For a lot of us, arms are a tough body part to build. We isolate the crap out of them, we try adding weight, or even adding reps, but they never seem to put on the size that we’d like.
If you’re looking to build bigger, leaner and more muscular arms, here are a few tips that’ll help you achieve just that.
1. Hit both your biceps and triceps more than once a week
You can accomplish this in a few different ways, but here are two workout splits that’ll help you do so.
a) Day 1: hips + shoulders ; Day 2: back + triceps ; Day 3: quads + calves ; Day 4: chest + biceps
Triceps are worked anytime a pushing movement is involved – which would be day 1: shoulders, day 2: triceps, and day 4: chest. They’re only isolated one day during the week, but are the secondary muscle group worked in a compound exercise the other 2 days, depending on what exercises you choose to do.
b) Day 1: pushes ; Day 2: pulls ; Day 3: pushes ; Day 4: pulls
Day 1 you hit the full body doing any pushing exercises. Hit your shoulders, chest, triceps, quads and calves for 1-2 exercises each. This means you’ll hit each muscle group 4 times during the week while giving each 2-3 days rest in between each day a muscle is worked. Do the same for pulls.
2. Add some weight
Work your biceps and triceps with exercises that you can add some real weight to them. Exercises like close grip bench, seated triceps press, close grip chin-ups or even barbell curls. Lower the reps and add some weight.
3. Up the reps
I mean really high reps. Yes, I just said add weight, which you should do, but mix that up with some really high rep sets. Your arms are some of the smaller muscle groups in your body, which means they need less time to recover after exercise. You can also place more stress on them in the way of higher rep sets – the same can be done for shoulders.
Do triceps press downs for 2 sets of 30 reps or even 1 set of 50 or 60 reps. You can do the same with a light weight preacher curl or normal barbell curl.
4. Hold at the top
Your biceps and triceps are easy muscles to isolate. To work your triceps simply extend your arm, to work your biceps simply flex your arm at the elbow joint. Holding that extension and flexion at the top of the lift can give you a nice little boost. It’ll make each exercise harder, more intense, and push it to a higher quality which will help you build better muscle.
5. Add variety to your exercises
You don’t have to do the same old exercises each week. If you’re always doing barbell curls, mix it up with chin-ups or even inclined dumbbell curls which will stretch the muscle out and help you build a longer biceps muscle.
Mix up compound exercises (exercises working more than one muscle at a time – such as close grip bench that work your triceps, chest, and anterior deltoid) with isolation exercises. Variety is the key with any muscle group, changing up both the reps, sets, and exercises can be the difference between sustained muscle growth and temporary muscle growth that’ll only last a couple weeks.
What’s your weakest muscle group, the one you’d like to improve most?
What’s your favorite Arnold Swartzeneggar movie?