How to Develop Big Powerful Arms [Part 3 – Dick Bachtell, Jim Park and Charles Vinci] (1956)

Today we pick up with the final part of the “Big Powerful Arms” article from the March 1956 issue of Strength and Health. The excerpt below, following up on the previous passage by Steve Stanko, includes shorter sections by champion weightlifter Dick Bachtell, multiple physique contest winner Jim Park, and Charles Vinci, who took home gold medals for weightlifting in two Pan American Games and two summer Olympics.

Each of these experienced iron game figures had different methods for developing the various arm muscles. Bachtell recommended the Zottman curl, an older exercise which apparently was not in common use by the time this article was written, and is certainly not well-known today.

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A photo of Dick Bachtell performing Zottman curls, which accompanied the original article. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab)

Further reading: Continue reading

Super Advanced Arm Supplement – Larry Scott (1960s)

Larry Scott, the winner of the first Mr. Olympia contest in 1965, was renowned for his arm development. The biceps and triceps training routine below was included as an exclusive insert with Scott’s booklet “How I Built My 20-inch Arms.” This was presented as something meant for highly advanced weight trainees, presumably those who have been training hard and making continual progress for a number of years. Larry Scott popularized the use of the “Preacher Bench,” also described here as a “Scott Curling Bench.” These can be found in many gyms today.

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Larry Scott working biceps on a Preacher Bench. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab)

Booklet excerpt: Continue reading

How to Develop Big Powerful Arms [Part 2 – Steve Stanko] (1956)

Today, we present the second of five parts of the “Big Powerful Arms” article which originally appeared in the March 1956 issue of Hoffman’s “Strengh and Health.” The excerpt below by Steve Stanko follows the first part of the article, by John Grimek, which was posted previously on our blog.

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A photo of Steve Stanko which accompanied the article. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab)

Stanko was, of course, part of the Hoffman/York Barbell team, and he took a couple moments in the article below to promote York products. While not quite as renowned as John Grimek, Stanko in his prime won titles in both weightlifting and physique contests in the 1930s and 1940s.

Unlike Grimek’s routine of the time, Stanko’s arm training routine made significant use of curls to target the biceps muscles. This shows that different individuals may benefit from different exercises. Continue reading

How to Develop Big Powerful Arms [Part 1 – John Grimek] (1956)

Who doesn’t like to train arms in the gym? In fact, many beginning weight trainees may be so enthusiastic in their desire to train their biceps that they perform endless curls to the neglect of other muscle groups! Nevertheless, well-developed arms can be quite impressive in conjunction with balanced overall physique development.

Today we feature the first out of five sections of a classic article with thoughts on arm training from physique champions of the 1950s, as presented in the March 1956 issue of Bob Hoffman’s magazine “Strength and Health.” Naturally, the champions cited herein were those associated with Hoffman’s own York Barbell enterprises, and they did not fail to throw in a few plugs for Hoffman products. In the article, the sections do not actually appear in the same order laid out in the introductory paragraph, and there does not appear to actually be a portion attributed to Jules Bacon.

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A photo of the incomparable John Grimek which accompanied the article below. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab)

The first and longest part, presented below, was ostensibly written by York Barbell strength and physique star – and multiple Mr. America winner – John Grimek. Intriguingly, right in an article on arm training, he began by stating clearly that he had basically given up biceps curls, considered by many to be a staple exercise! Continue reading