You have a goal at the moment don't ya?
So how far are you willing to go to reach it? Pretty much as far as you have too right?
Well that’s exactly what’s needed, because it’s the pain of the battle that makes success feel so great.
Goals require focus, intensity, determination and a training mentality that smashes all obstacles you encounter. I’ll use building the size of your arms as an example of developing a solid mentality towards it.
Just think, you wouldn't trust a mechanic with only one tool to work on your car. So why do so many guys trust one kind of workout to build their arms?
Sure, it seems simple enough--if you want bigger arms, do arm exercises. But if curls and pull-downs were really foolproof arm builders, you'd see a lot more sleeveless shirts walkin round this summer. The real reason you don't is because people are usually as ill-prepared to jack up their arms as that grease monkey is to fix your Hyundai.
If you're determined to build size and strength in any muscle group as quickly and efficiently as possible, I strongly suggest a three-tiered approach. I like to think of it as assembling a cool sports car. Before you worry about what kind of rims you want on the tires, you need to construct the frame. After all, if the suspension is shoddy, you're not going to get far.
Read on, and I'll show you the training mentality for an eight-week program for bigger arms and a better overall body that will make you the most desired Ferrari on the road.
< WEEK 1-2: BUILD THE CHASSIS >
First, you need to establish stability. A sturdy foundation of balance and neuromuscular control that will allow you to lift the heavy weights later on.
So for two weeks, I want you to concentrate on exercises that emphasize your core, the muscles of your abs and lower back that not only stabilize your entire body but also determine its ability to produce maximum strength.
You want to "teach" your body to recruit more muscle fibres when you lift, thereby setting the stage for more strength and growth. This means getting into awkward positions that will require your central nervous system (CNS) the engineer for all your muscles to call in reinforcements to keep you stable during exercise.
So you'll work out with Swiss balls, standing on one leg, using one arm, and even twisting in mid air. Yeah, you might look a little funny but you'll be getting in great condition, sharpening your body's ability to train harder, heavier, and longer in the weeks to come.
This is a crucial step, and to reap the full benefit, you'll need to perform the workout at least four times a week. You certainly won't be training heavy or for very long per session in this phase, you'll recover quicker and be able to handle the frequency.
While the other "hardcore" bodybuilding sites would have you skip this part completely and head straight for the barbell curls, taking my route lessens the risk that your vehicle will break down from overtraining or injury (the muscles of the arms are relatively small and are therefore more easily fatigued and overused).
< WEEKS 3-5: START THE BODY WORK >
Once you've got a solid chassis to build on, you can begin to hammer out the "body" by hammering your muscles with heavier strength exercises for the next three weeks.
It's time to add some classic bodybuilding moves to the mix for fast muscle growth and some arm-isolation exercises (lying triceps extensions and curls). Thanks to the previous two weeks' prep work, you'll find you can progress to heavier weights much faster than usual.
To ensure your CNS stays keyed up, you'll integrate the new strength moves with the core training you've been doing, super-setting each bodybuilding exercise with a stability exercise for the same muscle group.
For example, you'll perform a set of lying triceps extensions followed immediately by a set of Swiss-ball push-ups. An exercise like the triceps extension isolates the tri's and forces them to work maximally. When you go on to do the Swiss-ball pushup (without rest), your triceps will naturally be fatigued, and you'll need to draw on more of your stabilizer muscles to keep you on the ball and complete the set. This means you are recruiting more muscles at a higher intensity than doing just the triceps extension alone.
Because the workouts this time will be significantly more intense, you need do them only three to four days a week.
< WEEKS 6-8: INSTALL THE ENGINE >
At this point, your body has become sturdy and reliable, it will run smoothly through the last three weeks.
You'll rev up muscle growth tremendously with two to three workouts a week based on compound movements that work your entire musculature, but are especially effective for your arms.
In addition to the direct effects of training large muscle groups, your body will benefit from the greater post-workout hormone production that results from heavy lifting, meaning your system will be flooded with muscle-producing testosterone and growth hormone.
In short, even the dead-lifts you do will make your arms grow.
This is the stage where most guys START their arm programs, but despite your five-week detour, you'll be further along than they are and make more impressive gains in less time guaranteed.
With a realistic training mentality and heightened level of muscular control, you'll be able to lift heavier weights and get much more out of each session in the gym.
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