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10 Rules for Guaranteed Strength/Size: Arm Training? Rep Quality?

How would someone incorporate arms into this blueprint? Everyone wants big arms :).


Regarding the quality of reps within a set:

I read the isolation exercises would utilize sets/reps/techniques most likely used in BDWPforNL. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that was my perception.

I’m assuming that on the core lift, you are focusing on lifting the weight however the body prioritizes the muscles as a whole. I’m guessing a two second lowering with an explosive concentric? In other words, we are not using the mind-muscle connection of the pecs with a super slow essentirc phase as we contract the pecs as the muscle lengthens during a bench press, but rather getting the weight up however the body sees fit? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

How about the assistance exercise and the extra pulling exercises?


I’m not CT, but here is my 2 cents on it.

In regards to incorporating arms, it say do 1-2 isolation exercises at the end (or 2-3, I can’t remember right now). What says you can’t take 1 or 2 isolation movements of those across the whole 4 training days and do some curls. Or, if your triceps are weak/lagging even with all the heavy pressing, some push-downs. Although I’d still do curls at least once across the 4 training days, not for vanity but for tendon health, for which higher rep hammer is my first pick.

In regards to the compounds, yes it’s mostly strength focused, although if say your chest is way behind the rest of you, focusing on it while benching could work, only your weight used will be lower especially across the 3-5 triple progression sets. Also, the heavy work on compound can contribute to your all over growth in a whole different way that isolating your pecs on thd bench, and then the isolation moved can be used to bring up lagging parts, so, in my opinion anyway, compounds for strength, assistance for muscles.

For assistance, including pulling, it is mind-muscle connection. Even for powerlifters, it is suggested to train assistance like a bodybuilder, meaning, use the muscle, not just go through the motions. If you do a barbell row yes, there may be some body English, but if it’s so much that you barely get any stimulation in your upper back, you might as well do some rack pulls, but that won’t balance out the pressing volume or aid shoulder health.

For the sets and reps and intensity techniques on isolation, since it’s a day on day off routine, if your recovery and sleep are on point, your calories are up and you follow that part of the plan too, I’d say it’s pretty much recommended to take the isolation exercises to failure, and occasionally throw in intensity techniques like in Best Damn Workout. If you remember well, the EOD training is for people who train hard, meaning they need rest the day after. Now if you do some medium intensity pump work, sure, your triple progression work will have you tired already, but maybe you are not maximising your potential you can get from the rest day after. Although, this is up to experimenting and seeing what works, and what’s too far.

I hope I could help

  1. Not everyone wants big arms (depends on your definition of big, I guess). For example, I never used arms training with most athletes I’ve trained, except with football players. Crossfit athletes also rarely do any direct arm work.

  2. If you do a lot of pulling your biceps still get stimulated (especially with vertical pulling) and if you do a lot of pressing your triceps will get stimulated. Now, some people will need direct arm work (long arms or people who really want to exagerate arm development) but not everyone does.

  3. The various templates that I use normally include 1-3 isolation/targeted exercises per workout (or a whole gap workout devoted to isolation work). Direct arm work can be put there if it’s something you want to emphasize.

Well, yes and no.

On isolation work, since the goal is to target a specific muscle, it is important to get a strong mind-muscle connection. And because it uses more metabolic stress than mechanical stress to trigger growth, we want sets that accumulate a lot of lactate which requires sets lasting 40-60 seconds. So a slower tempo is normally beneficial.

As for the big lifts, we want to maximize mechanical tension, this means using the heaviest weight possible for the selected rep range BUT while keeping the muscles under tension.

This means a controlled eccentric, yeah 2-3 seconds depending on the movement (faster will reduce tension, slower will reduce weight which also reduces tension). But the concentric, while it should not be done slowly, it should not be done explosively either. That’s because while that increases force production at the beginning of the movement, by producing momentum you reduce force application and tension in the later part of the rep.

It’s kinda hard to explain how to do the reps. The best description I can give you is to use “smooth force application”… push as hard as you can without being explosive.

I appreciate all the responses and will take them into consideration when putting this program together.