by Steve Holman, Iron Man Magazine
Q: Iím following your current split [at the X-Training Blog]. So far, so good, but Iíd really like another arm workout. My arms lag, and hitting them with only one direct workout a week just doesnít seem like enough. What can I do?
A: Before I answer your question, letís outline the training split that youíre referring to.
Monday: Chest, back, abs
Wednesday: Delts, arms
Friday: Chest, back, abs (begin this workout with deadlifts for a testosterone surge and residual leg work)
Youíre getting a lot of arm work three days a weekóa direct hit on Wednesday and then indirect work on Monday and Friday, when you work chest and back with dips, pulldowns, rows and presses.
To get more arm work without overtraining, the solution is a mini arm workout on Saturday. Head to the gym and do only a couple of isolation exercises for triceps and biceps (heck, train calves while youíre there too). I suggest using 4X mass training so you keep cortisol low and push a lot of blood through your arms with moderate poundages and 30-second rests between sets. Hereís an example:
Lying dumbbell extensions 4 x 10
One-arm pushdowns 4 x 12
Dumbbell preacher curls 4 x 10
One-arm cable curls 4 x 12
Thatís one free-weight exercise and one cable move for each upper-arm muscleóso fiber trauma should not be excessive. Again, to perform 4X training, pick a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but only do 10 (or 12). Rest 30 to 40 seconds, and then do it againóand so on until you complete four sets. If you get the designated rep count on your last set, add weight to that exercise at your next workout.
If you donít feel like going to the gym, you can always train arms at home. The biís and triís are small muscles, so you donít need a lot of weight. If you have dumbbells, try lying extensions, kickbacks, curls and concentration curls. (Incidentally, I think every bodybuilder should have a selectorized dumbbell set, like PowerBlocks, and an adjustable bench at homeógreat for workouts in a pinch.)
If you donít have dumbbells and donít have the funds to buy any, try band training. You can get a set of three Body Bands for only $19.95, and you can get an incredible, unique workout with them. With a little ingenuity, you can do most of the exercises mentioned above. You can even loop one of the bands over your neck and do triceps pushdowns or under your feet for curls.
Editorís note: Steve Holman is the author of many bodybuilding best-sellers and the creator of Positions-of-Flexion muscle training. For information on the POF DVD and Size Surge programs, visit www.Home-Gym.com. Also visit www.X-Rep.com and X-Workouts.com for info on X-Rep, 4X and 3D POF methods and e-books. IM