I thought I’d do something I haven’t done in a while and just post some highlights I’m proud of for August.
Training has been GREAT this month. I look forward to August every month, due to August of Arms. I feel like it’s a chance for me to get away from the stresses of Grip and some of the frustrations of strength training, and just train for me. Almost like a vacation, even though I train just about every day.
I did take off 2 days in August. Both were Sundays. On one of them, I was a bit hung over from too much indulgence the day before and I knew the training was going to suck. The other day, I was extremely busy preparing content for Legtember, which is all ready now and you can pick it up through that link. After shooting 20+ leg videos, editing them, and uploading them for the Legtember exercise index, I was wiped and just couldn’t pull together enough energy for a respectable workout.
Here are some of the lifts I’ve been most happy with this month.
Max Alternated Dumbbell Curl
One of my ultimate goals is to curl 100lb dumbbells. I made a big PR this year, by finally curling my dumbbells that are marked “85s,’ but actually scale out at 91lbs apiece. I’ve tried at least a half dozen times to curl these sons of guns, and never been able to get past parallel position, but they came up pretty strong earlier this month.
Blobzilla + 55lb Anvil by the Heel
I finally seem to have gotten through some index finger injuries. One that came all the way back into last August (2016) from breaking a nail in a strongman show, to the prep for Nationals in June 2017, on the Tips Tester. My fingers just do not like that piece. I haven’t been able to lift Blobzilla many times since about April due to my fingers hurting. The 55lb Anvil by the Heel – I threw that in just for some variety.
Runing Man Dumbbell Biceps Curls Challenge
My endurance has improved well over the course of the month. I really had to take a lot of breaks the first and second time I ran through this. I was “ON,” on this day though. I think I can shave it down to under 2 minutes, if I can manage to get through it with zero rest-breaks.
110 Dumbbell Bench Press x 16 Reps
Until I get heavier dumbbells, I’m shooting to build this up to a set of 20 reps. My long term goal for Dumbbell Bench Press is still 150s for a set of 10. I did a set of 3 near the end of July, while I was on vacation.
I’m extremely please with the results I’ve seen from this month’s arm training, especially in the performance department, and I hope all of you who picked up the August of Arms program are seeing the same kind of thing. I can’t wait until the month is over to get a measurement. I think I have a real good chance to hit the 20″ mark. It will also be re-test day on the 4 main movements, and I can see those going up BIG TIME.
To also have seen some resurgence in my Block Weight Strength, as well as improvement on the Dumbbell Bench Press – those are just sweet, sweet bonuses.
And of course, once September gets here, it’s time for Legtember, brother.
If you want in on that, go here => LEGTEMBER: Make Leg Day Great Again.
Thanks and all the best in your training.
Tags: arm training, arms, august of arms, big arms, bigger arms, build big arms, build bigger arms
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August of Arms
The Funnest Month of Training is Just a Few Days Away, Brotherrrr!
August of Arms 2017 has been updated and is ready to go.
This year’s program is totally overhauled, in an attempt to bring you the best version of August of Arms ever.
What started in 2014 as just “going to the gym and doing whatever random stuff I could think of,” has gradually evolved into a more and more purposeful month of training, which is also full of fun.
This year’s program is based around a new set of Test Lifts. I modified them this year for a few reasons:
- feedback that I’ve gotten from past customers
- changes that I’ve made in my training recently
- to give a change of pace to those who have followed August of Arms the last couple of year
- and I feel they match better to the goal of building BIGGER and STRONGER arms
The training you this month is based around improving your performance in the Test Lifts, helping you build bigger, stronger arms, and get the most out of your training, with purposefully selected exercises.
August of Arms truly is the Ultimate Arm Training Specialization Program.
To give you an idea of some of the new stuff I’ve got planned for you, I thought I’d post some of my own Test Lifts.
The first Test Lift I’d like to share with you is the Bodyweight Close Grip Bench Press. I plugged this one into the August of Arms program because for a time earlier this Spring, I did a mini-run at the 225lb Bench Press for Reps, like is done in the NFL combine. I liked it so much, that I built it into AOA 2017.
Bodyweight Close Grip Bench Press
Here is my official Pre-Test video for the Bodyweight Close Grip Bench Press.
Don’t worry if you can’t do your bodyweight on the Close Grip Bench. I go over some alternatives you can take in August of Arms.
I’ll be sharing more Testing Results as I complete the Pre-Test Lifts for August of Arms.
If you’re ready to build BIGGER, STRONGER Arms, then pick up your copy of August of Arms 2017 today.
All the best in your training.
