Thread: How To Squat For Huge Arms
12-01-2005, 09:29 AM #1
How To Squat For Huge Arms
hey chaps.....Another good read please take the time to check it out.
BY Stuart McRobert
Adapted from his best-selling book BRAWN
To build muscle mass, you must increase strength. Itís that simple. You will never get huge arms, a monstrous back, a thick chest, or massive legs without lifting heavy weights. I know that probably doesnít come as a revelation to anyone. But despite how obvious it seems, far too many people (and not just beginners) neglect power training and rarely make increasing the weights lifted in each successive workout a priority. You must get strong in the basic mass building exercises to bring about a significant increase in muscle size. One of the biggest mistakes typical bodybuilders make is when they implement specialization routines before they have the right to use them. It constantly amazes me just how many neophytes (beginners), near neophytes, and other insufficiently developed bodybuilders plunge into single-body part specialization programs in the desperate attempt to build big arms. I donít fault them for wanting big arms, but their approach to getting them is flawed. For the typical bodybuilder who is miles away from squatting 1 Ĺ times their bodyweight for 20 reps (if you weigh 180 lbs., that means 20 reps with 270 lbs.), an arm specialization program is utterly inappropriate and useless.
The strength and development needed to squat well over 1 Ĺ times bodyweight for 20 reps will build bigger arms faster then focusing on biceps and triceps training with isolation exercises. Even though squats are primarily a leg exercise, they stress and stimulate the entire body. But more importantly, if you are able to handle heavy weights in the squat, it logically follows that the rest of your body will undoubtedly be proportionally developed. Itís a rare case that you would be able to squat 1 Ĺ times your bodyweight and not have a substantial amount of upper body muscle mass.
This is not to say that you donít need to train arms, and squats alone will cause massive upper body growth. You will still work every body part, but you must focus on squats, deadlifts, and rows-the exercises that develop the legs, hips, and back. Once you master the power movements and are able to handle impressive poundages on those lifts, the strength and muscle you gain will translate into greater weights used in arm, shoulder and chest exercises.
In every gym Iíve ever visited or trained in, there were countless teenage boys blasting away on routines, dominated by arm exercises, in the attempt to build arms like their idols. In the Ď70s, they wanted arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the Ď80s Robby Robinson was a favorite and currently Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman, has set the standard everyone wants to achieve. Unfortunately the 3 aforementioned men as well as most other top bodybuilders have arm development far beyond the reach of the average (or even above average) weight trainer. But arm size can be increased. However, not in the way young trainers, with physiques that donít even have the faintest resemblance to those of bodybuilders are attempting to make progress. Thin arms, connected to narrow shoulders, fixed to shallow chest, joined to frail backs and skinny legs, donít need body part specialization programs. Letís not have skewed priorities. Letís not try to put icing on the cake before the cake has been baked.
Trying to stimulate a substantial increase in size in a single body part, without first having the main structures of the body in pretty impressive condition, is to have turned bodybuilding upside-down, inside-out and back to front.
The typical bodybuilder simply isnít going to get much meat on his arms, calves, shoulders, pectorals and neck unless he first builds a considerable amount of muscle around the thighs, hips and back. It simply isnít possible-for the typical drug-free bodybuilder, that is-to add much if any size to the small areas unless the big areas are already becoming substantial.
Thereís a knock-on (additive) effect from the efforts to add substantial size to the thigh, hip and back structure (closely followed by upper body pushing structure-pecs and delts). The smaller muscle groups, like the biceps, and triceps will progress in size (so long as you donít totally neglect them) pretty much in proportion to the increase in size of the big areas. Itís not a case of getting big and strong thighs, hips, back and upper-body pushing structure with everything else staying put. Far from it. As the thigh, hip, back and upper-body pushing structure grows, so does everything else. Work hard on squats and deadlifts, in addition to bench presses, overhead presses and some type of row or pulldown. Then you can add a little isolation work-curls, calf raises and neck work (but not all of this at every workout).
