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Education is important. But big biceps are importanter.
Education is important. But big biceps are importanter.
How I Built My 20-Inch Arms
by Larry Scott
When asked to “make a muscle” the average person invariably flexes his biceps. Bodybuilders are no different . . . big arms fascinate them more than any other bodypart.
I’m no different myself . . . I’ve admired big arms as long as I can remember, and have worked long and hard to get a pair. I’ve been amply rewarded for my labors in this direction, but not until I had spent many, many years experimenting with the various exercises and training principles covered in the course booklet.
Furthermore, the time I spent working for big arms was much longer than it need be for you. How often during my earlier training years I had wished for a book such as this, describing exactly the exercises and training methods! But I had to learn a lot of what I now know by trial and error, by luck, hope, and mistakes.
So, the purpose of this book is to spare you some false turns and blind alleys on the road to magnificent arms. With my own errors in mind, this booklet is written for you, so you can avoid them. Follow the course as laid out . . . the prescribed exercises, sets, repetitions, exercise style. Put real determination in your workouts, make this a turning point in your big arm training . . . you won’t regret it!
Best of luck.
Advice to the Beginner
Those of you who are total beginners should realize that there are certain fundamental terms that you will have to be familiar with in order to get along in the muscle world. After all, bodybuilding is a technical world of its own, and has its own shop talk just as other specialized activities do. Many of these words will sound strange to you, but in time you will see the reasons behind their use:
Sets and Repetitions – definitions readily available elsewhere.
Concentration – Everyone knows what this word means – applying your mind exclusively to what you are doing, a particular task. In bodybuilding, the task at hand is the exercise you are performing. To get the very best results you must devote the utmost of mental concentration to performing correctly the exercise you are doing, concentrate solely on the muscle being worked and the exercise motion. You must work as hard as possible and shut all interfering thoughts out of your mind . . . think only of that arm growing bigger and bigger with every workout!
To the novice this may sound like a lot of nonsense, but this is the proven way to build muscle, proven by me and a lot of good bodybuilders of the past. Follow the exercise advice strictly as prescribed and save your skepticism for other things.
Strict Exercise Motion – This simply means that you must adhere to correct exercise motion and form when training. Do the movement strictly as you are supposed to do it, no short cuts or easy methods. This means no body swing, no bending the legs, shortened exercise movements or allowing other muscles to help the one being exercises.
Cheating Exercise Motion – Many times a slightly higher weight can be used in certain exercises provided a slight “cheat” is used. Generally not much advice needs to be given on this subject, as most everyone on the own seems to know how to cheat! But use caution, as the cheating style can be used to advantage only on certain exercises strictly labeled as cheat movements.
Flushing – This means to work the muscle so that it is pumped full of blood, flushed and gorged with this vital fluid almost so it seems you cannot do another set without your arms bursting! Once you start working a muscle, you should stay with it until it is completely flushed. Don’t skip around from bodypart to bodypart. If your exercises don’t give you flushing as described here, then they are no good for you.
Flushing is accepted as one of the most important principles in bodybuilding. To ask about it would be the same thing as asking if food is necessary to gain weight!
Burns – This is a relatively new bodybuilding method that has been coming into vogue recently. It can be used on most exercises, especially arms, and is simply partial movements at the end of a set. At that time your muscle is too tired to do another complete rep, so you substitute burns until your muscles begin to ache from lack of oxygen. This aching, burning sensation is responsible for the name of the principle, and will give you added desirable muscle qualities when applied properly.
Advice to the Intermediate
To me, an intermediate bodybuilder is one who has been training for a year of so consistently, is familiar with the vernacular and general training routine of bodybuilding, but is still hitting those awful sticking points that discourage every trainee.
Actually, if having sticking points puts you in the intermediate class, then all of us bodybuilders belong there. Everyone has them, regardless of their degree of training knowledge, and in a way it’s a good thing for it relieves the monotony of constant pace.
On the whole, though, sticking points and slow gains are very frustrating, and are the main reason why many trainees give up bodybuilding after training a while and not getting too far. For this reason the biggest problem for the intermediate bodybuilder is to find that magic combination of exercises, sets, and reps that suit him best, help him to gain the most muscle in the fastest time. But just how to do this is another question . . . you must do it on your own, find out for yourself and no one else. Too many young trainees try to copy another bodybuilder’s routine in the hope that their development will be a carbon copy of that bodybuilder also.
And this is where they make their mistake, for each and every one of us is a bit different from his fellow, and each and every one of us bodybuilders must train a bit different from his fellow trainee, if we are to reach our own, individual potential.
Still, many inexperienced bodybuilders make this mistake, and I’ve been asked the question, “What did you do to get your build?” more than anything else. I’m usually amused and tolerant when I hear that oft-repeated phrase, for I remember at the start of my bodybuilding life doing the same thing to the great Steve Reeves!
I had been training for only about two years, and was naturally filled with all the questions young bodybuilders are at this early stage of development. Steve and George Eiferman were putting on an exhibition at Salt Lake City, and I and several bodybuilding friends had traveled down from Idaho to see it. They were staying at a motel close to the gym where we stopped in to train, and Bob Delmontique, the gym owner, invited us over to meet Steve and George.
