be done with triceps training. Exercise while in positions whereby you c and secure greater pressure upon the triceps. 


For example, if you should do an arm back of neck movement for the triceps, whereby you hold a dumbbell behind the shoulder before starting the upward straightening of arm motion, bend a bit sideways so that more strain is placed upon the triceps due to gravity and posture, then bring the weight upward with great deliberation. 

So, in effect what you're after here is creating something of a "cam" effect that uses body positioning changes to put a fuller resistance on the targeted muscle. Note: Just as in a standing barbell curl, when you lean back at the beginning and over the course of the range of motion lean forward until you're doing something of a bent forward BB Concentration Curl at the "top" of the movement. It takes a little getting the hang of, and of course you're not so centered on just how much weight you c an use, but once you get this kind of body placement down it's definitely a good tool to have in yer little bodybuilding book-a tricks. Can come in handy, too, when you get to the stage where certain exercises can only be done special ways in order to avoid exacerMcbating pain, aches, tweaks and injuries incurred over the decades.

It has been in this above manner that I secured my 18 inch arms, which, by the way, can be "blown up" to 18-1/2. And you will have to believe me when I say that I have trained very hard to get them, but I feel that everyone can acquire thick, muscular arms in time by following the concentration and deliberate movement method. Of course, I have stressed on individual muscle-building, but the reader must also bear in mind that group muscle work must also be done in order to secure muscular coordination and all-round strength. 

Another form of biceps and triceps work I do is during my curls, or during my triceps extension. Perhaps I might more clearly impart this by explaining biceps action. After I have made about 15 reps for the biceps, I do a few extra movements in the following manner. I lower the dumbbell only half-way, then bring it to the shoulder again. I do this several time, this half-rep movement. Next I straighten my arm and bring the dumbbell halfway to the shoulder and again straighten. I perform this a few times also. This extra partial movement work is to afford additional and even stronger concentration to the biceps after it starts to ache. 

The same method is applied to all triceps work. That is, after my triceps tire, I go to half-extensions, then from a half-extension I do a few reps to full extension. And as a final tip which may make all this clearer to the reader, I try to keep the muscles I use FLEXED as they are being used. This latter explanation may furnish you with better comprehension of my method.       



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