Dave Draper was once known as the Blonde Bomber because of his blonde hair and amazing arm development which were like cannons attached to his torso. He was part of the golden age of bodybuilding competing with big names such as Arnold, Frank Zane, Reg Park, and Larry Scott. Along with appearing in movies he also won the Mr. America, Mr. Universe, and Mr. World titles.
To go with his tremendous biceps, triceps, and forearms was a charismatic personality and confidence in himself. Of course with a set of guns like that he could afford to be confident. Those arms had it all; shape, size, symmetry, and definition. Not to say that the rest of his body wasn’t chiseled, but his arms were the centerpiece.
So it is time to turn back the clock and look at the Blonde Bomber’s training routine to see how those arms were crafted.
Dave Draper’s Arm Routine
As Dave always said, “It’s hard to be a superstar if you don’t have great arms.” He usually performed this routine two to three times per week with at least a full rest day in between sessions.
- Seated Barbell Triceps Extensions – 5 sets for 8 reps – With the arms overhead
- Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions – 5 sets for 8 reps
- Cable Triceps Pushdowns – 5 sets for 8 reps
- Lying Dumbbell Curls – 5 set of 6 reps – Lie flat on a bench and curl dumbbells off the ground
- Incline Dumbbell Curls – 5 set of 6 reps
- Preacher Curls – 5 sets for 8 reps
- Reverse Barbell Curls – 5 sets of 8 reps
- Barbell Wrist Curls – 5 sets of 15 reps
As you can tell by the sets, Dave was a volume guy. But at the time he started training everyone really was. This is also an advanced routine and not meant for beginners. Based on the volume alone you can’t be a beginner and do this routine because your body hasn’t built up the capacity for recovery. However he felt that the volume he did, of 12 to 15 sets per bodypart, was the maximum you should do.
- Along with this program Dave had a certain way of doing some of the movements to make them more effective in his eyes.
- Always keep the elbows pointed ahead when working triceps. Don’t let them flare out to the side. With elbows tight you get a better stretch and contraction.
- Use the incline and flat bench curls to work the biceps peak as well as getting a great stretch on the biceps.
- Don’t neglect forearms as the help showcase the biceps size and provide arm symmetry.