We walked into the room and there they stood! They had just come in from the sun deck, and both had their shirts off, looking magnificent. The introductions were done, and I as so many bodybuilders have done blurted out, “What did you do to get so great?” Steve looked at George and both smiled, and looking back now I can well imagine how many thousands of times they had been asked that question!
But what about an answer? How can you as an individual bodybuilder develop yourself to the maximum? After pooling my views with as many of the other good bodybuilders I know, here is the consensus answer:
Find that combination of sets and reps that is best for you alone. Find that blend of exercises that gives you the fastest and most enduring burn with the least amount of sets and reps.
So, that is the magic formula that each individual bodybuilder should follow to reach success. Each fellow must be his own trainer, follow his instincts towards that which is best for him alone . . . if you follow Bill Pearl’s or Steve Reeves’ routines in the hopes of looking like Pearl or Reeves you’ll never make it, for you are not Pearl, not Reeves but YOU . . . a unique bodybuilding individual.
But at the same time you need advice, a pooling of ideas so that you can find good exercises, productive combinations of sets and reps. That’s part of the reason for this course. All the exercises I’ve listed in this course have been a great help to me at various sticking points, times when my lagging development really threatened to get me down. All these exercises are ones that I’ve found to be really helpful over the years, ones that have stood the test of time and development. Perhaps they won’t all help you, but I’m sure many of them will give your arm training a real boost.
Finding the correct training methods by instinct may be desirable, but in many ways it’s like groping in the dark. If someone can turn on a bit of light for you, it’ll certainly help you find your way a lot easier. That’s what I hope this course does for you, gives you the right tools to get more development faster. Try the routines, then adapt them to your own training. I’m sure they will really help you in your battle to get big arms!
Exercise Routine #1
Sets and Reps: Start with 3 sets of 10 reps, and use a moderate weight. Make sure your form is very, very good or nothing will come of this movement except burning a little energy. Continue the sets and reps and go easy on adding weight also, unless this movement feels particularly effective for you.
Standing Triceps (French) Press: This is an excellent movement for bulking up the long head, or underbelly of the triceps. The hands should be about six inches apart and the elbows held as high as possible. And, keep them in this position throughout the movement while also keeping your body perfectly straight. To use sloppy form and move around will only be cheating yourself of gains in the end.
Sets and Reps: Do about 4 sets of 10 reps and increase the weight used as often as possible, remembering proper form at all times. Increase the sets to 5 after a month, and experiment with the reps a little . . . try 8 as well as 10 and use the one that gives you the best pump. Remember the burns before ending each set.
Incline Barbell Triceps Press: Hold the bar so that only an inch of so is between the hands, and again keep your elbows absolutely still. As in most triceps movements aimed at body building, if you move the elbows the stress of the movement is transferred from the triceps to the deltoids. Press the bar directly overhead, keeping it on a plane right above the eyes throughout the movement. Make sure to lock out completely, and lower the bar slowly, again keeping equal stress on the downward trip as well as the upward one.
Sets and Reps: For a good beginning, try 3 to 4 sets of 8 reps. The increase in strength is usually rapid in this movement, so keep pushing the weight up as much as possible, but keep a close watch on any potential elbow pain developing. Go to 5 sets at the end of a month.
Exercise # 6
Lying Dumbbell Press: By now your triceps are getting pretty tired, so a little cheat will be allowed in this movement. JUST A LITTLE! Keep the elbows almost straight up and the dumbbells in a parallel position, and extend the arms until they are fully locked out. Lower the dumbbells slowly to as low a position as possible while keeping strain on the triceps.
Sets and Reps: Use all the weight that will allow you to do at least 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps, and at the end of a month add another set. If you wish, lower the reps to 8 to 10 at that time.
Some Final Tips
Follow this routine of 6 exercises, three days a week for two months at least. Then, if the course is beginning to grow a bit stale, go to EXERCISE ROUTINE #2. However, if you are still making good gains, stick on this first exercise routine and try the other later on.
Stay with the system of sets, reps, and burns that I prescribed. I’ve also found that the best place in the routine for your arms is last, just before you leave the gym. Further, since this is an extra heavy routine, I suggest you follow the split routine method of training, doing upper body and arms one day and lower body the next. Now to Exercise Routine #2.
Exercise Routine #2
If you approach your training with these thoughts in mind, nothing can keep you from obtaining results. Most of all, don’t listen to discouraging of disparaging remarks . . . I got them by the bucketfull, but I said the heck with them. I made up my mind that I could do it, and I did. So can you. You can and will improve. But no one can do it for you, you must hit those weights yourself . .
Mr Olympia 2011 contest was an IFBB professional bodybuilding competition and the feature event of Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend 2011 held September 15–18, 2011 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was the 47th Mr. Olympia competition. Other events at the exhibition included the 202 Olympia Showdown, Ms. Olympia, Fitness Olympia, and Figure Olympia contests.