Beast Arms & Abs - Part 2
How to Apply This Guide for Maximum Gains
This workout guide is designed for those who are serious about gaining muscle mass on their arm and abdominal muscles. Whether you’re new to bodybuilding, or have experience but are looking for that missing piece in the jigsaw, you’ve come to the right place.
Before we get right into the exercises themselves, it’s vital to cover a few important points on how to make the most of this workout guide and how to improve your training. It may be simple enough to follow the exercises, but let’s take a look at how to train like a pro.
Working the Arms
There is an abundance of bad advice out there when it comes to growth of your arm muscles. Some passionately believe that you don’t need to train arms directly, as the biceps and triceps get ample workout from chest and back exercises. Others believe the secret to bigger arms is to train your legs right before. Unfortunately, if you rely on theories like this, you won’t be seeing big gains any time soon.
You must make arm workouts a priority if that’s the part you really want to grow. What that means is you don’t just fit in a few tricep exercises after a chest workout, or try to squeeze out some bicep curls having exhausted yourself with a pumping back routine. Arms must be worked out directly, while you're fresh and before any other exercise. Muscles which are worked on first in a routine will usually show quicker growth than those trained at the end.
So, what you’re going to do with the workout below is dedicate two days a week to it. Even if it means cutting back on some of the other body parts for now. There is a limit to the amount of repairing and rebuilding your body can do. If you’re putting the same effort into all muscles, the progress in each individual muscle will be slower and more evenly spread out. If you want your arms to grow quickly, focus on them. You still work on the other muscles but with not as much frequency and force as the arms. After about 10 weeks of pummelling the biceps and triceps, focus more on another muscle for a while. You should see good development in that period.
When performing this workout, use a quicker, explosive lifting action on the concentric phase of the movement. Halfway through the lift, squeeze the muscle and pause for a second at peak contraction. The lowering (or eccentric) phase should be a lot slower as you bring the weight back to the starting point. This slower negative keeps the muscles under tension for a longer period and enables maximum gain from your workout.
Remember to focus on using good form. As you approach the target number of reps for each set, the last one or two should be extremely difficult to pull-off with correct form. If you find set completion comfortable and could even fit in a few more reps, then the weight is probably too light to achieve maximum gains. On the other hand, if you struggle to use good form and have to ‘cheat’ to finish the set, the weight is too heavy. Find a weight that allows good form, but will absolutely exhaust your muscles after the final rep. Note that it’s possible for experienced lifters to ‘cheat’ correctly and gain an extra advantage; stick to good form if you're just starting out.
Working the Abs
A common reason why people fail to train the abs correctly is that they don't think of them as ordinary muscles. This group of muscles tend to be overtrained by many. Beginners love to work on abs almost every day, not realising that the abdominal muscles need rest to rebuild, just like the others. They will also perform an absurd amount of reps of the same exercise each day—as much as 200 or more. Doing so many repetitions of the identical ab exercise could result in an injury.
Adding some resistance to an abdominal exercise—just like in the ones below—will help you to build muscle and keep the reps down to a suitable level. Just like the arms, your ab muscles benefit tremendously by placing them under tension for longer periods. So instead of rushing through your ab exercises like many do, slow right down. Try counting to three on the way up, holding at the top for one or two seconds, then count to three again on the way down. Do this for each and every rep.
For this abs workout, you can perform it twice a week along with the arms. The rest days in-between will give sufficient time for the muscles to grow.
Why Cardio Is Important
Some bodybuilders avoid cardio like the plague. The main worry is that they might lose all the hard-earned muscle gains when attempting to put on size. There are a few important reasons that you should continue to embrace cardio even as you go through a bulking cycle.
Firstly, it helps to keep the fat gains to a minimum. If you wish to grow those guns, putting on size will more than likely mean an increase in body fat—at least temporarily. Engaging in some cardio after your workout will help to keep the fat down.
Cardio will also make you hungrier by speeding up your metabolism. This should make it easier to eat more—perfect for putting on muscle size.
Cardiovascular endurance is important for your general health and well-being, so should not be shunned by anyone. If you stop cardio completely your fitness levels will drop.
You’ll notice that the cardio session is kept until the end of the workout. This is to make sure that you’re as fresh as possible for lifting weights.
This is part 2 of our series on Beast Arms & Abs – Looking for the full eBook?