Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ben Pakulski: Arm Training Tips

Ben Pakulski
Here are four unique arm training tips from Ben Pakulski, creator of the Mass Intentions MI40  program. Follow these tips and I'm sure you'll find them helpful for adding arm mass:

1) LESS VOLUME!

Small muscles require less volume, and recover faster. Basic logic says, a smaller muscle has less overall total volume of muscle fibres. It takes LESS overall stimulus to fatigue these muscles and less overall training volume to exhaust glycogen stores (stored muscle energy).

2) HEAVY WEIGHTS (WITH PERFECT FORM)

 Heavy weights are going to fatigue a greater overall percentage of muscle fibres in a shorter amount of time (aka less sets). Heavy weights also have the added benefit of stimulating "high threshold motor units". These are the muscle fibres that require a lot more stimulus to grow and respond, but also the fibres that are more likely to be responsible for muscle hypertrophy or GROWTH!

3) ARMS RECEIVE A LOT OF STIMULUS ON A REGULAR BASIS

Arms receive a lot of stimulus on a regular basis. For most people, this tends to occur in the middle of the range of motion where the muscles are strongest. In order to get the arms to grow and respond, it is necessary to subject them to a different type of stimulus. One of the best ways to improve arm development is to subject them to more tension and continuous tension at the extremes of the range of motion (a.k.a, when a muscle is fully lengthened or fully shortened --where muscles are weakest). This will allow for greater time under tension as well as targeting different points of the strength curve to force the nervous system to adapt and stimulate new muscle growth.

 4) YOU MUST ENGAGE THE TARGET MUSCLE FIRST IN ANY MOVEMENT

The FIRST muscle to engage in ANY movement must be the muscle you are trying to target. If you are working your biceps, to most effectively stimulate the bicep, it must be the muscle to initiate the movement. As mentioned, muscles are weakest at those extremes and that makes it LEAST likely to contract. This is where your conscious intent and control is vital! The best way to ensure this is happening is to CONTRACT its antagonist muscle. This will ensure a fully lengthened working muscle and make it much more likely that it will initiate the movement(provided youre using proper control).

 e.g. when working your bicep, to fully stretch your bicep at the bottom of the range, it is necessary to contract your tricep before initiating the movement of contracting your bicep again.The opposite is true when training triceps. Contract your biceps at the top of the range when a tricep is fully stretched (forearm touches biceps).

Note: be sure to check out my Review of MI40 if you'd like to learn more about Pakulski's training methods.

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