How to Avoid Chest Pain from Benching
Every so often, my shoulders and pec tie-ins are sore, on Chest Day.
This kind of stinks, because one of my overall goals is to build my Dumbbell Bench Press to a set of 10 with 150lbs (which I fell very short on last year).
However, I found a nice variation that I can do without pain, and I want to share it with you today.
Pain in the Chest – Try This Benching Variation
Give this variation a try – it BLOWS the chest up BIG TIME and leaves your Triceps completely wasted.
All the best in your training.
Tags: build a big chest, build a bigger chest, build chest size, chest building, increase chest size
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Tags: big arms, bigger forearms, build big forearms, build bigger forearms, forearm, forearms
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The official August of Arms period has come and gone, so I wanted to share with you my results.
First off, I’ll say that August was an absolute mess for me, as far as Arm Training goes.
A new contest, Living Legends, where big money was at stake, required a proper deload period, so I did no training for several days during the month.
I also hurt my right index finger early in the month, which made several exercises impossible without substantial pain, so I was relegated to repeating many exercises more times than I’d like.
On top of that, I couldn’t even train the Close-Grip Bench Press, one of the benchmark lifts of August of Arms.
All of this resulted in poorer overall performance than I have seen the last two years.
But hey, sometimes stuff happens and you have the make the most of what you can do and just move on.
August of Arms 2016 – Measurements
I failed to do pre-measurements of my biceps at the beginning of the month, so I do not know where I started the month (another mistake I made), although I do know that in March I measured my arms and both were right around 18.5 inches.
I ended this month at right around 19″ for both arms.
August of Arms 2016 – 135lb Barbell Curls – Max Reps
The first test was Barbell Curls with 135lbs for as many reps as possible.
I began the month with 7 reps on the 135lb Barbell Curl for Max Reps.
I was able to improve to 9 reps by month’s end. You’ll see the reps are much quicker at the end of the month, as technique improved, as well as strength.
August of Arms 2016 – 30lb French Press x 100 reps AFAP
This drill, while the lightest weight, is actually probably the hardest to get through, because the pump is pretty significant and the dynamic nature lights my triceps insertions up. I started the month off with a finish of 2:09.
By the end of the month, I saw a very decent improvement, completing all 100 reps in 1:50.
August of Arms 2016 – Poundstone Curls – Barbell x 100 reps AFAP
The next test was Poundstone Curls – curling an empty barbell for 100 reps as fast as possible without setting the barbell down.
To my surprise, without working the Poundstone Curl since last August or September, probably, I was able to get all the way to 100 reps without any breaks or pauses, motoring straight through in 2:00 flat. This was the fastest I’ve ever gotten this, according to my spotty records.
I was able to do the same thing at the end of the month, as well, shooting straight through all 100 reps in 1:38, just completely blowing away all the previous attempts I’ve ever taken.
The 4th test, which I didn’t do, was the Close Grip Bench Press. My pec insertions felt like they were on fire when I did a warm-up set of 225 at the beginning of the month, so I completely waived that off and didn’t do any Close Grip Press training during the month, although I did do some Dumbbell Crush Press throughout the month, which never hurt at all.
So, to wrap up, while I was disappointed in my arm measurement by the end of the month, it’s pretty hard to be upset with improvement across the board on the testing lifts.
There’s no doubt that August of Arms works, since all three years my performance measures went up and all three years I saw size improvements.
Want Bigger Arms? THIS is Your Program
I’ll also say that this is the best my arms have felt in a while. Last year, I did something to my left biceps and forearm doing a heavy set of Reverse EZ Bar Curls, either near the tail end of August or sometime in September, and that bothered me for a looooong time. As a result, I didn’t do much arm work during the end of 2015 and throughout 2016, because so many movements irritated those areas.
The biggest disappointment for me though, was the fact I missed so many days. Sure, some of them were for good reasons, like the off-time I took to re-energize for Living Legends, but there were still a few days where I just didn’t get the work in.
The first day I missed stung me really bad, and felt like an absolute heel. Then the deload took place, when I was trying to get my index finger healed up, and with each day of no arm training, the sting was a little less, a little less, a little less.
It reminded me of skipping leg days back in college. You do it 2 or 3 Fridays in a row, and it gets easier to do every single time.
I don’t like that feeling, and thankfully, once Living Legends was done, I was able to get back in the groove. By the end of the month, I felt like a steam engine train, ready to conquer every corner and hill in my path, and I feel I finished on a high note.
In fact, I’m feeling very motivated to keep the arm work going.
I REALLY want 20″ arms.
The plan going forward is to hit biceps twice a week, and triceps, once a week.
The plan is to hit biceps on Mondays and Saturdays. Triceps will be Thursday or Friday mornings, along with Back, depending on which day it falls on.
I’m going to continue to work on a combination of Biceps Strength, which heavier weights and lower reps, and Biceps Volume with lower weights, higher reps, often done in combinations of 2 or 3 exercises.
I think with that sort of set-up, I’ll have plenty of time to recover between each arm workout, so I’ll be able to attack Arms hard on each of those days.
