A Trip to the Gun Show: Thoughts on Training Arms

It’s a bit of a status symbol to have big arms, at least if you’re a guy. Looking around I’m noticing that some of the ladies want these muscles developed too – they just use the code-word ‘toned’ (which means “just a little muscle and a lot less fat” for those not in the know). Depending on who you ask, you’ll get two different answers as to the best way to develop this “muscle group”.

Orthodox bodybuilders are going to tell you to do 5-10 different curl exercises, 5-10 different kinds of triceps extensions, and if history is anything to go by, you’ll be told to do this for 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps. The “new wave” of Internet strength-training doctrine, however, is going to suggest almost exactly the opposite: very limited arm training, maybe even none at all.

Who’s right? This is one of those instances where I don’t think there is a completely correct answer for all situations. There’s some merit to both sides depending on what you’re after. So let’s have a look.

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