0

Top Five Bicep Peaks Exercises

Your bicep ‘peak’ is the height that your biceps reach when you tense them. This is what really makes your arms look huge and is one of the surest ways to drop jaws. But just how do you go about getting arms that peak like Everest? This is the challenge that many bodybuilders face: even some athletes who have huge arms fail to get them to peak in a way that they want them to.

 

To get your biceps to peak, you need specific exercises that specifically add height. Read on to see five of the best choices as chosen by Rob Riches – a guy who really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to tall biceps!

 

Seated Bicep Curls

The first move that Rob recommends for training bicep peaks is the seated bicep curl. Here you sit on a weights bench with your arms hanging directly down then curl from there.

 

This has two benefits that are ideal for building big bicep peaks. For starters, it perfectly isolates the biceps and prevents you from using momentum or any other muscle groups in order to help you through the movement. Secondly, it increases the range of motion by allowing you to completely straighten your arm – this results in longer biceps that bunch up more for a taller peak.

 

Single Arm Preacher Curls

A single arm preacher curl uses a preacher bench to once again completely isolate the bicep. This keeps your body and upper arm completely still which forces you to entirely rely on your bicep.

 

Incline Bench Barbell Curls

Incline bench barbell curls involve lying face down on an incline bench, with your arms dangling down directly on either side. This not only once again isolates the biceps but it also changes the direction of the weight which changes the angle of the resistance and thus increases the resistance through the full range of motion.

 

Concentration Curls

Concentration curls are a classic isolation movement. Here you sit on a weight bench with your legs apart and rest your upper arm on your knee. This lets you curl again without any assistance from your other muscles or momentum.

 

High Cable Pulls

High cable pulls are a slightly more unusual movement that rely on a cable pulley machine. Here you stand in the middle of a cable pulley machine normally used for pec flyes and positioned to be around shoulder height.

 

From here, you then hold the handles with outstretched arms and an underhand grip. Then curl the handles inwards towards your head. A variation of this move can be performed where you curl the weights at chest height.

 

Throughout both movements, you need to make sure that you keep your upper arms still and curl by pivoting only at your elbows.

 

Once again this will isolate the biceps entirely, while the cables will ensure that tension is maintained throughout the entire range of motion. Unlike a regular bicep curl the movement will get harder as you reach the end of each repetition.

 

Incorporate these movements into your routine and in no time your biceps will be reaching for the sky!


0

Your Complete Guide to Increasing Nitric Oxide for Greater Strength, Recovery and Muscle Growth

Sometimes it feels like you need a degree in biology to properly understand all of the different terms involved with bodybuilding. Without properly accounting for each of the various biological processes involved in hypertrophy and physical exertion though, you won’t be able to maximize the impact of your training or help yourself to burn fat and build muscle at the fastest possible rate.

 

Nitric oxide is one more example of a molecule within the human body that is of great importance to bodybuilders. Once you understand its role and you know how to increase it, you’ll find your workouts are more intense, your growth is accelerated and your health is improved across the board. Read on to find out more about this critical substance – we promise you won’t need to be a biology major to understand it!

 

nitric oxideWhat is Nitric Oxide

Nitric oxide has numerous roles within the body but among the most important is to help with the dilation of blood vessels. This in turn means that more blood can fit through those narrow passageways, carrying more oxygen, more glucose and more nutrients along the way. Whenever you contract your muscles to lift a weight or to jump for a ball in sports, this requires a supply of glucose and oxygen. Whenever you struggle over a difficult sum, your brain will use oxygen to fuel you through it.

 

Nitric oxide helps to improve the speed and strength of that supply and as such it can increase your strength, your heart health, your sleep quality, your memory and more. For bodybuilders though, what’s most interesting is that it can increase strength and even growth post-workout.

 

On top of all that, nitric oxide can also act as a neurotransmitter helping nerve cells to communicate. It actually has a unique ability to affect neurons that aren’t connected to one-another which makes it potentially useful as a ‘nootropic’ to enhance learning and memory. It also aids in the relaxation of smooth muscle, particularly in the stomach.

