Watch Jesse James West Try Rich Piana’s 8-Hour Arm Day Workout

IF YOU THINK you’ve seen a tough arm day workout—think again.

Bodybuilder and YouTuber Jesse James West has lifted with his share of legends like Ronnie Coleman. Recently, he and fellow influencer Brandon Walsh decided to tackle an extreme challenge from another muscle titan: the late Rich Piana’s eight-hour arm day workout. Piana was a bodybuilder who passed away from unknown causes in August of 2017.

The workout itself is relatively simple. There are eight rounds of two supersets, which West and Walsh were tasked to complete as 16 mini-workouts within the eight-hour time frame. Workout A consists of four sets of 10 reps of barbell skullcrushers paired with 4 sets of 10 reps of barbell curls. Workout B consists of four sets of 15 reps of dumbbell hammer curls, followed by four sets of 15 reps of dumbbell French presses.

This is far more volume than any responsible trainer would recommend for optimal strength and muscle building. West notes that this isn’t a good idea for just about anyone—and says that it’s more about “survival” than optimization. This is a stunt, and it’s not something that should be attempted by normal trainees. Unsurprisingly, the pair was struggling long before they hit the halfway point. “It’s just torture,” West said. “It’s a different type of sore.”

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West also notes that the plan promises absurd muscle growth, up to an inch of muscle “in one session.” Of course, West and Walsh decided to test out this theory and measured the circumferences of their biceps before and after completing the grueling 16 workouts. While West appears to add an inch and a half to his measurement, the results probably aren’t there to stay. Piana acknowledged that himself in a video breakdown of the workout. “A lot of that is inflamation, swelling,” he said. “But it is shocking the hell out of the arms.”

MH fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. says that these gains aren’t going to hold up, and debunks this claim. “A single-workout isn’t going to ‘grow’ your arms by an inch, but if you go hard enough, you will get a ‘pump‘ that’ll make you think you’ve grown—and this works especially well for isolation-focused exercises,” he says. “Essentially, blood is rushing to the muscles you’re training (bringing with it nutrients and healing factors, because you’re creating muscle damage during the workout). That leads to the appearance of larger arms—but is only temporary.”

Overall, the experience looks brutal. Before finishing, West and Walsh discuss how they feel like they’re losing their pump, and that their joints are uncomfortable as they continue pushing through the attempt. On a normal day, this is a sign to stop—and if you ever have a similar experience, regardless of the volume you’re attempting, that’s what you should do.

Still, West found that the experience wasn’t all negative.

“Although training arms for eight hours is something I would never recommend, today brought me back to the feeling I had when I first started training,” West says. “When I’d go on YouTube and watch videos of Rich Piana or any of those guys from that era who were spreading motivation and inspiration.”

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Cori Ritchey, NASM-CPT is an Associate Health & Fitness Editor at Men’s Health and a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. You can find more of her work in HealthCentral, Livestrong, Self, and others.

This article was originally posted here.

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