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Mike Mentzer's Big Arm Workout Routine

Mike Mentzer Arm Workout

Posted by: Paul

Q: I've always been blown away by the size of Mike Mentzer's arms. I know he was one of the top bodybuilders in the world-in my opinion, he was the best-so his genetics are much better than mine. But what was the exact arm routine that he used to build his guns up to such howizter-size proportions?

A: You've asked a question that most of us in the bodybuilding world have pondered at one time or another. I recall Mike being asked that very question at a seminar in Toronto back in 1980. Here was his response:

"For my biceps I usually do two to four sets, and for triceps I usually perform two to four sets. So I believe in fewer sets for my arms. In terms of repetitions, I typically choose a weight that gives me six to eight repetitions, and then of course I continue beyond that with forced reps and negatives done for one to two reps in Heavy Duty style. I don't do anything elaborate or exotic, just very hard work. The harder the work you do, the less work you're capable of doing. It's not a debatable point. You can either train hard or train long-but you can't do both, and it just so happens that it takes hard training to build big muscles."

I remember 10 years after that seminar being in Mike's apartment in Los Angeles and asking him personally what his most productive arm routine was:

"There was nothing 'special' about my arm routine; results are usually linked primarily to motivation and your willingness to apply yourself with 100 percent. My favorite arm exercises are preacher curls, Nautilus curls and concentration curls for biceps. My favorite exercises for triceps are pressdowns, Nautilus extensions and dips. I actually think the dip is the best triceps exercise. It's also the best overall upper-body exercise-I call it the 'upper-body squat'. Again, the formula is brief training, intense training, infrequent training. Young bodybuilders should be cautioned against doing too many sets on too many days for all bodyparts. Their enthusiasm is often a hindrance; they're so willing to train marathon-style to acquire a muscular physique that they often overtrain. I train in Gold's-when I do train-and I see that as the most pervasive mistake made by all bodybuilders, including advanced bodybuilders. They grossly overtrain."

For a complete presentation of Mike Mentzer's Heavy Duty training system watch the Mike Mentzer Training Video.

If you have any other questions about Mike Mentzer or High Intensity Training email me and I'll get back to you with an answer as quick as I can.

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