Bigger arms are one the most sought after products of bodybuilding and working out. Anyone who read Golden Muscles’ interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger will no doubt already have a serious hankering for transforming their guns. A set of huge muscular arms instantly communicates a generally fit and muscular physique, and arms are the body part most frequently on show.
Anyone who has dreamed of sporting a pair of superhero arms will have also dreamed of a ‘fast track’ way of achieving this. Many sites offering advice on how to get big arms claim that this can be achieved in just four weeks. Bigger arms in just four weeks, really? The majority of these programs are tried and tested, but solid gold proof of their effectiveness is yet to be found. The general rule is that if you spend four intense weeks concentrating solely on building up your arm muscle, you can get the guns of your dreams in no time. Whether these programs are effective or not, the question remains; should you be doing them?
How the Programs Work
The method of concentrating on one body area at a time is called ‘specialty training’, and the idea is to focus on one particular goal- such as building bigger arms- for a specific period of time. During this time you are advised to cease training on other parts of your body and tailor your training program solely to your main goal. This means putting all your resources; diet, nutrition, recovery, and training, towards your ultimate aim (in this case, getting massive arms). The programs suggest spending four days per week training, but recommend using one of these training days to maintain strength and movement quality in other key lifts. This is based on the reasonable idea that after the intensive program you will need to resume training as normal, and don’t want to potentially lose your ability to perform major key lifts. It is recommended to begin the workout on a Monday, and to schedule your ‘arm workout days’ for Monday, Thursday and Saturday, keeping Tuesday as the ‘maintenance day’ and Wednesday and Sunday as days off. The workout is structured this way to give your arms a vital rest, and it is highly advised against to schedule arm workout days back-to-back. The recommended workouts offered are different each day and week, and are optimized towards achieving that important end goal.
For starters, these programs should only be attempted by those with ample experience with weight training. Weight-trainers with less than a year of solid experience under their belt are highly advised against undergoing any type of specialized training program. Aside from this, any program offering ‘quick results’ should be carefully scrutinized. We’d all like to speed things up to the end result sometimes, but the fact is that anything worth having often takes a lot of work, effort, and time to achieve. Programs which look not to see results as quickly as possible, but to achieve good results in a healthy and safe way can only be better. An intensive program neglects the overall physical health of the person undertaking it, and leaves no time vital cardiovascular exercise. Working exclusively on one particular body area for an intense period could also heighten the risk of injury, as even when having ‘rest days’ in between your arms will still be incurring far more strain than usual.
What to do if You Get an Injury
When pushing your body to the limit aches and pains are likely to occur, and if left neglected can often lead to an injury. While tempting, especially if training towards an end goal in a specific period of time, to ‘get on with it’ and work through the pain, the consequences for training through an injury can be severe. Working through regular pain is fine, necessary even, but if you have a serious injury it is vital to cease your training and get it sorted as soon as possible. If you continue training, not only will you make your injury worse; you will do your body a great disservice in the long run. By training through it you run the risk of worsening your injury and it becoming a long term problem that prevents you from certain types of training. So if you suspect you have an injury, no excuses; get to the doctors now.
credit: Lisa Hope