What is the Arm Blaster? The Arm Blaster is a piece of curved metal that is 24 inches long and 4 inches tall and is worn around the neck while doing bicep curls.
The Blaster claims to encourage good form while also isolating the biceps by keeping your arms in a locked position against your trunk. Of course, the goal is to “maximize the strength-building advantages of bicep curls” while also giving you a big pump.
Arm Blasters have been around for almost 50 years, but I believe they had gone out of popularity for a while and had only just resurfaced as a popular training item when Rogue Fitness debuted their version. I mean, they’ve always existed, but Rogue was instrumental in resurrecting them.
Who Invented Arm Blaster?
Arm blaster was invented by none other than the iconic personality Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He has been the legend of bodybuilding back in the 1970s. This simple yet brilliant tool enabled Arnold to lift his arms from 21″ to 22½”.
In his book, “The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding,” the legend wrote about his super arm blaster as the equipment which confers “sturdiness of preacher curl with the elbows fixed firmly in place, which is good for training the lower biceps.”
Does Arm Blaster Actually Work and How?
Yes, they do. The Arm Blaster is effective. It accomplishes precisely what it promises. The Arm Blaster secures your arms at your sides and isolates your biceps. It also makes it impossible (or at least difficult) to cheat your curls.
Is the Arm Blaster your sole option for isolating the biceps in this manner? It certainly isn’t. It is not only not the only technique to focus the biceps, but it is also the most unpleasant variation of the curl among all sorts of curls, in my opinion. I don’t mean uncomfortable in the sense of “difficult,” as in “it aches so much.” Using the Arm Blaster, for example, is downright unpleasant.
Uncomfortable in what way? It doesn’t always feel nice on the triceps unless you don’t have any at all. I mean, I’m no Sergio Oliva, but my arms aren’t exactly ideal cylinders that fit the Blaster’s design.
It’s also painful on the lower back if you use enough weight because it is always out in front of you during a set with the Arm Blaster. With the Blaster on, you can’t move your upper arms back far enough to enable the weight to settle around your center of gravity. Obviously, this is less of a concern with low weights, but do you want a device that feels unpleasant to use at higher weights? In any case, I didn’t.
Some individuals dislike the way it feels on their stomach and rib cage, but I found it the least of the three issues.
For the sake of fairness, not everyone with the Arm Blaster has these concerns. As they say, your mileage may vary.
Why Aren’t Arm Blasters Popular Anymore?
To be honest, I was given an arm blaster as a present years ago, but I couldn’t figure out how to use it comfortably. After a few tries, I decided it was a gimmick and tossed it in the corner to be forgotten.
The problem is that it’s uncomfortable to use if you don’t know what you’re doing, and you won’t understand the benefit of utilizing it. In the last several months, I’ve started it up again and, with a few tweaks, have had some of the finest arm workouts of my life.
Benefits of Using an Arm Blaster
Alternatives to Arm Blaster
The preacher curl is performed on a special bench; or preacher. A tilting pad, similar to an Arm Blaster, is used to lock your arms into a fixed position.
Although the beginning posture differs in that your arms are more forward and less at your sides, the biceps are still pushed through the same limited range of motion and all of the same muscles are stimulated.
Curls on a preacher bench may be done with a curl bar, straight bar, or dumbbells, just like the Arm Blaster.
Preacher Curls using an EZ Curl Bar enable for isolation without pain – while a preacher bench is necessary, I find that a preacher bench allows for a lot more weight to be curled comfortably than an Arm Blaster.
On the triceps, the preacher bench is far more comfortable. When compared to a curved metal plate that scrapes into the back of the arm in two places, the full-sized, cushioned pad goes a long way toward making heavy loads more comfortable.
Furthermore, while doing preacher curls (whether standing or seated), there is no tension on the lower back, which I find arises when using the Arm Blaster at even somewhat heavy weights. Isn’t it true that the main objective is to isolate the biceps?
When attempting to isolate, there is no advantage to having to steady and balance your entire trunk and strain your lower back. If you want all of that, all you have to do is acquire a Bosu Ball and curl up on it.
Incline Dumbbell Curls
The sitting incline dumbbell curls are the second option. Because gravity and the fact that your humerus is located below your trunk, your arms are more or less locked into position by sitting on an incline bench and letting your arms to hang absolutely perpendicular to the ground.
Not only do you obtain almost the same isolation and pump as with the Arm Blaster, but your range of motion is also improved.
Furthermore, incline curls do not necessitate the use of a preacher bench or an Arm Blaster attachment.
The incline curl appears to be the go-to bicep blasting technique in a garage gym situation.
It doesn’t require any extra equipment and, in my opinion, is just a better and more natural-feeling action.
Dumbbells, on the other hand, may be considered specialized equipment in garage gyms that don’t already have them.
How to Use Arm Blaster Correctly?
The key to doing bicep curls with an arm blaster is to get the strap at the right height.
When your arms are down, the elbow pads should be slightly above your elbows.
Your elbows bite into the pads as you curl, and if the pads are too far down, your elbows will rest too high on the pads, causing the arm blaster to tilt into your stomach.
It will feel fragile since it won’t support your elbows, and it will irritate your stomach because the top edge will be driven into you (this was my initial problem).
It’s just as awful to have the arm blaster set too high. When you set your arm blaster too high, your chest and triceps come in the way, increasing the angle and putting stress on your elbows and sternum.
If it’s too high, you’ll notice it right away. It’s quite inconvenient.
After you’ve found the sweet spot, you’ll want to concentrate on the weight. The arm blaster should never be used to do “cheat curls.”
Because the arm baster pulls your elbows forward, the inner head (short head) of your biceps bears the brunt of the strain.
This is a tiny muscle that can be exercised without a lot of weight. With too much weight, your elbows will be forced into the arm blaster, which will push into your stomach. This is quite inconvenient for folks who enjoy breathing.
Drop your ego and the weight, and you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic arm exercise. Make sure your abs are engaged (flexed) to reduce the amount of pressure the arm blaster puts on your tummy.
Here is a video teaching you how to use an arm blaster correctly.