If you want to get bigger arms there are five things you absolutely have to do. In this video, I’m going to show you the best way to build bigger biceps and triceps, especially when you want to see rapid results. From the way you want to split up your workouts to the exact exercises that are going to deliver the fastest gains, you will not want to miss this.
It starts by acknowledging that, despite what you may have been told, you are going to have to go back to adding an “arm day” to your routine. At the very least, if you are training with a full body split you are going to have to add some direct arm exercises like a barbell curl and triceps extension to your workout day. The reason is, though the compound lifts are essential to building a base of strength and size, the specific arm focus you achieve by doing dedicated big lifts for your arms is going to have additional size payoff.
Whether you are following a total body split or a push pull legs split, find a way to add at least one big arm movement for each the biceps and triceps to the end of your training days. Alternatively and likely more effective, simply add a dedicated arm training day to the end of your training week. For instance, if you are doing a full body workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, add an arm workout for biceps and triceps to either Saturday or Sunday.
Now on that arm day, there are a few things you want to keep in mind to make sure you’re getting the most from your workout.
First thing is, you don’t want to be excessive with the number of exercises that you are performing to build bigger biceps and triceps. Remember, the elbow is a simple hinge joint that can be trained with just a few solid exercise choices. In fact, early on in my training I attributed almost all of my arm gains to just three exercises; the chin-up, barbell curl and lying triceps extension or skullcrusher.
If you want to get elaborate, limit yourself to one exercise in each of the following categories: a stretch position loaded exercise, contracted position loaded exercise and a main compound movement. This would go for both the biceps and triceps. Some sample exercise selections are provided in the video that meet these criteria.
Whichever arm exercises you do select, remember to always accentuate the eccentric or negative portion of the lift. That means, always work on slowing down the return portion of the repetition. Don’t simply drop the bar at the end of every rep. Fight to resist it’s return to the starting position and I promise you the gains you see from this will be very quick (especially if you haven’t been doing this up to now).
If you are in need of something new, since it seems you’ve been training arms for awhile now and your gains have stalled, there is something you can try. The biceps waiter curl is something that will not only help you to add arm size by building your biceps but it will help you to take the forearms out of the movement to focus on building bigger biceps peaks. The lying EZ bar extension / JM Press combo is a powerful way to manipulate the fatigue that you experience during either version of the exercise to get the most out of both.
Either way, whichever exercise choices you make, be sure to never overlook the value of stretching your biceps and triceps at the end of every workout. Just like all other muscles in your body, these can get tight and when they do, they impair the performance of them in the bigger lifts and hold back the size you can see in them from your workouts. Stretch them at night for best carryover and longevity over time.
If you are looking for arm workouts that will build not just big arms but your entire body, be sure to head to athleanx.com at the link below and check out our Ultimate Arms program. See how training your entire body like an athlete can have a profound effect on building bigger arms as well.
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Jeff Cavaliere M.S.P.T, CSCS
Jeff Cavaliere is a Physical Therapist, Strength Coach and creator of the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs and ATHLEAN-Rx Supplements. He has a Masters in Physical Therapy (MSPT) and has worked as Head Physical Therapist for the New York Mets, as well as training many elite professional athletes in Major League Baseball, NFL, MMA and professional wrestling. His programs produce “next level” achievements in muscle size, strength and performance for professional athletes and anyone looking to build a muscular athletic physique.