My first training article was published almost 10 years ago. When I started writing my primary focus was telling people how to get bigger and stronger across their entire body. Articles such as Anti-Bodybuilding Hypertrophy, Total Body Training, and the Waterbury Method became huge hits on the internet with hundreds of thousands of hits. However, I swore I’d never write an arm training article. It probably wasn’t the smartest marketing strategy since 99.9% of guys want bigger arms, but I didn’t care. The subject just didn’t interest me.
Don’t get me wrong: in my late teens and early 20s I wanted bigger guns as much as the next guy. And probably just like you I thought the latest newsstand muscle magazine was going to hold the key to a magical arm routine that would suddenly pack meat on my skinny arms (my upper arm girth measured a pathetic 13.5″ when I started training them). After years of frustration I came to a conclusion that I hold to this day: Curls are curls. Sure, some variations are slightly better than others, but in the end they’re all basically the same. In other words, if you’ve been doing curls there’s not a variation in this universe that will suddenly make them grow.
Yet, I was able to naturally increase my upper arm girth to almost 20 inches once I figured out how to put the puzzle pieces together. Now, before you think this article is going to be a slam against arm curls and direct arm training in general, it’s not. To this day I do some type of direct arm work because it does help. However, it has its limitations and I never would’ve built big arms if I just kept doing curls and triceps extensions. Continue reading