Let’s face it, one of the main reasons people start lifting weights other than a big thick chest, is to get massively bigger arms! Everyone wants huge vascular arms that are just one more bicep flex away from a nuclear explosion! It is also one of the first things that any one notices about a person that lifts, how else would they know you lift?
Not everyone, however, can have those thick and vascular arms. You can do all the bicep curls that you want but after a certain point, the gains just slow down and your arm progression goes down to millimeters rather than inches. Yikes!
So how do we get bigger arms?
Train your triceps!
Did you know that your triceps make up the biggest portion of your arm? 2/3 of your arm consists of the tricep, the bicep is only a very tiny muscle. Start working towards that horseshoe and you will notice an immediate boost in your arm mass. It will also make your arm look more natural and well rounded, rather than just one sided. Add a couple sets of tricep pushdowns and skull-crushers to your arm routine.
Train your forearms
Do not forget to train your forearms, ever! Yes, most exercises do train them indirectly but if you really want a full dimensional arm, then train your forearms. A nice thick arm just looks weird with tiny forearms. It just doesn’t look right! Use a thick bar or fat gripz during your barbell workouts to actively engage your forearms. Exercises such as heavy farmer walks are also a great way to grow your forearms.
Have a separate arm day
While it’s true that exercises such as the bench-press and bent over barbell rows target your triceps and biceps, there will come a point that this will just not be enough muscle stimulation for your arms to continue growing. Once the beginner gains come to an end, you will need to really start focusing on your arms. Add a separate day for your arms and have a mix of exercises that focus on strength as well as size. Utilize exercises such as: close-grip bench press, skull-crushers and tricep pushdowns for the triceps and heavy (relatively) barbell bicep curls, hammer curls and concentration curls for the biceps.
Make sure to only use weight that you know you can handle because the arms are a small muscle group and that makes them more vulnerable to tears and injuries. For bigger arms, lift for results and not ego.
This should go without saying but always make sure that you are recovering and eating well. Even though your arms recover fairly quickly, they still need time to grow. Leave at least 2 days between your arm workouts and make sure you are eating in a calorie surplus with a good amount of protein. Your body needs food to grow!
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