Tags: aoa, aoa 2017, august of arms, august of arms 2017, build big arms, build big biceps, build bigger arms, build bigger biceps
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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 Update
Today is August 20th, so I did a Re-Measure Day.
To give you a re-cap, I started off the month, just under 19″ by a little bit. On the 10th, I was right around 19.25″, and now, it’s looking like I’m up to about 19.5″.
I gotta say, I think the biggest growth has happened in my triceps, especially my left one. Every so often, I’ll see my tris out of the corner of my eye, and think, “WOAH, they definitely seem bigger.”
Now I wish I would have taken a before and after measurement of my triceps flexed…oh well.
Hey, as small as the growth is, it’s still progress. And I’m beyond PUMPED to see it. This little experiment has worked so far, two years in a row.
I’d love to hear how your progress is going. Please leave a comment below.
If you’d still like to get your copy of the August of Arms Program, the low price of $27 is good through the entire month. Get it today => August of Arms.
You have the right to build BIG ARMS, and you can start doing it today!
All the best in your training.
Tags: "big biceps", biceps, build big arms, build big biceps, build big triceps, build bigger arms, build bigger triceps
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Growing up with a steady feed of wrestling during my younger years, I always wanted to build up my own big set of arms.
Bank Rolls Do Not Build Biceps.
I grew up with guys like Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, the Warlord, the Barbarian, Jimmy Snuka, and other wrestlers who were JACKED beyond belief. So I wanted to be big and muscular, too, with a THICK set of arms.
Unfortunately, I had no weights as a youngster and I was actually kind of lazy in high school, so I didn’t have much chance of building big arms until I was in college, playing baseball at Mansfield University.
That was when I met Scott Costa.
Scott was another one of the first-basemen on the team, and the first day of practice, I was instantly impressed with his muscular development. I had only ever met one dude in real life, before that who was actually muscular.
As a fan of weight training with no idea how to get started, I really looked up to him because I could tell he worked hard and knew what he was doing.
He was also a pretty funny dude. “Look at these aesthetics, Johnson. Aesthetics.”
I didn’t even know what that word meant at the time. All I knew is I wanted to build arms like his…
Once I started lifting, I was always serious about my arm training.
I never made it a habit to miss or skip arm workouts and took my training seriously, even though some people don’t even bother training arms, for whatever reason.
But last year, I decided to raise the intensity up a notch.
I was driving in the car on the way back from New Jersey with my long-time friend in lifting, Brad Martin, and we came up with the idea of training arms every day during the month of August. I’d first seen Dave Depew doing daily arm training, and after I saw his awesome results, I decided I wanted to try it.
So, I started posting about “August of Arms” here on the site, out on Facebook, and on some other forums and websites. Before I knew it, other people were joining in as well.
So, during August of 2014, I trained Arms every single day and I was very happy with the results. I added about an inch to each arm, going from right around 18 to right around 19 inches. I heard from several others who said they saw good gains as well.
But the other thing I kept hearing a lot of was the fact that people wanted a program to follow. Some people felt like they were wandering around aimlessly without some guidance. Some were adding stuff in at the end of the workout and getting tired of the same old stuff. Others felt like they could have gotten better results with more of a plan.
That kind of feedback came to me enough times that I decided I would put something together for August of Arms 2015.
So, for the majority of July, I have been working hard to put together an awesome month of training for you.
August of Arms contains 31 workouts, one for each day of the month of August, to help you both increase your arm size as well as your strength.
While being big has always been an interest of mine, I always liked the idea of building strength along with it too.
And since some people got tired of plugging the same handful of exercises into the end of their workouts last year, I made sure to mix things up this year, adding 69 different exercises into the program.
There’s even more great stuff I packed into the program. If you want to find out more about it, and especially if you want to add Noticeable Mass to your arms this August, be sure to get August of Arms.
All the best in your training.
Tags: "big biceps", arm building, arm training, big arms, bigger arms, build big arms, build bigger arms
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I Love Strength.
I love training for it. I love testing it. I love displaying it.
I’ve aligned everything in my workouts to help me build more strength.
My obsession with strength has led me to turning even the lifts that you wouldn’t normally consider “strength lifts” into legitimate tests of strength and intestinal fortitude.
One such example is the Triceps Rope Pushdown. Generally an exercise used to pump up the triceps and make them grow, I’ve found it can also be used to test the strength throughout much of the upper body.
I don’t bother staying super strict with this. My arms move, I engage my lats, and there is a bit of throw in there, but I don’t care.
The objective is to move so much weight on this old-school cable machine of mine, that I hope to cause a failure in the device somewhere, so that the weight crashes down, cracking the concrete floor, and bits and pieces of shrapnel shoot out everywhere.
