Shocking Guns

Sep 12, 2012
Shocking Guns

Get Amazing Arms and a detailed outline on Training by Eric Broser


After my last competition in November of 2008 I received a lot of positive feedback about my physique and just how much it had improved from my previous outing. Clients, friends and family who were either at the show or viewed photos afterward mentioned over and over just how wide my back looked, how small my waist was, how much overall mass I carried, and more than anything, how my pecs reminded them of the one and only Arnold (and that would be Schwarzenegger, not Palmer). However, unlike past years I did not hear very many comments about my arms. This was unusual and actually concerned me, as I had always felt that my arms were pretty darn big, and certainly worthy of selling at least a few dozen tickets to the “gun show!” Consequently I decided to carefully review the contest pictures myself so that I could evaluate where my bis and tris stood in relation to the rest of my physique. In my opinion symmetry and aesthetics are more important than anything else, and thus this is something I have always carefully kept an eye on while sculpting my body in the gym. Apparently, however, after meticulously examining my photos I realized that my arms had in fact fallen a bit behind, especially in relation to the size of my chest and shoulders, which grew tremendously during 2008. The disparity was most noticeable in my both my side chest and front lat spread poses, where my pecs and delts appeared to literally “swallow up” my arms, making them look almost weak in comparison. This was totally unacceptable to me, and I vowed then and there that the next time I step onstage I would be reloaded with bigger, better guns!


For me, the process began with a careful examination of my biceps and triceps, as well as forearms, with the goal being to discover exactly where on my arms the weak points were located. By doing this I was able to better strategize which exercises would be the focus of my routine, as I never look to add size haphazardly, but rather as “proportionately” as possible. After looking at my arms from a multitude of angles I realized that I needed to work on my outer biceps head, as well as the “peak.” As for triceps, the major weakness laid in the long, inner head…also known as the tris “under sweep.” I was also dissatisfied with the thickness of my upper forearms as well, which meant that my brachioradialis and forearm flexors needed some extra attention. With this information in hand, here is a list of exercises that would make up my “Project Big-Guns” arsenal for the next year:




-CG BB/Low Cable Curls

-Seated Incline DB Curl

-EZ -Bar 90 Degree Preacher Curls

-DB 90 Degree Preacher Curls

-Standing or Seated Concentration DB Curls

-Laying Overhead Cable Curls*




-Seated or Incline Overhead BB/DB Extensions

-Seated Single Arm DB Overhead Extensions

-Bent Overhead Rope Cable Extensions

-Elbows-Out V-Bar Pushdowns

-CG Bench Press

-Elbows-Out Smith High CG Bench Press**

-Face High Single Arm Cable Tri Extensions***




-Reverse BB Curls

-Standing Alternating Hammer Curls

-Cross Body Hammer DB Curls

-Seated Concentration Hammer Curls

-BB Reverse Wrist Curls


*Lying Overhead Cable Curls: This unique exercise is my personal favorite for a targeted assault on the brachialis (which when developed will increase the biceps’ “peak”). Begin by placing a flat bench in front of a weight stack on one side of a cable crossover machine. Make sure that the bench is at least a foot or so away from the stack, as the goal here is to make your arms appear more like mountains, not to put a mountain-sized lump on your head (LOL)! Attach a short straight bar to the upper pulley, lie down, and plant your feet firmly on the floor. Have someone hand you the bar as trying to grab it yourself is a bit awkward on this exercise. Start with your arms perfectly straight and then begin curling the bar both down and back, so that at the full contraction point, the bar is actually behind your head. As you curl you will need to draw your elbows back slightly and tip your head forward just a bit in order to achieve this exaggerated range of motion. At the bottom hold the squeeze for 1-2 seconds and then return the bar under control to the starting position. Note: as a variation, this exercise can also be performed seated, facing an upper cable pulley. In this case you would hold your arms straight overhead, and again curl the bar down and back to full contraction.


** Elbows-Out High Smith CG Bench Press:  Lie on a flat bench as you would with regular CG presses, but slide your body forward so that the bar is just about even with your chin. Take a close grip on the bar, but instead of keeping your elbows tucked close to your body, rotate them outward until the upper arm is perpendicular to your torso. Of course this will also rotate the position of your hands on the bar as well, so be very careful about taking your grip, because with this exercise it will almost be as if the bar is simply “lying” on your palms. This is why I perform these on a smith machine, so there less chance of the bar rolling out of my hands. Once you are in position, un-rack the bar from the safeties and lower it slowly until it reaches a point just below your chin before carefully, but forcefully pressing to the top. Locking out is not really possible with this movement, so there will be constant tension on the tris throughout the set. You will likely only need about ½ to 2/3 of your normal CG Bench Press poundage with this alternate version.

*** Face High Single Arm Cable Tri Extensions: As a trainer/coach I am very similar to the great Charles Glass in that I am constantly looking for new angles that will hit the muscles in a unique way. This takes some experimentation, but once I find that perfect groove, hitting the muscle just where I want to, I smile wide, knowing I have found another training “gem.” This is one of those movements, and it has quickly become my favorite triceps isolation exercise! In order to perform it properly you will need access to an adjustable pulley system, so that you can set it up at a height that is just about even with your chin. Grab the end of the pulley with no bar or handle attached (if it has a rubber ball near the end that is the perfect spot) and turn your body 90 degrees to the left, so that your left foot is now the one closest to the machine (this is in order to work the right arm). Bring your arm up so that your biceps is up between chin and nose height, and at full stretch your fist is almost back by your left shoulder. Then, without moving the elbow, forcefully straighten your arm until the triceps is fully contracted. Squeeze hard and then slowly return to the starting position. Turn your body around and repeat with your left arm. This is one that you can play around with, changing the angle of the elbow just slightly so that the forearm moves in an upward, downward, or straight plane. Each method gives the exercise a somewhat unique feel and exhausts a different set of motor unit pools.