 

Why Bodybuilders Need Nitric Oxide

Think back to how it feels to finish a great workout. One of the most notable feelings that comes from such a workout is the ‘pump’ which makes your muscles feel swollen and harder. Often a workout is most rewarding once you achieve this feeling, as it means that you’ll be able to use your muscles to their max and you’ll feel every contraction all the more. Plus, it helps that the pump also makes you look much bigger and more ripped than you normally would do which is always good for a little added motivation.

 

The reason your muscles swell like this is that they’ve been working hard and thus require more oxygen and more nutrients. Thus the blood flow increases and your muscles end up looking bigger and performing better as a result of the extra oxygen, energy and nutrients. Subsequently, this increased blood-flow will also provide your muscles with all the nutrients (amino acids in particular) needed for hypertrophy AKA muscle growth.

 

By increasing your nitric oxide levels, you can enhance your supply of blood by widening the veins to the point where your muscles will be permanently fueled with more oxygen, more nutrients and more glucose. Likewise, you can also use supplements that take immediate effect in order to give yourself a sudden influx of extra nitric oxide and to trigger pump even before you’ve worked out.

 

So the question is, just how do you go about increasing your nitric oxide levels?

 

How to Increase Your Nitric Oxide Through Diet

There are numerous foods you can eat that will increase your nitric oxide levels. Here are just a few:

 

Nitrate Rich Foods

A number of foods naturally contain nitrates, which get converted into nitritines by your tongue and then into nitric oxide by the bacteria in your gut. Handy!

 

Nitrate-rich foods are also pretty abundant and they’re not too expensive. Great examples include: spinach, beets, carrots, iceberg lettuce, celery, cabbage and collard greens.

 

In the past there was some concern about nitrates converting to nitrosamines in the body which are carcinogenic. More recent research tells us we don’t need to worry about that however and if you’re getting a good helping of vitamin C it will completely block any conversion.

 

garlicGarlic and Vitamin C

Garlic is well known for being highly rich in nitrates which is just one of the reasons that it’s such an amazing super food (there are many more besides).  In some studies, garlic has been shown to be more effective in reducing your blood pressure than even prescription medication. Vitamin C meanwhile increases nitric oxide production in the body and protects those NO molecules once they’re created.

 

By combining nitric oxide and vitamin C, one researcher found that nitric oxide output was increased by 200%.

 


Watermelons

watermelon-arginine is a substance we’ll come to later that converts into nitric oxide via the action of a particular enzyme called ‘eNOS’ (nitric oxide synthase enzyme). Watermelons contain citrulline which in turn converts to L-arginine and is actually better at increasing arginine in the body than even direct consumption of L-arginine. Okay, that’s all a bit complicated but all you need to know is that watermelons are great for NO. Alternatively just take a complete amino acid supplement which will also do the job.

 

 

Grape Seed Extract

Don’t you love it when you find a food that boosts multiple bodybuilding-related functions in the body? Grape seed extract is just one such food. Not only is grape seed known for its role in increasing testosterone but it can also help to increase nitric oxide levels. In particular, studies have shown that a dose of 100mg/kg can increase NO levels by as much as 138%.

Eating grapes alone probably won’t do the trick though and nor will most of the supplements. Probably the only way you’ll get enough then is to consume the bulk powdered form.

 

Ginseng

ginsengGinseng has historically been popular for a range of uses but it seems there’s some truth to its purported benefits. Ginseng contains active compounds which are known as ‘ginesonides’ which are similar in structure to androgens like testosterone. In studies, it has been found to improve not only testosterone but also circulation, sleep quality, libido and yes – nitric oxide. Once again then this is a great ‘bodybuilding superfood’ but just make sure you get the real thing as there are a lot of useless products out there. The type you want is ‘Panax ginseng’ which is sometimes referred to as ‘real Korean ginseng’.

 

Quercetin

Quercetin is a flavonoid that works well when combined with a range of other similar compounds like tannins, genistein and resveratrol. When combined with those, quercetin is able to increase your nitric oxide levels. For these reasons it’s better to get it from your diet rather than as a supplement and eating onion is one of the best ways to get the effects – which you’re probably already doing anyway…

 

Chilies

Chilies are good for all kinds of things and have great thermogenic properties. At the same time, cayenne pepper in particular is very high in capsaicin which is great for nitric oxide as well as testosterone.

