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Phil Heath’s 40 Incredible Arm Training Tips

Are you on a look out for arm training secrets? If you are, then would you consider taking an advice or two from Mr. O? Don’t know about you, but I certainly would. So why not sticking with us and read through these 40 tips the big man has to offer. Yes, you’ve heard that right.

It’s forty with a big F! And they are brought to you by the man who has brought home five Sandows so far.

1. Try working out alone. This way you can set your own pace and never depend on anybody.

2. Biceps and triceps should be trained together.  Train your weaker muscles while you’re still fresh. In my case I always go for training the biceps first, because my triceps grow easier.

3. Make standing dumbbell curls the cornerstone of your biceps exercises. They allow a you to execute greater range of motion, curling your arms separately.

4. Avoid alternating reps for dumbbell curls. I advise you alternating on every five reps. In this manner you provide each of the arms with a longer resting period, which allows you to do additional reps. It also allows you to pay more attention to each arm.

5. When doing curls it’s very important that you do the negative portion of the reps with controlled movements. By lowering the weight slowly you are recruiting more muscle fibers.

6. The sharp look of your arms is created by the separations and striations. This can be achieved only with dieting and lots of cardio. You need not be preoccupied with measurements. A lean arm is always more impressive than a fat arm, even when it is somewhat smaller.

7. Stabilize your body for concentration curls avoiding movement of the working arm’s elbow. You can brace yourself against a dumbbell rack.

8. Try to make your arms look as symmetrical as possible. Of course, this is not an easy task and many bodybuilders have failed to live up to it, yet the symmetry is key to looking impressive.

9. The ideal rep count per set for biceps is 10 reps. This prompts ideal growth.

10. Never work out with weights that do not allow you to do 10 reps. Overstraining your muscles can lead to injury and hurt your overall training.

11. The brachialis muscle is very important when doing the rear double biceps pose. Work your brachialis with hammer curls.

12. Holding the weights when working out is sufficient enough for growing your forearms. You can also do hammer curls, as they target the upper forearms.

13. Preacher curl machine can be used for doing one arm at a time. These machines are not always designed so that a bigger guy can position himself ideally and work both sides at the same time. Yet, you can use them for working one arm focusing on the biceps.

14. Try adjusting your training protocol so that you do 12 sets for your biceps and triceps.

15. EZ-bar curls should be left for the end of the training so you can avoid going heavy.

16. Try narrowing your grip when doing EZ-bar curls. In this way you target the outer biceps head better.

17. Periodization is very important for your training. Try dividing your protocol into periods when you train with heavier weights, and periods for higher reps. During the heavier period stick to doing 10 reps per set, and allow yourself a longer rest between sets. For the lighter period, the reps per set should be kept in the 12-15 range, and you should do them faster.

18. Form is very important when doing curls. Avoid swinging the weights and recruiting your back and your shoulders, and instead focus on your biceps.

19. One of the best ways to be sure that your form is correct when doing curls is to use an arm blaster. This device is designed to lock your elbows.

20. Try mixing things ups and add various movements in order to achieve consistent growth.

21. When training your arms, you need to keep them balanced with the rest of your body parts. Biceps can be trained indirectly, along with the back, while you can train it directly with the chest and shoulders. This should be taken into account when determining how many sets you should do and how to design your workout split.

22. Biceps and triceps can be trained with many different exercises that target them from slightly different angles. Combine up to four exercises for your biceps, and as many for your triceps. Hitting the muscles with dissimilar exercises ensures that you have targeted them from every possible angle.

23. Check yourself in the mirror when you train your arms. It can tell you if your elbows are properly locked.

24. On the flip side, it can also be good to close your eyes every once in a while during training. With your eyes closed you can fell as your muscle stretch and contract during the reps.

25. Do your pushdowns with a rope. This allows separating the ends and improving the contractions in your triceps. You can also get a wider range of motion.

26. Avoid doing pushdowns sloppily, by letting the arms being pulled up by the weights.  Try to maintain your elbows locked all the way through.

27. Your body can fall into a routine very quickly. Keep it sharp and alert by alternating your training method. You can do this by altering the order in which you do the exercises. You can also turn to supersets or FST-7.

28. Keep the pace of your workout at high intensity. Don’t extend the rest between the sets to more than a minute.

29. Find the most comfortable position for your body. However, don’t use this as an excuse to cheat on your workout. You still have to get through the full range of motion.

30. The following advice is in line with the previous one. Try spicing up things by using strict form when doing your reps, and not more weight. Increasing your weight at the expense of your form is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Not only do you get nothing from that, but you also risk hurting your joints and tendons.

31. Take photos of your progress. This way you’ll always know where you were at the beginning and how much you have progressed. It will also tell you which body parts you’ve neglected in the process, making it easier for you to determine what you need to do next.

32. Although training alone is the preferred method, it can be a good idea to find a partner for doing the forced reps.

33. Adding the close-grip bench presses to your triceps routine can be very helpful at developing big arms. However, you need not go heavy. Do a minimum of 12 reps for each set.

34. Try pre-exhausting your triceps. You can do this by doing the isolation exercises first ending your routine with compound exercises.

35. You need not shy away from using machines. Although free weights are always the preferable method, the technology of bodybuilding machines has went far during the last years, and some are very efficient in targeting your muscles.

36. Save the dips for last and try doing them till failure. Your starting set should include at least 15 reps. This could be great for completing your workout.

37. You can do dips either on a machine or using parallel bars. However you do them it’s crucial that you stay upright, focusing on the triceps instead of chest.

38. The most efficient way for getting a great pump is to end the arm routine by doing seven sets of a single exercise with short rest (20 to 30 seconds) between each set. It is a fantastic way to boost the intensity of your workout.

39. Never rush. Consistency is always a better approach then rushing things up. Don’t exhaust yourself in one go. Investing in your training for a longer period will bring you much more benefits.

40. Strike a pose whenever you can. This is one of the most consistent arm workouts, because almost every pose requires flexing of your arms.


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