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Arms, Arms, Arms: Big Arms, It's A Guy Thing

It's a "guy thing" I know, but everyone appreciates a set of big "guns." Even those guys who don't have them, but secretly want them, roll up the sleeves of their T-shirts to show off their skinny, tattooed pipe-cleaners. Muscular arms are the ultimate sign of maleness.

Even the women bodybuilders are sporting some darn good ones these days. There is something humbling to a guy to see a gal sporting biceps that look better than his.

Maybe they're not bigger than his, but certainly more shapely and muscular.

It is not unfeminine to see a gal with a nicely developed, shapely body. In repose they still look fit and sexy, but when flexed they wow the viewers.

Women have a tougher time developing seemingly "masculine" body areas like shoulders, back and arms, but what they do develop looks great.

When Linda Hamilton trained hard to do "Terminator II" with Arnold, she looked much better (and sexier) than she did in the original "Terminator."

She was really muscular and trim without being big and her arms were nicely developed. Arnold, as usual, looked unearthly.

Because the arms, like the legs, are used every day in whatever we do, the biceps and triceps are often in some semblance of condition before we start working out. As such, they are tougher to tear down to build up.

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Bodybuilders of the mid twentieth century, with having the nutritional knowledge we have today, had to work very hard (and smart) to develop their bodies. One theory that arose was called the "Muscle Priority System."

This principle simply meant that the muscle you wanted to breakdown the most and work the hardest, was the first body part you worked.

This assured you that you hadn't tired this muscle doing other work, before you got to working it specifically.

To develop your arms and build your triceps, work them first in your upper body routine. Better yet, have an "arms only" focus day once a week.

They will still get worked when you have your focus days on other muscle groups; chest, shoulders and back; and you will stimulate some great growth.

Here are some of the specialized arm exercises that will blitz those biceps and triceps. Try super-setting your entire workout, so that the biceps get a brief rest to maximize muscle growth while your work the triceps and vice versa.

* 21 Count Barbell Curls - For warming up the biceps.

Standing erect with your back against a wall and using a barbell or easy-curl bar with light to moderate weights, perform seven repetitions of the lower half of a curl (from fully extended to half way contracted, lower arm at ninety degrees from upper).

Immediately perform seven reps of the upper half of the curl, followed by seven reps of a full curl. Perform this as strictly as possible.

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* Barbell Curls - with a straight or easy-curl bar. Five heavy sets. Be sure and do these strictly, extending the arms fully and curling, not swinging the bar to your chest. Superset these with the following.

* Triceps Press Downs - Using a cable-and-pulley apparatus, perform heavy triceps press-downs using strict form.

* Alternate Dumbbell Curls - with a moderate weight dumbbells, perform full curls alternately with each arm. Focus your attention on the arm curling during the exercise. Superset these with the next exercise.

* Triceps Extensions with Dumbbell - using a heavy dumbbell, seated or standing erect, press the dumbbell from behind your head to overhead, with arms fully extended, lower and repeat for your triceps workout.

* Preacher Bench Curls, Modified - using the Preacher Bench, but leaning against the inclined side so your arms can hang straight down, perform close grip curls using a light to moderate weight on a straight or easy-curl bar. Be sure to extend your arms fully at the bottom of the exercise.

* French Press on a Bench - lying supine and using an easy-curl bar with a moderate weight, perform triceps presses using a rotating motion at the bottom of the press; i.e. rotate the bar from your chest to above your forehead and them press it upwards until your arms are fully extended. Return to the starting position using a rotational motion at the bottom. Repeat for ten reps.

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