By PAUL PEROY
Many of us want bigger arms. Chances are, if you’re working out in the gym and you’ve been given some advice, it’s probably not from lack of trying that you are neglecting your biceps.
You’re eating right, having loads of protein and carbs at the right time and still, spaghetti arms! You’ve tried every kind of bicep exercise using bars, dumbbells and benches. Next week you may even try bicep curls on your head (don’t try this at home, kids, I’m a trained professional).
Frustrated yet? Let me tell you a secret…
To build muscles you need to overload them. Gradually increase your weights until they get used to it as they grow and adapt, then challenge them some more.
Eventually you’ll reach the point where you can’t add any more weight after all that trying. If you keep pushing to increase the weights, you’ll end up with injury or aches and pains in other places.
The trick is, you need to build all your supporting muscles as well as your biceps, such as your core, back and even your glutes. Yes, your glutes — when those muscles are weaker than they should be they act like brakes on the size and strength of everything else, especially your arms.
Add some compound exercises (exercises that use more than one major muscle group) and body weight resistance exercises. That way you can recruit other major muscle groups to help your supporting muscles grow stronger.
Try chin-ups. This move forces you to lift your entire body, several times the amount of weight you could curl on each repetition. This gets your lats and biceps working together and as hard as they can.
Do the same with your triceps. Dips will get your shoulders, chest and triceps working together.
Working your core will help you build your guns, not just give you a six-pack. The weaker or less balanced your base of support (your core), the more it will limit the strength and power your arm muscles can generate or cope with.
Highlight all the weakest links. Just as a chain only needs one weak link to break, the same goes for your body.
Ensure you work on your external rotators, trapezius and glutes — these are the muscles that enable or limit the potential growth of your biceps and triceps.
What do you have to lose? Nothing, but all that extra space in your shirt sleeve. I look forward to seeing you all showing off your guns around town.
All members of a good gym are entitled to regular program reviews every eight to 12 weeks.
info: If you would like advice on working these muscles, please visit us on our website or subscribe to our monthly newsletter at www.lifestylefit.com.au