 

Omega 3 Fatty Acid

Omega 3 is crucial for your joints, your brain function, your central nervous system and your nitric oxide levels. You can get it from supplementation or from fish, vegetable oils, chia seeds and avocados. Either way, if you only make sure you get one thing for your general health it should probably be omega 3.

 

Supplements for Increasing Nitric Oxide

Add a few of those things to your diet and immediately you’ll have increased your nitric oxide levels several fold and you should start feeling the benefits.

 

If you’d rather hack the system though and rely on some supplements, then there are a number of other options you can use. Including:

 

CoQ10

CoQ10 or ‘coenzyme Q10′ is a molecule that can be found in the mitochondria of cells. In case you forgot your biology 101 (we said you wouldn’t need it…), the mitochondria are the ‘energy plants’ of your cells which help your body to use ATP (the pure energy ‘currency’) that the body retrieves from glucose.

 

CoQ10 is synthesized by the human body so in theory you don’t need to supplement with it but if you’re looking to enhance your mitochondrial function then adding a little extra never hurts. Furthermore, adding more CoQ10 in supplement form will also increase nitric oxide levels and like vitamin C will also help to protect those nitric oxide molecules once they’ve been created.

 

CoQ10 supplementation is a little expensive though, so you may prefer to consider cheaper options.

 

Niacin

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is crucial for all kinds of vital jobs in the body – including energy production, hormone synthesis and gene expression. Meanwhile, it also increases nitric oxide levels and because it can also reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) it’s a fantastic supplement for those who struggle with high blood pressure.

 

Pycnogenol

A ‘maritime pine bark extract’, this contains 65-75% procyanidin which is the same as that found in grape seed extract. The good news is that you probably can get enough this way through supplementation, so it might be one worth trying.

 

Arginine

We mentioned already that it’s better to supplement with L-citrulline than L-arginine but that’s not to say you still can’t get benefits from a little L-arginine. This is one that a lot of bodybuilders use and it is backed up by numerous studies so if you’re looking for a straightforward way to raise your levels then this is a popular choice to go with. It’s also included in the vast majority of pre-workout supplements for the same reason.

 

NO2 MAXNitric Oxide Supplements

There are a ton of supplements out there that are designed specifically to increase nitric oxide levels prior to a workout. One of the best known of these for instance is ‘NO2- MAX from Crazy Bulk‘. These combine a number of different ingredients designed to work synergistically to help increase nitric oxide levels both in the short-term and in the long term. Of course some of these work better than others and we won’t get into that here but now you know all the different ingredients that can increase NO and how they work, there’s nothing to stop you just reading the back of the pack and making up your own mind!

 

Lifestyle

Once you’ve got your diet and your supplementation down that’s your nitric oxide sorted right? Actually not quite – if you want to really do everything possible then you should also look into making a few lifestyle changes that can support your natural production.

 

For instance…

 

Get Rid of That Mouthwash

mouthwashRemember right at the start of this article we mentioned that the bacteria on your tongue would convert nitrates into nitritines? See, not all bacteria is bad for you and if you’re killing off all your bacteria with mouthwash then you won’t get the full benefits of the nitrate containing foods in your diet.

 

So unless you have a gum infection – forget about the mouthwash!

 

Laughter

Want to increase your muscular strength and hypertrophy? Then stick on a rom com! Seriously: laughing has been shown in many studies to have all kinds of positive effects on the body. In fact, watching a 60 minute comedy has been shown to increase levels of growth hormone, dopamine and nitric oxide! We already know that laughter is good for your immune system too, so go ahead and get giggling!

 

Sunlight

Sunlight triggers the production of vitamin D and thus testosterone and also encourage the skin to synthesize more nitric oxide. Get outside for your next workout and your body will feel the benefits.

 

Exercise

Last but by no means least, exercise can also increase nitric oxide. You know this because you get that awesome feeling of pump every time you go to the gym. What’s more, exercise doesn’t only increase nitric oxide production in the short term but simply having bigger muscles will ensure your levels stay increased as your body recognizes the need to deliver more blood, nutrients and oxygen to them.


0

Rob Riches’ Upper Chest Workout

Rop Riches is a cover model and a ‘True Performance Nutrition Athlete’. He’s also a popular YouTuber with a fitness and muscle building channel where he shares a lot of his training secrets.

