Armed and Dangerous: Will “World” Harris’ USA Winning Guns
Being armed and dangerous is something that new pro Will “World” Harris is all too familiar with. Growing up on the mean streets of Los Angeles and being exposed to “the life” of the Bloods and Crips, being armed and dangerous was a means to survival.
“I was on my own by the time I was a teenager and I saw a lot at a young age. Being armed was a necessary part of that life. But, that’s all in the past and I don’t believe in dwelling on it. Call it a learning experience.”
Apparently, one thing big Will learned from that experience that is evident on the pro physique he carries on stage is the value of being heavily armed. One look at the mass of his biceps and triceps lets you know why he was so well equipped to blast his fellow heavyweight competitors off the stage at the ’04 USA Championships on his way to a pro card. Will’s biceps are full, round and synthol-free while his triceps form an obvious horseshoe that belongs on a Clydesdale. Front to back, side to side, these are guns that few bodybuilders can afford to take a round from.
Will World Harris Arms Routine
Most people are surprised to learn that Will doesn’t do shoulders or arms for several months each year!
“After a contest, I’ll usually train everything hard for a month or so to take advantage of that time when your body wants to grow so bad because you are finally not dieting so hard. After that, I may not train arms for two or three months. I’ll still do chest, back and legs heavy, but my shoulders and arms seem to grow in the off season from the indirect stimulation.”
Must be nice! How would you like the exact arm routine that Will uses to pack 12 months of gains into six or eight months of training? No problem. Musclemag went out and got it for you.
Will does a total of eight or nine sets of bicep work but uses an instinctive approach when choosing the exercises he does or the number of sets he’ll perform of each.
“I have four exercises I like for biceps. Sometimes I’ll do all four of them, but only two sets each. Other days I may only do two, but do four sets of each. It just depends on how I feel. My reps are consistent on all my bicep work, though. I always do fifteen reps per set.”
Exercise 1: Standing E-Z Bar Curls
World starts each rep with his arms in a fully stretched position with the bar in front of his quads. From there, he will begin to curl the bar upward, making sure to keep the elbows in close to his sides and curl the weight with the power of his biceps and not his back. He brings the weight to the top position near his chin and then lowers the weight in a controlled motion to take advantage of the negative portion of the rep.
Exercise 2: Standing Cable Curl
World’s form on here is very similar to the E-Z Bar Curls. He takes a shoulder-width grip on a straight bar, but he throws in a little bit of switch.
“I do a few things on here that I think make this movement more intense and more effective. Of course, I make sure to do the movement at a medium pace and make sure that I am not using any momentum. Then, I will take slower negatives on the last few reps to up the intensity. I will also make sure not to allow the bar go all the way down. Instead, I stop the downward portion of the rep just before my arm straightens so that I can keep constant tension on the biceps.”
Exercise 3: Machine Preacher Curls
World also likes to do some form of machine preacher curls and will always include this movement in his bicep workout.
“I feel like the other three movements are somewhat interchangeable, but the machine preachers aren’t. This is the only movement in my arsenal where I take advantage of my arms being braced against a pad as well as the unique angle of the machine. That changes the stress of the movement. I will use a very controlled pace on the reps, but just a bit quicker than I do with other curling movements. Because I don’t have to worry about swinging or getting momentum as much on here, I feel free to up the pace of the reps a bit and change the stimulus of the movement a little.”
As with the cable curls described above, he will not allow the arm to extend all the way down to keep the stress on the bicep and off the elbow.
Exercise 4: Seated Dumbbell Curls
Sitting at the end of a flat bench, World starts the movement with his arms in a full hanging position. He begins each repetition by curling the dumbbell up to his shoulder and twisting his hand outward at the top of the movement to supinate and further contract the bicep. This supination technique adds to the peak on the bicep. He lowers the weight in a controlled fashion, making sure to keep the palms up so that the bicep stays contracted throughout the negative portion of the movement. Once he has completed a full repetition with one arm, he does a rep with the other arm.
When World turns his attention to blasting the horseshoe, his arm philosophy stays intact.
“I basically do the same thing on tris as I do on bis. Again, four movements are in my bag of tricks, but I will mix and match and end up with about eight or nine sets of fifteen reps.”
Exercise 1: Straight Bar Pushdowns
Using a straight bar handle on the overhead cable pulley, World pins his elbows against his sides throughout the movement. He understands that when you allow your elbows to flare out from your body you often throw the stress of the exercise off the tricep and into the shoulder area. World makes sure to hold the repetition for a second in the bottom position, forcibly contracting the tricep. He brings the bar back up to the lower pec area before beginning the next rep.
“This is the biggest mistake I see people make. They let the bar come up too high at the end of the rep and that throws the stress of the exercise into the delts and lets your triceps relax on every rep. No good.”
Exercise 2: Tricep Machine Dips
On this movement, World will use a seated dip machine that has a selectorized weight stack. Sitting facing away from the machine, he pushes the handles straight down from the starting position, again being careful to keep his elbows pinned in to his sides. After a strong contraction in the bottom position, World slowly brings the handles back up to his lower pec before starting the next rep.
Exercises 3 and 4: Rope Cable Extensions and Rope Pushdowns
“I like both of these movements, but they stress the tricep differently so I’ll often do both of them in the same session if I feel like that is what my body needs.”
Trading the straight bar for a rope, World starts the first version of the exercise by facing away from the cable and leaning forward at the waist. The front leg is bent in a lunge position and his upper body is parallel to the floor. From there, he extends the rope forward to a fully contracted position and pulls the hands outward to take advantage of the flexibility of the rope. He keeps his elbows in close to his head throughout each repetition.
Occasionally he will use the rope for regular pushdowns, using the same form as outlined above for pushdowns. The only difference is that the hands will be turned out at the bottom of the movement when using the rope.
The Future Beats the Past
Reflecting on how much his life has changed over the years, the good-natured Harris breaks into a big smile.
“You know, being surrounded by guns on stage beats the hell out of having them around you on the street. I’m pretty happy with the guns I’m packing now, very happy.”
Will Harris’ Training Split Insert
Monday: Chest, Biceps
Tuesday: Calves, Abs
Thursday: Delts, Triceps
Friday: Back, Abs