Hi coach, as a beginner (bodybuilding Is my goal) I’m devoting my efforts to getting proficient and strong, while improving my form in the six basic movement patterns in the 6-12 rep range (in my case: bench Press, Seated ohp, chin ups, barbell rows, back squats and Trap bar deadlifts) running an abbreviated routine.
I’m not training arms directly (by the way i read your article about direct arm work and One day arm cure).
I also found on this site an article written by Charles Poliquin (RIP) Who was talking about a student whose time restraints had him train in an abbreviated way with no direct arm work (very similar to my scenario):
" In order to accommodate him, I prescribed that he do my [One-Day Arm Cure] during the study week before exams, Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas holiday break, and so on. In addition to gaining 12 pounds of mass, his arms grew over an inch bigger during the school year, just by doing an abbreviated, short routine and four, one-day arm cures".
Do you think It Is a valuable approach? Thank in Advance
Well… the one day arm cure has been around for like 60 years in some form or another.
The first version was created by Peary Rader in the 60s.
Poliquin had his and so did performance Coach Jay Shroedder (the later being more neurological than muscular).
I also wrote a version myself:
Does it work? Yeah, kinda.
At first it can give the illusion of adding a lot of size mostly because of transient (short term) visual changes.
These visual changes are from:
Swelling/inflammation from the high amount of muscle damage created
Increase in muscle tone (muscles looking/feeling harder)
Both will last anywhere between 2 and 5 days. But it’s not actual muscle growth.
Will the one-day are cure stimulate muscle growth?
Yes. But not a huge amount directly. Probably not significantly more than a traditional bodybuilding arm day. I mean, with Poliquin’s version you’ll so around 30 sets for biceps and triceps. Which is very high, but not a lot higher than a traditional arm day.
Anyway, there is a limited amount of muscle that the body can build in a week. A beginner can, at the most, add 1 to 1.5% of his body weight in muscle per month. If you are 175lbs it means that you can gain 1.75 - 2.25lbs of muscle per month.
So it’s not like a single workout, regardless of how hard it is, can add 0.75-1lb of muscle to your arms.
Plus, there is the fact that there IS such a thing as excessive muscle damage. Creating too much muscle damage can actually lead to muscle loss instead of gains.
Does it mean that the one-day arm cure is worthless? No. It can help but the benefits are mostly indirect.
The very high frequency of training during the day will boost the nervous system’s capacity to activate the biceps and triceps, making future training more effective at stimulating these muscles.
Personally, I think that it is not needed for a beginner. It is better suited for someone who has been training for a while and has lagging arms.
In your case it would be much better to add a 3rd whole body workout to your week. This will get you better overall improvements.