Give Your Arms a 21 Gun Salute

by Joe Lawrence | May 4th, 2015 | Strength Training, Upper Body

woman strong arm (400x400)I have said this many, many times in the past…I love working arms. For me there are not many other muscle groups that you can isolate as easily as arms. When you walk away from an arm workout, you know you hit your targeted muscles.

Really there are three major muscles to work with your arms: forearms, biceps and triceps. All of which can be isolated very easily. There is a strategy I am going to share in this post. I am not going to assign a routine; rather give you the blueprint.

For starters, I like to use arms to break up a routine’s monotony. We all hit that wall and want a break from the structured routine we have been loyal to for the past month. Arms are a great weapon to level those barriers. Instead of doing the routine, I look ahead to the next 48 hours and discern which muscle in my arms I can work without messing up the whole week. For example if I have chest exercises the next day, I would stay away from triceps as that could affect the routine or if I am doing lots of back exercises with cable pull downs or something that biceps would harm, stay away from that too.

Once I determine the best muscle or muscles that are safe, I hit the weights. When it comes to arms, I do the 21 gun salute. Basically, I do 21 sets of arm exercises. Whether it is seven exercises with three sets each or three exercises with seven sets each…does not matter. The key is to do 21 sets total. On a perfect day, I would do three bicep exercises and three tricep exercises with three sets a piece. This would be a total of nine for biceps and nine for triceps leaving three more sets to a forearm exercise. On a non-perfect day, I have done all 21 sets with just one muscle group.

The very last set of each grouping is a go until failure set. So if I have been using 40 lbs dumb bells to do curls for 8-10 reps, I am going to drop this down to 30 lbs (roughly 25 percent) and go until my arms say ‘no.’ After this, I usually regret it immediately as my arms are screaming. However, it changes the pace for the muscles and the results are hard to argue with.

The next time you are looking for a great arm workout or just to break up a tedious routine do not take the day off, instead do a 21 gun salute.

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