Total Body Training That Will Get Your Guns Fired Up for the Summer
In the early 1960s high school weight rooms were jammed with football players doing countless sets of what are called "beachies." In case you're wondering, a beachie is an exercise that builds muscles that look good at the beach.
In those days there was no value for appearance's sake in working calves, rear delts or any of the finishing muscles that are so necessary for a polished and complete physique. The only bodyparts that were trained in those springtime weight rituals were chest and arms.
Much has changed since those days but some things remain the same. Summer is coming, and it's time to build those ARMS.
Enough about history and physique values, however. Here's a routine that's guaranteed to put a bit more size on your arms in six to eight weeks.
This arm program is part of a total-body routine in which you train with weights five days a week. Now, you can either train a muscle for strength or for endurance. Since you're looking for size, we'll stick with a strength-oriented approach, which in this case means short, intense workouts.
I like the idea of training the torso one one day, and arms and legs the next. In this program you do your arms and legs sessions three days a week, and work the other muscles twice a week on the following schedule:
Tuesday: Arms and Legs
Thursday: Arms and Legs
Saturday: Arms and Legs
As you can see, Wednesday and Sunday are your off days, and you should take them. Even so, you should try to include 45 minutes of aerobic activity. For instance, take a five or six mile walk, jog at a local park, or ride the hills on a mountain bike. Sure, you can to to the gym and put some miles on a machine, but I prefer the cross-training effect of finding aerobic activity outside of the gym during the Spring and Summer. There is, after all, life outside of the gym.
Here's the workout for Torso Day:
Bench Press. 4 x 12, 8, 7, 6.
Incline Dumbbell Press. 4 x 12, 8, 7, 6.
Dumbbell Pullover. 3 x 10-12.
Pulldown. 4 x 12, 10, 8, 15.
Barbell Row. 4 x 12, 10, 8, 15.
Seated Press Behind Neck. 4 x 10, 8, 7, 6.
Bentover Lateral. 4 x 10.
Hanging Knee-Up. 4 x 15-25.
Lower Back -
Hyperextension. 3 x 15-25.
Focus on Arms
I've paired arms and legs in this so-called arms program. There's an old Muscle Beach axiom that says legs are the foundation for all your training. After all, if you can squat with 405, you shouldn't have any problem doing incline curls with 45-pound dumbbells.
Besides the obvious strength correlation, having powerful legs means you'll have stamina and endurance throughout your body. What's more, training big muscles like thighs and glutes burns bodyfat nicely.
For this program I've kept the leg workout short and sweet - and heavy. The arm routine is another thing entirely. Here's a rundown of some of the exercises.
Barbell Curl -
You perform this movement in what I call compound sets, though the technique is also known as strip sets. You perform a set of, in this case, 6 reps with the heaviest weight you can use, then without resting strip off 10 pounds from each end of the bar and perform 6 to 8 additional reps. If you do it right, your biceps will be screaming.
Low Incline Dumbbell Outside Curl -
For this exercise you plant your elbows against your sides and keep your hands - and the dumbbells - as far out to the side as possible. If you train in front of a mirror, the inside of your upper arms should be visible as you do this movement. When you can't get any more full reps, try to squeeze out 2 to 3 top-half burn reps at the end of each set.
Lying EZ Curl Bar French Press -
This is a great mass builder. I recommend using an EZ-Bar to take the pressure off your elbows. Be sure to lower the bar behind your head and fully extend on each rep.
Here's the complete Leg and Arm part of the routine. The biceps-triceps combination in the final superset will really gorge your arms with muscle-building blood.
Squat. 5 x 15, 10, 8, 7, 6.
Leg Extension. 4 x 15, 12, 10, 8.
Leg Curl. 4 x 15, 10, 10, 15.
Standing Calf Raise. 4 x 15-25.
Barbell Curl. 4 x 6 (see above)
Low Incline Outside Dumbbell Curl. 4 x 10, 8, 7, 6 (see above)
Lying EZ-Bar French Press. 5 x 12, 10, 8, 7, 6.
Cable Long Pull. 3 x 12, 10, 8
Pushdown. 3 x 12, 10, 8.
Biceps/Triceps Superset -
Close Grip Cable Curl. 3 x 10
Bench Dip. 3 x 15.