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Armed & Dangerous



Posted in: Articles by ProSource, Training Articles | Oct 16, 2007



Use this training program to build bigger biceps, triceps and forearms in 12 weeks!

In a man's world, bigger is better. We want the highest-horsepower engine, the largest flat-screen television, a garage you could park a plane in, and arms that you can proudly refer to as "guns" or "pythons" without eliciting derisive snickers.

The first three are all about your bank account, but we can lend you a hand on the fourth objective. This 12-week workout plan takes aim at expanding your biceps, triceps, and forearms with an expert selection of exercises, sets and reps. It's designed for maximum results - because at ProSource, helping you achieve your bodybuilding goals is no laughing matter.


WEEKS 1-4: Divide And Conquer

For the first four weeks of the "Armed & Dangerous" program, your arms will be split up into three different days throughout the week, and paired with other complementary body parts. You'll train with a lot of concentration and intensity, setting the stage for the combined arm-specific training days in months two and three. Meanwhile, stick with your regular workouts for your other muscle groups, but don't go to extremes, as you want to focus your body's recuperative and growth processes almost exclusively on your bi's, tri's and forearms.

WEEKS 1-4 TRAINING SPLIT

Sunday Off
Monday Back, Biceps
Tuesday Off
Wednesday Chest, Triceps
Thursday Off
Friday Shoulders, Forearms, Abs
Saturday Legs

BICEPS WORKOUT: Monday

Exercise Sets Reps
Alternating Dumbbell Curl 3 10-15
Barbell Spider Curl 3 8-12
Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 10-12
Concentration Curl 3 12

Instructions: The alternating dumbbell curl is performed standing, curling one dumbbell at a time. Barbell spider curls are done standing at a preacher bench, with your arms down the straight edge of the bench. For incline dumbbell curls, lie on a 45-degree incline bench and curl one dumbbell at a time. Place your working-arm elbow on the inside of your thigh for concentration curls. For all the exercises, pyramid up the weight set to set, except for concentration curls, where you want to start with a heavy weight and drop each successive set, repping to failure each time - choose a weight where failure happens at or around 12 reps.

TRICEPS WORKOUT: Wednesday

Exercise Sets Reps
Close-Grip Bench Press 4 15, 12, 10, 6-10
Incline EZ-Bar Triceps Extension 3 10-12
Rope Overhead Extension 3 10-15
Dumbbell Kickback 3 10-15

Instructions: For close-grip benches, you'll pyramid up the weight each set, aiming each week for a new personal best on the final set. The incline EZ-bar extension is like a standard flat-bench extension (i.e. French press) except on a 45-degree bench. The rope overhead extension is performed at a high-cable station, extending your arms overhead while your back is to the cable stack. Dumbbell kickbacks are done one arm at a time. Pyramid up the weight set to set on the incline and rope extensions, then drop the weight each set on kickbacks, aiming for failure in the 10-15 rep range on that final exercise.

FOREARMS WORKOUT: Friday

Exercise Sets Reps
Reverse EZ-Bar Curl 3 10-12
Barbell Wrist Curl 3 10-15
Reverse Dumbbell Wrist Curl 3 10-15

Instructions: Reverse EZ-bar curls are standing curls with your grip flipped. Barbell wrist curls and reverse dumbbell curls are both performed while seated on a flat bench, your forearms flat on the bench with the weight hanging off the edge. Do each repetition through a full range of motion, and use enough weight on the last set of each exercise to reach momentary muscular failure - that may require you do some partials, where you rep through as much of the range of motion as you can until you can barely move the bar.


WEEKS 5-8: Power '˜n' Pump

For the final eight weeks of the program, including the four weeks presented in this section, you'll concentrate your arm workouts all into one day, twice per week. In weeks 5-8 you'll have what we call a "power" day, with heavy weight and low reps to tax your bi's, tri's and forearms to their limits, and you'll have a "pump" day that consists of higher-rep ranges and plenty of volume. The dual shock should be enough to tax every last muscle fiber in your arms and activate a growth response. Again, only do enough for the rest of your physique to maintain your current level of development; if you push too hard on your legs, chest, back or shoulders, you'll stretch your nutritional resources too thin and won't leave enough fuel to trigger an adaptive response where you want it most.

