Thursday, December 4, 2008

How To Get Twisted Arms!!!

Walk into any gym in America and you'll see at least 2 or 3 people throwing weight around, rather than actually controlling whatever apparatus they happen to be using. This practice of using momentum as a means to build muscle is common, but very ineffective.

What's more, it greatly decreases the ability of the lifter to build the kind of muscle needed. The trainee in literally throwing control away and leaving development to chance. This makes achieving an aesthetic physique, nearly impoSsible. Unless there is a genetic gift lying within a particular muscle group, utilizing momentum is always a mistake when attempting to build size.

Arm training is one area where momentum is often abused. Limbs, in general, both legs and arms, are truly a target for inflated egos and an overriding goal to get big fast. But the arms are particulrly vulnerable to both injury and improper development as a result of momentum. Larger muscle groups like legs and back can take the abuse, But it seems that when it comes to building a foundation of arm structure and shape, a lifter often only gets one chance to create a basic matrix that is aesthetic and correct. If you blow that, you will be doing a lot of clean up work later on.

Novice lifters are consumed with visions of enormous arms. Believing that hoisting the heavy weights will achieve this goal is common. However, and unfortunately, throwing big weight around does little to improve the physique.

Olympic weightlifting is evidence of this. While it's a sport that demands great physical strength, and some of that strength creates a certain amount of size and explosive ability, it's also a sport that realizes a ton of injuries and an abbreviated length of career. Strength training, when done properly, with mind on form and function, means that longevity is inherent. So if you don't want a two year window in which to work out, learning that momentum isn't the way to go about development is key.


Performing repetitions correctly is key to building the kind of arms you want. And unlike legs, you can't do set after set to accomplish your goals with arms. They are a smaller muscle group and exhaust more rapidly. That means overtraining can be a quick consequence of too much volume, weight or hoisting.

Arms, above all, need isolative exercises that focus on developing a set of muscle fibers that are relatively short in length. The range of motion is much shorter than it is in leg training or back training. Therefore, it's crucial to keep isolation
as your main goal. But one reason momentum is actually preferred, is because isolation in arm training can often be painful to some. This pain creates a kind of fear to continue on with isolation based sets. Defaulting to momentum happen as a result of this pain.

Ironically, muscle recruitment is at its highest during this painful period toward the end of a set. And many lifters either stop, pause, or default to momentum during this period of time. However, it is during this time, when going beyond the normal
pain threshold is there for the taking, that major gains could have been made and are not.

Stopping, is almost better than using momentum, unless momentum is a kind of controlled movement. For example, using an arm blaster that isolates the arm, can partner with momentum in some cases, to move through this pain threshold and maximize muscle recruitment.

Using the legs to slightly help lift the weight, while the biceps are isolated, can be acceptable. The arms are not compromised by the possibility of injury, yet are moving through an important pain threshold.


One way to combat the urge to use momentum is to use drop sets as described in the Herculean Big Arm Course ( Drop sets are highly effective when utilized for the purpose of staving off momentum, because they just take the edge off the burn, yet still keep the lifter engaged during the period of the higest muscle recruitment. The point is to achieve maximum contraction and exhaustion,
without compromising isolation, before stopping a set. If drop sets help you to do this, they are highly useful.

We will continue in our next e-mail "How To Get Twisted Arms" part 2.

Until next time,

Keep hanging and banging.


P.S. Go check out for our complete course with video instructions on building Herculean Arms.


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