Who is ready for a “Gun Show?”
No, I do not mean ready to watch one, but rather to be the one performing it.
Go look in the mirror. First hit a front double biceps pose. Next, turn to the side and flex the triceps.
So what do you think? If you did that in public, or perhaps at the gym, would people stop and look in awe, or would they simply snicker and walk away?
Let’s face it…all of us iron pumpers want “jaw-dropping” arms, and just “big” is never big enough. And while some lucky lifters build “gun-show-worthy” arms just a few years after commencing with some basic bi and tri workouts, most need a more intricate training strategy.
If that’s you then look no further!
Below I have outlined for Muscle & Strength readers, a 4-week “arm-ageddon blast” that will split your shirtsleeves and get you ready to sell some tickets to your very own gun show!
Week 1: The PRRS (Power/Rep Range/Shock)-HYBRID Method
This training protocol utilizes various rep ranges, lifting tempos and intensity techniques to blast all of your muscle fibers, manifest a massive pump and shock the system into igniting muscle growth.
|Standing Barbell Curl||5/1/1||2||4-6|
|Overhead Lat Pull Down Curl||2/1/1/1||3||13-15, 10-12, 7-9|
|A1. Barbell Preacher Curl||3/0/1/1||2||7-9|
|A2. Reverse Barbell Curl||2/0/1||2||7-9|
|Rope Pushdown||2/0/1/1||3||13-15, 10-12, 7-9|
|B1. Seated One Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension||3/1/1||2||10-12|
|B2. Dumbbell Kickback||2/0/1/1||2||10-12|
Week 2: The FTX2 (Fast Twitch Exponential) Method
This training protocol helps set up maximum fast twitch muscle fiber firing through the use of high reps (to exhaust slow twitch fibers) and heavy explosive lifts (to excite the central nervous system).
|Cable Rope Hammer Curl||2/0/1||2||21-25|
|90 Degree Side Barbell Preacher Curl||4/1/1||3||4-6|
|Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curl||3/1/1||2||10-12|
|Lying Low Cable Curl||2/1/1||2||10-12|
|Reverse Grip Pushdown||2/0/1||2||21-25|
|Incline 2 Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension||3/2/1||3||4-6|
|Incline Cable Push-Outs||2/1/1/1||2||10-12|
Week 3: The SPEC (Stretch/Peak Contraction/Eccentric/Concentric Emphasis) Method
This training protocol utilizes four distinct rep tempos (one for each movement), each emphasizing a different “section” of the range of motion. This forces the muscle to withstand a unique form of tension with each exercise, allowing one to tap into several growth pathways.
|Incline Elbows Out Dumbbell Curl||2/4/1/1||3||6-8|
|Straight Bar Low Cable Curl||2/0/1/4||2||6-8|
|EZ Bar Curl||4/1/1||2||6-8|
|Front Double Biceps Pose Upper Cable Curl||2/1/4||2||6-8|
|Bent Overhead Cable V-Bar Extension||2/4/1/1||3||6-8|
|2 Arm Dumbbell Kickback||2/0/1/4||2||6-8|
|Decline 2 Arm Dumbbell Extension||4/1/1||2||6-8|
|Straight Bar Pushdown||2/1/4||2||6-8|
Week 4: The FDFS (Fiber Damage/Fiber Saturation) Method
This training protocol is meant to induce maximum fiber trauma, in order to trigger an anabolic effect, in the first half of the workout. Then, in the second half, the emphasis shifts to flushing the target muscles with blood and the hormones, nutrients and oxygen it brings with it.
|Seated Concentration Curl||3/0/X||2||3-4|
|Machine Preacher Curl||6/0/1||3||5-7|
|Seated 1/2 Rep Barbell Curl||2/0/1||2||26-30|
|Reverse Grip Low Cable Curl||2/0/1||2||26-30 Each|
|Weighted Triceps Dip||3/0/X||3||3-4|
|Smith Elbows Out Close Grip Bench Press||6/0/1||3||5-7|
|V Bar Pushdown||2/0/1||2||26-30|
|Seated Elbows Supported Tricep Extension Machine||2/0/1||2||26-30|
Author’s Note: Lifting tempo is the phrase used to describe how fast you lower, lift and pause with the weight in each phase of a repetition. It is expressed in seconds and begins with the negative (lowering) portion of an exercise, then the midpoint (stretch) portion, then the positive (lifting) portion, and if there is a forth number used it will be the peak contraction (squeeze) portion.
*Overhead Lat Pulldown Curl
How To: Attach a short straight bar at a lat pull-down machine. Sit on the bench and secure your legs under the pads. Grab the bar with a shoulder width grip and make sure the arms are straight before beginning each rep.
Keep your torso relatively upright as you curl the bar down and back behind the head. Make sure to flex the biceps hard at the contraction point for 1-2 seconds before slowly returning to the top.
**Incline Cable Triceps Push-Outs
How To: Place an incline bench set to approximately 45 degrees a few feet in front of an upper cable pulley. It should be positioned so that your head is closer to the weight stack than your feet. Attach your bar or rope of choice to the cable, switching attachments from workout to workout. Lay back on the bench and have someone hand you the bar/rope.
Tuck your elbows into your sides and make sure they remain there throughout the set. Rather than pushing the bar straight downward, you will instead push in a way that mimics both an extension and pushdown, hence the name of the movement - Push Outs. Squeeze to full lockout and hold this position for one second before slowly returning to the top.
***Incline Elbows Out DB Curl
How To: Sit on an incline bench set to between 60 and 70 degrees. Grab a pair of moderately weighted DB’s and lie back on a bench. Rotate your hands/wrists outward and allow your arms to fully straighten.
Curl the DB’s until the biceps are fully contracted. Hold the squeeze for one second before slowly lowering back to the bottom. Make sure the arms are again fully straightened before beginning the next rep.
****Smith Elbows Out CG Bench Press
How To: Place a flat bench under a Smith Machine, as if you were going to perform a bench press. Grasp the bar as mentioned above, and do so while having it rest in your palms, rather than wrapping your fingers entirely around it.
Carefully unlock the bar and lower slowly, in line with the mid to upper pecs, until forearms contact the biceps. Then push with pure triceps power to a point just before complete lockout (to keep the tension constant) on each rep.
I hope these arm-blasting workouts give you the pump of a lifetime – the kind that threatens to split your skin, tear your shirtsleeves and make your veins as thick as garden hoses.
Remember what the great Arnold likened a good pump to, and go after it like its “Arm-Ageddon.”