Massive Arms Workout
How to Maximize the Size of your Arms
One of the first body parts that gets noticed is your arms. While arms are just a small part of the whole picture, there’s no way around wanting to have a set of guns that attracts positive attention. For most guys, the name of the game is achieving arm size and definition. Without the right exercises, reaching your full mountain peak potential will always be just out of reach. Let’s review the basic anatomy of your arm muscles followed by the best exercises that have been proven to maximize muscle growth. We’ll even throw in a comprehensive workout program so you can get started right away.
THE ANATOMY OF THE MUSCLE
Everyone knows what “biceps” and “triceps” are but it’s important to understand how they each function so that you can put them under the right amount of stress for growth.
- Tendons connect the biceps muscle to the bone of the arm.
- The biceps brachii has two sections, or heads: a long head and a short head.
- The long head is found on the outside of the arm and makes up most the biceps brachii.
- The short head is found on the inside of the arm.
- Forms the overall size of what is considered the bicep muscle. Most exercises are geared toward causing hypertrophy in this muscle.
- This is a muscle that can be found deeper than the Biceps Brachii.
- It does play an important role in functional movements as it helps the Biceps Brachii with flexion at the elbow joint. in flexing at the elbow.
- While the Biceps-Brachialis does not make up a large portion of the arm, it is still important for balance in muscle size. You will achieve a rounder, fuller look in your arms by incorporating exercises that target this muscle in your workout program. Your arms will have that “peaked” look that professional bodybuilders have.
- Has three sections, or heads, that form the famous horseshoe shape and make up the entire back of your arm.
- Important for stabilization of the shoulder joint.
- The triceps muscle makes up one third the size of your arm. If your goal is to dramatically increase arm size, you would want to focus on causing maximum hypertrophy in the triceps muscle.
- Under training the triceps muscle can result in over compensation from other muscles, increasing your chances for strains and tears. It’s important to work on your triceps muscle just as much as the biceps muscle.
- Made up of several smaller muscles including:
- Flexor Carpi Ulnaris (outside of the forearm)
- Palmaris Longus (not everyone has this muscle – if you do, it’s in the middle of your forearm)
- Flexor Carpi Radialis (middle of the forearm)
- Pronator Teres (inside of the forearm)
- And a few more even smaller muscles
- Forearms are important for wrist and elbow flexion.
- They also help to balance out the look of your arms. Large biceps and triceps with underdeveloped forearms are aesthetically unpleasing but also a possible risk for strain or injury.
THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE ARM MUSCLES
As simple as it may seem to lift up a gallon of water or throw a basketball, each movement requires a complex set of actions and reactions from your arm muscles. They must work together in order to execute a movement properly. During pushing movements, your triceps muscles must activate while your biceps muscles relax. During pulling movements, the opposite is true. Your biceps will react and activate while your triceps deactivate and relax. It is important to understand this concept as you go through your workout program. Pay close attention to how your own muscles are reacting during a movement. Focus your tension on the action muscle, this will help to stimulate muscular hypertrophy.
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF ARM MUSCLE GROWTH
There are as many theories and methodologies on how to build your arms as there are muscles, tendons, and ligaments within. The two major trains of thought boil down to high repetitions with lower volume and lower repetitions with higher volume. Which one is right? Both of them are actually. In order to achieve a high level of maximum growth, you need to focus on compound movements during your regular workouts and dedicating a day to really hitting your arm muscles (or even a day every couple of weeks). Let’s breakdown the acute variables you should be incorporating into your workout program.
The Acute Variables of The Best Arm Workouts
- 4 to 6
- As demonstrated in a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the repetition range for muscular hypertrophy you want to strive to hit is 40 to 60 per muscle per workout.
- 4 to 6 sets is an ideal amount that will allow you to reach the 40 to 60 repetition range.
- 5 to 10
- As mentioned above, achieving a total of 40 to 60 repetitions per workout has been shown to generate the most growth activation. You can hit this range by using the repetition count of 5 to 10 per set of the exercise.
- For instance, performing 4 heavy sets of 5 reps, and then 4 sets of 10 repetitions will result in 60 total repetitions.
- 75% to 85% of your one repetition maximum, or 1RM (the maximum amount of weight you can perform in one repetition)
- Variety is important when it comes to staying motivated and keeping your training interesting. So you can break up your workout routines by performing a day of high repetition, lower volume sets every now and again. This will help to change things up while providing your arms a much needed break.
Arm Exercise Selection
- When it comes to maximizing growth, it is important to select the appropriate exercises. There’s no need to get fancy. Many of the classic bicep and triceps exercises work best for initiating hypertrophy. We will expand on this below.
- The important thing is that you make sure to switch up exercises every 6 to 10 weeks, depending on your experience level. This will help you to avoid a plateau and sheer boredom.
- To expand on a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the greatest results came from training one body part every 5 to 7 days.
- It is important to note that compound movements such as the bench press and pull-up will activate your arm muscles and give them lots of volume, so there’s no real need to have 2+ arm days per week. Even one arm-specific day every two weeks would be sufficient.
THE BEST ARM EXERCISES YOU NEED FOR GROWTH
Not all arm exercises are the same. Some activate different portions of the arm while others may just be for show, having no real value. We have compiled the best and most effective arm exercises that have been shown to maximize muscle growth. All of the following exercises are free weight based as free weights allow for a greater range of motion without forcing your body into a locked position as many machines do. Machines for the most part just suck, period.
The Best Exercises For The Biceps
Barbell Bicep Curl – How To Perform
- Holding a straight-arm barbell with an under handgrip, stand with a tight core and flat back.
- Keep your upper arm in place and bend from the elbow with a straight wrist.
- Curl the barbell up towards your shoulders.
- Pause at the top of the movement.
- Slowly, lower the weight.