The crucial aspect of building muscle mass is succeeding to turn the pump you get while working out in the gym, into a permanent muscle. Of course, a quick set of high intensity exercises can always do the trick of pumping you up, just to find out those muscles deflated just a few hours later.
The solution lies in combining volume training with strength building exercises, and allowing sufficient recovery time before blasting up your muscles during the next session.
The striking gains resulting from this training program are probably due to two mechanisms.
1) The first mechanism involves the synthesis of protein that is taking place within the muscle cell, including all segments of its structure like the connective tissues, cell walls and contractile elements. Yet, this process seems to be be greatly accelerated by submitting the muscles to a specific type of stress, by increasing the training volume, and with the help of advanced knowledge of good nutrition and supplements.
2) The other mechanism is much more simpler, yet much more obscure and involves swelling of the cells that doesn’t affect the function of the muscles. For example, during an injury, the affected tissue can swell a lot, but the muscle function is limited. The function gets restored only when the swelling decreases.
This sets the premise for extrapolating that if the swelling is caught in the gap between the onset of pain and restoring the functionality, and we just keep on training, we can exploit the advantages of added cellular swelling.
The training programs that involve serious volumes have proven time and time again that hitting the same muscles on a regular basis by providing sufficient rest, the size gained from swelling and tissue development will be here to stay. In other words, the muscle size can keep on growing:
- By tearing down the muscle tissue and boosting the process of muscle building.
- Providing sufficient recovery time.
- Repeated attacking of the muscles with suitable volumes.
The training protocol presented here combines dropset and superset approach focused on your pump, and the method for building size known as time under tension.
ANATOMY OF THE ARM
BICEPS FORM AND FUNCTION
The outer segment of your biceps, or the long-head, is generally much more easily activated by more vertical or pronate grip. As opposed to that, the inner segment (short head) is more easily activated in a supinated position. However, the simple fact is that you can achieve greater activation by supining. In this respect, it’s also good to know that you put greater emphasis on the short head when you position the elbow in front of your torso, and when you position it farther back, the emphasis is put on the long head. However, research shows that the varying grips produce a difference only slighter higher than 10% in activation patterns. On the other hand, the difference is much more influenced by the variety of motion, altering elbow position and changing the amount of weights that are lifted. Since we want to cover all the bases, here we try to exploit all these variables.
TRICEPS FORM AND FUNCTION
Although it is generally thought that you should not turn your elbows out during an exercise, sometimes this position is as important as the inward position in order to activate all three heads of this muscle. The long head is best activated by performing full range of isolated dumbbell extensions. The medial shorter heads are activated by downward push. An additional outward twist can be added by using a rope.
The training program consists of two segments. The initial segment is your workout that will last three hours (you heard that right), while the second segment will be the course of the next 4-6 weeks of training or more. It all boils down to following the first workout from A to Z and after taking the necessary rest, you will engage in hard arm training during each arm session. Before starting the work out, keep in mind the following tips:
- Use appropriate movements, focus the load on the targeted muscles.
- Try to go through at least 80% of your set before you decide to skip a rep.
- Exercise with lighter loads squeezing tight on top of every rep.
- Try targeting all the segments of your biceps and triceps in every practice.
- Never skip any exercise, because only in unison they can hit each and every fiber in your arm. By favoring one exercise over the others, you can unintentionally hinder your growth.
The first day is a variation of the “inch in 24” routine. Here you do three hours of paired biceps and triceps exercises. You should end up with 36 sets per side, or 72 total. After fully exhausting the muscles, you give them ideally 5-6 days of rest before setting off to the second part.
INITIAL SETUP DAY – EXERCISE
First hour, every five minutes, one set each:
- Skull Crusher, reps 12;
- Standing Cambered Bar Curl, reps 12;
Second hour, every five minutes, one set each:
- Triceps Pushdown, reps 10;
- Cable Curl With Straight Bar, reps 10;
Third hour, every five minutes, one set each:
- Single Arm Dumbbell Extension, reps 12;
- Alternating Dumbbell Curl, reps 12;
In this section you do arm exercises two days a week. Strength and size are the focus of day 1. It involves taking somewhat longer resting periods between each set and using heavier weights. In this manner you create solid muscle base, reinforcing the bonds between the connective network and the whole cellular structure. The focus of the second day is put on pronouncing the peak, clean contractions and shaping the muscle. However, both days have one shared characteristics – you should put all your efforts in the workouts.
- Skull Crusher, set 4 – reps 12 – rest 2 min.
- Close Grip Bench Press, set 4 – reps 12 – rest 2 min.
- Dip, set 4 – reps 10 – rest 90 sec.
- V-bar Triceps Pushdown, set 4 – reps 10 – rest 90 sec.
- Straight-bar Curl, set 4 – reps 12 – rest 2 min.
- Preacher Curl, set 4 – reps 12 – rest 2 min.
- Cable Curl, set 4 – reps 10 – rest 90 sec.
- Incline Dumbbell Curl, set 4 – reps 10 – rest 90 sec.
- One Arm Cable Curl, set 4 – reps 12 – rest 90 sec.
- Dumbbell One Arm Preacher Curl, set 4 – reps 12 – rest 90 sec.
- Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curls, set 4 – reps 15 – rest 70 sec.
- Cable Rope Curl, set 4 – reps 15 – rest 70 sec.
- Dumbbell Skull Crusher, set 4 – reps 12 – rest 90 sec.
- Rope Tricep Pushdown, set 4 – reps 12 – rest 90 sec.
- One Arm Dumbbell Overhead Extension, set 4 – reps 15 – rest 75 sec.
- One Arm Reverse Cable Pushdown, set 4 – reps 15 – rest 75 sec.
Nutrition is another crucial factor if you really want to max your arm muscles. The furious hardworking days of practice should be supported with large amounts of amino acids and protein. Don’t shy away from taking them before, during and after the practice every day. We recommend you to mix 15-20g of BCAA and 5 to 10 grams of glutamine into water and consume it during the workout. As an alternative, you can consume 60-80 grams of protein during the workout. In addition, you can increase the daily creatine dose to provide your muscles with extra energy and quicker recovery. This program is not advisable when you want to drastically cut weight for competition, as it requires you fully loaded.