Q: I want to specialize on my arms now [while I’m training at home] so they look much more impressive. I’m hoping to really shock people the first time I wear a tank outside. My question is, using your arm-specialization programs [listed in X-traordinary Arms], is it okay to mix up the exercises. What I mean by that is do a biceps-peak exercise for midrange, then the stretch move followed by a contracted-position biceps exercise for width. I like the idea of training for width and peak/sweep at every workout rather than emphasizing one over the other at alternating workouts.
A: We always applaud experimentation. We believe it’s necessary for anyone interested in gaining the most muscle possible as quickly as possible. Your idea has merit because no matter what arm exercise you choose, you’ll affect all heads of the muscle to some degree. In other words, you can’t work the inner biceps head while the outer head takes a nap or vice versa; however, you can stress one over the other, as we explain in X-traordinary Arms.
If we’re clear on what you’re asking, this is a sample biceps routine you’d use at your first arm workout:
Inner biceps (width): Wide-grip curls (midrange exercise)
Inner and outer biceps (width and peak): Palms-forward incline curls (stretch exercise)
Outer biceps (peak): Concentration curls (contracted exercise)
That’s the standard 3D POF biceps routine we often recommend for overall biceps growth and development, as it’s very balanced; however, you lead off with an inner-head, or width, exercise. So at your next biceps workout, change the first exercise to an outer-head, or peak midrange movement—like close-grip preacher curls, followed by stretch followed by an inner-biceps-head-dominant exercise for width to hit the contracted position—like one-arm spider curls. In case you don’t know what those are, here’s Jonathan demonstrating…
You’re still alternating different biceps workouts that stress different areas, which is what we suggest in X-traordinary Arms. What you’re doing different is that you’re not focusing on one section as much at each workout, as our arm-specialization routines do.
We like hammering one section, or head, of the biceps in all three position, with the other head getting less attention, as outlined in the X Arms e-book. Then we focus on that other section, or head, at the next biceps workout. Your variation should work too. Try it with the triceps width and sweep exercises as well and let us know your results.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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