Bigger arms- every mans dream? Yet, despite hours of curling and pushing in the gym they area rare sight.
Big arms are the ultimate measure of success in life and gym (at least among st the visible body parts), as for the girls they can make an evening dress spectacular.
So how do you get them?
First things first, my name is Maik Wiedenbach, I was not born with great arms but I spent the better part of the last 10 years as a personal trainer in NYC finding out what works and what does not, which makes me some sort of authority on the subject.
Here are my findings
1. TRAIN HEAVY and often while keeping tension and good form
In order to force your body into visible change, you simply must work the most effective arm exercises such as the decline close grip bench, cable curls, California presses and zotman curls with progressively heavier weights and added volume via additional sets or reps. Ideally you want to increase for four weeks, then take a deload week before starting a new cycle of exercises.
Train your arms more often. I have had some decent success by spreading my arm workouts out over a period of 5 training days. I would add 4 sets of biceps and triceps to each training day of the week, as opposed to having just one designated arm day. Do not worry, you will not over train. They are very small muscles and most of us do not do anything physical outside the gym.
2. TRAIN ALL RANGES.
You need to train all three elements of the strength curve. We talked about this before, but most people neglect this aspect of training. Each workout should contain at least one exercise for each of the following positions
STRETCHED POSITION – Incline curls, overhead extension rope stretch,
MID-RANGE OR POWER POSITION– cable curls, hammer curls, perfect curl, laying down curl, dips, California bench
CONTRACTED POSITION– Concentration curls, kick backs , close grip push-ups, curls behind the head.
3. WATCH THE WRIST/ELBOW
Positioning plays a huge role when it comes to training arms. Always keep the wrist neutral ( meaning do not bend it forwards or backwards) when training biceps since it becomes a forearm exercise otherwise.
When doing any type of press down, always tuck the elbow slightly behind you to ensure that the triceps can be properly stretched. Ideally use a long rope or a triceps spreader bar, so you can go besides the body for the full extension.
4. Do not fire guns from a canoe
What do I mean by that? In order to build muscle we must create tension. To do that we need to bring insertion and origin of the muscle together. But this can only happen if one element moves, if both are in motion we are in an unstable scenario aka firing guns from a canoe.
Always have your lats and arms connected, one the arm moves forwards or backwards you are losing tension. This also means you need to lock the shoulder blades down and together at all times. Once you are losing the shoulder blades, it will be very hard to create tension
When using free weights stop in time, do not curl higher than 90% since anything above is a front raise .
Avoid any type of jerky movement or leaning forward, make sure you are only using the target muscle.
5. SIT DOWN.
I find it beneficial to perform most arm exercises seated, since there is one less thing (balance) to worry about and you can truly focus on the mind-muscle connection. When people stand up during curls, they inevitably start swinging back forth. If you are using a standing triceps press down look up point 4 and lock your shoulder blades down and back.
Exercises where you lay down such as cable curls on the floor, California press or close grip presses are also very beneficial.
6.CLEAN UP YOUR DIET.
I have written about that in the past but let me reiterate once more: YOU CAN NOT OUT-EXERCISE A POOR DIET
Here is what you should strive for if you are anywhere from 10-18 % males respectively 15-22 % for females body fat;
1. Protein comes in at 1 gram per lbs of body weight
2. Carbs start at 1.5 grams, increase to 2 grams if you are not developing.
3. Fats should start at 0.5 grams per lbs body weight.
The majority ( meaning 80%) of your foods should be prepared by you, the other 20 % you can split between protein powders and otherwise prepared meals. In the end, only you have your best interest at hand so you need to consider this.
Ask yourself: if it really worth to throw away hours that you spent in the gym for a few bites of junk? I did not think so.
7. Do not rush
Building great arms takes time, do not rush the process. By that I mean do not use any dangerous substances or fad diets in order to get a quick fix. It For every inch of growth you might need to plan 6-12 months of training and dieting properly. Whenever someone approaches you with a “gain one inch in 24 hours” ask yourself: Why did Arnold Schwarzenegger take 15 + years to develop his biceps and trained twice a day when we could have done it in 3 months with this awesome program?
Building muscle means cellular change and that simply takes time.
In order to build big arms you need to
1. Train them as heavy as you can in good form
2. Train them often, think three to four times a week.
3. Make sure we create tension by keeping the shoulder blades tucked and only moving wither origin or insertion.
4. Eat a reasonable diet
5. Do not get side tracked by gimmicks.
If you put all these together, you will have great guns in the near future! If you are looking for a high quality arm workout, here you are!