By Quintin Steyn
Fitness Model and Advocate, Facebook: Quintin Fitness
When mentioning arm workouts and effective results, the most common debate arising is that of: “go hard, fast and repeat”. This is surely not the best or ideal regime to follow if you truly strife for quality muscle gain. As it is surely impossible to achieve muscle growth instantaneously, you can surely see noticeable results in a short while, bearing in mind that exercise strategies are crucial to effective results.
It is important always to note that a muscle group should never be trained repetitively daily. While you train you effectively break down muscle fibres and in return your body rebuilds those torn fibres. Simply stated, this process allows you to gain muscle as you recover. It is critical never to “over-train” and always to give a minimum of 48 hours of rest before training that specific muscle group again. By doing so, you allow your body to rebuild those broken down fibres. If you re-train, you end up breaking down the muscle again and as a result you end up going backwards.
When it comes to “proper” training of your arms, it is always important to remember that your triceps makes out roughly 2/3 of your upper arm muscle. – This however is important to note if you strive to have broad, aesthetically appealing, boulder-bashing upper arms. Don’t assume to under train your biceps, ever! – Always remember that having a well developed arm from all angles is much more aesthetically appealing that an unbalanced arm.
When training arms it is, in my view, never about how “heavy you can go bro”. Often people can lift heavy weights, accompanied with horrible form, and still after a month see no change and question the mere reason they even try to go to the gym in the first place. For men, go for a decent weight; one you can effectively do 15 reps of and go higher from there without compromising on your form. Most women strive to tone their upper arms and with that, a lighter weight and high repetitions will tighten up and not further enlarge your upper arms.
The best advice I can give is training in 4 sets. In all aspects in gym, this is my main mantra I live by. Always respect the basic exercises; they have been successful for decades! Start with your first set of 12 reps, followed by 10 reps, another 10 reps, then lastly a “final-and-heavy” 8 reps. Want peaked biceps? I recommend seated dumbbell curls, followed by hammer curls (palms facing each other) and a final blast with barbell curls. Always, always keep a proper form! – Keep your back straight and tight and never swing with the weight, you will use your momentum to lift the weight rather than actually letting your muscle do the job. Swinging your weight will lead to zero results and you will develop bed posture throughout time.
Tricep explosion! Do tricep extensions, both with the rope and the bar followed by some “dips”. Also do some tricep “kick-backs”, concentrating on turning your wrist inwards as you push the dumbbell out. – That’s how you get that horseshoe effect on your triceps.
As I said before; a proper arm workout does not consist of attacking your muscle with brutality and heavy weights. Strive for effective burning, slowly progressing and never compromise on your form! And always remember if you ever feel serious pain or exhaustion during a workout; don’t “fight through it.” Instead, stop immediately and go consult a physician. So…let’s go do a proper arm workout!