GUNSHOW TRAINING TIPS PART 1
Arms, guns, pipes, pythons, cannons and any other name you may have for them. A well developed set of arms makes for better fitting shirts, grocery bag flexes and talking on the phone will make your biceps look shredded.
Training your arms will keep your elbows strong and contributes to a better grip. I used to avoid specific arm training because it wasn't "functional" but I then realised 99% of men I train rather add inches to their arms rather than 20kg to their snatch.
Here are a few tips to get bigger arms in no time!
Tight pecs (rounded shoulders) internally rotate the shoulders and will not allow the biceps to fully supinate.
Solution - Retract your shoulders, squeeze your upper back and keep the bar close to the body while you curl up. Performing incline curls will also stretch out the pecs and give you a neutral posture.
Pec stretching and muscular release will also help you improve bicep activation.
2. Tight tissue!
Nerve bundles in your upper back influence the biceps and triceps. When these bundles are affected, the arms can't innervate as many motor units aka recruit muscle. When you can't grow guns, tissue work may be the source of your plateau.
Solution - Find a therapist to perform active release or take matters into your own hands and complete self myo fascial release with a trigger ball to get rid of the adhesions.
3. Weak brachioradialis aka weak forearms!
I've never seen a guy with huge forearms not able to develop great biceps… But the opposite is true… Say for example you can perform 50kg barbell curls BUT can't even reverse curl 10kg,
you're bicep to forearm ration is not balanced, this could lead to elbow pain, injury and limited growth. In my experience this is the quickest way to fix tennis elbow.
Solution - add in 5-7 sets of reverse curls a week and 3-5 sets of specific forearm work
4. Maximal loading and low reps!
Just because you don't get a pump doesn't mean you can't facilitate growth. Periodising arm training where you complete heavy weighted dips, pull-ups and close grip bench presses allow you to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibres which are the more potent fibres for growing new muscle. The triceps contain more fast twitch fibres than the biceps so it is important to train them heavy.
Solution - spend 3-4 weeks in a 12 week training cycle, lifting lower reps and heavier weights.
5. Weak rotator cuffs!
I see this all the time, fragility in the shoulder joints often lead to weak pressing or poor development in the upper body. An easy way to reduce injury, grow muscle and boost strength is to add in rotator cuff work.
Solution - add in 3-6 sets of seated dumbbell external rotations, cuban presses or band pre-hab drills a week
Once you have the correct technique, strength and mobility you can start applying frequency to your program. Do a block of prioritised arm training where you train arms 3-4 x a week. If you want to bring up a weak body part you need to attack it consistently. Remember if you don't have the proper technical execution it doesn't matter how often you train that weak body part.
7. Master the basics!
Most males at my gym will add an inch to their arms just from the amount of pushing and pulling we do for the upper body. If you are able to perform weighted dips or chin-ups don't invest your time in doing 100's of curls. When you can close grip bench press well over your body weight and hang 40kg from your waist then rep out chins your arms will be BIG & STRONG.
8. Train antagonist muscle groups together
When you train opposing muscle groups together you not only increase strength but allow for better blood flow and balance throughout the body. This was a staple in Arnolds training throughout his entire career. When he benched he went and did some chins after… When he curled he followed them with tricep work.
Solution - training biceps & triceps in the same workout.
You may need to call the plumber because your pipes will burst after you apply these techniques… Or get some permits for your newly armed guns… Next I will post you all sleeve tearing arm workout!
Happy lifting everyone!