You've most likely read, heard or stumbled upon several programmes and methodologies when it comes to building bigger arm muscles. What's misleading about the information is that most of the scoop is influenced by the likes of a body bodybuilding champion or an expert of sorts who speak about 'tips and tricks' that works for them. You may not build 21 inch guns like the guy on the juice whose programme you may or may not be considering to get hooked on to by trying the techniques mentioned below, but it will help you distinguish between genuine training methodology from the 'bro science' out there.
First be clear why you want to train- for aesthetics or functional strength or maybe a bit of both
Train aesthetically for size and shape
The greater the time-undertension that a muscle spends, the greater the stress placed on to it, which further betters its chance of gaining size with repaired muscle fibres. Try to use a wide variety of exercises, angles and ranges to hit a muscle to get the most out of it.
For example while training the chest, use the flat, incline and decline bench press to hit the pectoral fibres from different angles. Also, add dumbbell variations to allow for a greater range of motion. Along with the above mentioned compound movements; try adding isolation movements such as cable crossovers, peck deck machines and dumbbell flyes to further load the pecs. If your primary interest is to build muscle size naturally, then a moderate weight and a rep range of six to 12 works best with a rest period of less than 60 seconds to build a greater amount of lactic acid. Maintain strict exercise form and perform between 12-15 sets for a muscle group. For the sake of variety, push yourself with heavier weights and lower reps to test your neuromuscular conditioning. Perform a week of heavy strength training after every five weeks of regular training.
Since speed and technique are the key to performing a functional action, such as hoisting a heavy object or while throwing a powerful punch, you would need to train for power (speed + strength) and maximum strength as well. Power can be developed by performing plyometrics for the upper/lower body, Olympic lifts, kettlebell training, battle ropes, medicine ball throws, power training, etc. An often overlooked aspect of functional training is strength training, which involves lifts such as bench presses, squats and deadlifts. Also, try to add more movements which include rotation of the torso, as power producing movements involves rotating and recoling your body like a spring. Cable rotations performed with the cable pulled from your knee, waist and shoulder height is great for building rotational power as well. Add the Body Blade to work the core more effectively.
Can you build a 'Peaked' bicep or a perfectly balanced 'six-pack'?
The amount of peak muscle that you can build is dependent on your genetics and the predetermined shape and insertion of your bicep muscle. Your biceps are made up of two heads-the outer long head and the inner short head. If the long head is well developed, then the middle part can make it look like it has a higher peak. Just don't expect to build Schwarzenegger like arms…you'll have to do much more than the norm for those! You can also see such variations in a well developed sixpack; where one side of the 'pack' does not match to the opposite side in size. Here, your genetic layout of your tendinuous inscription gives shape to your rectus abdominus muscle, dividing it into a redetermined set of six-packs.
Deckline Leitao, who holds a sports science degree from South Africa and a PG diploma from the UK, is one of India's most qualified trainers.