In today's April 15, 2010 newsletter . . .

  • Build Bigger Arms in a Day

  • Seniors' Greatest Concerns

Build Bigger Arms in a Day

Last Saturday was a stay-at-home day. Patty had a school project to finish and I had a few household repairs I’d been putting off. As long as we were going to be housebound for the day, I decided to do a workout program I remembered from the 1950s.

Trainees who have been around as long as I have may recall Peary Rader’s wonderful Iron Man magazine, before it was sold to new owners. One program Peary Rader wrote about explained how to gain up to 3/4 of an inch to your arms in a day. (Steroids, thank God, were not involved.)

In a nutshell, here’s what you have to do:

First, you need to pick a day (the program takes 12 hours) when there won’t be many distractions. Select a barbell, or two dumbbells, or a resistance band that allows you to curl 10 reps without going to failure or near failure. This is an important point. You want the reps to be reasonably arduous and produce a fair pump, but absolutely no exhaustion.

Next, pick a weight or resistance that produces the same effect while doing 10 reps of triceps extensions or press-downs.

For the next 12 hours, every hour, on the hour, you superset doing one set of biceps curls for 10 reps; immediately follow that with one set of triceps extensions or press-downs. The idea is to isolate the two upper-arm muscle groups with a decent pump lasting 12 hours.

The time between supersets should be active rest periods. Desk work or lightweight household chores are perfect. Massaging your upper-arms a bit is a good thing, too.

Feeding the machine

Eat your normal daily diet (assuming it is a healthful one) during the 12 hour period, but also brew up a good size whey protein shake and sip on it throughout the day.

Okay, did I gain 3/4 of an inch on my upper-arms? No. That would be an unlikely outcome for someone age 73 and who already works out regularly. But on Monday, two days later, I did measure and seemed to have added a hair under a 1/4 inch, and my arms feel more solid than before.

Will my small gain last? Perhaps. And any muscle gain is a plus. But at my age, simply remaining as fit and strong as nature, a good diet, and my training allow is primary. I had fun making the effort, and I got some desk work cleared up. All in all, it was a pretty good day.

Younger seniors, say in their 50s, may expect a greater muscle gain than mine. If you decide to give it a try, I’d like hear about how it worked.

Notes: Give your arms a couple of days rest before the 12-hour workout. And don’t workout your arms, specifically, for a couple days afterward. . . . If you like the results, you can do the workout again several months later. But doing the workout more often than that is pushing it and probably will be counterproductive. . . . In the Iron Man course the muscle gain was for your arms. However, super-setting other isolated body parts should work in much the same way. . . . Taking Creatine might also add to muscle volume increase.

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Seniors Greatest Concerns

Two of the greatest concerns as we approach or are already in retirement are the following:

1. Having good health

2. Maintaining financially security

Both are basic requirements for enjoying the good life. Few people will argue with that. And ignoring either one is almost certain to lead to problems.

I thought about this recently when I saw in The Wall Street Journal the following headline:

Foreclosures Hit Rich and Famous

The rich and famous, according to the report, now have something in common with hundreds of thousands of middle-class and poor Americans: The bank is about to take their homes.

Many people are surprised to learn it is not only the middle-class or the poor who get in over their heads financially. The rich and famous, many of them seniors, do it too. Think Ed McMahon.

Why not take a minute and review Money Fitness? It’s a good way to avoid money troubles at a time in life when financial security (and good health) is paramount.

You've probably heard about the tremendous benefits of weight training and how you can retain -- or even reclaim -- the attributes of youth . . . Discover the way with . . .

Gray Iron: A Fitness Guide for Senior Men and Women

Newsletter Policy

The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.

Like newspapers, magazines and television, the newsletter and web site contain advertising and some affiliate marketing links. I receive a commission when people buy the advertised products or services.

The newsletter and web site provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you. Your comments or questions are always appreciated.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter