“How to get big arms?” is one of the most common questions a gym-goer will ask himself when trying to build muscle. Let’s face it, arms are the one muscle that gets all the attention and are easily visible in a t-shirt. However, building big bulging arms is not an easy task and many gym rats spend countless hours in the gym only to see minimal results. By reading this article, you will learn that the biggest factor in gaining big arms is not just to work hard – but to work smart.
Triceps > Biceps
Triceps make up around 2/3’s of the size of your arm. Many gym-goers only do bicep exercise such as bicep curls. However, lots of emphasis should be on tricep exercises such as diamond pushups, V bar pushdowns, dips etc.
If you train biceps and triceps together (which is recommend later), always perform tricep exercises before bicep exercises, this is a typical example of how you can make triceps more of a priority than biceps.
Train to failure
Training to failure simply means to keep performing reps until you physically cannot complete the last rep. To do this safely on big compound movements (i.e. bench press) you should have a spotter, to help you lift up the weight when you cannot perform that last part of the movement.
Training to failure is an effective methodology for muscle growth, as by doing so, you are really fatiguing the muscle. The more a muscle fatigues, the bigger it will grow once it fully repairs. However, note in that last sentence ‘when it repairs fully’.
If you train a muscle whilst it is still fatigued, and hasn’t fully rested – you will risk temporarily overtraining the muscle. This can result in a decrease in muscle size and decrease in strength. To prevent this, leave a minimum of 48-72 hours of rest, and after this if you are not sore it should be okay to train this muscle again.
Keep your muscles guessing
When you repeat the same workouts over and over again, your body becomes accustomed to the workout, and then has no reason to grow. In this case, it would be wise to ‘shock’ your muscles into growth. This can be done by increasing your training session duration, changing rep ranges, sets, resting time and lifting tempo. To find out about a lifting tempo that can produce dramatic muscle gains, take a read of: “Mike Mentzer’s 3 second Rule for Building Muscle“.
The more you change up your workouts the more excuse there is for your body to grow as each workout will challenge your body in a new way and from a different angle.
It’s not only beneficial for your arms to change your workouts up every few weeks, but it is also important to keep things fresh in the gym and keep motivation levels high. After all, it is your motivation to why you’re reading this article, and it will be your motivation as to why you will achieve your muscle building goals.
Train Bi’s and Tri’s together
Instead of having a back and biceps day or a chest and triceps day. Arrange a training split of an arm day (biceps and triceps). When you train your biceps and triceps together you will achieve a maximum pump in your arm, as opposed to just a pump in the bicep region on back and bicep day.
So, how will achieving a bigger pump make my arms grow bigger permanently? Well, there is tough cartilage around the muscle, called fascia. Fascia provides friction to the muscle wanting to grow bigger and outwards. The more you stretch this fascia the more capacity there will be for arm growth. Thus by getting as big a pump as possible, you will make the fascia more stretchy and flexible encouraging bigger arms.
Another recommendation is to superset bicep and tricep exercises. This means performing a tricep exercise, then once finished go straight into a bicep exercise (with no rest in-between). This will increase blood flow and ‘the pump’ even more so, in comparison to taking rest in-between. After a superset – rest of at least a minute is essential as this method of training is intense. Creatineis also effective for the same principle, as it attracts water inside the muscle cell, resulting in increased size.
Nutrition/Supplementation for Maximum Arm Growth
These are specific arm techniques you can use to create bigger arms, but arguably the most important component in creating big arms is your nutrition – which can be very complex.
A good supplement stack is needed to build muscle and big arms. Some supplements that have given me some great gains on my arms are:
. TestoFuel’s Testosterone Booster
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. Whey Protein
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