Subj: Build Bigger Arms in 4 Weeks.
A nice set of arms is an impressive part of any physique.
The good news is that anyone can build a good pair of arms if they so desire.
The bad news is most people don’t know how to train arms properly. Without proper technique, you’ll never build impressive arms.
For example, I’ve been going to the same gym for a long time. Over that time, my arms have grown significantly even though I rarely train them directly.
However, I’ve seen guys at the gym doing bicep curls every day but they haven’t gained an ounce of muscle in years.
How is that possible?
The guy flails his arms with a dumbbell in each hand. His whole body swings into the motion. His form is sloppy and out of control. Momentum, not muscle, is moving the weight. He lets the dumbbells drop down to his waist instead of lowering the weight in a slow, controlled manner. He also uses the same weight, 30 pounds, every workout. And has for over a year. Although I commend this man for getting into the gym regularly, his robbing himself of any potential progress by executing his lifts poorly.
This guy is a model for what not to do if you want big arms.
You need to know what to do and how to do it.
You could do 100 curls with 40 pound dumbbells with sloppy form, and I could do 20 curls with 25 pound dumbbells with perfect technique. Guess who’s getting bigger? I am 10/10 – Technique wins in bodybuilding.
How to Train Arms for Increased Muscle Size, Strength and Definition
There are a few key components to building bigger arms. It’s more then just hammering out curls. Like other muscles, arms need to be trained consistently and intensely with enough frequency to recover rapidly. Technique is just as important as programming.
Control the Weight
You must control the weight throughout the entire range of motion to get the most benefit. A good lifting tempo is 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down. Squeeze at the top of each rep for maximum muscle contraction. This is how you develop muscle ‘peaks’.
Train to Failure Once a Week
Complete failure is when you can no longer hold a negative. Train with intensity
Train within 6-8 Rep Range
To build bigger arms you must train them with intensity. You must train, or control the weight, by controlling your body.
Always be getting stronger within this rep range. That means if you can curl a 40 pound barbell more than 8 reps, you need to increase the weight. You should reach muscle failure at rep 8 or sooner.
Train Triceps Hard
Triceps are 2/3 of your upper arm mass so train them more than biceps to increase arm size. Triceps can be a tricky muscle to train. You want to train them heavy but you also want to train them for maximum contraction. Maximum contraction is often best achieved using lighter weight and concentration and full arm extension.
Use Fat Gripz
Fat Gripz wrap around dumbbells and barbells to make the bar thicker. Grabbing thicker bars activates more muscle. I was sold the first time I used Fat Gripz and they work, especially for forearm development and grip strength.
How to Train to Build Big Arms
You should develop decent arms just by training using a total body workout routine. If you trained the right way, you’re arms should already have a little size and definition from doing pull-ups, dips, and rows.
When you’re ready to take your arm game up a notch you’ll start doing isolation exercises to build big arms.
Exercises that target your triceps, biceps, forearms and shoulders are you’re primary options.
Good looking arms look good from all angles, have a natural shape, noticeable muscle separation, and the right proportions in relation to all parts of your arm and your body.
The Four Parts of Impressive Arms
Understanding what you’re doing is critical to making progress. Learning how the muscle works can help things ‘click’ for some people. So which the beginner’s mindset I’ll explain how the arm muscles work.
The muscle on the front part of your upper arm. It’s main function is to bend your elbow and pull your forearm toward your body.
These are the muscles that ball up into a peak Biceps are worked best with ‘pull’ exercises where you hold a weight and let it hang from your fully extended arms. Then you bring the weight up by bringing your forearm to your upper arm.
The Best Bicep Exercises
- Barbell Curls
- Concentration Curls
- Preacher Curls
- ‘Drag’ or Body Curls
- Hammer Curls
- Seated Dumbbell Curls
- Pull Ups (supinated grip – palms facing your face)
Triceps move your forearm away from your body by extending your forearm out or down.
Your Triceps are best worked with ‘push’ exercises where you hold a weight with your arms bent and push the weight out or down, depending on your body position.
The Best Tricep Exercises
- Close Grip Bench Press
- French Press
- Dumbbell Overhead Press
- Cable Push downs
Your shoulders join your upper arm and torso. Shoulders are a complex muscle that are trained best from a variety of angles and exercises. A combination of push/pressing motions and lateral raises should be used for shoulder development.
Treat your shoulders like it’s three separate muscles – front, middle/side, and back – and must be trained accordingly.
- Military Press
- Dumbbell Press
- Lateral Raises (Front, Side and Back)
- Arnold Press
- Poliquin Raises
Forearms are often overlooked but need to be trained just as much as your upper arms and shoulders. The forearms move the wrist up, down and all around, and make a fist. Great looking forearms are developed through years of deliberate training.
The Best Forearm Exercises
- Reverse Barbell Curls
- Seated Forearm Curls
- Reverse Forearm Curls
- Farmer Carries
- Any exercise with Fat Gripz
Train your forearms by squeezing the weight in your hands as hard as you can for every lift.
The Best Arm Workout for Muscle Mass and Definition
This workout trains your entire arm.
When selecting a weight for each exercise make sure it’s a weight that you can do no more that the maximum amount of reps no matter how hard you try.
Be sure to maintain perfect form for each rep and concentrate on working the correct muscle and contracting it as hard as possible each rep. Hold that contraction for at least one second (count in your head, “one thousand one”) before starting your next rep.
Consciously flex the muscle to start each rep
- Military Press 4 Sets 6-8 Reps
- Dumbbell Press 4 Sets 6-8 Reps
- Lateral Raises 4 Sets 8-10 Reps
- Rear Delt Raises 4 Sets 8-10Reps
Bicep and Tricep exercises should be supersets. That is do one Bicep set followed immediately by a tricep set. No rest whatsoever, make your transition to one exercise to the other as quickly as possible.
- Dumbbell Curls 3 sets 6-8 Reps
- Incline Dumbbell Curls 3 sets 6-8 Reps
- Barbell Preacher Curls 3 sets 6-8 Reps
- French Press 3 sets 6-8 Reps
- Skull Crushers 3 sets 6-8 Reps
- Rope Pulldowns 3 sets 6-8 Reps
- Reverse Curls 3 sets 6-8 Reps
- Wrist curls 8-12 Reps
- Reverse Wrist Curls 8-12 Reps
Do a bicep exercise followed immediately by a tricep exercises with no rest in between. Thriving with supersets helps increase overall muscle growth.
Perform this workout twice a week and watch your arms explode.
If you notice your forearms are lagging behind you should add 5 sets of reverse curls every single workout until they catch up with the rest of your body. Forearms can be trained everyday or every other day.
Workout Tips for Bigger Arms
When doing dumbbell curls, rotate your forearm inward to bring your your pinky higher than your thumb when at the top of the curling motion. This will give you a harder contraction in your bicep which is needed for muscle growth.
Focus on the basic lifts and keep tension on the muscle and you’ll grow.
Eat Your Protein
To grow you must get enough calories and protein.
Eat 3 big meals a day and get at least 150-200 grams of protein daily.
Train Often and Train with Intensity
Perform arm workouts two times a week 3-4 days apart from each other.
Train Your Entire Body
A big body can build bigger arms. Train your legs, back and core just as often, and with just as much intensity and enthusiasm as you train arms and your arms will grow even bigger.
How to Get Bigger Arms at Home
You can get a great arm workout at home in 20-30 minutes. No gym membership required.
Just be sure to do your pushups, pull ups and body squats, too!
For more information how to build big arms:
How to Build Big Forearms (article)
How to Build Big ‘Boulder Shoulders’ (article with video)