 

Rob has a great physique and is often asked about his powerful pecs which are particularly cut and defined. So how does he do it?

 

Wide Incline Bench Press

3 sets x 12 reps

Starting with wide incline bench press, this will target the upper the portion of the chest as well as ensuring he’s using the whole pec right out to the edges. This is a tough move, so you might not be able to do that many reps, but it’s great for pre-exhaust and for really targeting that section of the chest.

 

Incline Close-Grip Dumbbell press

3 sets x 12 reps

Incline close grip dumbbell press works the chest from a different angle – specifically involving the middle of the chest and recruiting those fibers.

 

Reverse Grip Bench Press

3 sets x 12 reps

Using an underhand, supinated grip will involve the upper chest more again, allow you to use your biceps slightly and also force you to lower your arms more increasing your range of motion. All in all, simply switching the grip like this is more than enough to train your pecs in a different way and thus to really encourage more growth.

 

Wide Dumbbell Flyes

3 sets x 12 reps

Dumbbell flyes once again train the outer portion of the pecs. Rob also incorporates a twist on the dumbbells, switching from a neutral grip to a supinated grip as he goes and squeezing the pecs right at the top.

 

Machine Flyes

4 sets x 12 reps

Finally, Rob ends on machine flyes which allow him to increase the weight more right at the end when he’s nearly out of steam. This is ideal because it guides him through the movement and takes off some of the strain on the supportive muscles. This is also particularly well combined with a drop set.

 

Why it Works

So that’s Rob’s chest workout… what’s so special about it?

 

The first thing that makes this workout so great is that it hits the pecs from lots of different angles, it really mixes things up and it doesn’t allow him to get too much into a rhythm. In turn, this allows him to not only ensure he’s training the pecs in their entirety, but it also encourages more all-round growth.

 

The other reason this routine is so good is that it focusses a lot on the upper chest. This is a good strategy as the upper chest often requires more work to respond and it’s the area that can really make your pecs look defined – giving you that bulge right below the collar bone.

 

So there you go, give it a go and you should find that hitting your pecs from so many unusual angles really shocks them into growth. It’s certainly worked for Rob!


0

Rob Riches’ Insane Delt Workout

Rob Riches is a fitness model and YouTube vlogger who shares a lot of his intensive workouts through his channel. He’s a guy with a highly ripped and defined physique and as for his shoulders – you can easily see all three of the deltoid heads in high definition. Now that’s a ripped physique.

 

How does he build these highly detailed delts? He uses a workout that he describes as insane. Seeing as all of his workouts are pretty insane, you just know this means these ones are going to be incredibly tough going!

 

Here’s how Rob gets such shredded shoulders…

 

Warm Up

Rob starts his shoulder workout with a warm up that ‘prepares’ his muscles for the ranges of motion they’re about to be put through. Using lighter weights, he combined around the worlds (using a weight plate), chin ups, shrugs and arm rotations to protect himself against injury.

 

Superset 1: Single Arm Barbell Lateral Raise/Single Arm Cable Lateral Raises

For Rob’s shoulder workout, he uses a separate set of exercises to directly target each of the three deltoid heads. He starts with lateral deltoid raises using a barbell in order to prevent cheating. When we use dumbbells we will often swing our arms into the movement to help ourselves through, but with a barbell that is pretty much impossible meaning you’ll use much better form. It’s also great for challenging your supportive muscles.

 

Next up is the cable lateral raise which once again makes cheating impossible and keeps the tension on all the way through the movement. Training a single arm at a time lets you use more weight.

 

Superset 2: Reverse Pec Flyes/Bent Over Dumbbell Raises

Now Rob hits the rear/posterior deltoids. He does these using a superset of reverse pec flyes (pec flyes where you face forward and pull the cables behind you) and bent over dumbbell raises keeping an arched back and bent knees.

 

This is something that is missing from a lot of people’s workouts: it’s all too easy to ignore the rear delts as you can’t see them in the mirror. For a great looking back though, you really need to concentrate them. The good news? Because we don’t train them often, they will respond quickly to training for rapid growth.

