Scratching the surface to build bigger arms
In hardgainer territory, the muscular landscape is like a dry, barren field. Even after months of committed care and cultivation, only the smallest growths sprout from terra firma. And your biceps can be the most stubborn area of all: Adding an extra inch to your guns can be more difficult than getting a rose to bloom in Death Valley.
The following program is a “scorched earth” strategy to develop bigger biceps. It calls for unleashing the whole stockpile of warheads and hitting those unresponsive fibers from all angles using a multitude of different weights and every conceivable rep scheme. It’s a whirlwind of stimuli that will leave your biceps with only one choice: grow.
GANG OF FOUR
This no-holds-barred quest for growth is based on the principle of four: performing four exercises and adding four extra reps to each exercise after the first. Because each lift changes the area of the muscle that receives the most stimuli, the ever-increasing reps shift the demands of the muscle from strength to hypertrophy to endurance to a skin-stretching crescendo that flushes the muscle and celebrates the pump.
Change is never easy, and this workout is no exception. While this program can be performed on the same day that you train your back (preferably after your back regimen), the full-spectrum demands that it places on your muscle will require at least a week of recovery between attempts.
This four-rep system isn’t limited to biceps training; it’s an equal-opportunity growth stimulator that can be applied to any muscle group. Using triceps as an example, the basic program might work like this.
Perform a basic exercise that recruits plenty of muscle fibers, as well as your stabilizer muscles.
Example: Lying French press x 4 reps to failure
Move on to another basic movement that further limits the assistor muscles and begins to isolate the principal muscle.
Example: Overhead dumbbell extension x 8 reps
Narrow the focus even further with a true isolation exercise.
Example: Standing single-arm cable extension x 12 reps
Flush the muscle with an exercise that delivers a wide range of motion but allows for some control as your extremities get pumped with blood.
Example: Overhead rope extension x 16 reps