WEEKS 5-8 TRAINING SPLIT

Sunday Off
Monday Back, Chest
Tuesday Legs
Wednesday Power Arm Day
Thursday Off
Friday Abs
Saturday Pump Arm Day

POWER ARM WORKOUT: Wednesday

Body Part  Exercise Sets Reps
Triceps Flat-Bench EZ-Bar Triceps Extension

Machine Dip

One-Arm Cable Extension

5

4

3

15, 10, 8, 8, 6

10, 10, 8, 6

8-10

Biceps Standing Barbell Curl

EZ-Bar Preacher Curl

One-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

5

4

3

15, 10, 8, 8, 6

10, 10, 8, 6

8-10

Forearms Behind-The-Back Barbell Wrist Curl

Standing Reverse Barbell Wrist Curl

3

3

10-12

10-12

Instructions: For each exercise, you want to pyramid up the weight set to set, aiming to go as heavy as you can on the last set. To note what may be unfamiliar exercises, the one-arm cable extensions are done from a standing position, using a D-handle on an upper-cable station, while the behind-the-back barbell wrist curl is done standing, holding a barbell behind your back, arms extended. Meanwhile, for a standing reverse wrist curl, hold a barbell in front of you, arms extended, and on each rep, curl your wrists up as high as you can without moving your upper arms in the process.

PUMP ARM WORKOUT: Saturday

Body Part Exercise Sets Reps
Biceps Machine Preacher Curl

Standing Cable Curl

Dumbbell Hammer Curl

4

4

4

15

15

15

Triceps Cable Pressdown

Rope Pressdown

Parallel-Bar Dip

4

4

4

15

15

12-15

Forearms Dumbbell Wrist Curl

Reverse EZ-Bar Preacher Curl

3

3

20

20

Instructions: For each of these exercises, choose a challenging weight; don't take the high reps as an excuse to go too light. None other than eight-time Mr. Olympia champion Ronnie Coleman uses reps in the 12-15 range, but he is sure to tax his muscles thoroughly by combining those relatively high reps with the maximum poundage he can handle, so that rep 15 is extremely difficult. The machine preacher curl can be a machine where the pad is angled down, or, if your gym doesn't have that, it can be on the type of apparatus where your upper arms are on a pad that's parallel to the floor. Do dumbbell hammer curls either alternately or both arms at the same time, your choice, and for standing cable curls, find a straight bar attachment.


WEEKS 9-12: Rolling Thunder

The final four weeks won't be easy, but if you follow through consistently to the end, the hard-fought efforts will be well worth the results. You'll do the same arm workout twice per week, Wednesday and Saturday - it blends higher and lower reps to never allow your body to guess what's coming next. With such varied and unique stimulation, the muscles will adapt by adding size to protect themselves from future onslaughts. At the end, when the 12 weeks of the "Armed & Dangerous" program are up, you can return to weeks 1-4 and start the process again, or switch your focus to other body parts that need attention - the choice is yours.

WEEKS 9-12 TRAINING SPLIT

Sunday Off
Monday Chest, Shoulders
Tuesday Back, Abs
Wednesday High-Intensity Arms
Thursday Off
Friday Legs
Saturday High-Intensity Arms

HIGH-INTENSITY ARMS: Wednesday & Saturday

Body Part Exercise Sets Reps
Triceps Close-Grip Bench Press

Flat-Bench EZ-Bar Triceps Extension

Cable Pressdown

Seated One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension

3
2

2
2

2

1

1

12-15
6-8

6-8
12-15

6-8

15

To Failure

Biceps Standing Barbell Curl 

Incline Dumbbell Curl

Dumbbell One-Arm Spider Curl

Cable One-Arm Preacher Curl

3

2
2

2

1

12-15

6-8
12

6-8

To Failure

Forearms Behind-the-Back Barbell Wrist Curl

Reverse Dumbbell Wrist Curl

1
2

2
1

20
8

8
20

Instructions: This workout combines the higher-rep and lower-weight protocols of the power and pump routines in weeks 5-8, all in one training session. For the sets that call for 12 repetitions and above, choose a moderate yet demanding weight and employ smooth and steady-cadence repetitions. For the sets that consist of a lower-rep scheme in the 6-8 range, pick the heaviest poundage you can manage and power out each rep slowly and deliberately, squeezing the muscle hard at the top. Switching back and forth between these near-maximal loads and the endurance-type sets should prove to be difficult at first, but enter the workout mentally prepared and your muscles will eventually adjust - just in time to start back over at week 1.






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Disclaimer: The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.





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