If I had to take an educated guess I would say 75% of men get into lifting for one reason to get bigger arms. I might be off base here, but if you ask yourself deep down what was the first thing you started doing when you lifted, the answer is more than likely bicep curls or bench press.
Now many of the articles you read today are going to talk about “functional” fitness and compound movements to build your body. While I am all for the BIG 4-5 movements as the foundational base of your physique, you are going to have to hit up some direct arm work if you want jacked arms. Unless you’re one of the lucky 15% of guys who won of genetic arm lottery you might not have to worry about it, but for the rest of use we have to put some extra time into training the gun show.
Start with these 3 basic tips to help your lagging biceps & triceps grow into yoked pythons.
Train your biceps/triceps together on their own day.
Design your program in a way you can dedicate a good solid 45-60 minutes on your biceps/triceps each week. Why? Anytime you can train your arms when they are full of ATP & glycogen you can typically give a little more effort, and get a little better pump. You tend to not be exhausted from doing let’s say chest/ when you hit your triceps or from doing shoulders then moving to biceps. If you start treating your arms as a priority and not an after thought you will reap the rewards. The best comparison would be when training legs; many guys throw calves in for a few sets as an after thought at the end…don’t let your arms (like many people treat their calves) be an afterthought. If you want them to grow you need to give the muscle enough stimulus to grow, so dedicate a session each week to your arms.
Train your arms 2 x per week (with a little more triceps love)
Depending on your lagging parts if you dedicate 1 day per week solely to arms, I suggest throwing in some additional arm work on another training day. Common sense has to kick in at some point and you realize your biceps make up only 1/3 of your arm, so while they are important I would argue your triceps are even more vital for big guns. The triceps has 3 heads that make up the mass of your arm, so if possible I suggest throwing in a mix of triceps work on another day separate from your arm day. It can be any other day of the week where you can squeeze in some dips, skull crushers, overheads extensions, or rope pull downs to get a good pump of all 3 heads.
Play with the rep ranges
While we all vary per lifter I find that there is some magic across the board with the 5-10 rep range when training arms. Now I am not saying you can’t go lower or higher but I like a good mix of the 5-10 rep range. If you do venture outside 10 reps for a good pump – I suggest a pumping out the lighter sets at 12-15 reps max. You will find a range that works for you that you respond best to over time. If you can evenly spread out your rep ranges 1/3 heavy reps, 1/3 moderate reps, 1/3 lighters reps changing the rep ranges as you progress up or down. No matter the ranges or rep scheme make sure your form is on point and you are giving your muscle enough time under tension. This way you can ensure you are giving our muscle enough stimuli from all angles.
Arm yourself with these 3 tips when you approach your training this month and see if it’s doesn’t give you a help building your guns.
Jeremy Scott is the creator of Jeremy Scott Fitness in North Scottsdale. He is an Olympia Labs Health Advisor, Reebok Athlete, Fitfluential Ambassador and the Co-Creator of Get Lean Gluten Free.
He was voted one of the Top 20 Fitness Blogs in America. He is a nationally published and contributing author for numerous fitness publications and has helped thousands of people across America get into and stay in the best shape of their lives.