by Al Myers
The Super Arm Blaster, now that’s a “blast from the past’, or should I say “blaster from the paster”! The other night while training alone I spotted something shiny sticking out from behind the dumbbell rack. As I dug through miscellaneous plates and other lifting paraphernalia that I’ve accumulated other the years, there it was – the SUPER ARM BLASTER. It brought back memories of when I bought the thing as I thought it’s use would give me monstrous arms, just like Arnold’s. Now it has been residing in obscurity for years without any use. One of many training tools that I’ve tried and found just didn’t work well for me in my training objectives.
Of course, I had to take a picture of it and send it to Thom to see if he knew what it was. He did, and answered my text very quickly with the correct response so I know he didn’t “look it up”. I give Joe Weider the credit for inventing this isolating bicep training device. He started marketing it in the mid 1970’s in his magazines, and it “sold strong” through the 1980’s. That’s when I bought mine. It was initially called the “Joe Weider’s Super Arm Blaster” or “Arnold’s Super Arm Blaster”, and sold for $19.95. Early magazines often contained advertisements for it picturing Arnold Schwarzenegger demonstrating it’s use. He was Weider’s selling point man on the Arm Blaster, and I’m sure propagated many sells.
This came from an early advertisement:
Something new and fabulous has happened for creating Super-arm size….real fast! Blast your arms into new and exciting growth no matter how big they are now – just as Arnold Schwarzenegger did, increasing his arms from 21″ to 22 1/2″ with Joe Weider’s new patented “Arnold’s Super-Arm Blaster”. It isolates the arms so that you can put out 100% muscular effort and mental concentration without having to fight arm balance at the sides – thereby allowing you to stimulate all of the deeper under-lying muscle fibers with greater intensity!
The ad goes on from there with more selling points on how the Arm Blaster would take your arm size to new heights – that would leave any newbie iron boy in a frenzy. How could you NOT have one of these???? I admit – the sales pitch made me fork over money I didn’t have at the time! But looking back – the image of Arnold pounding out EZ bar curls with his super arm blaster probably was worth the money in inspiration alone. Whether he really used it much in his training is really just a mute point!
Arnold does mention the Arm Blaster in his book, “The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding“. It includes a picture of him using the Arm Blaster while performing a set of Alternate Dumbbell Curls with this caption, “Using the Arm Blaster you get the strictness of a preacher curl, with the elbows fixed solidly in place, which is especially good for training the lower biceps”. This book was published in 1985, well after his financially binding endorsement days with Weider. At this point his bodybuilding fame days were over and he was enjoying box office success with his Conan movies and the first Terminator movie. Money could not have been an issue for him at this time to continue to promote the Arm Blaster – so I’m assuming he felt there was some merit to it’s use.
I hadn’t thought of the Arm Blaster for years until this workout. I assumed this antiquated piece of equipment was no longer on the market, but after doing a short internet search I see that there are other manufacturers that have continued to market it. That’s good news for any iron newbie – buy one and be inspired to bicep greatness!