T Nation

Gaining mass on the arms


I have been trying for a while to pack on some mass on my arms. For biceps, I usually start with barbell curls and go on to dumbbell curls and concentration curls. For triceps, dips, close-grip bench press and extentions. Mostly, I follow Poloquin's principals.

Can someone suggest a routine primarly for increasing strength and mass on the biceps and triceps? Excercises, reps, tempo, order, duration etc.

I am 5 11', 186 lbs, 12 % BF




You are doing more than you need to relative to arm work.

If you gain overall body mass your arms will get bigger. Makes sense? It should. I have never seen a 250lb. man who lifts big poundages and has small pencil like arms. Are you with me on this?

If I were you, here is what I would do: Concentrate on the big movements: Squats, Deadlifts, Chins, Overhead Press, Dumbbell Bench Press. These type of movements. You know?
Keep the sets around 4 or 5. And the reps between 6 and 10.

You will get plenty of work on your Triceps with the pressing movements. You will also get enough bicep work by doing Chin-Ups! (Ever do a negative Chin? We will have to talk sometime).

And don't forget to eat plenty of good healthy, natural food. In three words: Always be full. And supplement with Grow Protein Powder! You will need about 175 grams per day..or so.

Oh, and get plenty of sleep, at least 8 hours a night.

4 months from now you will post a message about how you gained a solid inch on your arms...or somewhere around there..

Best Of Luck To You,



EDT for arms that you will find on this website has worked well for me. On some friends I helped out, they have gained something like an inch and a half in a month all natural not even eating half as much protein as they should, no joke. I would drop the concentration curls from your workouts. If you dont do EDT, heavy compounds make big arms. Pullups with palms facing you, dips, one handed rows, all sorts of stuff.


Eat. If you're small and lean don't expect to be big and mean. You have to eat to grow.


Chins, dips and close-grip benches, among other compound movements. Plenty of food and hard training.


EDT for arms...I personally put 3/4" on upper arms, 1/4" on lower arms...which is saying something since my arms were pretty big already.

Though, iI do agree that you need to put on overall mass as well...if you thighs are 15" don't expect to have 19" arms.


hmmmm.. deads, rows and chins and gain some bodyweight


ZEB had good advice.

As far as training goes, concentrate on getting stronger on all major movements - bench, dead, squat, chins, pullups, rows, shoulder presses, etc. There are many ways to do this. Just ask if you would like some suggestions on how.

Then comes direct arm work. Here is a quote I like about direct arm work:

ZEB was right about the diet, too. You aren't going to grow anything without enough food. Try for 1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Eat clean, but eat over maintenance. (I think Berardi's Massive Eating has a nice approximation of what "maintenance" is for an individual.) Try to get as much as you can from "real" food, then supplement with protein shakes as well.

Also, sleep like a baby.


I've seen guys that can't squat to save their ass with huge arms. They call them parapalegics.

I've also seen my share of guys with functional lower bodies and arms that are definitely out of proportion with the rest of them. I'm sure the big lifts etc. will put size on your arms too but it's not like direct arm work is ineffective. I think a lot of it is genetic and some people are limited.

I know that I have been doing big compound lifts, reverse grip chins, etc. for a couple of years and I'm still stuck at 16-16.345832" for an upper arm measurement. My lifts have all gone up and I've put on some LBM but not much from the shoulders down. Good thing I'm not shooting for any contests or anything. My dreams of 17+" arms are just a pipe dream....get it, pipe dream?



I was finding that my arms were not that big in relation to my build,so i decided to concentrate on movements such as row, dips, chins, close bench press and for direct arm workout i only do standing barbell 3x6reps and incline curl 2-3x10 reps.

I found this worked wonders, goes without saying that i was eating big to grow in the first palce.

i am now 196 lbs at 14%, im 6ft