So why don’t you have big muscular arms? For some readers, it’s simply because they’ve never tried. But I’m betting that’s not the case for the majority of people who are reading this. Rather, my guess is that most readers have tried and failed, some again and again, attempt after attempt. I take my hat off to you guys, because you’re reading this and refuse to give up.
But why did you fail? That’s easy–it’s because you’ve been misled, pure and simple. Let me explain by going over the two most popular places you probably got your muscle-building misinformation, starting with…
I’ve been consistently working out at gyms all over the world since the fall of 1984, and let me tell you that this is the last place you should ever expect to get reliable muscle-building information. There are exceptions, but they are few. Here’s the problem.
Say you want to get big arm muscles, so, quite logically, you join a gym. That’s a step in the right direction, no doubt about it, however it’s there that one of two fateful things will usually happen. Either you will get weight training tips from a staff member there, or even worse, a personal trainer. Both are equally as bad, because both will fill your head with a bunch of bodybuilding nonsense. A few claim to be “certified”, although who certified the certifier is the first question you should be asking yourself.
Occasionally you might run into someone who has a degree in exercise science, or a student working on one, but since the scientific literature has yet to test the right strength training principles systematically, the information they offer you is simply not going to work for you for very long. Let’s face it, if it had, you wouldn’t be sitting here reading this.
The Big Guys in the Gym
Walk into the gym, look around, and in 30 seconds you know who these guys are–who could miss ‘em? They’re the ones that look like small gorillas–and also sound like primates when they’re throwing huge weights around. They’re the rock stars of the gym, the guys everybody else wants to be. Their muscles are huge and ripped, admired by all.
But here’s yet another pit a lot of people fall into. I call it the “When in Rome, do what the Romans do” trap. If these guys are that big, they must be doing something right, I mean they must have it figured out, look at them. So, quite logically, you do what they do. If they’re doing an exercise a certain way, you try it that way. If they’re doing 5 sets of arm curls, then you try 5 sets of arm curls. Makes sense, right? Wrong!
As strange as what I’m about to tell you might seem, it’s just a fact: of all the people you’ll ever meet, these guys are your biggest sources of misinformation. You read it right, misinformation.
Whoa. Wait a minute. These guys are huge. They’ve reached the top. Most guys would give their eyeteeth to have those muscles–so how could they not know what they’re doing?
That’s an easy one. If you see a huge guy in the gym, you can safely bet that Mr. Potato Head has big muscles due to one of two reasons (or both). Either the guy was just plain lucky and has good genetics, or he takes steroids, or has good genetics and takes steroids. This makes him the absolute last person you should ever be taking weightlifting advice from. Simply put, because you’re not him, what works for him will not work for you. I suggest taking advice from the “big guys” in the gym if you also like beating your head against walls. Advice from bodybuilding magazines, high school coaches and friends are almost always a dead end as well.
The Biggest Secret to Making Your Muscles Bigger
Alright, pay attention because I’m going to explain to you the biggest secret to making muscles bigger. Ready? Okay. The deal is, it all has to do with your exercise tolerance. And if you understand your exercise tolerance, you will finally be able to get your muscles to grow in a predictable manner.
In a nutshell, if you lift weights intensely, and stay within your exercise tolerance, the muscles are stimulated to grow, and are able to, because you gave them a chance by not doing too much–and so they are able to recover and get bigger.
On the other hand, if you lift weights intensely, and don’t stay within your exercise tolerance, the muscles are still stimulated to grow, but are unable to, because you did too much–so they’re unable to recover and get bigger. It’s just that straightforward. So where do people go wrong?
One of the biggest things that throws everybody off, is the failure to realize that exercise tolerance in fact varies from person to person. The truth of the matter, is that how much exercise you can tolerate before you start overtraining (and in turn stop growing) is determined largely by your genetics.
Perhaps the best way to get this point across is to think of your exercise tolerance the same way as your sun tolerance. Some people can lay out in the sun for two hours and turn golden brown. For others, two hours in the sun means third degree burns and a trip to the ER.
It’s no different when it comes to your exercise tolerance. Some people can go to the gym, do 5 sets of curls, recover, and get bigger. No problem. These are the individuals who have a genetically high exercise tolerance, or are taking steroids which speeds up the recovery process. Either way, they have a high exercise tolerance.
Then there’s your average guys who are the exact opposite and at the other end of the spectrum. If they do 5 sets of curls like the big guys, their muscles can’t recover as quickly, and so their muscles fail to grow. Big problem. There’s absolutely no question that they’re working every bit as hard as the big guys, the only difference is that they don’t get nearly the payout for all their hard work–simply because they have a low exercise tolerance and need more time to recover.
As I said at the beginning, you’ve been fed a lot of misinformation, which is why you don’t already have big arms. However that can all change now, because you’re finally starting to get the missing pieces of the puzzle when it comes to making your arms grow– and staying within your exercise tolerance is a big one. Learn more about getting bigger arms doing one 4-minute workout once a week in Smokin' Hot Guns!!: How an Average Guy Can Get Big, Muscular Arms In One Workout A Week.