Ok so I was thinking about writing my first real post this year on this topic and BANG!, Mens Health magazine beat me to it with a brilliant piece of journalistic splendour in their current edition. They say that actually, just continuing to do your isolationist bicep curls and push-downs and close grip bench and hammer curls etc will only end up burning out your arms. By isolationist I mean the bodybuilder-type exercises that purposefully isolate a muscle so you can work it to exhaustion and get maximal repair and therefore, growth. Great theory!! Anyway that “Bible for the Fitness Masses” says no, what you really need to be doing, is other isolationist exercises for all the muscles around and supporting the arms and grow them first and then go about growing your arms…..with presumably bicep curls, push-downs etc Then you really will look like Popeye!
I always like to consider how it is that guys that do big jobs get really big as a result. I’m not talking about Bankers and Big Heads and Big Ego’s but beefy blokes like lumberjacks and steelworkers. These guys typically don’t always grow up big. They are hauling around heavy machinery and logs and stuff all day long. Their bodies either respond and get BIG or they get injured and I presume, go work in an office.
If you are constantly dragging and lifting heavy things you will get big. Whether at work or at play. Gyms are absolutely no different. Plus if you know about hormone manipulation and rep-range and rest between lifts, you will grow everything (well, not quite everything…). Big arms, legs, chest, shoulders, everything!!
Olympic lifts are the Gold Standard in the gym. Do them and get big, across the board. Don’t isolate and grow bits here and there, you will end up looking like a muscle-bound ape. Just check out any of the big commercial gyms, a lot of them are instructors….. And don’t be fooled by “Functional Gyms” that include banks of treadmills and isolationist machines on their floors. That ain’t functional.
Professional bodybuilders with full-time coaches get body-split training programs wrong at competition time, do you seriously expect the poorly trained and limited vocab guys and girls here to be able to get it right for you?? It’s total guesswork on their part so why risk it. Lift broadly with Olympic Lifts, taught by people that know them and meet your goals and more!!
Plus you get good at a few very important lifts and are not confused about what you should be doing when you go do your own workouts! Squats, lunges, bench-presses, cleans, push-presses, overhead presses, bar or dumbbells….and keep mixing it around Simple and effective!!