Once the exercises were in place it was time to turn my attention to just how I would proceed to train my guns. Now, unless you live under a rock, or just flew in from outer space, you are sure to know that I am the developer and pioneer of two different (but synergistic) training programs – P/RR/S and FD/FS – both of which would be called upon to help me add some beef onto my pipes. However, because my plan was to specialize on arms, I used a different rotation of the two methodologies than I did with other body parts, as well as unique applications of each. “Do what you have always done and you will get what you always got,” is a saying that certainly applied here, and thus, I knew my bis and tris needed a somewhat new prescription. With that in mind, this is how I set up my week to week arm-attack!

Week 1: POWER


Week 3: FDFS


Week 5: POWER


Week 7: FDFS


Week 9: POWER


Week 11: FDFS


Week 13: No arm training


*repeat above cycle


Because it would take up far too much space to give you an example from all twelve weeks above, I decided to refer back to my training journal and list for Iron Man readers several of my “10” workouts! What exactly is a “10” workout you ask? Well, after each of my workouts I give them a rating on a scale of 1-10, judged by how well I perceived the workout to be in terms of effectiveness, intensity, drive and focus…or in other words, just how well “I kicked ass in the gym!” And although all of my workouts are done with serious “purpose,” these are a few that stood out as perfect “10’s.”


The FDFS “Massacre”


-CG BB Curl…3 x 3-4 (8/0/X tempo)

-60 Degree Seated Incline DB Curl…3 x 5-7 (2/4/X tempo)

-Laying Overhead Cable Curls…1 x 25-30 (1/0/1 tempo)

-Cross Body Hammer DB Curls…1 x 25-30 (1/0/1 tempo)

-Elbows-Out Smith High CG Bench Press …4 x 3-4 (8/0/X tempo)

-Incline Overhead EZ Bar Extension…3 x 5-7 (2/4/X tempo)

-Elbows-Out V-Bar Pushdowns …2 x 25-30 (1/0/1 tempo)




The Advanced SHOCK Techniques “Terror”


-Standing Low Cable Curl (1 and ½ Reps)…2 x 8-10

-EZ-Bar 90 Degree Preacher Curl (with eccentric pauses)…2 x 6-8

-70 Degree Seated Incline DB Curl (with X-reps)…1 x 8-10 + max X-reps

-CG Bench Press (1 and ½ reps)…2 x 8-10

-Seated Two Arms Overhead DB Extension (with eccentric pauses)…2 x 6-8

-Face High Single Arm Cable Tri Extensions (with X-reps)…2 x 8-10 + max X-reps


The Reverse REP RANGE “Ripper”


-Reverse BB Curl…1 x 16-20

-CG BB Curl…2 x 13-15

-70 Degree Seated Incline DB Curl…2 x 10-12

-Seated Concentration Curl…2 x 7-9

-Elbows-Out V-Bar Pushdowns…2 x 16-20

-Bent Overhead Rope Cable Extensions…2 x 13-15

-Elbows-Out Smith High CG Bench Press…2 x 10-12

-Seated Single Arm Overhead DB Extension…2 x 7-9


The ADD-ON-SETS “Scorcher”


-EZ -Bar 90 Degree Preacher Curls…1 x 8-10

-Superset: EZ -Bar 90 Degree Preacher Curls/60 Degree Seated Incline DB Curl…2 x 8-10

-Triset: EZ -Bar 90 Degree Preacher Curls/60 Degree Seated Incline DB Curl/Laying Overhead Cable Curl…1 x 8-10

-Seated Overhead EZ-Bar Extension…1 x 8-10

-Superset: Seated Overhead EZ-Bar Extension/CG Bench Press…1 x 8-10

-Triset: Seated Overhead EZ-Bar Extension/CG Bench Press/ Bent Overhead Rope Cable Extensions …1 x 8-10

-Giant Set: Seated Overhead EZ-Bar Extension/CG Bench Press/ Bent Overhead Rope Cable Extensions/ Elbows-Out V-Bar Pushdowns …1 x 8-10


The POWER “Pounder”


-CG BB Curl…3 x 4-6

-Standing Alternating Hammer Curls…2 x 4-6

-DB 90 Degree Preacher Curls…2 x 4-6

-CG Bench Press…3 x 4-6

-Incline Overhead BB Extensions…3 x 4-6

-Elbows-Out V-Bar Pushdowns…2 x 4-6


In little over a year on this “Gotta-Get-Guns” program I have managed to add a full inch to my arms without increasing my off season bodyweight, so I know these gains are pure muscle! My hope is to add an additional ¼ to ½ inch or so before I begin preparation for the 2010 contest season. Right now I am extremely pleased with how my arms have progressed, and thus will now employ the saying, “If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it!” So in other words, it’s time to put in some more of my level “10” workouts and turn my pistols into truly “SHOCKING GUNS!”


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