CT as you know I have had this upper arm obsession the past year. Genetically my father and I have good chest, back, leg and calf development naturally. However symmetrically our arms are def the weak link size wise. Looking to catch up my arms with my neck to calve circumference has just been irritating the past year. Sure there has been a little growth. So my question to you is…
Obviously my bicep isolation training is not working:
Is this my genetic limit causing this and I’m S.O.L?
Is my only other option - to add muscle to the other parts or the body, thus adding arm mass? (This may be the ONLY way for me now.)
Hard for me to answer this question without knowing everything you tried in the past. Oftentimes a non-responsive muscle is either a muscle with a small amount of fast-twitch fibers or in which you are not good at recruiting fast-twitch fibers.
In my experience, the solution is to take an “explosive athlete” approach to solve this problem. Basically we want to increase your capacity to recruit the FT fibers that you have or have the intermediate and slow twitch fibers you have take on more fast-twitch properties.
Until that is done it will be hard to stimulate growth regardless of what you try.
The techniques I will give you are NOT designed to build muscle, but to reprogram your nervous system… see it as an investment to make future training more effective.
EXERCISE 1. BARBELL CURL DROP AND CATCH
http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/exercises_youve_never_tried_vol_19 (second page of the article)
Perform at EVERY WORKOUT; 10 sets of 3 reps with a light/moderate weight focusing on the crisp reception (explained in the article).
As a plyometric exercise it can increase FT recruitment and make intermediate fibers take on fast-twitch properties over time
EXERCISE 2. CHIN-UP DROP AND CATCH
(don’t have pictures of this done)
Basically you pull yourself up to a finished chin-up position (you can use a bench for help); let go and catch yourself with the arms bent at about 90 degrees. Just like with the curl drop and catch the goal is to “stick the catch”… as soon as you grab the bar back there should be not the slightest downward movement.
Perform at EVERY WORKOUT, 5 sets of 3 reps
DO NOT DO ANY ISOLATION EXERCISES at that point. Do the following strategy for 2-3 weeks.
Stop the above exercises
Single-arm negative preacher DB curl (lift the dumbbell using both arms, then lower it in 5 seconds with one arm) 5 sets of 3 reps/arm; 3 times per week
Single -arm negative preacher DB hammer curl (same thing but a neutral grip) 5 sets of 3 reps/arm; 3 times per week
*NOTE: Both exercises are done on the same days…so you do biceps every other day.
DO NOT DO ANY OTHER ISOLATION WORK FOR BICEPS. Do this for 2-3 weeks.
Stop the exercises above
- Double dose of PLAZMA pre-workout
Preacher DB reverse curl 6 reps with 6RM
10 sec rest
Preacher DB curl max reps with same weight
10 sec rest
Preacher DB hammer curl max reps with same weight
10 sec rest
Standing DB curl with slight cheat, max reps with same weight
10 sec rest
Standing DB hammer curl with slight cheat, max reps with same weight
Standing alternating DB hammer curl, max reps with same weight
Rest 3 minutes
Do the circuit 3 total times
Do this two time a week with not other isolation work for biceps.
Do this for 2-3 weeks and never ask about biceps again!