For years, bodybuilders have used breathing squats to push their bodies to new levels of growth, for both the legs and overall body size. The technique is simple. Squat for ten repetitions using an amount of weight which normally causes you to fail after ten repetitions. Then, take deep breaths for 10 to 60 seconds, and complete an 11th repetition. Then take more breaths and complete a 12th rep. Soon you’ll be completely exhausted, your legs will be beyond pumped, and you’ll be on rep 16 or 17. Your goal is to hit twenty repetitions. This same principle can be applied to arm training, to help push your biceps and triceps to levels of pump – and resulting growth – that you’ve never seen before.
Let’s begin with biceps. Grab an EZ-curl bar and complete your usual 10 repetitions. Once you hit that 10th rep (and presumably fail to be able to move the weight any more), take 5 to 15 deep breaths and complete another repetition. The time will allow more oxygen to move to the trained area, but will also allow you to catch your breath and break up some lactic acid buildup. In 30 seconds or so, you’ll be up for another repetition. Complete this 11th repetition. Take more breaths then move on to the 12th, 13th, 14th, and repetitions beyond. Can you reach twenty? After completing one brutal set of EZ bar curls, repeat this process for standing alternate dumbbell curls. Keep the weight moderate, the breathing breaks long, and again hit your twenty repetitions before dropping those dumbbells on the floor and calling it a day for biceps.
You’re not done yet, however, despite however bad that pump in your biceps may be. Now, it’s time to move on to hitting the triceps. You’ll be using the same procedure as listed above. A total of 40 repetitions, divided between the two exercises will suffice. Select a mass building movement such as skull crushers, then move on to rope pressdowns for your second movement. Be sure to use a spotter when completing the skull crushers, or any other movement which may result in injury should the weight fall. You’re training way beyond failure, so an inability to maintain the bar can occur, and often does.
Remember that with this heavy training, you are going to need more resources in order to recover properly. Your joints are going to hurt. Your central nervous system is going to need a greater recharge each evening. You’re not going to be able to heal so fast following your workouts, since you’re doing more than ever before. Bump up your caloric intake to ensure you are providing your body with the resources it needs to grow, and cut back any unnecessary cardiovascular training to ensure you are growing, and not getting leaner. Above all, once you have trained using breathing reps for arms for 4 to 6 weeks, you’ll want to return to the “easier” methods of training to give your joints and CNS a chance to recover.