I hit this lift and variations of it countless times during the month of October, throughout the Yoketober program. But most of that work was for high volume to build mass. I decided I wanted to see just how heavy I could go.
During most of my Yoketober workouts, I was in the 75lb to 90lb area on this lift. It wasn’t until last week that I finally decide to go after triple digits, working all the way up to 125.
Build Strong Triceps: Heavy Triceps Rope Push-dwons
In the video above, I get 5 reps. That means it’s time to go up in weight, brotherrrr.
Also, take note, I don’t count the first one, where I throw it down to the bottom position. A little decorum, please.
It may seem crazy to do this, but to me it’s not.
I like ramping up the intensity, and I enjoy turning things like this into tests of strength.
What’s awesome is that since my Push-down is plate loadable, there’s really no limit as to how much weight I can use, whereas on most Push-down machines at commercial gyms, you’re limited to the weight stack, and I can usually stack those with no problem.
I will continue to hit these Heavy Push-downs until the weight I use totally destroys my machine, or until I shred the sleeves open on the awesome 3/4 length sleeve tee shirt I wear in the video.
Here’s to you causing serious damage this year as well.
All the best in your training.
Want to Build a Massive Yoke?
Then Check Out YOKETOBER Below
31 Days of Arms – August 2014
Brad Martin and Jedd Johnson
I was recently talking with my old friend, Brad Martin of Titan Strength in Horseheads, NY.
As it turns out, he is just as OBSESSED with Arm Training as I am, and we cam eup with a pretty crazy idea.
Inspired by a friend of mine, Dave Depew, owner of Grinder Gym in San Diego, CA, we are going to embark upon a new training program for the month of August.
We are calling it “31 Days of Arms.”
31 Days of Arms
Starting August 1st, and going through the entire month, every single day we will be hitting some form of Arm Training.
I want to do this to set a foundation for my Arm Training Initiative of reaching 20″ Guns while cold.
What I mean by that is I want to reach the point that my arms are 20inches, just walking around.
Not during the workout, not with a pump, and not after training, but ANYTIME during the day.
Brad and I were talking about it on Facebook and we already have one guy interested in joining us, Nate Gagnon, an Arm Wrestler from New England.
Guidelines for August of Arms
So, do you want to be a part of this “August of Arms” initiative?
If so, leave a comment below or get a hold of me in some other fashion.
Stay Up to Date on August of Arms
And Get More Info on Arm Training
We are going to take before and after pics, measurements, and we are going to document our workouts on Facebook.
I hope to hear from you soon.
All the best in your training.
Tags: "big biceps", arm training, arms, big arms, big triceps, bigger arms, bigger triceps, build arms, build bigger arms, get big arms, get bigger arms
Posted in arm training, build bigger arms, how to build bigger arms, how to build muscle | 1 Comment »
Build Big Arms and Strong Wrists
Superstar Billy Graham
One of my overall goals is to build my arms up to 20″ cold (no pump).
The way I see it, if you are going to get big, you might as well build strength to go along with it.
And if you are going to be strong, then by all means get as big as you can.
With these things in mind, I give you Scale Weight Curls.
A Scale Weight is a block-shaped weight that is used in industrial settings where scales are used.
These weights are calibrated to specific measurements and have handles so that they can be placed on the scale quickly and easily in order to test that a scale is reading accurately.
How to Perform Scale Weight Curls
Scale Weight Curls can be done like any other curl. They can be done free-standing or braced, and can be done in alternating style or both at the same time.
For me, performing them standing has gotten too easy, so I have been doing them in more of a Preacher Curl style, off my Glute Ham Machine. This allows me to keep the movement more concentrated (although cheating is not completely eliminated).
Also, what I look for is to try to keep my wrist in a neutral position throughout the full range of motion. This strengthens the wrist a bit more.
I can usually get up to 3 extra reps per set if I let my wrist buckle, so once I feel that I am losing my neutral position and breaking into ulnar deviation, I generally just stop the set.
Here is a video showing some recent Scale Weight Curls.
Scale Weight Curls
Scale Weights are somewhat hard to come by, because they are a specialized tool, sort of like anvils, and they can be cheap, but I have been lucky enough to score a couple over the years.
Believe me, the collection of grip tools I have amassed has taken me literally years to develop, tons of time to research, and of course, big expenses in order to build.
If you can’t find Scale Weights, another alternative is to try and curl your Kettlebells. Since the kettlebell handle sits out away from the rest of the bell, they will actually be much tougher to curl, and the weights will drop, but you will still get the Leverage Curl effect.
Still, I like the Scale Weight Curl a little better than Kettlebell Curls, just because I can use a bit more weight to challenge the biceps more, while also challenging my wrists.