 

Superset 3: Upward Rows/Forward Raises

Front deltoids get trained during the chest but they rarely get focus individually. This is what Rob’s training is all about: hitting every single muscle head directly and attacking large muscle groups from every angle. By doing that he’s able to make sure that every last striation and detail is brought out in high definition.

 

Rob trains upward rows using a heavy kettlebell and simply pulls the weight straight up. He supersets these with forward raises using a bilateral (both arms) movement. He stresses the importance of lowering the weight if necessary in favor of better technique. It’s all about controlled movement through the perfect range of motion – so when you start cheating and swinging around the place, drop the weights!

 


0

Rob Riches’ Maximum Definition Tricep Workout

If you want massive looking arms, then you need to focus heavily on your triceps. Too many people will focus predominantly on their biceps as these are the more ‘popular’ of the arm muscles, but in fact the arms are 2/3rds tricep, so this is a much more important aspect of your strategy.

 

Rob Riches is a popular bodybuilding and fitness vlogger on YouTube and he has just the thing for those lagging triceps. Here’s how he works them for some real definition.

 

The Workout

Tricep Push Downs Superset With Overhead Extensions

Rob’s workout starts with a superset between tricep pull downs and overhead extensions. He uses these as a warm up, using just three sets of fifteen relatively light repetitions and paying close attention to the correct form.

 

Tricep push downs involve the cable pulley machine and pulling the weight directly downwards pivoting at the elbow – make sure not to cheat by putting your weight behind it! Use an overhand pronated grip.

 

Overhead extensions meanwhile are a bodyweight movement where you lean against a rope or bar and then raise your upper body by pushing downwards to straighten the arms. They’re surprisingly effective and getting your triceps to burn!

 

Skull Crushers With Dumbbell Skull Crushers

Rob next moves onto skull crushers, which involve bending the arms to lower a barbell from extended position to a position hovering just above the skull.

 

When he reaches failure he will drop down to a lighter weight or dumbbells. He uses these for three sets of twelve repetitions.

 

Dips Superset With Diamond Push Ups

Rather than tricep dips, Rob uses regular dips which also works the pecs and shoulders. He often adds extra weight using a heavy chain.

 

These are then superset with diamond push-ups (incline using a bench). These are push ups where the hands are close together in a diamond shape which puts the focus squarely on the triceps. Not a difficult workout in themselves, but immediately following dips they become much more difficult.

 

Cable Tricep Kickbacks Superset With Underhand Pull Downs

Rob prefers tricep kick backs with cables as opposed to dumbbells as he feels they are better for maintaining the resistance all the way through the movement.

 

He then supersets these with underhand pull downs using the cable pulley machine. These are the same as the earlier push downs but with an underhand supinated grip. This changes the position of the triceps which allows them to be targeted from a slightly different angle.

 

And there you have it – a great triceps workout that hits the muscles from multiple different angles with a lot of intensity. The workout should take no longer than one hour to complete but even in this short amount of time, you should get more than enough of an intense workout to trigger some serious growth in your triceps. The end result? Arms that bulge through your t-shirts, just like the man himself! The only downside is that you might have to spend some money on new clothes…


0

How to Get Those Jaw Dropping Abs

Abs are the muscles that pretty much everyone wants, but unfortunately they’re also some of the most difficult to develop. The problem is that developing great abs is much more difficult than developing bulging biceps or huge pecs. Why? Because you can’t go about it in the exact same way – to see your abs you need to not only develop a lot of strength in your mid-section with exercise but also strip away your body fat to sub 10%.

 

Anything higher and your abs won’t be visible seeing as that’s where fat likes to build up for most of us. On top of this, abs are hard to train with resistance because they don’t have hands and because adding too much weight to a sit-up can potentially put your back at risk.

 

While you can get huge pecs by bench pressing heavy weights regularly, getting ripped abs means doing a number of painful exercises more regularly, cutting back on your favorite foods and running long distances regularly.

