Countdown To Gigantic Gunz
Don’t lie. Tell the truth.
You may hate to admit it, but when you see someone with big guns you develop an immediate case of arm envy. As much as you may want to focus on things that actually matter - absolute strength, speed and performance - you can’t help but want to have huge, jacked arms.
One of the best ways to increase muscle growth is by implementing loaded eccentrics or “negatives” into your arm routine. The Eccentric Contraction of the muscle is the type of activation that occurs as the muscle lengthens and opposes a greater force. This occurs typically on the lowering portion of the movement. The eccentric contraction of the bicep then occurs as you lower the weight under control back to the starting position and the bicep lengthens. The tricep contracts eccentrically as the elbow joint shortens and the tricep stretches - on the way “up” during a tricep push down or as you lower the bar during a bench press. Without the eccentric contraction - or with a weak one - a curl bar would just fall with gravity back down to your waist during a set of curls. This is a common mistake I see in the gym, as lifters struggle curling a heavy weight to the top and then just let it fall, negating the benefits of the eccentric contraction. Research as shown that more microscopic tears of the muscle occur during this portion of movement. The body then repairs and builds new muscle fibers to support the damaged ones, thus leading to greater gains in strength.
Next time you feel yourself struck with arm envy, try this arm routine. Every rep of every set is performed with a 1/1/6 tempo, meaning a normal speed during the concentric portion, a quick isometric pause at the transition point then a 6 second negative during the eccentric portion of the movement. The routine begins with a heavy bicep exercise, followed by a unilateral superset of DB curls contrasted with push downs, before finishing up with a heavy extension movement and a bodyweight superset.
All reps of all sets 1/1/6 tempo:
A. Barbell Curls 4 x 5
B. Superset: 4 sets
DB Curls - 5 reps per side
Single Arm Cable Push Downs - 8 reps per side
C. DB Skullcrushers - 4 x 5
D. Superset: 3 sets
* do as many reps as possible using the 1/1/6 tempo. The negative on both bodyweight movements occurs as you lower your body.