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High Frequency Training for Bigger Arms in Six Weeks

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Key Points:

  • Total body High Frequency Training gets you the fastest results in the shortest time. 

 

  • After years of training results become harder to come by– to see rapid results you need a focused approach.

 

  • All the volume in the world doesn’t mean jack-shit if you don’t apply tension to the muscles—pursue strength and total body movement.

 

  • Decrease training on non-focus muscles to maximize recovery of your arms.
  • Don’t specialize too long unless you’re interested in being weak, puny, and un-athletic.

I overheard a conversation the other day that went along the lines of “I don’t care if I build big arms, I just want to be “functional.”

Huh?

Seriously?

What the hell does that even mean?

Functional of a training program is determined by your goals.

If being jacked is the goal then a massive set of pythons is as functional as it gets.

high frequency training

Say goodbye to your toothpick arms, it’s time to build thick guns that are both show and go.

There are tons of “specialization” programs around, but most share a common flaw–they abandon high-performance training.

Even worse, most trainees specialize before they’re strong enough to benefit; neglect major exercises like squats and deadlifts for 12lb cheat curls, setting themselves up for perpetual disappointment and no more muscle to show for their efforts.

As a result, overzealous lifters with poorly constructed programs never actually get stronger and thus, never get bigger. By neglecting performance they leave huge gaps in training, ignore strength, and never build a foundation to build muscle.
Then, these same dudes focus on specialized programs too long, leaving them weak, puny, and un-athletic.

You’re better than that. 

If you put in the work, you’ll have your cake and eat it too–a body that performs and looks like an athletic bad-ass.

high frequency training

Once the foundation is built short-window specialization adds the finishing touches to build big arms. That’s accomplished with this plan–a total body routine with focused isolation work to pound your arms into growth.

Why Specialization?

Let me know if this sounds familiar: After years of training, rapid gains become difficult to come by.

You’re pissed, impatient, and want results yesterday.

You keep getting stronger, but the journey only yields a few measly of muscle… if you’re lucky.

Over time, this builds a great physique, but when you’re short on patience you need a different approach.

This is where specialization comes in; instead of throwing a set of hammer curls at the end of your routine use a short, intensive approach to shock the body into growth.

This method has been popularized by Christian Thibaudeau and my man John Romaniello and tested by thousands: Periods of six to eight weeks of focused destruction bring up lagging body parts faster than the “slow and steady” approach.

How Specialization Works

You’re “strong like bull” from your squats, pull-ups, presses, and deadlifts. Hell, you’ll even develop some hops, speed, and athleticism outside of the gym.

This is great, but solely training for sport and strength leaves gaps in your “show” muscles.

You want to look good and play good; it’s time you get both with focused assistance work to stimulate hypertrophy.

  • Training volume decreases in non-specialized muscles.
  • Continue to train strength and movement to prevent drops in strength and athleticism.
  • Increase in training volume to target muscles for focused growth for set period of time (6-8 weeks).
  • Decrease in training volume after the specialization to allow of super compensation and full recovery.

The body only has a select reserve of recovery resources—you can’t specialize in your arms and train for a marathon, it won’t work.

By targeting exercises that and increasing volume on exercises that emphasize the arms while reducing volume in other exercises you’ll target recovery resources to the area most in need—your arms.

Training Splits

All the volume in the world doesn’t mean jack-shit if you don’t surpass the bodies minimal essential strain (MES), induce an anabolic response and apply tension to force your muscles to grow. 

Nothing accomplishes these tasks better than total body movements.

I’m talkin’ squats, hinges, sprints, presses, pulls, lunges, and carries. These exercises make up the brunt of well-designed weight training programs, specialized or not.

Design Your Workout with the Following Components

Movement Training

Everyone’s an athlete, and athletes move. Spend some time doing low volume sprints, hill sprints, stairs, and/or change of direction work after your dynamic warm-up or with 10 minutes of conditioning twice per week.

A little bit goes a long way to not looking like a goon outside the gym.

Explosive Exercises

Explosive exercises like jumps, throws, and push-ups jump-start workouts to increase neural activation, improve explosiveness, and maximize muscle fiber recruitment for later exercises.

