Arms & Abs


Ed, double bicep pose

Arms and abs, what do these two body parts have in common? Most athletes that have razor sharp abs have less than impressive arms, while hulks with massive arms seldom have any visible abs. So you ask what is the connection?

Abs and arms are the two show off muscles everyone looks at. Wear a tank top or T-shirt and everyone checks out your pipes. Take your shirt off to mow the lawn or catch some rays and your neighbor will be grading your abs from six-pack to keg. In addition to eye turning status these two muscle groups can form an important correlation to a better body.

Before skin caliper testing I had a simple but effective muscle to fat gauge. Every morning I weighted myself (still do) then I would measure my flexed bicep as well as my waist. The object of my training and diet was to increase my arm girth while decreasing my waist size. This has the effect of increasing your muscle to fat percentage.

Ed, single bicep pose

Now you can obtain low body fat percentage by decreasing dramatically your waist size with no regard to losing some arm size. You can also increase your percentage of muscle by allowing yourself to gain some fat (larger waist) along with your muscle gains. I do not agree to the above two options for a better body. To me they seem like a short term, quick fix that is not a lasting body improvement.

Big and smooth as compared to ripped but anorexic are the two schools of thought we find propagated in many publications. The above two philosophy do not represent long term, healthy muscular development.

To illustrate a better alternative, let me give a personal example. At 21 years of age my flexed bicep was 13 inches and my waist was 34 inches. Twenty-nine years later my arm is 16 inches and my waist is 28 inches. Grade your progress by these two measurements and you are on your way to a lasting improvement.

Now don’t get me wrong, you need to train your whole body. These two measurements are just windows into your muscular development and fat loss. You will not believe the improvement your physique takes on when you simultaneously add ¼ inches on to your arms while losing ½ inch off your waist. I have successfully added 3 inches onto my arms while stripping 6 inches off my waist. It has been only within the last 3 years that I have found this important correlation. Check out your measurements then decide to add and subtract for a better body.