Joe Bucci – Arm Workout

The following great arm workout was developed by Joe Bucci. He won numerous bodybuilding contests like Mr. USA and Mr Pennsylvania. Mr. Berg

“Arms are where it’s at – now and it’s always been that way! From Leroy Colbert to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bodybuilding big arms became the biggest champions. I was determined from the start to be one of bodybuilders elite and break the 20″ barrier. by the time I reached age 24 – I had obtained a 21 inch arm at 5’9″!

The Bucci arm was built by a lot of research and experimenting. I started attending the training seminars developed and held by Geroge Snyder at Olympus gyms with the greatest bodybuilding champions in the world. Every was there, Arnold, Franco, Robby, Mentzer, Szkalak, Colbert, Draper, Waller, Rick Wayne and many others.

From these champions I learned what worked for them and was able to isolate those concepts that could be adapted to my own system of training. This system of training has evolved and developed into a unique method which can be compared to that of an automotive engines piston and what I call the Bucci “Piston Power” system. But more of this later – first let’s start at the beginning.

When I was 16 years old, I was possessed to achieve the largest arms possible and ignored all other recommended systems – I started training my arms daily. Using the type training I knew that would shock my arms into growth, I started to train my arms every day doing only cheat curls, dips, preacher curls, and triangle push ups (an exercise where you keep your hands close together, forming a triangle with your hands).

Training Monday, Wednesday, and Friday doing ten sets of cheat curls supersetted with dips (ten sets) a total of twenty sets. On alternate days, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday I did five sets of cheat curls super-setted with dips (five sets), and three sets of preacher curls followed by three sets of triangle push-ups. Making a total of 16 sets. So you can see I was really into getting my biceps and triceps to be the “Best in the World.”

By the time I reached 18-19 years old my arm had reached 19″ growing at a constant rate of one inch per year – I now increased my training intensity and began to really visualize and shape the arm to a new level. Remembering a particular seminar by Rick Wayne and how he let me train along side of him and showing me new forms and techniques I began to include incline curls and doing forced reps my arms began to take on new shape – that of being more massive and developing new height.

Now I was possessed more than ever to reach the magical 20″ and got into some wild workouts going all out doing less sets but using weights that weren’t heard of in bodybuilding – more like powerlifting.

Also taking the advice of top bodybuilding authority, George Synder, teaching me to concentrate more on triceps mass. To break the barrier I did sets of one arm dumbbell extensions using top to 100 pounds for eight reps learning to control the weight and having it really burn the triceps. I started to combine and reach back to all my different stages and the different champions I watched train.

For instance, Leroy Colbert; the pioneer for big arms, Arnold and the rest. Now that I had reached 20″ – I could not stop. I had to see how far my stem could take me in pursuit of the arm.

I now combined Piston Power with heavy weights and at 5’9″ weighing no more than 210 pounds my arms reached 21″

To give you an idea of what went on during the final stage of building the Bucci Arm – be assured that intensity is a mild word in attempting to describe this stage. I took on a partner named David Daglivio. He, being strong, we attacked the arms making our training camp like a war zone. My mind was always geared in to reaching the ultimate. I took to putting a sign up in my gym with big numbers, 21″. Dave helped to push me to use heavy weights like 115 pound alternate curls doing reps moving it faster and faster putting into gear my piston system.

Doing cheat curls working up to 190 pounds controlling the weight and using variable grips. The last rep, holding as tight as I could pulling the weight up to my chin and keeping my elbow up concentrating on the biceps making them pump bigger and making the veins swell and the definition sharper.

All along trying to make them break down before I did, also pushing my partner to break down as he tried to push me to my limit.

We sweated through a lot of sets training the biceps in the morning, we would come back at night and hit it again, this time- triceps.

After warming up going right into piston – like dips doing back and forth we grinded out ten set sets of ten reps forcing the triceps to the extreme limit, holding on though – to etch in those desired striations. Moving on to the next exercise, one that I find very rewarding, called lying french presses.

With dumbbells starting with 45 pounds for 15 reps to warm up jumping to 55 for ten reps the arms start to really pump.

Just in the right groove this exercise feels great and you know it’s working. 65’s – 70’s – 75’2 finishing off the workout. After tensing the arms in the mirror, the 21″ arms look mind-boggling. And now just what is the Bucci Piston Power?

“Piston Power”
It’s difficult to truly explain this method of training – actually seeing a demonstration is the most beneficial and I am in the planning stages of preparing the demonstration completely on video tape. I feel in this way bodybuilders worldwide can benefit from my experience an experiments which were so effective for me.

However, to give you some concept of “Piston Power” just visualize the piston’s movement in an engine and carry that over to training. It’s a combination of fast, heavy, controlled, progressive momentum and concentrated intensity all rolled up into one! Oh – as some might say insanity but it’s controlled insanity and that’s the key!

And to continue to assist in understanding how my training system changed during the years or as the Bucci arms too shape I have outline the training below. GO FOR IT!


Stage 1:
(16-17 years old – measurements went from 16″ to 17″)
Monday, Wednesday, Friday:
Cheat curls – 10 sets, 10 reps
Dips – 10 sets, 10 reps

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Cheat curls: 5 sets, 10 reps
Preacher curls: 3 sets, 10 reps
Dips: 5 sets 10 reps
Pushups/Hands close: 3 sets, 10-15 reps

Stage 2
(18 – 19yrs. old- measurements went from 18″ to 19″)
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Cheat Curls: 8 sets, 10 reps
Incline Curls: 4 sets, 8 reps
Dips: 6 sets, 10 reps
French Press/standing: 4 sets, 10 reps

Before contest Bent Over Barbell Concentrations and Lying French Press are added 4 sets, 10 reps each

Stage 3:
(20 – 21 yrs. old – measurement hits 20″)
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Cheat curls: 5 sets, 10 reps
Incline Curls: 5 sets, 8 reps
Seated Alternate: 2 sets, 8 reps
Dips: 10 sets, 10 reps
One Arm Extensions: 5 sets, 8 reps
(Wednesday up to 100lb dumbbell)

Stage 4:
(By age 24 – the Bucci Arm reaches 21″)
Monday, and Friday Morning
Cheat Curls: 5 sets, 10 reps to 190lb
Alternates/Standing: 3 sets, 8 reps to 115lb Dumbbells
Alternates/Seated – 3 sets, 8 reps to110lb dumbbells

Dips: 10 sets, 8-10 reps to 50lb plate
French Press/Dumbbells Lying: 5 sets, 8-10 reps to 75lb dumbbell

Notes:  Cheat Curls – at concentrated position elbows are raised to increase the contraction. Also various grip spacing are used.

Incline Curls: as arms are raised into contracted position hands are supinated with palms turning outward to assist in maximum contraction.”

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