The key point is that the ďengineĒ that drives the gains in the small areas is the progress being made in the big areas. If you take it easy on the thigh and back you will, generally speaking, have trouble making gains in the other exercises, no matter how hard you work the latter.
All this isnít to say just do squats, deadlifts and upper back work, quite closely followed by some upper-body pressing work. While such a limited program will deliver good gains on these few exercises, with some knock-on effect throughout the body, itís not a year after year program. Very abbreviated routines are great for getting gains moving, and for building a foundation for moderately expanded routines. They are fine to keep returning to on a regular basis. The other training isnít necessary all in the same workout but spread over the week. This will maintain balance throughout the body and capitalize upon the progress made in the thigh, hip and back structure.
Just remember that the thigh, hip and back structure comes first and is the ďdriverĒ (closely followed by the upper-body pushing structure) for the other exercises. These other exercises, though important in their own right, are passengers relative to the driving team.
To get big arms, get yourself on a basic program that focuses on the leg, hip and back structure without neglecting the arms themselves. As you improve your squatting ability, for reps and by say 100 pounds, your curling poundage should readily come up by 30 pounds or so if you work hard enough on your curls. This will add size to your biceps. While adding 100 pounds to your squat, you should be able to add 50-70 pounds to your bench press, for reps. This assumes youíve put together a sound program and have worked hard on the bench. That will add size to your triceps.
If youíre desperate to add a couple of inches to your upper arms youíll need to add 30 pounds or more over your body, unless your arms are way behind the rest of you. Donít start thinking about 17Ē arms, or even 16Ē arms so long as your bodyweight is 130, 140, 150, 160, or even 170 pounds. Few people can get big arms without having a big body. Youíre unlikely to be one of the exceptions.
15 sets of arm flexor exercises, and 15 sets of isolation tricep exercises-with a few squats, deadlifts and bench presses thrown in as an afterthought-will give you a great pump and attack the arms from ďall anglesĒ. However, it wonít make your arms grow much, if at all, unless youíre already squatting and benching big poundages, or are drug-assisted or genetically gifted.
As your main structures come along in size and strength (thigh, hip and back structure, and the pressing structure), the directly involved smaller body parts are brought along in size too. How can you bench press or dip impressive poundages without adding a lot of size to your triceps? How can you deadlift the house and row big weights without having the arm flexors-not to mention the shoulders and upper back-to go with those lifts? How can you squat close to 2 times bodyweight, for plenty of reps, without having a lot of muscle all over your body?
The greater the development and strength of the main muscular structures of the body, the greater the size and strength potential of the small areas of the body. Think it through. Suppose you can only squat and deadlift with 200 pounds, and your arms measure about 13Ē. Youíre unlikely to add any more than half an inch or so on them, no matter how much arm specialization you put in.
However, put some real effort into the squat and deadlift, together with the bench press and a few other major basic movements. Build up the poundages by 50% or more, to the point where you can squat 300 pounds for over 10 reps, and pack on 30 pounds of muscle. Then, unless you have an unusual arm structure, you should be able to get your arms to around 16Ē. If you want 17Ē arms, plan on having to squat more than a few reps with around 2 times bodyweight, and on adding many more pounds of muscle throughout your body (unless you have a better-than-average growth potential in your upper arms).
All of this arm development would have been achieved without a single concentration curl, without a single pushdown and without a single preacher curl. This lesson in priorities proves that the shortest distance between you and big arms is not a straight line to a curl bar.
