Articles by Vince Gironda
a trend towards building big arms today. This
is fine as long as two provisios are followed.
First, an arms should have a balanced development
between the biceps and triceps.
Second, a grossly overdeveloped arm matched with
a pair of puny legs or underdeveloped shoulders
Get big by all means, but keeo the pyhsique balanced.
am 14 years old and have been lifting weights for about
a year and a half. I have a training problem with my bleep
(Musclemag Magazine March 1982)
Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a recent issue
of Muscle Builder, "If you have a lack for bicep peak
you should do concentration curls and dumbbell curls with
a twist of your wrist at the top of each curl." But
every time I try curls of this kind it hurts my wrist so
much that I can only do 3 or 4 reps. Even my calves are
bigger than my biceps
Do you think the advice is good or bad?
Any training tips you can give me will be
Specialization on biceps should include 4 different exercise's
(each for a different aspect of the bicep); 3 sets of 8
reps, followed by forearm work. Also, this routine should
be at the end of your workout.
E.Z. or Not?
(Musclemag Magazine February 1985)
Should I use an EZ curl bar or a straight
bar when doing my curls. Which is best for the biceps?
Each of us, is individual. Tendons, ligaments and bone
leverage vary from one person to another. Obviously if the
use of a straight bar brings discomfort in the wrist or
elbow then a more comfortable EZ curl bar is superior. My
own opinion is that all other things being equal the straight
bar is superior for standing barbell curl than an EZ curl
I want more biceps height! My arms
are pretty big right now, 17.112" at 5'7" height,
but when I pose them the biceps region appears flat. Please
tell me the truth. Can I improve the height of my biceps
and if so what exercise will best do the job?
You can belly-out any muscle with short range movements
that work the center (belly) of the muscle in question.
For the biceps I suggest you perform the seated cable short
range curl (using a low pulley). Curl the arms only over
a 6 inch range. Five sets of ten reps.
(Musclemag Vol 2 issue 1)
This compound exercise is best performed with the Dymetric
Bar. Compound movements differ from supersets, in that super-sets
work two opposing muscles (biceps and triceps for example).
Compounding is 2 or 3 exercises on the same muscle and enables
the bodybuilder to build three different aspects of the
muscle: low, middle and high heads. The one I will describe
is a supine curl from the neck with the elbows up toward
the ceiling, with an 8" wide over hand grip on the
bar. From this position, curl-press the weight up over the
neck and lock out arms at the extended position.
The second movement immediately following with no break
is the triceps pull-over extension, with the bar at arms'
length over chest - neck; lower the bar slowly down and
over the head to a close-to-head position with the bar just
below the head. (The head should extend beyond the end of
bench to about the ears). Next, curl the bar up and forward
so bar does not change from the first hand position of 8".
The third movement without changing hand width is arms
extended over chest. Start lowering the bar and bend elbows
to the sides and continue lowering the bar until it touches
the neck and then up again.
This exercise should be performed 6 reps for each movement
with a total of 18 reps to the total set. Three total sets
of the compound is enough work for the triceps, because
the combination produces far more work done than 9 sets
done in series!
By the way, the best shock workout I know for biceps is
to stand in front of the dumbell rack and alternate curl
4 reps every dumbell it the rack, starting at 23-25 pounds
and working up to the biggest dumbell you can use. Then
work back down again to the lightest weight you can use
and still feel the pump. This routine will pull your arm
out of a slump in a week or two at the most!
(Musclemag Vol 2 issue 1)
I would like to get into arm wrestling (Petaluma
style). Are there any exercises I could do to prepare for
this? I am 5'5", 145 lbs. My right arm measured relaxed
is as follows: 7" wrist, 12" forearm, 12"
biceps. One of the instructors where I train is Tommy Kono.
He tells me there is little I can do, except to keep wrist
wrestling as much as possible. He said its all bicep and
deltoid power. I thought it was all forearm and wrist. What
is your opinion?
I noticed that most of the winners are masons, carpenters,
truck drivers, machine operators, etc., so should I do high
sets and reps or something like three sets of three reps
with heavy weights?
What about tearing newspapers, squeezing rubber balls, hand
grips, pinch grip plates, etc.?
I am starting to get a sore elbow from arm wrestling. How
can I get rid of this pain? I have seen a nutritionist and
she gave me a bottle of Sonne's No.2 Calphonite liquid which
contains (each tablespoon) Calcium - 160 mgs. Phosphorus
- 124 mgs. Manganese Gluconate - 100 mgs. Magnesium Gluconate
- 35 mg.
It seems to help a little, but not much. I talked to Mitsuo
Kawashima, owner of MITS' Health Studio. He told me to military
press with palms facing me (like at the end of a two-arm
barbell curl). MITS and Jack Dillinger were the best of
friends long ago. He told me some of the "old timers"
would press, even bench press like this. This is supposed
to strengthen the area around the elbow and triceps.
So, there you have it. I consulted the best weightlifting
instructor in Hawaii, the best bodybuilding it or in Hawaii,
and a very rimed nutritionist in Hawaii. Since you are the
best there is in California, please give me your thoughts.
If it is all right with you, I will discuss your advice
with the people that I have talked to.
Thank you for your time and trouble.
P.S. Are there any places in California where people arm
wrestle on a regular basis? I hope to be in California soon,
maybe in October.
Take 200 mg. Manganese every three hours for three days
(72 hours). You have Tendonitis (Tennis Elbow) and need
Sound Wave treatments.
In order to strengthen the muscles needed to perform this
feat you must rig up a pulley to pull the same pull as you
use when wrist wrestling. I would advise you to practice
the first part of the movement (fast explosive). This is
where the contest is won. You must get the jump on your
adversary. Stronger men can lose if they are not aware of
Your nutritionist is good! She knows that tendon problems
are lack of, or not enough, minerals, particularly manganese.
Strength is built with low reps!
Wrist wrestling involves pectoral, biceps and front deltoid
If you want to be a great wrist wrestler, don't waste your
time on tearing newspapers, squeezing rubber balls, hand
grips or pinch grip plates.
As I remember there were NO e-z curl bars allowed at Vince's.
He said they train the forearms and brachialis - not the
biceps. He used a straight bar, with a thumb under grip,
slightly wider than shoulder width (so at the top the pinky
was just outside the shoulder).
Vince's Kickbacks were performed by bending forward in
half at the waist. Holding a dumbbell in each hand you simply
straightened your arms so that the tension was at lockout?with
your arms straight?behind you. If you bend forward far enough
these are hard?especially if used in conjunction with another
movement. You have to get the feel for the right angles
or it won't stress the muscles.
The triceps "thingy" I remember was something
called a "cradle bench," I believe. He built it.
It was low off the floor, had a weird angle to it like a
"V" and you put your elbows on the "V"
portion and did some form of triceps extensions with your
head down. I never used it but saw Makawway do it.
The other triceps exercise I recall was a leaning foward
rope pull. The weight stack was behind me, I was leaning
forward in a lunge position with the ropes held in each
hand over my head, and I extended my arms straight ahead.
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