T Nation

Honesty About Big Arms


Hi there,
the reason I write this,is I want to know an honest and affordable diet(trainingplan) to maximize my arms.
I am 19 years of age, 6´´3 and 180 pounds. I read about bodybuilding and training talked to coaches (I play Basketball) and Doctors and all i get from over 1,5 years of gathering information and trying new ways to train/dieting is a bunch of I call it "tricks",

no one is able to tell me what kind of diet I am supposed to do best (supplements: Creatine/WheyProt./Minerals/O3)When to eat/drink them ? how much rest ? Is my plan right ?
So could you please comment this post and help me to finally grow my arms(size).
Thanks in advantage and Greetings from Germany ... Dan


Couple of things:

Get seriously strong on your arm exercises... Alt. Curl the 80's-100's (i.e. 35-45 Kilos per arm or so) for a good number of reps... Do EZ Extensions with 185+ (85+ Kg) for reps (bar coming down behind head, you're lying on the flat bench, shoulders stay on the bench, upper arms stop at an incline, not perpendicular to the floor)... Some tricep pressing movement (CG Bench, pin press, IH or SWRGB or whatever), lots of weight for reps... That kind of stuff, but of course you don't actually have to get all the way there, it depends on just how big you want your arms to be... And exercise selection is an individual thing, I'm just giving examples there.

Gain bodyweight (and get strong all over, sort of goes without saying... and eat enough to gain weight... Shoot for about 1.5-2 grams of protein per lb of bodyweight... 1.5 is a good starting point, once you get over 220 or so you might really want to consider going towards 1.8 or so, but ultimately you also have to eat enough fat and carbs, ratios depend on what works best for you, to grow and gain strength at a good pace...

Usually, the stronger you get on arm work (any exercise letting your arms do most of the work, really) compared to your bodyweight, the bigger your arms should end up being at that weight... Thing is, at 180 lbs at your height, you definitely will have to gain weight in order to get your arms up to a nice level of size... 6'3 180 lbs guys just don't have big arms usually.

If you need me to be more specific, just ask... And of course there is more than one way to skin the cat, but ultimately it all boils down to progression in body and exercise -weight to some degree.


Ad for your diet, no need to overthink it... Some guys like to be very specific and eat exactly the same stuff every day at the same time... Others prefer a more flexible approach...

I'd suggest making a list of foods which you can use as protein, carb and fat sources (stuff you can eat a lot of/which is calorie dense and which doesn't exactly make you puke)... Get some rough idea of what a regular serving of each would give you in terms of calories and whatever macro it mostly gives you (P/F/C)... And then combine these whichever way you like to get different meals per day, and then make sure to get enough total calories and protein in.

Carb and fat amounts which work best for you? You have to find that one out for yourself. Articles and other people's advice can only help you so much, a lot of this is about learning your bodies little quirks etc...

Also, while you're at it, head over to elitefts and watch the video series on bench, squat and deadlift setups.

Also, supplements aren't really that important... At least not at your stage. Protein powder is pretty much just food... You use it to fill the difference between the amount of protein you get from solid food and your daily protein goal, or at work or whatever when a regular meal isn't always an option... I like alternating a solid meal with a shake because I just can't eat enough solid food to get in all my macros and calories anymore, but you may not yet have that issue.

Creatine can help if you don't eat much red meat, but it's not vital or anything.


FWIW, if you are completely new to training, definitely read the "professor X: a request" thread (stickied at the top of the forum I believe) and browse some of the other threads referenced in the "best of T-Nation" sticky... There are threads about various kinds of diets in there as well.

I didn't mention non-arm lifts much except for the "get stronger and bigger all over" -part because I kind of expect you to be training your entire body and making progress already... So again, if you are completely new to training, training just arms usually doesn't get people very far.


Hope this guy wasn't a troll because that was great advice.



Pfff who cares if he was a troll if the rest of us benefit from CCs advice.


Seriously that was awesome CC as arms are one of my weakest points and I only wish I could curl the 80's

In fact since we've got you answering questions what sort of rep / percentage should I use to try and make progress on curls?

Right now I can do the 45's for 6 reps but can't get the 50's up once. Maybe I'm just not ramping properly and I've tried a few different methods. So if my goal is to get let's say 3 curls on each side with the 50's as a start how would you approach it? I've taken to doing band work and saw some growth that way and as of a few weeks ago began ditching the dumbells for barbell curls with cheat if need be to try and force some growth..

Also do you do dips or prefer more isolated movements for triceps- and do you do them before any compound lifts or after (namely before or after benching)?


ive been working 80-90 degree one arm db curls and gotten up to 50's for 3-4 reps, then i move to heavy barbell curls. As of now i can standing db curl 60's for 5+ reps and see no signs of slowing down, i would work exercises you can go heavy on and isolate as well as things like barbell curls which you can use to overload with less strict form/


I've been curious - on the lying EZ bar extensions, do you tuck your shoulders like for presses or is it unimportant (actually just tried them yesterday, I began by tucking but once I got into position over my head they seemed to come out)? And would you ever consider using the wider grip?