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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #103, Build bigger arms in a day the Peary Rader way.
December 01, 2012

December 1, 2012

In this newsletter . . .

Part Two of building bigger, stronger arms:

Build Bigger Arms in a Day the Peary Rader Way

Plus . . .

Warming Up, Don't Neglect it

Younger seniors, especially, may like this workout and can expect tangible results. It is not for beginners, however. Beginners should first build a strength and fitness base (see: Beginning Weight Training).

I wrote the following three years ago. –LF

"Build Bigger Arms in a Day the Peary Rader Way

“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. We were going to be housebound for the day, and I decided to include a workout program I remembered from the 1950s.

“Trainees who have been around as long as I have may recall Peary Rader’s wonderful, pre-steroid era 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, 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. Deskwork 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 to 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.”

Warming Up, Don't Neglect it

It may surprise you, and then again maybe not, that some instructors say warming up is a waste of time. Maybe you’ve seen some of this advice on the Internet. It has different origins, and some of it may seem reasonable, in certain circumstances.

When I was a young guy practicing martial arts, one place I trained sometimes had furniture in the room and dim lights and you would maneuver around the objects. The thought was that being attacked would more likely occur in that kind of setting, rather than on a mat in an empty training room.

Warm ups were not part of the training either. “If you are attacked,” the teacher would say, “do you suppose your attacker will allow you time to loosen up and stretch?” You can see the logic.

That was special circumstance training.

Otherwise, if someone tells you warming up is needless, don’t listen, especially if you are a senior. In an extreme emergency, and with our adrenalin surging, we may suddenly summon the strength to lift a huge object off someone pinned beneath it. We read about such things.

But before regular workouts, take the time to warm up. Stretching, though, is usually not necessary, and may even be counterproductive (save the deliberate stretching for post workout). But easing into your workout routine with lighter sets to start is the way to go. Beginning workouts with challenging weights or reps before warming up is a prescription for injury, especially for older trainees.

This advice really shouldn’t be necessary. Unfortunately, some training concepts that may be applicable for certain specific situations make their way into training protocols where they make no sense at all.

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

Authentic RKC Kettlebells

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, this newsletter and my web site contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.

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.

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Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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