Verne McDonald (1989)
The advice in this article can not guarantee arms of 20 inches. That is a genetic impossibility for most of us. What this article is about is how to assist you in advancing your arms to their ultimate, natural potential. All right?
The exercises are the old standbys - all of them, and they are the very same exercises used by bodybuilders for decades and decades in the love labor of getting "all" out of their arms. So, why don't I simply list the exercises and be done with it? Because it is not only the effectiveness of proven and popular exercises, it is the effectiveness of HOW you use or combine them. And that is the wrinkle here, the getting of the edge. This "angle" could prove to be a way for you to save years of time in personal trial and error. It is another angle to be learned, mastered and implemented at the appropriate time in your training.
I spoke of trial and error. Well, I learned through many, many years of experimenting with methods, movements and combinations. After all of that, my current arm size is 17.5 inches. Not too impressive in comparison to the commonplace 18 of the modern iron works, but there's much more to it than the idle gossip of a talking tape. You see, my arms were an underwhelming 13 inches in the beginning. And not only are they now on the brink of the ultimate bigness Mother Nature is going to grant them . . . they are in harmony with the rest of my body and in harmony with themselves. I hope this helps qualify me in some small way to impart advice on the subject of arm improvement. At least, I can surely identify with the struggles of those of you who are more physically restricted due to the "casting" of the genes.
In the beginning of my own arm development size increases actually came quite rapidly. My arms enlarged an inch in a couple of months and, after a short dormant period, expanded another inch and a half, advancing from 14 to 15.5 inches.
Then came the time of lag, and the whole thing became much more trying. I continued to use the same exercises that had worked in the past, in the same standard way. And why not . . . it had worked! These exercises were barbell curls and dumbbell concentration curls for the biceps, and for triceps, overhead presses (either military or behind neck) and either cable pressdowns or dumbbell kickbacks. All these were performed in normal positive motion (supersets were performed on rare occasions). This time, after six months had passed, I had fought, sweated and turned purple in the face on a regular basis to gain an additional half inch, but - at last - owned 16 inch arms.
From that day on I have battled intensely for each and every additional fraction of development. For the next half inch of lean muscle size it took more (and different) exercises in another six month regimen to squeeze out a little increase. For the next 1/2 inch prize, after more months of dormancy, it was the same story. Then, with arms finally flexing to the extent of 17 inches, the half inch fraction became divided in half while the length of time doubled. But hey, my arms were stronger and more shapely than ever before. It was taking progressively longer and longer and I was working harder and harder while the increments according to the tape were simultaneously smaller, because I was closing in on my final potential.
Hard work, long-suffering, change of approach - these all contribute mightily to advanced arm development - these, and getting the proper "angle", or angles.
Regular curls and presses bolstered by some of the more isolative exercises can take your arms a long way. Then comes the search for the right combination of exercises at the right time, along with intensified arrangements or methods, in order for you to reach the next goal.
Everyone knows that the triceps compose about 60% of upper arm size, so why does everybody insist on giving equal (or more than equal) time to the remaining 40% - the biceps? (to be continued)
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