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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #170 Build Bigger Arms Fast
September 15, 2015

September 15, 2015

In this newsletter . . .

Build Massive Arms Fast

Mountain Climbers

Build Massive Arms Fast

The following is a bodybuilding method for building bigger arms from Living the Fitness Lifestyle.

EDT stands for Escalating Density Training. I wish I could say that it is my creation, but that wouldn't be true. The great trainer/coach Charles Staley figured out this one. I’m paraphrasing now, but Staley explains EDT this way: Select a body part, let's say arms, and work them exclusively for 15 minutes. There’s nothing new in that, of course, but here's the rest of it. . .

  • You superset two opposing muscle group exercises.
  • For example, select a weight you can curl for 10 good, clean reps. Do the same for triceps extensions.
  • Use a stopwatch. For 15 minutes, superset the two exercises, doing 5 reps (not 10) in each set. If you reach a point where 5 reps are not possible, do 4,3,2 or 1. But don't reduce the weight.
  • Rest when you have to, but do as many sets as you can.

When you’ve finished, record your total reps for the 15-minute period.

Now here is the challenge

At each subsequent workout, keep doing sets of 5 reps with the same weight, but try to achieve a higher total during the 15-minute period. How do you do that? Your rest periods must get shorter. When you have gotten so you can do 20% more than your beginning workout total, increase the weight by 5% and start over. Anyone wanting to try it in its purest form should read Staley's material. My adaptation is a little different, which I’ll explain in a moment.

But either way, EDT is tough stuff, so the remainder of your workout should be designed for maintenance only. Use the 15-minute EDT period to really zero-in on one body part. In Staley's original, you rest 5 minutes after the first EDT session, and then do another 15 minutes, working the same body part but with different exercises. Here comes the tweak: Once around the block is enough for me, and I imagine it is enough for most people over 50. Overtraining can be a mistake.

In my version, I did preacher curls alternated in superset fashion with seated triceps extensions on an Icarian machine. The pump was great and I experienced some rep/weight capacity improvement. Did my arms grow another half-inch as a result? No. That's highly unlikely for someone my age (I was very much a senior when I did this and already had years of steady training behind me). Still, I had fun and was pleased with my modest gains. Younger people with more growth potential on the same schedule should realize significant increases in strength and size.

The rest of my upper-body workout was for maintenance and consisted of reasonably tough-to-get reps, but certainly nothing heroic. I worked this way once per week, and at my second upper-body day during the same week, I did a maintenance only workout for my arms and the rest of upper-body. I was at the time doing a split routine and did leg workouts on different days.

I would not recommend EDT for beginners. Beginners should first develop a solid fitness base with a program such as the following. After a few months of basic training, experimenting with different methods makes all the sense in the world. Building massive arms is one of them.

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Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers are a fine exercise to have in a workout bag of tricks — if you are in fairly good shape. They are especially good as a part of a circuit or interval workout. Senior beginners, however, or those who are very overweight, should put mountain climbers — as they are shown here — on hold until you’ve reached post-beginner stage. Or, for now, slow them down to about half or quarter speed. Fast high repetition climbers will really get you huffing and puffing, and they fit beautifully in a resistance training/cardiovascular workout combo.

Watch the short video and notice how the push up position while chugging away engages your entire body: abs, back, chest, arms, shoulders, and, of course, your legs.

The Kettlebell Boomer How to Defy Aging and Be a Human Dynamo Throughout Your Senior Years—Thanks to Kettlebells With Master RKC, Andrea Du Cane

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.

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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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