Q: I’ve been training like a madman for six months, but my arms haven’t budged. I’m getting stronger, and I do see more veins on my biceps, but my arms are still skinny. A guy at the gym told me it’s because I have small bones. My wrists are under 7 inches around, and he said I can’t expect much size with small wrists. Is that true?
A: Um, in a word, NO. It’s not true. The size of your wrist has nothing to do with where your biceps and triceps attach, how much muscle-fiber density your muscles have, or your ability to pack on muscle mass.
Need proof? Here’s a photo of Jonathan’s arm. His wrists measure just under 7 inches (like yours), but his arms measure over 19 inches in this photo.
What did you do to get all that sleeve-stretching muscle? Well, a lot has to do with his parents—good genetics.
As for his training, most of the past 25 years has been centered around Positions-of-Flexion mass training and its variations. We’ve always trained the midrange, stretch, and contracted positions for bi’s and tri’s at almost every arm workout…
There have been exceptions, of course. Like when Jonathan did the Phase 1 Size Surge program—5 weeks of heavier basic training, hitting arms only once a week (however, the Phase 2 SS routine was all 3-way POF for every muscle.)
Throughout the years we’ve also done supersets, drop sets, rest/pause, and other set-extending techniques, which are important for sarcoplasmic size. Remember, the sarcoplasm is the energy fluid in muscle tissue that expands with longer time under tension—40 seconds being the low end of optimal hypertrophic tension….
Which is why TORQ and Super TORQ came to be. That’s either 30-20-15 reps or 50-40-30-20-10, the latter being how Mr. America Doug Brignole trains (his interview about his method as well as his complete workout, is in the Power-Density Mass Workout e-book).
Those higher-rep shock methods have given our arms even more mass with a denser look—and new vascularity. And not reaching up into the hypertrophic tension time may be why your arms are getting stronger but not bigger (most slow-to-grow trainees’ sets last around 20 seconds, the TUT for strength NOT size).
As for you, six months is the right time to branch out and turn those twigs to big with multi-angular POF. There are complete routines in our X-traordinary Arms e-book (more info below), as well as a lot of arm-building tips.
If you want to construct your own POF routines, here are some exercises for each position…
Midrange: DB curls, preacher curls, undergrip pulldowns
Stretch: Incline curls
Contracted: Concentration curls, spider curls
Midrange: Decline extensions, close-grip bench presses
Stretch: Overhead extensions, cable pushouts
Contracted: Pushdowns, kickbacks
There are high-intensity programs in X Arms, but you can take those programs and use TORQ, 4X, or other mass-centric methods. You can also shuffle the order of the POF exercises, but for now, stick with
Note: For proven arm-building routines, Positions-of-Flexion programs, details on which exercises are best for peak, width and sweep, as well as loads of tips to grow your guns, add the X-traordinary Arms e-book to your mass-building library. Get it with The Anabolic After-40 Muscle-Size Manual which comes with 3 FREE bonuses—“20 Pounds in 10 Weeks Blueprint,” “Anabolic After-40 Bodyweight Edition,” and “X-traordinary Arms.” Add them all to your mass-building library for a limited-time price ($100 value) of ONLY $15 HERE.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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