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Ellington Darden, Ph.D.

NEW: Bigger-Arms Challenge on T-Nation

How about focusing on your biceps and triceps
for the next two weeks?


I hope many of our readers will participate in my Bigger-Arms Challenge, over on T-Nation.com. The outlined program, which was posted on May 1st, is a combination of cycles from The New HIT and The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results and begins on May 8th.

I'm making a bold claim: As a result of 4 HIT workouts, you'll put 3/8s of an inch of solid muscle on each upper arm.

You can help by participating in the discussions and actually going through the routines with the guys at T-Nation.

To go to The Bigger-Arms Challenge, click here.

 

Discuss this article | Text Version

acerson

Ontario, CAN

Hey Ellington,

I was wondering that for the extra 4 non-arm exercises, should I be avoiding compound exercises which will effect my biceps or triceps?

Thanks
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Ellington Darden

Yes, I believe that's a good idea. That's why I mentioned the lateral raise and shoulder shrug as possible selections.

Ellington
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Michael Petrella

Ontario, CAN

Hi Dr. Darden

I was actually just about to start your other arm routine that is outlined in the Nautilus advanced bodybuilding book.

Bicep Curls
Negative Dips

Tricep Exstentions
Negative Chins

I may have to try your challenge though. My only question is, in your opinion can a Nautilus preacher curl and Nautilus Tricep exstention (plate-loaded) be used instead of the prescribed exercises. I feel they create a bigger inroad then using barbells or dumbbells.

I wish everyone the best of luck for anyone who attempts this challenge.

Michael
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NickMunro

I've signed up, and I can't wait to start!
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Ellington Darden

bigmikep wrote:
Hi Dr. Darden

I was actually just about to start your other arm routine that is outlined in the Nautilus advanced bodybuilding book.

Bicep Curls
Negative Dips

Tricep Exstentions
Negative Chins

I may have to try your challenge though. My only question is, in your opinion can a Nautilus preacher curl and Nautilus Tricep exstention (plate-loaded) be used instead of the prescribed exercises. I feel they create a bigger inroad then using barbells or dumbbells.

I wish everyone the best of luck for anyone who attempts this challenge.

Michael


I agree. The Nautilus curl and the Nautilus extension would be more productive than similar barbell-dumbbell exercises.

Ellington

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Gugooi

I'm not into signing in with T-Nation, so if it's okay with ou Dr. Darden, I will report from here.

Height: 188
weight: 95
l.arm:15.95
r.arm:16.15

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kyusho master

Dr. Darden,
I have just completed 3 weeks of non specialized training with the last two on the 14 day diet you reccomend in NHIT. I started the arm specialization you reccomend on T-Nation yesterday. I also started the creatine in my gallon of water .
arms
left 17
right 17.1/8
bodyweight 207

will keep you posted on results, but after one workout I could swear my arms feel significantly bigger, but I am resisting the urge to measure until the end.
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johnrfit

Ellington:
Where should the arm routine be placed in the workout?
A: Arms, leg press, calf, lateral side raise, upright row

or

B: leg press, etc, arms
Thanks, I hope that this will work for someone who is 60.
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Ellington Darden

John,

Do your arms first, as in A.

Ellington
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NickMunro

Hey John,

As Im sure you know, it's standard HIT protocol to work the largest muscles of the body first. But in this case, it is best to work the arms first as we are specializing on that bodypart - and want to hit it (no pun intended) when we are most fresh and able to fatigue them more greatly.

give it your all!

Nick
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TigerFighter VS

New Jersey, USA

Dr Darden, could I still do my regular HIT routine and this as well? I am doing beginners 2nd plan, week 4.
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Ryo

Switzerland

Hi I'm doing the challenge. I already did my 2 first (super hard) workouts.

I found that "volumers" also have their special techniques to build bigger arms. Here's their workout :

"[...] First since I had tried everything I decided let's do the exact opposite of whatever one else is doing. That meant instead of training 4-5 times a week to build size. I decided to train 6 times a week.