 

In other words, it’s a little more complicated. Luckily though, we’ve outlined something of a ‘roadmap’ you can use to get there:

 

Ab Exercises

The best way to start getting your abs to shine is to train them directly with bodyweight exercises. Many people will use sit ups and crunches to this end, but unfortunately neither of these are really challenging enough to trigger the results you probably want. Instead then, you need to make things a little tougher and here are some exercises that are perfect for letting you accomplish that:

  • Ab roll-outs – here you use an ab roller (or a skateboard) while on your knees or feet and roll your upper body forward until it’s completely straight. This is a tough exercise and one that requires a lot of core strength, it also happens to trigger great hypertrophy
  • Leg raises and frog kicks – hanging from a pull up bar, raise your feet directly up in front of you (leg raises) or bring your knees up to your chest (frog kicks)
  • Myotatic crunch – this is a crunch except you are leaning back further than flat. You do this by lying across a bosu ball or similar. This extends your range of motion and lets you hit the abs in a new and more efficient way.

 

Those two exercises will train your rectus abdominis – the flat sheet of muscle that houses your six pack. At the same time though you also want to train your transverse abdominis which is the ‘band’ of muscle that holds your stomach in. You train this by using stomach vacuums and you can practice those first thing in the morning even while you’re lying in bed. This will flatten your stomach and really give you the abs you’re looking for.

 

Finally, make sure you’re also training your obliques with twisting variations on sit ups, crunches and other ab exercises. These are the muscles that you see running down either side of your abs and they contribute to a much more ripped looking stomach.

 

Unlike other muscle groups, you can train your abs daily for best results.

 

Stripping Fat

Now you’re building the power in your abs and making them bulge, you need to strip away the fat that is obscuring them. To do this you need to eat less than you’re taking in and especially avoid simple carbs like white bread and sugary foods.

 

At the same time, add some cardiovascular exercise. The best way to do this quickly and effectively is with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) where you alternate short bursts of exertion with ‘cool down’ periods of ‘active recovery’. This allows you to burn a lot of calories very quickly meaning you can use these at the ends of your workouts as ‘finishers’. Look up ‘Tabata’ and get ready to burn!


0

How to Build Tree Trunk Legs

We’ve all seen pictures of those guys who skip legs day. They’re these huge hulking fellas with massive pecs and bulging arms… but then they have tiny little legs holding that all up. It looks ridiculous, it’s terrible for their posture and their health and it actually prevents them from developing as much muscle as they should in every other area. Our legs contain the largest muscles in our bodies and by training these we can put our entire bodies into a much more anabolic state where we enjoy more muscle growth and fat burning throughout the entire day. Forget to train your legs and you severely limit your ability to grow, thereby greatly wasting a lot of hard work.

 

The question is then, how do you get your legs to respond quickly and effectively to training? Read on and we’ll look at some of the very best exercises out there for the legs that can help build them up to awesome proportions without taking up too much of the time you’d rather was spent training the upper body.

 

Squats: The squats are the single most important exercise you will do in the gym. Here you take the weight on a barbell across your shoulders then simply squat down and then push yourself back up. This requires strength in your hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps and even calves to an extent and triggers a massive anabolic response that leads to great increases in overall strength. Put simple, if you aren’t squatting, you aren’t growing as much as you could be.

 

Deadlift: The deadlift is an exercise that involves lifting a barbell straight off of the ground. Alongside the squat it is one of the most efficient exercises for triggering growth across a large proportion of your musculature. It’s also perfect for building the ‘posterior chain’ which will give you more power in pretty much every other movement.

 

Kettlebell Swing: The problem with the squat and deadlift is that you need a squatting rack, a barbell and lots of very heavy weight. This makes it rather tricky to use at home but fortunately there is a viable alternative: the kettlebell swing. Kettlebells are weights with handles attached to them that you can throw and swing around and the swing involves repeatedly swinging it back between your legs then up and forward with straight arms. It’s a great way to build power in the legs as well as endurance in your posterior chain and it also happens to burn a lot of fat.

 

Calf Raises: Calf raises involve pushing yourself up onto tip toes from the edge of a raised platform in order to train the calves. Don’t neglect these as skinny calves are something that plague far too many people with otherwise good physiques.

 

Calf Jumps: Calf raises are one of the only good exercises people use for training their calves which tends to make this part of the workout a little dull. A great alternative one to use then is the ‘calf jump’. Here you stand flat on your feet then launch yourself into the air by going onto tip-toe – keeping your knees entirely straight. This way you can train the explosive fast-twitch fibers in your calves with no weights necessary.