I’ll also do my best to re-measure every 2 weeks and re-test on Poundstone and 135lb Barbell Curls the last week of each month. I’m gonna have to choose a different Triceps exercise or two for those tests, since the Close Grips are bothering my pec and the One Arm French Press were bothering my Triceps tendons.
Stay tuned for more intense arm training coming your way soon.
All the best.
Is WRIST PAIN Holding Back Your Arm Training?
FIX IT with This Program:
August of Arms isn’t just about doing a bunch of volume in order to get the arms to swell up and get a bigger measurement. It’s also about building strength in addition to the size.
With that in mind, August of Arms has 4 separate testing exercises built into it based around performance.
So far, I have knocked out two of these. Unfortunately, I tried to do Bodyweight Close Grip Bench Press, and I couldn’t do it without pain. Something just wasn’t feeling right. But, I did take care of 2 out of the other 3: 135lb Barbell Curls for Max Reps and 30lb One Arm French Press for 100 reps, alternating as needed.
135lb Barbell Curls for Max Reps
30lb French Press – 100 Reps AFAP, Alternating Arms as Needed
The last test lift for me, Poundstone Curls, involves curling an empty 45lb Barbell for 100 reps as fast as possible. I haven’t tried this since last year at the end of August, so it’s gonna be interesting!
So, now the baselines are established, and it’s time to work my ass off throughout the rest of the month, to see increases in SIZE, STRENGTH, and ENDURANCE.
Stay tuned for more updates.
For more information on August of Arms, click the banner below.
All the best in your training,
August of Arms 2015
August of Arms, the month where we train arms in some form or fashion all 31 days during the month of August, is complete.
I first got the idea of training arms for a month straight from Dave Depew, an arm-wrestler friend of mine out in California. With the results he saw last year, I just HAD to try it and went for it wholeheartedly in August of 2014, and encouraged others around the world to join in via Facebook and other Social Media.
August of Arms 2014 was such a success, having added very nearly 1 full inch on my arms during August last year, I decided I was going to do it again in 2015. Only this time, since so many people asked me to provide workouts for them, I put together an entire month of workouts for August of Arms 2015.
I am getting reports in from others, slowly but surely, and will be posting them here on the site soon, but before I get to that, I wanted to show you my personal results first.
August of Arms – The Beginning
To begin, I started out the month, just a shade under 19 inches for each arm, which is extremely close to where I ended last year. A lot of people were of the thinking the gains wouldn’t stay, but it is apparent that they did from August 31, 2014 to August 1, 2015.
Unfortunately, I can’t find the pictures I took of my arms at the beginning of the month…
August of Arms – Re-Measure Days
I did 2 re-measure days on August 10th and August 20th. On the 10th, I noted an increase of roughly 1/4″ on each arm, and by the 20th, I saw another 1/4″ added for 1/2″ total, two-thirds of the way through the month.
Here are the posts where I showed my re-measure pics:
With August coming a close, I did my 3rd re-measure day on August 31st, and the final measure is in the video below.
August of Arms – Performance Emphasis
In addition to sheer size increases, I also set the program up to increase overall strength, using high-resistance, low-rep strength endurance as well as low-resistance, high-rep strength endurance, in order to put an emphasis on increasing performance, on top of the overall size.
For these tests, I chose 4 exercises:
- Biceps High Weight Strength Endurance: 135-lb Barbell Curl for Max Reps
- Biceps Low Weight Strength Endurance: Poundstone 100-rep Barbell Curls AFAP
- Triceps High Weight Strength Endurance: Close Grip Bench with Bodyweight for Max Reps
- Triceps Low Weight Strength Endurance: 30lb 1 Arm French Press – 100 Reps AFAP
August of Arms – Before and After
In the below section, you’ll see the initial baseline test for each lift, followed by the re-test performance.
Part 1: Triceps High Weight Strength Endurance: Close Grip Bench with Bodyweight for Max Reps
Part 2: Biceps High Weight Strength Endurance: 135-lb Barbell Curl for Max Reps
Part 3: Triceps Low Weight Strength Endurance: 30lb 1 Arm French Press – 100 Reps AFAP
Part 4: Biceps High Weight Strength Endurance: 135-lb Barbell Curl for Max Reps (Again)
Part 5: Biceps Low Weight Strength Endurance: Poundstone 100-rep Barbell Curls AFAP
Part 6: The Measurements
As you can see, August of Arms 2015 was a success for me, in the way of size and strength (with the exception of the Barbell Curls). You’ll also see that August of Arms 2015 was also a success for many other individuals.
Just because August is over, don’t think you still can’t keep doing “August of Arms.” Some people got into it late and are yet to finish, so I expect to hear from more people about their gains and improvements.
Also, lifters are still picking up their copies of August of Arms in order to put together their month-long trek of Arm Training Specialization.
If you haven’t picked up August of Arms yet, it’s still available, and you can pick it up by clicking here: August of Arms – Arm Specialization Training.
Be sure to send in YOUR results from August of Arms when you’ve finished the program as well.
All the best in your training.
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