I decided to adopt the famous Arnold press every day for a week with the aim of sculpting a pair of shoulders that even Arnie would be proud of, and feed my curiosity – could it make a difference to my shoulders?
But curiosity killed the cat, and this training almost killed me. The Arnold Press has become a household name over the years, created by bodybuilding legend himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. His variation of the dumbbell shoulder press has been widely adopted by avid CrossFitters, bodybuilders, and casual gym goers in an effort to build powerful shoulders like the man whose name is on the exercise label.
So why is it so popular? Unlike other shoulder exercises (this full-body dumbbell workout is a killer), the Arnold press works all three deltoid heads (shoulders) – front, side, and back. The unusual yet simple movement pattern recruits more front muscles just by rotating your palms and works your muscles longer so you can build more for less.
Our fitness team has tested a few arm workouts between us — like the blogilates weightless arm workout — but 50 Arnold presses a day? It’s a new one. If you’re looking for more ways to get creative with fitness, The Rock’s arms and abs workout is punishing, or read on to see what happened when I did 50 Arnold presses per day for a week.
How to Do an Arnold Press
If you’re thinking of branching out from the usual bench press, grab a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells and try it yourself: here’s how to do an Arnold bench press with the right form.
It should be noted that you should always consult a medical professional if you have a shoulder injury. I recommend performing this exercise seated against a bench – or on your knees – to reduce pressure on your lower back if your back hurts. And if you suffer from a shoulder impingement (when the supporting muscles of the rotator cuff rub against the arm bone of the humerus), this exercise is unfortunately prohibited.
How: Engage your heart. Stand upright with your palms facing you and hold your weights in a bicep curl position close to your chest. From there, press the dumbbells overhead and rotate your palms to face outward at the top. Then simply reverse the steps to return to your starting position. Do.
Arnold press versus shoulder press
Unlike the shoulder press, the Arnold Press works all three parts of the deltoids, making it a versatile shoulder champion. The main muscles that work are:
- Anterior deltoids
- Lateral deltoids
- Posterior deltoids
A dumbbell shoulder press primarily works the front of your shoulders and chest, including:
- Anterior deltoids
- Lateral deltoids
- Pectoralis major (your pecs)
While the overhead shoulder press is better if you suffer from shoulder pain, it works the side and rear shoulder heads less. Either way, both are compound shoulder exercises that work multiple muscle groups with one quick squeeze. If you’re short on time, the Arnold press is your new best friend.
I Did 50 Arnold Presses A Day For A Week – Here’s What Happened To My Shoulders
I decided to challenge my shoulder strength. Here’s what happened when I did 50 Arnold presses a day, for a week.
1. 50 reps felt like a lot of reps
I performed 5 sets of 10 reps at the same weight as my overhead press. Hypertrophy (muscle building) takes 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, so even though the reps were at the top end of the range, it wasn’t an outrageous number.
However, I rarely put as much working on isolating my shoulders, and I definitely got too heavy. Because your muscles are working longer, the Arnold press is still extremely efficient at a lower weight. Not only were my DOMs fully effective the following days, but taking off my sports bra became a competitive sport.
2. My shoulders feel stronger but look the same
By the end of the week, I could feel my body becoming more comfortable with the movement pattern and weight of the Arnold press, and I started to feel noticeably stronger – even though I physically couldn’t. see difference. Of course, building muscle mass and strength is much more complex than it seems.
Principles like progressive overload (gradually adapting variables like reps or weights), getting enough protein, managing your sleep hygiene and The variety of workouts plays a role, but you can gradually build muscle and strength week by week.
However, sculpting the shoulders of a goddess will partly involve losing body fat in conjunction with building muscle (learn how to calculate your body fat percentage and why it’s important), and I wasn’t on a mission to fat loss this time around. I won’t be competing in a weight competition anytime soon, but my overhead press has already improved.
3. My training has become meditative
Getting through the first few days was the hardest. By the end of the week, I felt comfortable with the rep, set, and weight numbers, and the routine became meditative. I would generally not recommend my clients perform an exercise every day for high reps (unless they have a specific goal) as it can lead to boredom and plateaus or lead to overuse and fatigue. wounds.
However, it turns out that Harvard (opens in a new tab) has a name for it – muscle meditation. Moving your muscle groups repetitively and rhythmically can help reduce stress, and because you’re focused on your breathing, it can also help regulate the nervous system.
4. I may have overworked my muscles
To research (opens in a new tab)shows your muscle “micro tears” during exercise, which is why you experience muscle pain the next day. Rest days and sleep are key times for muscles to repair and grow, so allow them to recover.
Exercise variety and rest days are two ways to combat overtraining to avoid strains and more serious injuries. With that in mind, maybe it’s time to give the Arnold press a rest. I wonder if Arnie was pumping 50 a day?
Next: These are the 3 best dumbbell workouts for triceps and how to do military press for strong, military-style shoulders.
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