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Tips on How to Prevent "Arm" Ageddon

When working with new clients, almost without exception, they want great arms. Whether it's a woman who wants toned and sleek arms or a man who wants 20-inch pythons. You can get the arms you want, as long as you understand the basics.

There are three major components to well developed arms.

  1. Your bicep is the most obvious; it needs to be round and full.

  2. Your triceps make up a full 2/3 of the arm and give your arms mass. Ignore them and your arms will not develop properly.

  3. Finally the forearms are 1/2 the length of your arms. To have nice arms all three of these components need to be developed equally.

I'm not downplaying the importance or working your biceps, it's just that it's important to work triceps and forearms as well.

Beginners can work the entire arm. If you're intermediate or advanced you will generally see more muscle growth by splitting your arm workouts in two. Biceps one day then triceps and forearms another.

If your goal is toning rather than building you can work your entire arm twice a week with higher repetitions. A simple thing to remember is: higher repetitions for definition, lower repetitions for size.

Beginner:

Tricep Press-down

2 sets of 10-15 reps

Tricep Kickback

2 sets of 10-15 reps

Barbell Bicep Curl

2 sets of 10-15 reps

Dumbbell Bicep Curl

2 sets of 10-15 reps

Dumbbell Wrist Roll

3 sets of 10-15 reps

Intermediate:

Close Grip Bench Press

3 sets of 8-12 reps

Tricep Press-down

3 sets of 8-12 reps

French Curl

3 sets of 8-12 reps

Barbell Bicep Curl

3 sets of 8-12 reps

Cable Bicep Curl

3 sets of 8-12 reps

Dumbbell Bicep Curl

3 sets of 8-12 reps

Dumbbell Wrist Roll

3 sets of 8-12 reps

Dumbbell Reverse Curl

3 sets of 8-12 reps

Advanced:

Close Grip Bench Press

4 sets of 6-12 reps

Tricep Press-down Flat-bar

3 sets of 6-12 reps

EZ-bar Overhead Extensions

3 sets of 8-12 reps

Tricep Press-down Rope Grip

3 sets of 8-12 reps

Barbell Bicep Curl

4 sets of 6-12 reps

Incline Dumbbell Curl

3 sets of 8-12 reps

Cable EZ-Bar Curl

3 sets of 6-12 reps

Supinating Dumbbell Curls

3 sets of 8-12 reps

Barbell Wrist Roll

4 sets of 8-12 reps

Barbell Reverse Wrist Roll

3 sets of 8-12 reps

Barbell Reverse Curl

4 sets of 8-12 reps

Using bad form can cause injury! Make sure to do each exercise with proper form. If you don't know the proper form, ask for help from gym personnel or a personal trainer.

Be careful not to over train. Biceps are used during back training and triceps are used during chest and shoulder training. Since you shouldn't work the same body part two days in a row, you should avoid scheduling a back workout immediately after you do biceps. You should also avoid shoulders and chest the day after triceps.

Here are more common Do's and Don'ts for arm exercises.

Don't arch your lower back to swing the weight up.
Don't move your shoulder joint during bicep curl.
Do keep your midsection firm and back straight.

Don't train too heavy.
Do use a spotter to make sure you're using proper form and help if you're training with heavier weights.

Don't hold your breath when you're working out.
Do breath out at the hardest point of your exercise.

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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.

11/27/2003