Arnold’s Arm Training Principals
The following principals should be applied to the basic and advanced arm-training programs (outlined shortly). When aiming to build his arms, Arnold would use the higher-thought component of his brain as much as sheer strength and instinct. He advises all who wish for similar development to do the same.
Aim For Equal Development:
Arnold always believed that since the arms can be seen from all poses and from every conceivable angle, they should be trained from all angles.
“You don’t develop championship-winning arms simply by throwing around a heavy barbell doing curls or blasting out some reps for triceps,” says the Oak 1. Clear visible development between all muscle of the arms with equally full muscle bellies and perfect balance is what Arnold constantly sought. And history shows us that is exactly what he achieved.
To achieve balance, proportion, size and shape in the arms, work all arm muscles with equal intensity. Break the individual “muscles of the arms down into separate categories” advised Arnold 1. And this is where planning your arm training routine is all-important.
Not to worry, that part of the equation is in place for you, with the two complete programs, featured soon. Just be sure to never neglect any aspect of either of these programs. Do not become complacent and Arnold-style arms will be yours.
Keep Things In Perspective:
Although Arnold advocates training biceps, triceps and forearms with equal intensity, he also recommends that you consider the fact that the triceps are the “larger, more complex muscle group” 1. After all, the biceps have two heads and the triceps have three and are a larger and therefore a stronger grouping by comparison.
As such, Arnold suggests viewing your arm as being one-third biceps and two-thirds triceps 1. In fact, Arnold says that while it is possible to hide your biceps in some poses, it is almost impossible to hide your triceps at any time 1. Therefore, he says, the triceps “need training from more angles” 1. When training the triceps, use a wider variety of exercises to hit all three heads to adequately target their larger size.
Concentrating on each and every rep of every set is something Arnold did religiously. It is often said that once Arnold began to focus on his set, nothing could distract him, not even a bomb detonating in the next room.
After training Arnold was a light-hearted guy but once in the gym he was all business. And this was no more evident than when he trained his arms. Arnold would often take is mind-power to the next level and visualize what he wanted to achieve, and this would actually force gains in muscle size.
Says Arnold: “I also used a lot of visualization in biceps training. In my mind I saw my biceps as mountains, enormously huge, and I pictured myself lifting tremendous amounts of weight with these superhuman masses of muscle 1.”
For anyone who wishes to gain boundless muscle size and shape, the power of the mind cannot be underestimated. It was Arnold’s secret weapon in the fight for huge arms.