Compound Exercises

Compound exercises provide the backbone for your strength foundation. To emphasize greater growth in the arms my favorite lifts are as follows:

high frequency training
photocredit: http://shredforless.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/front-squat1.jpg
  • Squats: Front squats, back squats, box squats, and Goblet squats
  • Press: Floor press, pin press, push press, close grip bench press, single arm press, dumbbell bench press variations
  • Pull: Supinated bent-over row, dumbbell rows, inverted rows, neutral grip pull-ups, chin-ups, rope climbs
  • Lunge: lunges, split squats, Bulgarian split squats
  • Carry: waiter walks, farmer carries, single arm carries, overhead carries

Isolation Exercises

Face it; you have a closet bodybuilder inside of you. Feed the beast with a diet of biceps and triceps isolation. At least two exercises per workout are necessary. Emphasize, “feeling” the muscle do the work to create muscular and metabolic damage to stimulate muscle growth.

 

Unilateral Exercises

Unilateral exercises prevent imbalances from stalling your training, injuries from manifesting, and achieve greater activation of motor units. Greater muscular recruitment and balance will yield better gains.

 

Volume, Frequency, Intensity, and Progression

To get stronger, more athletic, and jacked you need to train more often. Training frequency, whether you’re an athlete training or adding mass, is one of the most important factors to getting the fastest results possible. 

Related: High Frequency Training: Your Strength Building Solution

Ideally, you’ll train arms every training session. To optimize your training for muscle growth total volume and frequency are kept high while volume during each session is kept in check. Too much volume in one workout will overshoot your recovery and trash your next workouts, don’t be too aggressive.

Varying Intensity

While you’ll be adding slabs of meat onto your humeri there’s also a major emphasis on total body strength development.

To minimize gaps in strength and hypertrophy you’ll perform sets of 1-15 reps at varying intensities. Strength movements are trained early in each workout to emphasize continual strength gains.

Progression

Progression is simple—progressive overload on your strength exercises each week of the program.

3-5 sets of 3-5 reps is plenty.

Don’t go wild on every set of the day or you’ll overshoot your recovery capabilities.

Remember, the increase in training frequency for your muscles will be plenty to stimulate growth.

Training Schedule

best training days on this program are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Or Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

This allows time for full recovery of muscles between workouts since you won’t be going berserk on lower body training.
Overall, this schedule maximizes recovery to boost muscle growth.

Get the High Frequency Training Workout

Consistently get stronger in all your lifts for the next 4-8 weeks to stretch your shirtsleeves.

Once you finish the program drop all isolation work on the arms.

All. Of. It.

Even the curls.

The goal is recovery and allowing the hard work of the last few weeks manifest into additional hypertrophy, neglecting this WILL trash your results.

If you choose eight weeks wait at least a month before starting a specialization program on the arms again. Then, re-engage a full assault on the arms for additional hypertrophy.

Final Thoughts

Once the foundation is built short-window specialization adds the finishing touches. This isn’t time to abandon a total body training style to focus on one measly body part—you can still make massive gains with some focused specialization. Train with specialization for six to eight weeks at a shot, then back things off for rapid arm growth—this is the most effective way to build big arms.

Get Your Massive Arms Program Today

Five Exercises For Athletic Muscle Building

I get it—You want to build muscle, be shredded, and be athletic. You crave a body that’s both Show AND Go (sorry Eric Cressey: I love the term), with the body and tools of a finely tuned athlete. With that in mind your typical “body-builder” splits, isolation exercises, and high-pump workouts won’t cut it. High volume body-part splits aren’t best for gains– there’s too much focus on individual muscles rather than the body moving as a unified machine.

Instead, you need exercises that require strength, stability, power, speed, and coordination  to build slabs of athletic muscle to your body.

athletic muscle, strength, Clay Matthews Steroids

Photo Credit:elitedaily.com

1.) Sprint:

What sport isn’t better by improved sprint speed?

The truth is very few — speed reigns king in athletics.

Luckily, sprinting has benefits far beyond cross-extensor coordination, power, speed, and strength–it’s great all-around tool and will help you improve shred body fat, improve your condition, and even build muscle.

Here’s Why:Sprinting requires high-velocity muscle contractions to rapidly generate force and propel the body forward. No jogging here, sprints are an all-out, intensive exercise.

Sprints are intense enough to stimulate the release of major anabolic hormones like HgH and testosterone, create muscle-building damage to muscle fibers, and even aid in transitioning slow-twitch fibers to type 2 fast twitch fibers.

Start conservatively with all sprint work consider hiring a coach—sprinting is a skill that must to be taught to optimize performance and decrease injury risk. You wouldn’t try a max-lift your first time in the gym would you?

Sprinting is extremely neurologically demanding—sprinting while fatigued is idiotic and  increases injury risk exponentially.
Like anything else that’s been neglected it’s best to hold back the reigns, do them first in your workout, and start conservative–no-one benefits from a bum hamstring.

