Big muscular arms have always been the show piece, people are always impressed with a pair of well muscled arms. An important piece of the puzzle that has to be put into action quite frequently is variety, remember the saying “variety is the spice of life” well if you keep doing the same workout day after day, the muscles won’t respond anymore, you need to keep things fresh.
There is a wide variety of things that you can keep mixing up, the common one is a change of exercises, but I am going to broaden that horizon for you, maybe your completely aware of this idea and it’s nothing new to you, or for some just a mental refresher is all that’s needed. Today’s lesson is to build bigger arms fast with variety.
Muscles have memory
This may sound like a strange concept but yes, muscles do have memory. If you were to create a training routine and just stick to that routine with no variations or alterations and keep plugging away at it, you would more than likely find that you would probably make some pretty good gains at first but after awhile your gains would slow down and maybe even come to a halt.
For example let’s say you do barbell curls for 5 sets of 10 reps and you plug away at them figuring how can I go wrong with doing these all the time? after all they’re the best for adding size to my biceps, so you keep pounding out 10 reps of this exercise for weeks on end and then you realize, how come my biceps haven’t been growing?
All of a sudden one day I walk into the gym and you run over to me and say, hay, steel Neil, how come my biceps haven’t been growing? I have been doing barbell curls religiously, they’re the best thing for adding size to my biceps, why did my biceps stop growing?
That’s when I tell you, your biceps know exactly what your going to give them, why don’t you surprise them, I’d say why don’t you give your biceps an extra day or two off and skip the barbell curls for a while and start your workout with something like inclined dumbbell curls for 20 reps each set and try a slow continuous motion.
So you go to work at the change I prescribed, you wake up the next morning, roll out of bed and think, what did steel Neil do to me? my biceps are so stiff I ain’t going to be able to workout for a week.
Mix it up with higher reps
It only stands to reason that if you change your rep scheme your muscles are going to give you feedback. Try something off the wall and grab a pair of ten pound dumbbells and rep out for 100 reps, I learned that trick from Rich Piana and look at the guns on him.
The typical rep range for gaining muscle is 8-12 reps, I’m not suggesting that you should do high reps all the time, but occasionally for the principal of surprise, shocking your muscles into a new phase of growth.
Compound and isolation moves
In general it’s good to use both compound and isolation moves together in a workout, for example for biceps, reverse grip chins or pull downs with a narrow grip would be a compound movement for biceps because other muscle groups come into play like back and shoulders. Along with compound moves do isolation moves like curls, an isolation move for the biceps just works biceps alone, no other muscle groups come into play.
A way you can add variety to your workout with compound and isolation moves is just do compound moves in one training session and just isolation moves in your next workout.
There isn’t a whole lot of compound moves you can do for biceps so maybe you could super set biceps and back together with compound moves one workout and then do isolation moves for biceps the next, this way your muscles will have no idea what your throwing at them next.
Free weights and machines
This one is also a good idea to combine in your workouts. Use a combination of free weights and machines together in your workout, but maybe step out of the norm for a workout and do just free weights occasionally and vice versa, do just machine weights for one workout.
Circuit training is another addition to your variety you could throw into your training program. If you generally do standard straight sets or one of the other training principles such as super sets or tri sets, you can change things up by throwing in a workout involving just circuit training.
The important thing to remember is to never let your workouts grow stale, change things around frequently, keep your training fresh, this will also keep your workouts more exciting instead of feeling like it’s just going to be another workout.
That’s one way to tell that it’s time to change things around in your workout is if you feel like it’s a drudgery just going to the gym.
I think that we have covered some pretty good ideas to keep you rolling in a positive direction. Whether if I have been of any help bringing to you some new ideas or maybe I have at least inspired you with ideas you already knew about but just needed a little refresher course to dust them off and put them to use again.
However, it inspires me to just know that maybe I can be of some help and inspiration to others because I know what it’s like to lose inspiration and drift away from working out because I didn’t put these principles to use, but once I started to put these principles to use I felt like I was getting so much more out of my workouts.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.