Photos by Per Bernal
AKIM WILLIAMS HAS A PROBLEM MOST OF US WOULD LOVE TO HAVE: HIS BICEPS ARE TOO BIG.
For a top-level IFBB professional bodybuilder, this is a real issue in terms of symmetry and muscular balance. If the judges’ eyes are continually drawn to your biceps and not your physique as a whole, it will certainly be reflected in a negative way in your placing.
Williams combats this imbalance in two ways: 1) by scaling back his training volume on biceps, and 2) by hitting his triceps that much harder in an attempt to balance out his overall arm development.
“Triceps are a bigger muscle group than the biceps,” says Williams. “And for me, my biceps are a very strong body part, whereas my triceps need to come up a bit. So I feel I almost need to double my volume on triceps as compared with biceps.”
As with his biceps, Williams prefers to train his triceps with machines rather than free weights. “I want to maximize the isolation and mind-muscle connection, and machines allow me to do this better than free weights,” he says. How much of the weight stack he employs, though, differs between the two body parts. Whereas his preferred rep range on biceps is 15–20, he chooses 10–15 reps for his tri’s (taking sets to failure in both cases, thus making for more relative weight on triceps).
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