Bodybuilding Training Article from EricsGym.com

Compound Aftershock
Science-Based Training for Arms That Look Like
20-Pound Hams
by Steve Holman - 1997

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Sergio Oliva

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Are you looking for a training routine that will inflate your arms to eye-popping proportions in record time - a program based on scientific principles and exercise analysis so it absolutely, positively can't fail? Then you've come to the right article After only three workouts with he following Compound Aftershock routine your arms will feel fuller than ever before, and with some diligent effort you'll eventually look as if you have 20-pound hams stuffed in your shirtsleeves - or perhaps 15-pounders, depending on your genetics.

How much discomfort must you endure for this transformation to occur? Well, the routines do require a high pain threshold, but the entire program takes less than 15 minutes.

Compound Aftershock Arm Routine
Triceps  
Decline extensions* 1 x 7-9
Aftershock superset  
Overhead dumbbell extensions
1 x 5-7
Decline extensions
1 x 5-7
Kickbacks 1-2 x 7-9
   
Biceps  
Close-grip barbell curls* 1 x 7-9
Aftershock superset  
Incline curls
1 x 5-7
Close-grip barbell curls
1 x 5-7
Concentration curls 1-2 x 7-9
   
Brachialis (optional)  
Incline hammer curls 1 x 7-9
   
* Do one or two light warmup sets before your work set

We all need a little convincing before we start a new program, so here are the reasons this science-based arm program produces such spectacular results.

  1. It uses the most effective exercises. According to the book "Muscle Meets Magnet" by Per A. Tesch, Ph.D., which takes an MRI look at which parts of leg and arm muscles are hit hardest by certain exercises, the movements in the Compound Aftershock superset hit the target muscle structures completely, rather than focusing on certain heads.

    Decline extension.This exercise puts maximum stress on the lateral, long and media heads of the triceps. You get total target-muscle stimulation with one efficient exercise. According to "Muscle Meets Magnet", lying extensions on a flat bench, the most common version of this exercise, somewhat neglect the lateral and medial heads and focus on the long head. If you want to totally torch your triceps do your extensions on a decline bench.

    Overhead dumbbell extensions.This exercise also puts maximum heat on all three triceps heads when you use two dumbbells. What's interesting is that the same movement done with a bar instead of dumbbells ignites only the lateral and medial heads, leaving the long head lagging behind. The reason the dumbbell version may be more effective is the fact that your palms are facing each other. MRI analysis proves that varying your grip can have a substantial effect on target-muscle stimulation, as you'll see with the biceps exercises as well.

    Close-grip barbell curls. This exercise puts a total hit on the medial and lateral heads of the biceps. The brachialis muscles even get complete stimulation. If you do the exercise with a wide grip, however, MRI analysis says the medial head, the one closest to your torso, takes the brunt of the stress and the lateral head and brachialis lag behind. Keep your grip close on curls, about 10 inches between your hands, and you'll get a more complete overall biceps hit.

    Incline curls. Once again, you sledgehammer the medial and lateral biceps heads. The unusual stretch you get on this exercise may be the reason. Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, curl the dumbbells simultaneously and don't pause at the bottom - change the dumbbells' direction immediately once you reach the complete stretch position to activate the myotatic reflex.

  2. The myotatic reflex, or pre-stretch, helps max out fiber recruitment. This is especially true when you place the stretch exercise before a big midrange movement in a superset. For example, you can superset incline curls with close-grip barbell curls. Let's go through the entire Compound Aftershock biceps routine so you can see exactly how and why it's so effective:

    * After a couple of warmup sets you train the mass of the muscle with a heavy set of close-grip curls to failure - muscle synergy from your front delts makes this heavy overload possible.

    * After a brief rest you move to the Aftershock superset. First, you use incline dumbbell curls to trigger the myotatic reflex for some extraordinary fiber recruitment - a call to arms for the reserve fibers. With a preponderance of fibers in a heightened state, you immediately follow up with a lighter set of close-grip curls - about 20 percent lighter than your first set - so that synergy once again forces maximum fiber recruitment.

    * After a two-minute rest and some massaging of your incredibly pumped biceps, you finish them off with concentration curls, one or two sets, squeezing hard for a count at the top of each rep for a peak-contraction effect

    Your biceps can't help but grow after this on-target attack.

    Your triceps get the same treatment:

    * Do one set of decline extensions - it's okay if your upper arms move so that you get some synergy from your lats and teres muscles. Just don't overdo it.

    *Rest for a minute as you decrease the weight on the bar, then do one set of overhead dumbbell extensions supersetted with a second set of decline triceps extensions with the reduced poundage. Your triceps fibers will be screaming for mercy and pumped to the bursting point.

    * Rest for about two minutes and notice how your triceps are so full, they feel as if they're a couple of inflated tire tubes hanging from your rear delts. Not finish them off with dumbbell kickbacks, making an effort to get your upper arms back past your torso on every rep as you contract your triceps hard. One set of this peak-contraction pain is all you have to endure - two if you're a real masochist.
  3. Better Pump and burn. Ne research suggests that super-setting helps lower the blood PH, which can force more growth hormone release. These findings may verify whey bodybuilders have been instinctively chasing the pump for years - it may be a growth stimulus after all.
  4. Brachialis work for higher peaks. The brachialis runs under the biceps, and when you develop this muscle, it can give your bi's more height, much like a developed soleus gives the lower legs more fullness. While close-grip barbell curls put a lot of stress on the brachialis, you may want to do one direct finishing set to give it that extra jolt. "Muscle Meets Magnet" says incline hammer curls, with your thumbs up and palms facing each other, provide a focused hit on the brachialis.
  5. More recovery for accelerated growth. You stimulate each target muscle to the maximum with only four or five sets, which means you have more recovery ability left for hypertrophy. Remember, the more sets you do, the more you deplete your system's ability to recover from intense exercise, so efficiency is key. Obviously this is one heck of an efficient arm building program, as you fatigue as many fibers as possible with as few sets as possible.

How should you use the Compound Aftershock arm routine for best results? An every-other-day split is the program that will help most intermediate bodybuilders make the best gains. Here's a sample:

  • Workout 1: quads, hamstrings, calves, chest and triceps
  • Workout 2: back delts, biceps and abdominals

Always take a day of rest between workouts and yo have a recovery-oriented split that will produce impressive size increases.

If you prefer full-body workouts, a different approach is necessary, ad follows:

Monday  
Squats 2 x 8-10
Leg extensions 1 x 8-10
Leg curls 2 x 8-10
Standing calf raises 2 x 12-20
Seated calf raises 2 x 12-20
Bench presses 2 x 8-10
Pulldowns 2 x 8-10
Bent-over rows 2 x 8-10
Dumbbell upright rows 2 x 8-10
Full-range crunches 2 x 8-10

Wednesday
Compound Aftershock Arm Routine - you may want to do two supersets instead of only one, since you have more time to recover - or any arm-specialization program.

Friday
Same as Monday.

With this program you only train arms once a week on Wednesday, with the full Compound Aftershock routine. Consequently, you may be able to get away with a few more sets, such as doing two supersets instead of one, but keep in mind that biceps and triceps get indirect stimulation on Monday and Friday from the pressing, rowing and pulldown movements. This indirect work will pump blood into your arms for heightened recovery, but you want to make sure you don't overtrain. You'll see impressive results from this type of program in a matter of weeks, guaranteed.

If buggy-whip arms is the disease, Compound Aftershock is the cure. Give this routine a try and watch as your biceps and triceps swell to ham-like proportions in record time.

Sergio Oliva

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