To take it even further, you can attempt to curl your Scale Weight or Kettlebll in a supinated position. When you do this, you will have to CRUSH DOWN on the handle BIG TIME, or else you won’t be very successful.
I hope you enjoy this variation of Curls.
For more sinister ideas on how to build crazy arm strength, check out Call to Arms.
All the best in your training,
Tags: big arms, build bigger arms, get stronger wrists, get the arms bigger, strengthen wrists, strong arms, strong wrists
Posted in grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, how to buid wrist strength, how to build bigger arms, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve grip strength, how to improve strength, Uncategorized | No Comments »
I love variety in my training.
If I do the same old stuff all the time, I get bored.
Honestly, as good of a lift the Bench Press is for developing upper body strength and putting on muscle, I just can not get “into it.”
Lately, I have been doing a lot more Dips instead.
And, I have been going super heavy on them.
I think you should try Dips Plus Weight too, and today, I am sharing my Top 10 Reasons for why you should use Dips Plus Weight in your Upper Body Training.
10 Reasons to Train Dips Plus Weight
1. Better for Shoulders and Elbows
On most Dip Set-ups, your hands will be in a neutral grip, or close to it. If your shoulders are beat up, this will take pressure off them. If your elbows are beat up, this will give them a break. Less distraction from pain, better effort during the exercise!
2. Freedom of Movement for the Shoulder Blades
When you lie on a bench, the shoulder blades are restricted in their movement. When you perform Dips, the scapulae can move freely. Again, if you are feeling beat up, this can give your body a chance to recover while still training hard.
3. Better for the Back
If you have lower back issues, a hard arch of the lumbar spine can really cause you problems. Believe me, I know. But with Dips, you actually experience a degree of traction, and the back can feel better. I talk more about how dips can make the back feel better here.
4. No spotter needed
When you are going heavy on the Bench you want NO DOUBTS whatsoever. It is a lot easier to do this if you have a spotter. No spotter, and you are taking a risk. You don’t even need a spotter with Dips. If you miss, you just drop down to the floor or foot platform.
5. Better Stretch for the Chest
One key aspect of lifting weights is getting the muscles to stretch under tension. This results in microtrauma that our body must repair, making us bigger and stronger. With Dips, I feel a better stretch than with Bench Press, and if you pay attention to your form closely, I think you will feel this too.
6. Works the Triceps Big Time
Just like the Bench Press, Dips will hit the triceps hard too. Depending on how wide the handles are and how you angle and load your body, you can also switch up how hard the triceps get hit by the movement.
7. Add Weight with Belts or Chains
You might not have tried this, but you can add a lot of weight to your body for Dips. You can use a Dip Belt and hang Kettlebells, Inch Dumbbells, Weight Plates or a Loading Pin from it. You can also use Weight Vests, Chains, and other forms of weight to your body to progressively overload Dips and keep your body growing.
8. Dynamic Stability for the Grip
I like the stability aspect that Dips require. You need to grip the handles harder in order to keep your balance, especially when you are loaded with a dynamic load, such as weight from a Dip Belt, or Chains around the neck/shoulders. Your hands get good solid work from Dips when you go heavy.
9. Improve Speed
You’ll quickly notice when training Heavy Dips that SPEED is your FRIEND. Being explosive out of the whole will get you more reps with heavy weight, and help you build more muscle and strength.
10. Deload the Body from Bench
If you are feeling beat up from the Bench, make Dips your primary lift for a couple of weeks. When you go back to it, your body will feel refreshed and ready to set new PR’s on the Bench Press.
Here is a recent video of 1RM Dip Plus Weight from the Grip Monsters Challenge. While super tough, I felt no pain in either of these attempts in my shoulders or chest, which is something I could never say about Bench Press.
Dip Plus Weight: 442.8 Total Lbs
Obviously, you don’t have to go adding close to 200 pounds to your body to get great benefit out of dips. Instead, start lower and go up. I think you will be happy with your results.
Dip Plus Weight Training Plan
Try this ramp-up for Dips Plus Weight.
Week 1: Bodyweight Only. 3 Sets of 20
Week 2: 25lbs Weight Added. 3 Sets of 15
Week 3: 50lbs Weight Added. 3 Sets of 10
Week 4: 50lbs Weight Added. 4 Sets of 12
Week 5: Deload
Week 6: Return to Bench or Dips + 25lbs 3 Sets of 20, and so on.
Enjoy your Dips and all the best in your training.
P.S. Due to an ordering error, I am overstocked on copies of the Nail Bending DVD. Through this weekend, you can get your copy and save $10. Click below for the Nail Bending DVD. ONLY 20 COPIES AVAILABLE
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