If you're ready to pack on upper body muscle, try Bill Pearl's arm workout. A bodybuilder who was as strong as he looked, Bill Pearl developed a highly successful training program that impressed even elite powerlifters and strongmen. Bill Pearl designed this 15-week program to add slabs of muscle to the biceps and triceps.
This arm program consists of three workouts that build upon the success of the previous one. The first training cycle lasts 6 weeks, the second 5 weeks, and the third 4 weeks.
3 times/week (6-Week Phase)
- Triceps Pressdown, 3 sets x 8 reps
- Lying Barbell Triceps Extension, 3 x 8
- Triceps Dip on Bars, 3 x 10-12
- Barbell Curl, 3 x 8
- Incline Dumbbell Curl, 3 x 8
- Standing Dumbbell Curl, 3 x 8
3 times/week (5-Week Phase)
- Seated Dumbbell Curl, 3 x 8
- Incline Barbell Triceps Extension, 4 x 8
- Lying Dumbbell Curl, 3 x 8
- Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension, 4 x 8
- Dumbbell Concentration Curl, 3 x 8
- Dumbbell French Press, 4 x 8
3 times/week (4-Week Phase)
- Standing Barbell French Press, 4 x 8
- Lying Barbell Triceps Extension, 4 x 8
- Standing One Arm Dumbbell French Press, 4 x 8
- Incline Dumbbell Curl, 3 x 8
- Incline Inners, 3 x 8
- Pumping Concentration Curl, 3 x 15
The Incline Inner is a unique biceps exercise that few people know how to perform. Here's how to do it:
Set up as if you are doing an incline dumbbell curl. Hold dumbbells at arms' length with the elbows pointed in toward your body and the palms facing out. Curl the dumbbells up while keeping your forearms in line with the sides of your shoulders. Lower the dumbbells in the same pattern as you raised them. You may notice a stretching feeling in the deltoid muscle, which may be uncomfortable. If this is the case, try raising your head up off the bench slightly.
Pumping Concentration Curl
Pearl was a fan of the pump and used methods that drove blood to the muscles he was training. For example, in the Pumping Concentration Curl, you keep tension on the biceps for 15 seconds at the top position.
Training Guidelines For Bill Pearl's Arm Workouts
Pearl insists on performing every rep and every set as strictly as possible, striving for “complete extension and contraction on each movement.” Start each new workout by using lights weights to ensure you are using proper form. Inhale at the beginning of each movement and exhale at the finish.
Pearl uses a precise approach to increasing weights. In his own words, here is how describes a typical progression, using the triceps pressdown as an example.
“Start with 50 lbs. and do 3 sets of the required repetitions. I would do this same weight for the first three workouts. On my fourth workout, I would do 2 sets with the 50 lbs. and 1 set with 60 lbs. For my fifth workout I would do 1 set with 50 lbs. and 2 sets with 60 lbs. On the sixth workout I would do all my sets with 60 lbs.”
If you want bigger arms, give Bill Pearl's arm workout a try. But don't neglect the rest of your body. Give just as much attention to your lower body to achieve the symmetrical physique sported by Pearl.