STRENGTH, MASS, AND POWER WORKOUT
(3 days per week-1 on, 1 off)
1x 16 reps, 1x 12 reps, 1 x 8 reps, 1x 6 reps, 1 x 5 reps, 1 x 4 reps, 1 x 10 reps
BACK: T-Bar Rows or Seated Rows
1 x 16 reps, 1 x 10 reps, 1 x 8 reps, 1 x 6 reps, 2 x 5 reps, 1 x 10 reps
CALVES: Standing Calf Raises
1 x 12 reps, 1 x 8 reps, 1 x 6 reps, 1 x 10 reps
CHEST: Bench Presses
1 x 12 reps, 1 x 10 reps, 1 x 6 reps, 1 x 5 reps, 1 x 4 reps, 1 x 8 reps
CHEST/TRICEPS: Parallel Bar Dips
1 x 12 reps, 1 x 10 reps, 1 x 8-10 reps
BICEPS: Barbell Curls
1 x 10 reps, 1 x 8 reps, 2 x 6 reps
ABDOMINALS: Reverse Crunches
2 x 20 reps
LEGS, HIPS, BACK: Deadlifts
1 x 12 reps, 1 x 8 reps, 1 x 6 reps, 1 x 5 reps, 3 x 3 reps, 1 x 8 reps
SHOULDERS: Military Presses or Behind The Neck Presses
1 x 10 reps, 1 x 8 reps, 2 x 6 reps, 1 x 8 reps
CALVES: Seated Calf Raises
1 x 12 reps, 2 x 8 reps, 1 x 10 reps
2 x 20 reps
After a light warm-up set for each body part, adjust the weights used so that you are struggling to achieve the desired number of reps. Donít sacrifice proper form for the sake of excessive weight, but the final rep of each set should be nearly impossible to complete. If you are able to breeze through each set, then the weights selected are too light and must be increased. When you get stronger while using proper form, you give your body no choice but to grow.
12-01-2005, 09:31 AM #2
good one.. if you want big arms.. you must have big legs, some of the largest, and most neglected muscles in the body..
some of the excusses..
I have an old football injury
I did cardio this morning
etc..The answer to your every question
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12-01-2005, 09:42 AM #3
Stuart McRobert has some really good points in his books. His abbreviated training ideas make you think about being a little more methodical about your approach to gettin' big. He's an all around decent author on bodybuilding - use what applies and disregard what doesn't...
12-01-2005, 09:55 AM #4
12-01-2005, 10:04 AM #5
just read the first paragraph so far but already a damn good post.
12-01-2005, 10:48 AM #6
good stuff. I prolly need to start working my squat with higher reps. Lately Ive done 4 to 6 reps...prolly need to get up to 10-15 range
12-01-2005, 12:31 PM #7Originally Posted by Warrior
12-01-2005, 01:01 PM #8
Another good read S.P.G SOO true too, you see these kids in the gym with 14 and 15 inch arms doing all these skull crushers and isolated curls and don't even know where the squat rack is, but they want to have arms like priest and a chest like ronnie..it's phucking retarded.. keep em commin..i think i'm gonna copy this article and post it at my gym
12-01-2005, 01:06 PM #9AR Hall of Fame
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
That goes hand in hand w/my sticky that I wrote myself above.
Good stuff and true.
12-01-2005, 01:36 PM #10Banned
Originally Posted by SwoleCat
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- Aug 2004
12-01-2005, 02:09 PM #11Originally Posted by Flexor
Originally Posted by SwoleCat
12-01-2005, 02:13 PM #12Banned
Originally Posted by S.P.G
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
Yeah and after that it will be about symmetry, then about no inner pecs and then about cardio for fat burning. The stickies are there for a reason but I don't think people use them enough...
12-01-2005, 02:16 PM #13Originally Posted by Flexor
hahha i hear ya....
ps did you get my pm dude....
12-01-2005, 02:18 PM #14Banned
Originally Posted by S.P.G
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Last edited by Flexor; 12-01-2005 at 02:20 PM.
12-02-2005, 01:23 PM #15
12-02-2005, 03:58 PM #16
Squat 'til you puke
12-02-2005, 04:02 PM #17
12-03-2005, 12:11 AM #18
Sounds like great advice to me. I'm going to follow your advice and I'll let you know how it works out.
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