The Secret Route to BIG Arms…Training Your BACK!

by admin on January 13, 2012

Guest Post by Nick Nilsson Author of the “Best Back Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of

You want big arms…thick, solid, powerful-looking big arms.  I can’t think of a single person who has said to me “no, I actually want smaller arms…mine are just too big and muscular.”  Never happens.

But are you actually GETTING big arms from all the direct bicep training you’re doing?

Or are you stuck in a rut, looking at pictures of big arms in magazines and a tape a measure that’s going nowhere.

If so, I can tell you exactly what’s wrong with your training even without having any clue what kind of training you’re doing…you’re not training your back heavy enough.

This is one of the biggest “unsecrets” of bodybuilding…isolation training on the smaller muscles of the arms is not nearly as effective for building size and as compound exercise training on the big muscles of the back and chest.

This is not to say that targeted biceps or tricep training is a waste of time…just that it’s MOSTLY a waste of time if you truly want BIG arms and you have average genetics for building muscle mass.  I cringe when I go to a gym and I see teenage boys with pipe-cleaner arms doing set after set of barbell curls, dumbell curls and preacher curls.

TRULY big arms (biceps specifically) are built on a foundation of heavy training with basic back exercises like chin-ups, rows and yes, even deadlifts.

There are ways you can make your back training target your biceps more specifically, with just a few simple adjustments in body positioning and paths of movement.

For example, when doing chin-ups, if you want to focus on your back, puff your chest out, lean back as you come up and inhale on the way up.  If you want to focus on the biceps, keep your body as vertical as possible, exhale on the way up and keep your chest “unpuffed.”  This simple change in body position focuses more tension onto the biceps.

That being said, I actually find the BEST way to build the biceps is to not try and focus on them directly in back training but to focus on moving as much weight as you can with good form in your normal back training and make your back training a PRIORITY. The bicep gains will come naturally from there.

The biceps are an integral part of the kinetic chain in pulling exercises and will be involved to a large degree whether you try to involve them or not.  When you use exercise variations that focus on the back over the biceps, you’ll be able to use more resistance (or do more reps, if it’s a bodyweight exercise) and the biceps will get more stimulation overall.

And that HEAVY stimulation is what will send your bicep growth through the roof.  Think of it this way…what do you do think will give you more growth…curling with 25 lb dumbells or rowing with a 250 lb barbell?

That, and heavy back training such as deadlifting produces a MUCH greater overall growth response in your body, setting the stage for greater arm size even if the arms aren’t worked directly.

Now, when it comes to exercises, the standard exercises, such as chins, rows and deadlifts, work great and are the perfect place to start.  Just working these exercises harder (or even something as simple as doing them first in your training routine rather than going straight to the barbell curls or bench press) will help.

When you’re ready to get MORE from your back training and really kick your arm size into overdrive, that’s when you need to start incorporating more unique exercise variations into your training…exercises that use novel movement patterns, hitting the back and biceps in ways they’re not accustomed to.

The bottom line is this…if you want big arms…and I mean REALLY big arms…direct arm training is NOT the fastest way to do it.  You have to train your back hard and you have to train your back heavy. Because when you can do weighted chin-ups with 100 lbs hanging off your waist, I can PROMISE you will have big arms.

Click Here for 145 Unique Back Exercises That Will Stimulate Massive Arm Growth!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Stefan Radu January 13, 2012 at 7:20 am

Wow. Men always focus on the “showy” muscles, like biceps and chest (including me). I will try to change the order of my exercises, to include the ones for the back in the beggining (with heavier weight). Great stuff!!

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