Canadian Strongman, Arthur Dandurand
1878 - 1948
Originally Published in this Issue
Volume 1, Number 3
Courtesy of Michael Murphy
Thank You, Sir!
Arms, and how to develop them to the ultimate of development. This is the problem which all men, young or old, who are interested in body-building, would like to have cleared up and made as simple as possible to understand.
Hundreds of articles, and manifold equipment is placed before the public in helping to develop the upper arms, and much of this is a sheer waste of time. The reason is simple. In order to help them sell the equipment which they have for sale. many writers claim that by using this or that piece of equipment, and following instructions, you can develop the ultimate in arm development.
Now this is far from right, as I shall endeavor to show you in this article. I shall place before you "straight from the shoulder" facts, nothing taken away, as I have nothing to sell. The only thing I am interested in is, the true facts.
The first thing to remember is this: in developing the upper arms it is not by specializing in biceps development alone, but by all-round training will the ultimate in development of the arms result. This statement may come as a surprise and even as a shock to many of yu, but it is the truth.
Arms like that of George Hackenschmidt . . .
. . . Saxon, Zybysco, Podolak and other great armed men, were the result of all-round training.
Now don't get me wrong and say that I have no use for exercises that develop the upper arms especially. They have their place when used at the proper time in building up the arms. To simplify this, take for instance a young enthusiast who is eagerly indulging in a body-building routine for developing his arms. One will see him go through a large number of exercises that include bar-bells, dumb-bells, cables, wall pulley, chinning the bar, parallel bars and various other resistance exercises. I am not exaggerating here in the least, as I have very often seen it done, and if you take the trouble to look around for yourselves, you too will notice it. These enthusiasts will usually perform between 15 to 20 repetitions in these exercises.
Ask them to flex their arms! You will see before your very eyes, an egg-shaped muscle press up against the deltoids, finely drawn out with no adipose tissue at all. You will see that his muscles are actually trying to force their way out through the skin. It gives the appearance of a sickly looking arm, with a small measurement even though it is hard.
Take hold of his biceps between your fingers and by applying a little pressure you can make him cry out in pain, for the simple reason that his tissues are swollen from the amount of work he has given them. From my own viewpoint, I would prefer to posses an arm which is an inch smaller and not train at all, than to train and possess an arm like the above. The true fact is that only by all-round general training as i am about to outline will you be able to develop your arms to the ultimate of their possibilities.
Many countries can claim that their men are the best in making a certain lift, or have the best development of a certain part of their body, due to their system of training and methods of living. France lays its claim to the "One Hand Snatch." Germany claims the Military Press. Egypt in turn claims the Snatch and so on. But in Canada and especially in the Province of Quebec we can well claim the Bent Press, and the most powerful armed men in the world; I know whereof I speak.
it is true that France had its Apollon and Rigoulot. Poland, its Zybszko and Arco and so on. But Quebec had its Caouette, Cyr, Barre, Decarrie, Fournier, Arthur Dandurand, and others. Rating from bantamweight to heavyweight from 14.5 inch upper arms to 26 inches. What I am driving at is, that in the Province of Quebec the finest armed men in the world lived and I trained and practiced with them and saw their methods of training for all-round development and for their arms, in which they took great pride, so I guess I know whereof I speak.
Why will all-round training with bar-bells and dumb-bells develop large arms? Exercises for all parts of the body will help to speed the circulation of the blood, improve the volume of respiration, improve digestion, assimilation and elimination, improve the action and tone of the organs and glands.
This variety of exercise for different parts of the body will put the body in a healthier and better position to replace the broken down tissue in shorter time and replace it with healthier tissue than when only training and concentrating on the biceps alone. One more reason why one will develop large and more powerful arms with all-round training.
If you are practicing numerous exercises and repetitions for the arms, Drop Them! Don't be afraid. Your arms won't lose their size and strength.
Do about 12 exercises for the rest of the body instead, such as the deep knee bend, pullover, deadlift, two arms press in front or behind the neck, half squat, snatch, pullover and press on ground. Use as much weight as you can, not performing more than 12 repetitions at the most and not less than 9. This is most important . . . NOT doing a single special exercise for the arms.
This above schedule should last about a month. Afterwards you can add a few exercises for the biceps, such as the two arm curl with dumb-bells, single hand curl with dumb-bell, a side curl with one hand, the knuckles facing sideways, bent press, side press and the one hand military press, for the triceps. When adding these exercises be sure to add only one exercise for the biceps an one for the triceps every two weeks. By doing 9 repetitions and increasing by one each week until you reach 12, then adding more weight and repeating the movements from 9 upwards to 12 again.
By the time 3 months have elapsed you will be through with this schedule and notice real difference in your arms. You will notice that your arms have become thicker, not only from the top of the biceps to the triceps, but from side to side of the upper arm as well. Your biceps will begin to fill up the entire upper arm from shoulder to elbow. The triceps will take on a more pleasing curve. The outside as well as the inside portions of the triceps will be increased, and only then will you notice and feel that you are on the road to the ultimate of arm development.
This schedule herein outlined will do until the next issue of this magazine, in which there will appear a full page of photographs, illustrated by one of the most muscular armed men. He will illustrate what I consider the best exercises for the arms as a whole.
Why do I leave the exercises for the upper arms out in my schedule for a month and gradually bring them in again?
When one is doing numerous exercises for the upper arms, his arms get drawn out and are kept in too fine a condition, which does not allow the natural adipose to accumulate in the arms. This natural adipose is important in increasing the size and bulk of your arms and giving them a much healthier appearance. It also helps in giving that extra energy to the arms when necessary as it acts as a reservoir of energy. This natural adipose will not accumulate when performing numerous exercises and repetitions for the biceps or upper arms.
Arms, like those of John Grimek, Walter Podolak, Wally Zagurski, of the present day or Apollon, Marineau, Fournier, Rigoulot and others of the past, all have and have had this natural adipose when their arms were at their best. This made in part for their great size and strength.
A system or schedule as outlined herein will not tear down more tissue than it can replace. For this reason I left out the arm exercises and gradually brought them back again in the proper sequence. And it is for this reason that I condemn the builder who strives to develop his upper arms by numerous exercises and repetitions.
By following the instructions as outlined in the next issue you will be on the right track. In the next issue I will offer more advanced instructions, information and exercises.
It may take me some time to say what I have to, but in the end you will have something worthwhile.
Enjoy Your Lifting