This is a topic that every male is interested in since every weightlifting male dreams of having large arms. However, many males do not know the correct approach to training arms and strictly perform endless amounts of curls multiple times a week while lacking significant results. This is an issue that is extremely easy to fix when you take the time to learn how to train your arms properly. Firstly, it’s important to under the arms muscle make up. The arm is made up of 3 major muscle groups:
In simple terms, to train the biceps you will perform curling motion exercises and to train the triceps you will perform pushing motion exercises. The triceps are the largest of the arm muscles and makes up 2/3 of your upper arm. The bicep is actually quite small in comparison making up only 1/3 of your upper arm. So it is important to train your triceps more frequently, around 2-3 times a week and perform exercises with the heaviest weight load you can push. Super setting as many exercises as possible for training arms is highly recommended to help create the greatest pump by increasing blood flow to the muscle region to further stimulate the muscle for as long as possible during your workout.
✓ Tip 1
Always start your arm workout with close grip bench press. This is the greatest exercise for training your triceps because it allows you to go as heavy as you can and create the greatest stimulation in your triceps compared to any other exercise. Perform this with the heaviest weight load you can push for 6+ sets of 6-8 reps. Keep your rest between sets to a minimum to increase blood flow. You should be looking to rest for no more than 45-60 seconds between sets.
✓ Tip 2
Always start your bicep routine with dumbbell concentration curls. This is to give your arms an immediate pump and increase in blood flow to expand the muscle size immediately and drive your muscles towards fatigue much faster. Perform these for about 6 sets of 10 reps per arm for a total of 12 working sets of concentration curls.
✓ Tip 3
Immediately after concentration curls you should go on to your next exercise, which is Standing Barbell Curls. For this perform these with the straight bar using whatever grip you prefer. Keep your elbows tucked in as tight as you can by your sides though and make sure to squeeze the contraction at the top of each curl or rep. Make sure your weight load during this exercise is as heavy as you can lift. You will want to perform around 5+ sets of 8-10 reps. After this exercise is finished you should be extremely fatigued to the point where you need a rest before moving on and giving everything you’ve got in the next exercise.
✓ Tip 4
Now it’s time for 2 Arm Preacher Curls. Using either a machine, barbell or cambered bar (bent bar) use a weight load that is still heavy, but make sure you can perform around 8 reps or so. You will want to make sure that with each rep you allow the weight to come up as high as possible and squeeze the biceps as hard as you can. When you release/lower the weight, make sure to lower as far down as possible and hold this position to allow the muscle fibers to stretch fully at both ends of the insertion. Squeeze and bring the weight back up while contracting the muscles and repeat for around 8 reps for a total of 6 sets or more.
✓ Tip 5
After preacher curls your biceps should be on fire, so it’s time to move back to triceps with, V-Bar Cable Push Downs. This is performed using the bent V shaped bar or a narrow grip bar on the cable machines. Attach the bar at the highest point on the machine using the heaviest weight load you can push. Lean in slightly to help make sure the weight load is completely on your triceps and not the upper body itself. Push the bar down and squeeze the triceps to help engage them. Do not worry about trying to keep your elbows tucked in the entire time as it is perfectly acceptable for elbows to flare outwards with this motion since using the heaviest weight you can possible push puts all of the strain or tension on the triceps. Perform these push downs for 6 sets of 6-8 reps.
✓ Tip 6
Last exercise is triceps dips. Make sure you go low enough on this exercise and do not ‘cheat’ yourself. You can either perform your dips weighted or just with your bodyweight depending on your fatigue levels. You should aim to perform 5 sets, and each set go until failure.
Take Home Message
One of the most important things to take home from this article is that for the development of big arms your triceps are the muscle that make ups most of your arms mass. This means your triceps should be trained more to achieve bigger arms. This doesn’t mean that the biceps should be neglected in your training, they’re still very important for giving your arms that ‘big’ look we are after. Try the exercises above, work hard and watch your arms grow.