As a conditioning tool sprint work trains specific energy support systems (alactic and lactic) that fuel performance in high-intensity, short duration exercise. When beginning proceed with caution– re-introduce speed training with full-recovery and slight hills to prevent injuries.

[Try This: Beginners start with  6 sprints for 30 yards on the first few workouts with a full 90 second recover between reps. recovery, 1-3 minutes should suffice.  ]

2.)Power Clean:

The clean is my favorite exercise for improving power performance due to its explosive triple extension of the hip, knee, and ankle in a coordinated, explosive pattern—a movement that simulates the triple extension in jumps and sprints.

There is no sport that isn’t improved through powerful triple extension, coordination, Or  absorbing and transferring. Olympic lifts are a vital training tool for athletic performance.

If you struggle with technique start with the Hackey Pull. This exercise is a powerful expression of full hip extension, the primary driver of cleans and hip extension in sport.

 

As a muscle builder the clean works the following muscles: calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors, traps, deltoids, and forearms, as well as the core muscles that come into play to stabilize your spine and transfer power throughout the movement. This makes the clean a better bang for your buck deal than 3:1 Chipotle Burritos and arguably better than any other exercise.

Plus, they look pretty bad-ass.

3.) Bench Press:

Most athletes absolutely love the bench press and for good reason– It’s the ultimate “macho, how much you bench bro’?” exercise . It doesn’t matter if you have a 8-year-old in the gym for the first time or a high school senior Football player; they love the bench and will go all-out in effort.

“Functional” pundits will hate the bench press because of a lack of scapular movement and the fact that lifters are laying down, but few exercises build heaping slabs of muscle on the chest, shoulders, and triceps coupled with explosive strength like the bench press.

Use a shoulder-width grip, rigid wrists, and tuck the elbows at 45 degrees to create a stable environment for the shoulder. Similarly avoid going too narrow, an over ally narrow-grip causes the scapulae to slide into anterior tilt (that’s bad news folks) and potentially aggravate the shoulder. if you’re concerned with shoulders then floor presses  and weighted push-ups are fantastic alternatives. 

A motivated person will work hard; sometimes the trade-off is worth the intensity and work ethic despite its short-comings.

4.) Rotational Medicine Ball Throws:

Sports aren’t played only in the sagittal plane–movement in sport is chaotic and occurs in multiple planes, athletes need to be strong and resilient in all these planes.  Athletes benefit from direct rotational power work because power is vector specific–it must  be developed in a similar movement to transfer to sport.

Medicine ball rotational throws explosively transfer forces between the upper and lower body, developing explosive rotational power with loaded hips. Rotational med ball throws are ideal for throwing a solid 1-2 punch combo at your local tavern athletes that need to punch, swing, throw, and pass to develop explosive rotational power.

Perform throws first in a strength training session for maximal training effect. You’ll improve rotation power and potentiate the nervous system activation for better strength training performance for the rest of the workout.  Do 2-3 Sets of 3-5 reps with 45- 60 seconds between sets.

5.) Bulgarian Split Squat:

You’re probably like me. We hate doing things that expose our weaknesses. We don’t like to struggle, but relish the opportunity to improve.

Bulgarian split squats expose your weaknesses and engage the lateral sub-system- a key region composed of the gluteus medius, adductors, and quadrates lumborum. These killers push your “pain” threshold while limiting spinal compression and shear stress compared to back squats and front squats, making them a viable alternative for athletes with limitations in bilateral squats. For mobility and stability purposes Bulgarian split squats provide a massive stretch to the hip flexors while reinforcing the greater mobility with resistance to develop stability.

Get out of your comfort zone, your limiting factors will expose you in the gym and on the playing field.  Doing the “hard stuff” is the stuff we need to do more of, and few exercises expose weaknesses like Bulgarian Split Squats.

(BONUS) 6.) Planks

“Woah, planks? Isn’t that remedial?”

They are, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Anterior core stability is vital for both performance and injury prevention. Many athletes (and desk-jockeys) spend countless hours in a flexed position with poor abdominal engagement.  This leads to frequent back pain and a lack of trunk integrity during movement activities. Master your planks to improve performance by keeping healthy athletes and improving the transfer of forces between the upper and lower body. Athletes will never express maximum strength, speed, power, and performance without great trunk integrity.

Wrap Up

There’s no point to creating an impressive physique that becomes a walking ball of fail when competition rises. Building muscle is a great thing and will improve your performance as long as mobility,stability,  multi-directional ability, strength (relative and absolute), and speed are maintained or improve. Ditch the bogus gimmicky exercises and master these exercises to build an athletic, muscular body.

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