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The Original Old School Arm Blaster Workout

Written by Dr. Juan Carlos Cassano aka The Golden Era Bookworm

The Arm Blaster originally came on to the pages of old school muscle mags in the 70s, with photos of Arnold with the words “Did you ever see such mind-blowing Biceps!”

Although Joe Weider would advertise the Arm Blaster as a piece of gym equipment that could replace the Preacher Curl Bench, the Arm Blaster could never replace the Preacher Curl action. Preacher Curls mechanics are a bit different and allow one to use massive poundages as the bench allows us to sink the elbows into the bench giving us better leverage.

However, Joe Weider was not that far off.

In fact, the Arm Blaster was quite similar to a different exercise that came out of Vince’s Gym known as the Perfect Curl, because when using the arm blaster, the idea was to fix the elbows slightly in front of the body to prevent any cheating action, and one would have to perform the curling movement in a stricter fashion, which is exactly the way that Vince would have his clients and trainees performing the Perfect Curl.

But besides performing perfect curls, the Arm Blaster was advertised as a piece of equipment that allowed one to perform strict arm movements in general, and that meant performing strict movements with the arm blaster for the triceps and forearms as well as the biceps, giving one a complete arm workout.

The Original Old School Arm Blaster Workout

The following workout is the Original Arm Blaster Workout which shows Franco Columbu, Arnold’s ‘BFF’ and training partner, using the Arm Blaster to train biceps, triceps, and forearms.

The Arm Blaster Workout consisted of performing the following exercises for 4 sets of 10 reps using the Arm Blaster:


A1. Standing Ez Barbell Arm Blaster Curl

Perform EZ Barbell Curls standing up using the Arm Blaster, focusing on the contracting on each rep.

The idea of the Arm Blaster here is to keep the elbows slightly forward of the torso, and the elbows in a fixed position.

In this way, the movement is strict and affects the biceps fully, and completely negates cheating.

It is important to note that in the case of working the biceps, the arm blaster prevents assistance by the deltoid group, in particular the front deltoid, and therefore puts the complete motion into the biceps.

Perform 4 sets of 10 reps.

A2. Seated Dumbbell Arm Blaster Curl

Seated on the end of a bench, perform dumbbell curls alternated or in synchrony, focusing on the contraction on each rep.

Once again the purpose of using the arm blaster for seated dumbbell curls is to completely isolate the biceps whilst completely supinating the biceps by turning the wrist. Y

ou should get a full contraction from this movement, as opposed to the mass gaining effect from the Barbell Arm Curl.

Again, by using the arm blaster, the elbow is kept locked in a position that prevents cheating and assistance from other muscles in getting the weight up.

Perform 4 sets of 10 reps.


B1. Standing Close Grip Triceps Arm Blaster Pressdown

Using a ‘lat’ bar or triceps straight bar, perform the Triceps Pressdown using an arm blaster and a close pronated grip, holding each contraction briefly.

In the case of working triceps, both the latissimus and rear deltoid can work to assist the triceps in extension motions.

By using the arm blaster, the elbow motion is restricted preventing any assistance from assisting muscles, putting the motion completely into the triceps.

Perform 4 sets of 10 reps.

B2. Single Arm Standing Triceps Extensions with the Arm Blaster

Using a single hand attachment, perform standing triceps extensions with a pronated grip.

Work each arm separately and at the completion of each rep, extend the arm further by slightly internally rotating the arm. This gives you a full extension of the arm and contraction of the tricep.

This is a shaping movement, whilst the standing press-down is more of a mass builder.

Perform 4 sets of 10 reps.


C1. Standing Reverse Arm Blaster Curls

Using an EZ Curl Barbell, perform Standing Reverse curls to affect the forearm extensors. By using the Arm Blaster, the shoulders cannot assist the brachialis. This creates a much stricter motion.

Perform 4 sets of 10 reps.

C2. Standing Arm Blaster Wrist Curls Behind the Body

Standing once again, and using a cable station, grab a one-hand attachment and curl the wrist behind you using wrist motion only.

Once again, by using the arm blaster, the latissimus or rear delt cannot aid the movement, allowing the exercise to affect the forearm flexors fully.

Perform 4 sets of 10 reps.

A Final Tip

As a final tip, you will notice from all these photos that both Arnold and Franco used a sponge when performing workouts with the Arm Blaster.

Believe it or not, the sponge was used to prevent pain from the pressure experienced from using the Arm Blaster. When it was first produced, the Arm Blaster, being made out of metal, would pinch the skin and cause some discomfort.

Nowadays, some Arm Blaster manufacturers place a thin layer of foam to protect the user, but if you own an old school Arm Blaster, or you find the thin layer of foam insufficient, do as the champs did and use a sponge or similar material to protect your skin when performing the Arm Blaster routine.


So if you have an Arm Blaster lying around, now you know exactly what to do with it, and more importantly, how to work each section of the arm! Enjoy the workout!

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