Since so many people are following low volume high intensity routines (and getting nowhere fast) I decided I am going to do mega-volume with moderate intensity. That's right I stopped
training to failure completely and I dramatically increased the amount of sets I was doing for my arms directly and indirectly,

How many sets? How about 30-40 sets per workout.

How many reps? I kept my reps in the 6-10 range per set. NO drop sets, forced reps, negatives, partials, or anything else.

How many times per week? I did two full arm workouts per week plus
I hit the arms indirectly on the other days when I trained shoulders and legs on two days and chest and back on the other two days.

So my arms got trained every single day!!!

Because I was hitting the gym with so much frequency and volume it
would be impossible to train to failure. So I would just train
each set until the last rep seemed tough but it was certainly not
an all out effort.

Needless to say the routine worked like gangbusters. Every workout
I kept adding weight to the bar or reps to each exercise. I did
the same exercises each workout for a whole month and then I switched the exercise to a new set on the next month.

What happened? I packed on over 12 pounds of muscle and 1 inch on
each arm. My left bicep (the bigger of my arms) measured 18 inches
cold. The right one is a little smaller and I am working hard on
blasting that one over the 18 inch mark as well. Even so these
measurements are not too bad for a guy who barely makes 5'8" and
weighs 205lbs."


Apparently it's not a joke some guys train like that...
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kyusho master

Dr. Darden,
I wanted to post my results from the 2 week arm challenge.
left arm 16 7/8
right arm 17

today I measured my arms after my last workout beingon saturday.
left arm 17 1/4
right arm 17 3/8

I achived a 3/8 of an inch gain on both arms, I also gained 1/4 of an inch on each forearm.
All of this was done on a diet high in carbs and moderate in protein and fat as described in NHIT. I also loaded creatine as to the specifications in the book using super hydration and mixing my creatine with a gallon of water each day.
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Ellington Darden

kyusho master wrote:
Dr. Darden,
I wanted to post my results from the 2 week arm challenge.
left arm 16 7/8
right arm 17

today I measured my arms after my last workout beingon saturday.
left arm 17 1/4
right arm 17 3/8

I achived a 3/8 of an inch gain on both arms, I also gained 1/4 of an inch on each forearm.
All of this was done on a diet high in carbs and moderate in protein and fat as described in NHIT. I also loaded creatine as to the specifications in the book using super hydration and mixing my creatine with a gallon of water each day.


Great job, Kyusho. Did you take some before and after photos, too?

Be sure and report your results on T-Nation.

Ellington

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Ciccio

Ellington,

I originally wanted to participate in the challenge but came down with an awful cold right before the start.
While not training at all for the last 2weeks I was thinking why not to do the dip+extension first and thereafter the chin+curl?
Reasoning is that the triceps makes up at least 60% of the upper arm (or at least should make up) and exactly that's the area where I'm lacking.
I'm quite happy with my biceps but my triceps is sitting in my arm pit so to speak and not contributing much to my arm-circumference.
To make a long story short, did you ever reverse the order with one of your trainees to emphasize triceps even more?
If not what do you think about my idea?

Regards,

Franco
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Ellington Darden

Ciccio wrote:
Ellington,

I originally wanted to participate in the challenge but came down with an awful cold right before the start.
While not training at all for the last 2weeks I was thinking why not to do the dip+extension first and thereafter the chin+curl?
Reasoning is that the triceps makes up at least 60% of the upper arm (or at least should make up) and exactly that's the area where I'm lacking.
I'm quite happy with my biceps but my triceps is sitting in my arm pit so to speak and not contributing much to my arm-circumference.
To make a long story short, did you ever reverse the order with one of your trainees to emphasize triceps even more?
If not what do you think about my idea?

Regards,

Franco


Yes, I've done it that way. It should work well for you.

Ellington

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tompuderbaugh

Hi Ellington,

Quick question on the Arm Challenge...