 

Try a few of these and you should start to see huge gains not only in your legs, but also in the entire of your body!


0

How to Build Those T-Shirt Sleeve Popping Arms

Big arms are the ultimate statement for any bodybuilder or strength athlete. Want to look intimidating? Then build arms that strain your sleeves and you’ll have fulfilled that goal.

 

But there’s actually a lot to building big arms and you need to have the right strategy in order to get there. Too many people waste years approaching their arm training in the wrong way, so read on to find out how to get the results you want quickly.

 

The Plan

If you want to build massive arms then there are a few things to bear in mind. The first is that you really need to focus on range of motion for the biceps. Too many bicep exercises involve just a fraction of the movement which results in arms that look skinny except for one small patch that looks like it’s swallowed a tennis ball. In the next section we’ll look at some exercises that really train the whole range of motion and keep the arms under pressure.

 

The other mistake people make is to train just the biceps. Did you know that your biceps only actually account for 1/3rd of the thickness of your arm? The other 2/3rds is triceps so if your biceps workout is longer than your triceps you’re going about it all wrong. Switch the ratio and you’ll find your arms grow much faster and look much more impressive.

 

The other problem is that too many guys forget their shoulders. Your shoulders are part of your arm and if you want your triceps and biceps look as good as they possibly can, then they need to transition into round, cannonball-like deltoids. This will make all the difference to the appearance of your arms so do not leave shoulders out of your strategy.

 

The Exercises

With that said, here are the exercises you need to use to take care of your arms…

 

Seated Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl

Lie back on an incline bench and let your arms dangle straight down – then begin to curl. The reason this is so good is that it will force you to keep your arms under tension throughout the entire motion and creates a much larger degree of work than regular curls.

 

Drag Curls

Take a barbell as though you’re going to curl it from standing, and then curl it by dragging it up your body, pulling your elbows back and up as you do. The motion is slightly different here, which really keeps the tension on your biceps throughout the movement rather than letting it get less as your arm gets higher up.

 

Twisting Curls

Twisting curls are curls you perform while twisting your arms. Start in a hammer curl position, then curl into an underhand supinated position.

 

Chin Ups

Chin ups are great for keeping tension on your arms. If you can build up to a one-armed chin up then this is a really fantastic bicep exercise.

 

Lateral Dumbbell Raises

For targeting the deltoids in just the right way, using lateral dumbbell raises. Here you will be raises the dumbbells directly out by your sides hitting the medial deltoids. You should do the rest too, but this move in particular will let you increase the definition at the top of your arm.

 

Tricep Dips, Tricep Push Downs, Tricep Extensions, Barbell Pull-Overs

Finish with these moves to hit the triceps. The triceps are easier to get a full range of motion on, so you can hit them with any exercise you like pretty much. Just make sure that you do!


0

How to Build Big Broad Shoulders

Wide shoulders can make all the difference to your appearance and particularly the appearance of your silhouette. If you want people to turn and take notice when you walk in through the door and if you want to take up more space and enjoy a greater feeling of presence, then wider shoulders are just what you need.

 

But a lot of people will tell you that shoulder width is genetically determined. Your shoulders are based on your bone structure right? How can you make them wider and yourself broader?

 

Fortunately there is a way, so read on to find out how.

 

Deltoid Anatomy

Your shoulder muscles are called deltoids and are the round muscles at the tops of your arms. These muscles are split into three separate ‘heads’ that are almost like segments of an orange. They are the anterior, medial/lateral and posterior deltoid heads – which essentially means front, middle and back.

 

The width of your shoulders is partly determined by bone structure, but as you have your deltoids on either end you can still make these wider to give yourself some more width overall. And the main way to do that is by training the lateral deltoids.

 

Training the Lateral Deltoids

Training the lateral deltoids means using lateral raises: holding a dumbbell in each arm and then raising them up out to your sides into a crucifix position. This exercise will thicken your medial deltoids and give you wider shoulders.

 

But most people train the lateral delts with very light weights. If you really want to see growth, then use lateral raises with one arm at a time and load yourself up with a much heavier dumbbell. Now hold onto a doorframe or something to brace yourself and really swing that weight up. Increasing the load in this way will increase the resistance and in turn that will maximize muscle growth or hypertrophy.

