For many men a workout that builds bigger arms is the holy grail of the iron game.
Bigger arms have always been a goal for most men who lift weights.
But it was Arnold Schwarzenegger, with his legendary arms, that put bigger arms on the forefront of most male lifters’ minds.
Now building bigger arms is not as important to most women.
But most of these women, including ones whom I have trained, really appreciate having strong arms vs. the Olive Oil arms they started with.
While all lifters should strive to create symmetry and balance with their body, there is nothing wrong with focusing on your arms if they are a weak point.
But in the same vein if your arms are already great and the rest of your body looks like a broke jumpshot, you have to address the rest of your body. You should start here.
Arms and upper body in general were a weak point for me in the past. If you are naturally skinny, (I entered college 130-35lb at almost 6 feet tall!) you may have a similar story to mine.
I remember days in grade school and high school where I did not have the strength to do a pull-up or even bench press my bodyweight. I had total pipe cleaners for arms.
The first time I started to see some progress in my arms is when I was gifted an old Body By Jake chin-up/dip station by my parents.
I got decently good at the dips, but I avoided the chin-ups because I was terrible at them.
The last sentence is crazy for me to even type because as I matured I began to embrace all challenges. The man you know today and the boy I was in the past had two totally different mindsets!
Our college track program did not feature any direct arm work, so my arms did not grow during that time.
It wasn’t until I got into natural bodybuilding that I began to put more of a focus on building some bigger pipes.
I believe at my first natural bodybuilding show I had 11-12 inch arms. I was cut up, but man those were some skinny arms!
But at my peak arm size, I got up to a 15-inch arm. While I’ll never have 17-inch guns, adding 2-3 inches of beef onto a naturally skinny arm changed them dramatically.
Many men and women say 2-3 inches is nothing, but they don’t know what they are talking about.
These folks may say it does not matter, but they would be ecstatic, if they could add 2-3 inches onto their height, arm length, hairline, or even subtract 2-3 inches from their waistline.
Size does matter but how you look and perform matter more.
I’ve seen some lifters with 17-18 inch arms, but these lifters are also about 20 percent body fat. That makes for a big, but flabby arm.
That same lifter, depending on how much muscle they have, will probably sport a 14-16 inch arm when they are actually lean.
This workout will take us through a few different rep ranges to truly get those pipes to grow.
• If you are strong right now, use a dipping belt for your dips and pull/chin-ups.
• If you are not strong enough yet, use resistance bands until you get stronger. Pack up your ego and send it to South Africa.
• Focus on building bigger arms and not worrying about what people think about you using the assistance bands. You will have the chance to be more muscular and stronger than all of the Tony Talkers.
• Remember every expert was once a beginner.
• Lift on M/T/Th/Sa or a Su/M/W/Fr training split.
• Each set should be challenging, but not to failure. But don’t cheat yourself and use a weight that you can get 20 times for your 4 x 8 sets.
• For the RP-21 sets (7 x 3) check out this article to learn how to do the program.
• For your 7 x 3 sets rest 30 seconds between moves and 60-75 seconds between sets.
• For your 5 x 5 sets rest 45 seconds between moves and 75-90 seconds between sets.
• For your 4 x 8 sets rest 45 seconds between moves and 90 seconds between sets.
• For your 3 x 10 sets rest 30 seconds between moves and 75 seconds between sets.
Day 1: Bigger Arms Workout 1
Close Grip Chin-Ups SS Dips 7 x 3
Barbell Curls SS Floor Press 4 x 8
Incline Dumbbell Hammer Curls SS EZ Bar Skullcrushers 3 x 10
Day 2: Lower Body
Squats SS Glute Ham Raise 7 x 3
Barbell Hack Squats SS RDL 4 x 8
Seated Calf Raises 5 x 10
• rest 45 seconds between sets
Day 3: Bigger Arms Workout 2
Hammer Grip Chin-Ups SS Decline Close Grip Bench Press 5 x 5
EZ Bar Curls SS Dips 4 x 8
Incline Dumbbell Curls SS Dumbbell Skullcrushers 3 x 10
Day 4: Upper Body And Sprinting
Overhead Press SS Pull-Ups 4 x 6-8
Seated Dumbbell Press SS T-Bar Rows 4 x 8-10
Lateral Raises SS Dumbbell Pullovers 3 x 10-12
Standing Calf Raises 5 x 10
• rest 45 seconds between sets
Sprinting (learn the basics about sprinting here)
4 x 30m
3 x 100m
You can use this specialization program for 6 weeks before switching back to a more balanced training program. Plan a 1 week deload week at week 4.
So I understand why many men want bigger and more muscular arms.
Arms are a centerpiece muscle for a man and this arms focused workout program will help you reach that goal.
But do not forget to train the rest of your body, or you will be nothing more than the average, unbalanced physique meathead at the commercial gym.
You don’t want to be the 21st century version of Johnny Bravo. That is the definition of fake hustle!
I’ll holla at you next time.
The Peoples Trainer,