Sunday, June 24, 2012

Carving out Sculpted Arms

From time to time I receive emails from would be T-Tappers who currently lift weights and are afraid of losing their hard earned muscle mass. The good news is that you can have your cake and eat it too when it comes to T-Tapp arms. You will just need to be smart about it.

First you need to know what kind of muscle gainer you are. I can think about lifting a weight and gain muscle (easy gainer) while at the other extreme there are women who fight for every inch of pump they put on their body (hard gainer).

Obviously if you're an easy gainer and want to keep some mass you have less to worry about than if you are a hard gainer. In truth, for the hardest of gainers the perfect mix may just be combining T-Tapp arm movements with a weight training plan.

That can get a bit tricky and I like things that are simple so for my money the good old fashioned push-up is the way to go.

No equipment needed, variations for all levels of strength, works multiple muscle groups and since it's weight bearing it's bone friendly. (T-Tapp is also bone friendly but that's an entirely different post.)

The only downside is that you can get hurt doing pushups. Pushups shoulder intensive and since shoulders are our most mobile joint something had to give. The shoulders have traded stability to gain that mobility.

You can find an excellent article with form tips HERE.

I am a strong believer that you shouldn't bring your chest all the way to mat during pushups. This may be fine if you have a large chest but in my case doing this means that I am putting quite a stretch on my anterior shoulder area. I honestly can't think of a single thing to be gained from doing this but do know that it could set even the strongest person up for injury.

I am also not a big fan of 100 pushup challenges. Forcing yourself to max out on pushups is a recipe for injury. 2 pushups done in perfect form are going to carry less chance of injury and bring you more benefit than 100 reps where you do the first 2 perfectly and then slowly but surely experience form erosion with each additional rep. Potential for injury goes up exponentially and if that isn't enough to stop you there is the fact that you very well may not get the look you're after.

When mixing T-Tapp arms with pushups I recommend you do at least PBS as a warm-up, follow that with your pushups and finally finish up with T-Tapp arms and arm circles. In, Out, Down, Dirty, Sculpted Arms - mass preserved.

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