I just got back from vacation so was unable to begin your challenge on time. But plan to begin soon.

My question -- I have always been slow to recuperate from the stress of high intensity exercise - Even back in my younger days when I met you and Arthur at Nautilus. (I also seem to heal slower than the average person from minor cuts and bruises as well.)

I normally take 3-4 days between workouts and I'm wondering about my optimal rest days on such a demanding arm program. Should I insert additional rest days? (I'm 51.)

It seems like most people on your challenge are working out Monday and Thursday each week for two weeks. I was thinking about going Monday, Friday, Tuesday, Saturday or perhaps even Monday, Saturday, Thursday, Tuesday, even though this is slightly longer than the two week challenge you describe.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Tom Puderbaugh
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Ellington Darden

Tom,

Your plan should work, too.

Ellington
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johnrfit

Dr. "D"
I did my last workout on your chalenge this past Friday. Here are the results. Start measurements--Age 60
Left Arm 15 inches, Right Arm 15 inches End measurements--Age still 60, Left Arm 15 1/4 inches, Right Arm 15 1/4 inches.

At my age growth in muscles comes a bit slow. Unfortunately, growth in the belly is faster. I do not have before and after pictures. Great program, thanks. Now I just have to decide what my new program should be.
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Ellington Darden

johnrfit wrote:
Dr. "D"
I did my last workout on your chalenge this past Friday. Here are the results. Start measurements--Age 60
Left Arm 15 inches, Right Arm 15 inches End measurements--Age still 60, Left Arm 15 1/4 inches, Right Arm 15 1/4 inches.

At my age growth in muscles comes a bit slow. Unfortunately, growth in the belly is faster. I do not have before and after pictures. Great program, thanks. Now I just have to decide what my new program should be.


johnrfit,

You're results are intriguing, especially at your age. Tomorrow, please post your measurements and age on T-Nation in the new Bigger-Arms thread. Even without photos, people need to know that you achieved some pretty good numbers.

Ellington



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johnrfit

Dr. "D"

Any suggestions for the next workouts? I do need to drop some inches around the waist.
Thanks.
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deanjones

... and, the HIT bashers are now joining in on the new Photo thread. It cracks me up. They have an excuse for everyones gains and will always have an excuse.

"Well, that muscle gain is just due to overtraining your arms and more blood being in them! It will go away!"

"Not everyone made 3/8" gains! It doesn't work!"

It's insane... It looks like everyone on this challenge has made at least 1/4" gain in each arm in just 4 workouts. These are the same guys that have been doing set after set after set of arm exercises and getting NO gains at all.

If you look on T-Nation, you see a ton of "Big Arm" exercises that have popped up in the last couple of weeks. I see one of them that tells you to do your arms twice a day?! Twice a day?! There is one with 20 sets for biceps that you repeat 5 times? Maybe I misunderstood this one... However, I see 5x4-6 and then on the last exercise it says "Go back to A1 and repeat until 5 cycles is complete". So that's 100 sets?!

So, we get to pick. 100 sets of arm exercises 2 times a day or 3 sets of arm exercises included in a full body routine for 15 minutes 3 times a week. The latter has already showed to be effective. Maybe not always giving 3/8" results, but still effective nontheless...

I've been on HIT for only around 3 months and I've seen gains while cutting. And, they haven't gone away either, like these high volume dudes are saying.

So, I go in the gym and I'm out in 20 minutes. Or, I can go in the gym and not only spend 1 hour or more of my morning in there, but also spend 1 hour or more of my evening and either get the same results or, worse, less results from seriously overtraining my arms in the HV routine?

I'm going to pick a 20 minute routine where I don't have to spend my life in the gym. I mean, I want to enjoy lifes other wonders and actually use my newly formed and stronger body for better things... like, spending time with my girlfriend in bed. ;)
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QmAn

deanjones wrote:
... and, the HIT bashers are now joining in on the new Photo thread. It cracks me up. They have an excuse for everyones gains and will always have an excuse.

