steve head

Steve Weingarten

To build the largest possible arms, curling movements are the way to go, right? Wrong!

Don’t misunderstand: Curls definitely build biceps.  The thing is, biceps are not the largest muscle of your arm.  Triceps are.  That horseshoe-shaped, three-headed (hence the name TRIceps) muscle on the back of your arm makes up a good 2/3 of your upper-arm mass.

Any movement in which you extend your arms outward works the triceps.  Am effective triceps routine might consist of a triceps-focused compound movement (such as dips or close-grip bench presses) and one or two isolation movements  such as pushdowns or skullcrushers.

Bear in mind, when designing your lifting program, that the triceps are involved in all upper-body pushing movements (bench presses, military presses, etc).  So, if you train chest one day, shoulders the next, and triceps the day following, you’re essentially working your triceps three days in a row – not the best plan if you really want your triceps to grow.

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Muscle Myths

1)    Muscle weighs more than fat.  You hear this all the time, but it’s a silly statement if you think about it. One pound of anything weighs the same as a pound of anything else.  Muscle isdenser than fat, which means that one pound of muscle takes up less space than one pound of fat. That’s why someone who loses 10 pounds of fat and gains 10 pounds of muscle can fit into smaller clothes.

2)    Stop lifting and muscle turns into fat .  Untrue.  Muscle and fat are separate tissues; neither can transform into the other.  This myths stems from observations of ex-athletes who stopped training and became fat.  In reality, the ex-athletes’ muscles atrophied from lack of training,  Meanwhile, they steadily accumulated bodyfat due to overeating.  Ex-athletes who match their calorie intake to their lowered activity level don’t get fat.

3)    You can’t build muscle after age 40 (or 50 or 60 etc).  Of course you can!  The growing number of masters competitors on the bodybuilding stage proves this myth false.  Plus, there are a number of studies showing how bedridden nursing home residents in their 70s 80s and 90s regained mobility and independence after following a well-structured strength-training program. The gains might come a bit slower to seniors, and attention to good nutrition is paramount, but you can gain strength and muscle at any age.