T Nation

How to Train Arms for Growth?

  1. Be strong. You should be able to do lots of dips and chins

  2. Do curls as if you are flexing the muscle in the mirror but happen to have a weight in your arms.

  3. Don’t discount conditioning work like battle ropes and pulling a sled with a long rope.

  4. We can’t all be Arnold, some people just have sucky arms (short biceps, not a great peak, high triceps bellies, etc)

You shouldn’t need to do endless arm work but I wouldn’t ignore it.

yeah you need to go all out on arms several times throughout the year…

also make close grip your main bench variation and try out reverse grip from time to time

For arms it’s all about pump work. Heavy barbell curls isn’t what’s gonna make them grow - using less weight, in a rep range of like 8-12, and focusing on the contraction is. If you really wanna bring them up, I would try to hit them at least twice a week. For biceps, base your workout around dumbbell curls, barbell curls, or preacher curls. The former is what works best for me.

You don’t need to completely obliterate them. Hit about five sets of 8-12 dumbbell curls, then do a pump movement after that, like concentration curls. Find the minimum it takes to make your biceps grow and add to that as needed. That’s the basics. Also, my biceps never grew until I started using full range of motion. You can use partials on your pump movement.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]Miller308 wrote:
Also, a friend of mine who has HUGE arms said to count the reps after I start feeling the burn.

He is right. This is because you lack the mmc to make use of heavy weights at lower rep ranges.

What you want to do now is NOT purposefully use exercise variations that force you to go light or eliminate cheating etc, but use methods to improve on your mmc since that should be the objective. Once you do that, you can make anything work.

For example, from what your friend suggested, you can something barbell curls for high reps at the start, with the objective of getting as much of a pump as possible. Then, do standing dumbbell curls as heavy as possible for 6-8 reps. Notice the difference when your biceps are pumped up. Squeeze the weight up forcefully from the bottom, maintain the contraction all the way and lower the weight under control with the biceps. You CAN cheat as long as you are lifting the weight with your biceps. You can end up doing a weird dance like Branch Warren as long as the mmc is there.

In the end, you should be able to do this without pumping up your biceps at the start because your mmc is good enough. The arms are just like any other bodypart. You can train them the same way.

What about 1 bicep and 1 tricep exercise, per session, twice per week.

The dips and rows and chins and presses will wear your arms out. You won’t have the juice to do tons of arm work. Just finish 1 upper body session with your incline curls, and a tricep extension with elbows “out.” Do barbell curls and a tricep extension with elbows “in” to finish another upper body session.

This way you get more frequency, without adding tons of garbage arm volume.

I’ve read in sciences that small muscle groups like your arms can recover from exercise in 12 hours. So, theoretically, you could even do 1 bicep and 1 tricep, pump style move on 1or 2 of your lower body days. In scientifical theory.

Lots of guys talk about doing hi rep tricep pushdowns with bands or something on an off day. Not exactly a whole arms day. Just something to do besides drinking beer while you watch football. I just started this week.

Getting me to train arms is like getting a kid to eat vegetables: it requires many gimmicks to hold my attention.

My 2 most recent gimmicky bicep workouts are

Axle curl strip set: 100 reps total. 20 reps per set, strip weight until you hit 100.

Hammer curl/DB curl drop set: Sets of 10, do 1 set hammer curl, drop 5lbs, do that set curl, drop 5lbs, repeat

I also like grenade balls, chains, bands, pretty much anything “different”. This is done once a week.

I love my Fat Gripz handles for curls.

I thought I saw some grenade balls in your last photo. How do you like those things? Years ago I had a softball with a screw-eye in it, but it was kinda whack.

As far as tempo and reps, I agree with beyond. Slow execution, especially on the negative. Hold the peak contraction for a pause. Do many reps. Make this the opposite of your strength work.

Grenade balls are pretty nifty. I don’t really get much of a “grip strength” benefit from them, but I like them for relieving elbow pain. Having that open hand for curls, extensions, pulldowns, etc really goes a long way. A heavy duty carabineer makes them pretty versatile too, and they’re dirt cheap. Elitefts always has some sort of sale going, and a bunch of other companies make analogues as well.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

how big are your arms, and what is your height/weight?

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Don’t fall for the trap of thinking compound movements are enough for big arms. You NEED isolation to make your biceps grow. For triceps, you can get away with it more.

Also, what the guy above said about MMC is also very important.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]Miller308 wrote:
Arms are about 15 1/4

Height is about 5’9"
Weight is around 190-195. I’m having quite a bit of fluctuation so I don’t have an accurate measure.[/quote]

Jeez, I’m about the same size as you (5’9" on a tall day and around 200lbs) and I’m sitting around 14.75" biceps. I guess I’m going to have to work on these girls as well. Never found their size to be un-proportionately small though.
Although last night was my first direct bicep exercise in awhile, like you mostly compound lifts.

Some good information here (most of which has already been listed above):

Plus it is a CT article, nuf’ said.

[quote]Miller308 wrote:
Can I get some input on my program please? thanks guys[/quote]

It’s a collection of reps, sets, and exercises. If it makes you bigger and stronger, it’s the right program for you.

I don’t feel like you’re at a point in your training where programming is the biggest concern in all honesty. You can most likely make great progress with almost any approach.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.