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Thursday, August 19, 2004

ARM TRAINING
By Dan Gallapoo

I've had quite a few people ask me about arm routines. It seems that anybody who ever picked up a weight at one time or another wants big arms. Here's an example of an arm specialization program that has worked well for many hard gainers.

One piece of advice: When specializing on arms, cut the work load back a little bit on the rest of your routine.

This arm specialization routine is not an easy one. We'll be using super-sets. If you've never done super-sets (one exercise right after another, with no rest) then you're in for a treat!

This arm routine should be done twice per week and no more. I would only recommend staying on this specialization course for 4 to 6 weeks maximum.

BICEPS
*Dumbbell Preacher Curls - 1 set for 6 to 8 reps.
*Standing Barbell Curls - 1 set for 6 to 8 reps (a little cheating...I said a LITTLE,
on the last few reps is OK).

Do these 2 exercises with no rest in between. That will be counted as one cycle. Start with only one cycle. (Super-sets are very intense!) The second week do two cycles. Rest for 90 seconds between cycles. The third week do 3 cycles, again resting for 90 seconds between cycles. I would never recommend doing more than 3 cycles unless you have very good recuperative abilities.

TRICEPS
*Lying Tricep Extension (sometimes called "skull crushers". I usually use an EZ bar.) 1 set for 6 to 8 reps.
*Close Grip Bench Presses (just keep using the same weight/bar you've been using for the previous exercise. Do as many reps as you can until failure).
*Standing Dumbbell Extension (Please forgive me if that's not the correct name for this exercise.
Here's how you do it: Grab a dumbbell with both hands, lower it behind your head, then extend your arms until it's back overhead again.) 1 set of 8 to 10 reps.

Do these 3 exercises with no rest in between. That will be counted as one cycle. Start with only one cycle. The second week do two cycles. Rest for 90 seconds between cycles. The third week do 3 cycles, again resting for 90 seconds between cycles. Once again, never do more than 3 cycles unless you have very good recuperative abilities. If you're a hard gainer then here's a news flash...you DO NOT have good recuperative abilities! So never more
than 3 cycles, OK?

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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

"TRAINING, FREQUENCY & INTENSITY"
by BigCanuk

We've all heard proponents of low volume, high intensity saying that it's the only way to train. Yet we've all seen the mass mongers who do 20 sets per body part getting the results we want as well. So who's right? According to a recent study, two groups were chosen to workout. One group did the regular 3 sets of 3 different exercises per body part. The other group did one set. At the end of 3 months, the group that did only one set had better results! Unfortunately, this study only used individuals who had no bodybuilding or serious lifting experience and did not monitor critical elements such as protein intake, rest levels, etc. It does however show us
some very interesting details concerning what the body responds to best.

On that note, we've known for a long time that human GH levels go up at the start of a workout but quickly diminish after about 45 minutes. That's why it's always recommended to try to finish your workout in under an hour. You can take advantage of your bodies' own natural GH levels that way. This is
definitely a bonus round for enthusiasts of the low volume, high intensity workout.

I recently tried the 10 sets of 10 workout at 60% of the maximum lift for 2 weeks. I was very disappointed with MY results. I incurred 2 injuries (very minor and short lived but an injury is always something you can't enjoy.) The one was some serious pain in my knee which showed up the day after the
leg workout and taking ibuprofen for 10 days was what got me through that. The other was an elbow injury from doing triceps which also went away after about 5 days. I can only assume these injuries occurred from mass repetitions. Let's face it, 100 reps for one exercise is a lot. The clincher is that I am one of those low volume, high intensity workout guys and I believe this departure was just too radical for my body to
handle and it let me know that by giving me the painful injuries I mentioned. Needless to say, I went back to the low volume, high intensity again and have been enjoying my gains once more.

There is a time and a place for everything and we have to be the ones to be in tune with when and where that is so we don't overtax ourselves and wind up being broken down wondering what happened. So be in tune with what your body tells you. If it likes and responds best to 3 sets of 3 different exercises, keep with it. If it likes one set per body part, so be it.

Planned over and under training can take you a long way if you plan them well. I've been doing it for years and still dabbling with other styles as I feel the inclination to but keep coming back to what works best for me. With all these points in mind, you should be able to experiment and find
what your body likes best and fine tune your workout to see the results you want.

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