 

Want even more of a challenge? Try throwing the weight slightly in the air and catching it again to make the movement more explosive. Just be careful not to crush your feet…

 

Training the Whole Shoulder

You should know by now though that you can’t just train one aspect of your body and ignore the rest – so you need to ensure you’re also hitting your front and rear deltoids. To do the front, use ‘forward raises’ by raising the dumbbells in front of you directly forward with an overhand, pronated grip. To train the rear deltoids, use reverse pec flies by pulling cables out behind you from the center.

 

Finally, you can also use regular shoulder press and incline bench press to train the entire shoulders. One of the best exercises for this is the ‘Arnold press’ which is a dumbbell press where you will rotate the dumbbells as you press them upwards. This is also great for training the forearms to a degree.

 

A Word on Traps

To finish off the look of huge shoulders, you also need to ensure you’re training your traps which bulge up on either side of your neck. The best way to train these is with shrugs and if you introduce these into your workout 2/3 times a week you’ll find they respond very quickly.


0

How to Build a Thick Cobra Back

Building massive lats and traps is one of the surest ways to give yourself a powerful and intimidating looking physique. Huge lats are what will help you to get that classic ‘V-taper’ as your body gets wider at the top. Meanwhile, bulging traps will make your torso look thick and powerful.

 

They don’t just look mean either: building a huge back is a crucial way to increase your pulling power so you can perform better on the pull up bar or the rowing machine. This translates to real-world athletic performance too whether you’re rowing, swimming or rock climbing.

 

Read on to find how you can get a thick, cobra-like back.

 

Exercises for a Cobra Back

Lats

Your lats are the muscles found underneath your armpits on either side of your back and they’re used in pulling motions. As such, you can target them largely with:

  • Pull ups – overhand grip, as opposed to underhand chin ups
  • Weighted pull ups and variations such as ‘around the worlds’
  • Bent over rows – where you kneel on a bench and row a single dumbbell directly upwards
  • Upward rows – hold a barbell in front of you with arms straight then raise it up under your chin
  • Lat pull down – the resistance machine that mimics a pull up
  • Machine rows – like the lat pull down, but you pull the weight in towards your chest rather than down
  • Cable rows – like machine rows, but using the cable crossover machine

 

Traps

The traps are the muscles situated above the lats. These are what give your back that ’rounded look’ near the top and make you look like a teenage-mutant ninja turtle. They also bulge up on either side of the neck giving you a powerful Hulk-like look.

 

The best exercises for targeting traps are:

  • Shrugs – simply hold two dumbbells with arms extended and then shrug your shoulders up and down
  • Barbell shrugs – same thing, but with a barbell held in-front of you with straight arms
  • Bench press – the bench press doesn’t primarily target the traps, but they get a good workout during it as do many other muscle groups
  • Bent over lateral raises – bend slightly forward while holding dumbbells in either arm, then raise your arms up to shoulder height. This targets the lateral deltoids as well.

 

Erector Spinae

While the traps and lats are the stars of the show when it comes to the back, you also need to strengthen the lower portion of the spine if you’re going to be lifting lots of heavy weights. To this end, you need to target the erector spinae which are muscles used to keep your back strong and straight. The best way to train this? With the deadlift of course – which is also a handy way to hit the traps and the lats to an extent.

Anything that hits the ‘posterior chain’ is good for your erector spinae though and another great move is the kettlebell swing. This also happens to be highly effective for a range of other moves.

 

Strategy

So those are the exercises you have to use, the question is how you go about combining them? The lats work well when inserted into a split and given their own day. They can also be paired well with biceps or with abs (there are so many hanging ab exercises that you can easily combine an ab and lat workout). Make sure to do lots of pull ups and weighted pull ups as these remain pretty much the best way to hit the lats.

 

Traps and your posterior chain meanwhile can be added into the rest of your workout. If you’re not already doing deadlifts then you seriously need to start doing them. If you can’t do deadlifts due to a lack of space/equipment, then get yourself a heavy kettlebell and start doing swings.

 

If you’re new to training your traps, try throwing shrugs into your workouts 2/3 times a week and you’ll find they respond and grow very quickly.

 

Follow these tips and it won’t be long before your back looks gigantic.