Q: I've been using the Size Surge Phase 1 routine for only 2 weeks, and I've already added almost a half inch to my arms. I was skeptical since there's only one direct arm workout each week [Wednesday], but I guess it's like you said: the chest and back work on Monday and Friday hit arms hard too. Anyway, thanks for opening my eyes. I was wondering what you thought of supersetting the biceps and triceps exercises on Wednesday. I know Bill Pearl used to do that. BTW, I'm using 4X on my arm exercises.
A: It's hard to argue with Bill Pearl considering his incredible mass—and his heyday was when steroids were in their infancy; minor use, if any, was happening back in the ’60s. Pearl was a staunch proponent of supersetting a biceps exercise with a triceps exercise because it made his arms so huge and full. Talk about in-the-gym motivation! The photo of Pearl above says it all.
In Jonathan's Size Surge Phase 1 workout, his Wednesday biceps and triceps routine was as follows...
Barbell curls, 2 x 9, 7
Concentration curls, 2 x 9, 7
Lying extensions, 2 x 9, 7
Pushdowns, 2 x 9, 7
He did those two exercises for biceps and two for triceps at the beginning of the workout. But right before he hit arms, he did two heavy sets of deadlifts to prime the anabolic environment. After arms, he trained forearms and abs. So the Wednesday workout is basically for anabolic drive (deadlifts) and direct, focused, fresh arm and ab work.
If you want to superset bi's and tri's at that Wednesday workout using the 4X method, we suggest this...
Barbell curls, 4x10
Lying extensions, 4x10
Spider curls, 4x10
You can't do concentration curls because it's a one-arm movement. With 4X the rest must be 30 seconds, so if you work one arm, you have to work the other arm right after, and so on back and forth. Since you're supersetting, you need a two-arm exercise, and the best substitute is spider curls—that is, preacher curls on the vertical side of the bench so you have resistance in the top contracted position...
Now remember, with 4X you want 30 seconds between sets for the worked muscle. That means you must move from biceps exercise to the triceps exercise, back and forth, with no rest until you complete four rounds. Each 4X superset sequence should take you about five minutes, so the above arm routine is a killer 10-minute arm blast.
Remember, for 4X you use the same weight all the way through—a weight with which you can get 15 reps on the first set, but you only do 10. So on the first superset, you do 10 reps on barbell curls, then immediately do 10 reps on lying extensions and so on, back and forth until you do four rounds. The first set or two will be somewhat easy, but by the fourth round you should NOT be getting 10 reps anymore—and your arms will look about 2 inches bigger!
In other words, these 4X supersets should blow up your arms BIG-time...
For more on arm-building tips and tricks as well as specialization programs for specific size effects, see the X-traordinary Arms e-book, available for FREE (see info below).
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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