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    Want bigger arms? Stop doing bicep curls!

    I know a guy that walks into the gym I train at and immediately grabs dumbbells or a barbell and begins doing bicep curls. He often does them in his sandals, dressed like he’s going to go straight from the gym to having a coffee or lunch. I have even seen him in a short-sleeve dress shirt doing them. I actually don’t think he can go anywhere without first jacking his arms. The really worst thing is his son comes in with him sometimes and he has him doing them too. You know, like it’s a normal thing to be doing and teaching his offspring good early habits….

    Back in the day I was living in Sydney and me and my mate, let’s call him Dr Evil would hit the gym 3 times a week and spent most of the time working the beach/mirror muscles. These are the ones we figured we needed to look good on the beach and the ones you see in the mirror. Did it work? No. Lessons learned? None. Were we naive? Obviously!

    And in that gym in Sydney on Friday evenings there were the usual suspects doing what the aforementioned dude was doing, cranking out bicep curls in their jeans and tee shirts before hitting the strip of bars along the Manly seafront. Standard!

    I know a lot of guys want to have better looking arms, ok, bigger arms and don’t argue, you know I speak the truth!

    So the question is of all the fitness disciplines that you can engage in which produces the biggest arms?

    Bodybuilders? CrossFit? Powerlifting or weightlifting? Millions of bicep curls? None of these in fact the fitness activity that builds the biggest arms is Strongman (this is a gender specific title that will no doubt fall foul of the woke crowd at some point, despite the fact the women do not compete in this class of sport). The Wiki link in the previous sentence tells us that the origins of strongman are the early Olympic Games plus also more recently the Scottish Highland Games where men lift, carry and throw stuff like the Farmer’s Carry, Atlas stones and (for a funny video explaining it click on the link) the caber toss.

    What’s my point? Look at the arms of these strongman competitors –

    Do you think these guys ever waste their time in training doing bicep curls? No. I will ask another question, in competition do they ever test how much these guys can curl? No they don’t. Here is a list of what a Strongman does in competition –

    • Farmer’s Walk – competitors race along a course while carrying a heavy weight in each hand. A variation is the Giant Farmer’s Walk, with a much heavier weight carried over a shorter distance.
    • Hercules Hold or Pillars of Hercules – contestants stand between two pillars, pivoted to fall outwards. The competitor must simply hold them up for as long as possible.
    • Vehicle Pull – competitors pull a vehicle from a stationary start for a prescribed distance – fastest over the course wins. Trucks are commonly used, but larger spectacles employ trains, boats, and airplanes.
    • Atlas Stones – a lifting stone event whereby five spherical concrete stones of increasing weight are placed on top of podia of varying height, beginning with the lightest stone lifted to approximately a normal person’s head height. Alternatively, the stone is lifted over a bar for reps.
    • Stone Carry – in Iceland, the original stone carry was performed with the Húsafell Stone, that was to be carried for a stretch to achieve the title fullsterkur (full-strong). This stone was not round but irregular, increasing the difficulty.
    • Refrigerator Carry – a staple of earlier WSM events that has made a comeback in recent years. The competitors carry two refrigerators, attached to an iron bar they hold on their shoulders, and walk it across the finish line as fast as they can.
    • Carry and Drag – an object (usually a heavy anchor) is run across half of the course. The competitors then must attach it to a chain of almost equal weight and pull it across the rest of the course.
    • Fingal’s Fingers – under a timer, lift and flip a series of progressively heavier, hinged poles from a horizontal starting position.

    These guys get big strong arms by lifting, pushing and carrying heavy objects. That’s it. There’s a couple of things going on here.

    Firstly and as I have mentioned many times previously, packing on muscle is about hormone manipulation. And this involves much more than lifting weights and includes your dietary behaviours and sleep patterns – you don’t have to eat and sleep like a monk but you do need to know why poor and not enough sleep disrupts your hormones plus how different foods do the same.

    Secondly getting stronger is about teaching your body to lift heavy weight. Is this progressive overload? No. This is a misunderstood and poorly articulated concept that used incorrectly (90% of the time that I have observed) will actually weaken you. Training plateaus, anyone? By lifting heavy weight your arms will grow and then actually remain big. Unlike many who seem to look pumped one week and then look flat for 2 or 3, cycling between looking good and looking not good which is like a yo-yo diet but worse.

    Has the chap I’ve been watching in my gym gotten bigger arms over the past 4-5 months? You now know the answer to that.

    Get the basics onboard and reap the rewards!

    darren@3TRUTHSFitness.com
    www.3TRUTHSFitness.com

    #Building Better Humans

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      Want bigger arms? Stop doing bicep curls!

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