"Well, that muscle gain is just due to overtraining your arms and more blood being in them! It will go away!"

"Not everyone made 3/8" gains! It doesn't work!"

It's insane... It looks like everyone on this challenge has made at least 1/4" gain in each arm in just 4 workouts. These are the same guys that have been doing set after set after set of arm exercises and getting NO gains at all.

If you look on T-Nation, you see a ton of "Big Arm" exercises that have popped up in the last couple of weeks. I see one of them that tells you to do your arms twice a day?! Twice a day?! There is one with 20 sets for biceps that you repeat 5 times? Maybe I misunderstood this one... However, I see 5x4-6 and then on the last exercise it says "Go back to A1 and repeat until 5 cycles is complete". So that's 100 sets?!

So, we get to pick. 100 sets of arm exercises 2 times a day or 3 sets of arm exercises included in a full body routine for 15 minutes 3 times a week. The latter has already showed to be effective. Maybe not always giving 3/8" results, but still effective nontheless...

I've been on HIT for only around 3 months and I've seen gains while cutting. And, they haven't gone away either, like these high volume dudes are saying.

So, I go in the gym and I'm out in 20 minutes. Or, I can go in the gym and not only spend 1 hour or more of my morning in there, but also spend 1 hour or more of my evening and either get the same results or, worse, less results from seriously overtraining my arms in the HV routine?

I'm going to pick a 20 minute routine where I don't have to spend my life in the gym. I mean, I want to enjoy lifes other wonders and actually use my newly formed and stronger body for better things... like, spending time with my girlfriend in bed. ;)


HVT guys always want to do more but easier exercise and will find any excuse to do so! What they need is not more exercise but HARDER exercise.

Over the last week I've been reresding Arthur Jones bulletins 1 @ 2. He hit the nail on the head way back in 1970/71 when he wrote them.

HARDER, BRIEFER AND INFREQUENT
not:
EASIER, LONGER AND OFTEN

QmAn

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NATUREBOY

deanjones wrote:
... and, the HIT bashers are now joining in on the new Photo thread. It cracks me up. They have an excuse for everyones gains and will always have an excuse.

"Well, that muscle gain is just due to overtraining your arms and more blood being in them! It will go away!"

"Not everyone made 3/8" gains! It doesn't work!"

It's insane... It looks like everyone on this challenge has made at least 1/4" gain in each arm in just 4 workouts. These are the same guys that have been doing set after set after set of arm exercises and getting NO gains at all.

If you look on T-Nation, you see a ton of "Big Arm" exercises that have popped up in the last couple of weeks. I see one of them that tells you to do your arms twice a day?! Twice a day?! There is one with 20 sets for biceps that you repeat 5 times? Maybe I misunderstood this one... However, I see 5x4-6 and then on the last exercise it says "Go back to A1 and repeat until 5 cycles is complete". So that's 100 sets?!

So, we get to pick. 100 sets of arm exercises 2 times a day or 3 sets of arm exercises included in a full body routine for 15 minutes 3 times a week. The latter has already showed to be effective. Maybe not always giving 3/8" results, but still effective nontheless...

I've been on HIT for only around 3 months and I've seen gains while cutting. And, they haven't gone away either, like these high volume dudes are saying.

So, I go in the gym and I'm out in 20 minutes. Or, I can go in the gym and not only spend 1 hour or more of my morning in there, but also spend 1 hour or more of my evening and either get the same results or, worse, less results from seriously overtraining my arms in the HV routine?

I'm going to pick a 20 minute routine where I don't have to spend my life in the gym. I mean, I want to enjoy lifes other wonders and actually use my newly formed and stronger body for better things... like, spending time with my girlfriend in bed. ;)


Some people will always be closed-minded sheep. I've stopped trying to convert people a long time ago. Let HIT be your little secret.
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