These are the best principles for arm training:
- OVERLOAD PRINCIPLE: To make a muscle get bigger and stronger, you must continually overload it with increasingly heavy weights. So when you see favorites doing barbell curls at 225 pounds or eliminating lying tricep extensions at nearly 300 pounds, you can understand how the overload principle develops massive arms. Remember, those great bodybuilders took a long time to build those pounds, but they kept gaining weight to keep gaining muscle.
- PRINCIPLE OF DECEIVING: Most bodybuilders train to failure with every set of arm workouts, but those with the largest arms invariably train beyond the normal point of failure. The easiest way to do this is to first push a set to failure, then use enough snare to propel the bar past the plateau point, after which you slowly lower the weight to the start. Two or three reps of cheats at the end of a set are adequate to encourage gains.
- PRINCIPLE OF FORCED REPETITIONS: Forced reps give you a more accurate way than cheating to continue a set past failure. Simply have a training partner stand up evenly on the bar, with enough force to allow you to pass a friction point and do two or three forced reps. You can maintain a strict form if your partner eliminates the correct amount of stress than if you try to do the repetitions only by cheating. The difference between the two techniques is that forced reps require you to have a training partner available.
- PRINCIPLE OF DESCENDING SETS: This method, also called stripping, is similar to forced reps, but requires two training partners to remove the plates from the bar. Load the bar with many loose plates, but do not block the necks. Stand tall and do about six strict reps or barbell pushups to failure. Next, your partners should remove 10-15 pounds from each end of the bar to allow you two to three more reps, then remove the extra weight for the final two or three reps. This principle was a favorite of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- MAIN REST-PAUSE: This is the fundamental principle for building mass and power in any muscle group, and you don’t need a training partner to use it. Prepare a barbell with a weight heavy enough to allow only three or four strict reps of barbell curls. Lay the bar on a flat exercise bench, then pick it up and do as many strict reps as possible. In case of failure, put the bar back on the bench and take a rest pause for 10-15 seconds to allow your biceps to partially recover. Get the barbell back up and do as many reps as possible strictly, which might be just two or three. Take another rest pause, then force a final super intense rep or two. With rest-pause training, you probably won’t need more than two or three sets for each arm muscle group.