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Need Help with Arm Growth

Alright so a little info. i’m an 18 year old male 150 pounds 5’6. and i’ve been working out for a year and like 3 months but November 2020 i got in a motorcycle crash and lost like all my gains so after that i basically restarted back to where i was when i first started. So now it’s going good i’m eating a lot and i take pre workout, creatine, turkestone, and noxygen (nitric oxide) 7 hours of sleep or more every night everything seems to be developing well except for my damn arms, especially biceps, my friend who started working like 5 months ago already has biceps like legit twice the size of mine. triceps seem to grow better but still hard to gain size. i cant seem to get to them to physically get bigger. i train everything basically for hypertrophy because i wanna gain actual SIZE in my arms not strength.

i do an arm day and currently for biceps i do the following exercises 3 sets each 10-12 reps. Normal alternating dumbell curls, hammer curls, crossover hammer curls, reverse ez bar curls, close grip preacher curls, incline dumbell curls, barbell curls, These are super setted with tricep 3 sets 10-12 reps. tricep exercises are straight bar push downs, straight bar underhand pushdowns, tricep rope extension, overhead rope extension, ez bar skull crushers (i do 8 reps on these actually), close grip bench, kickbacks with the cable machine, and dips. They’re might be more i’m forgetting bicep and tricep but you get the idea.

Okay so now you guys know how i work them so what could the problem be? do i need to be going even higher reps or different exercises? Please help any advice will be greatly appreciated. i’ll include pics of my arms so you have an idea.

I think there is a place for pump type work to build up arms, but IMO at your level of development it should be secondary to strength work (work on getting strong arms). Genetics plays into arm size and shape a lot, but the guy moving big weight on close grip bench and weighted chins is going to have big arms for him. Use the pump work to refine things a bit, but don’t neglect strength. Do you strength work first (you currently are doing things backwards).

I am a believer in a high frequency approach in for arms. I can directly work arms 3-4 days a week (at the end), and not have it impact my other lifting. This is the pump type stuff for biceps and triceps. I do chins a lot (3-4 days a week), and I press 2 days a week.

I have never liked my arms, but they are certainly bigger than they used to be.


Any metrics to define strong arms?

IMO, beginners should start with the basics. The arms will grow.

I was a teenager once and thought chest and arms were the mark of a man.

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If you are doing weighted chins for reps with 75 lbs, and close grip bench for reps with 315, I would say you have strong arms. The chin up assumes you are not a tub of lard. These are the numbers that correspond to someone my height / build. Of course this is all relative, but I don’t think too many would think of your arms as weak lol. I believe these are better lifts than most gym rats can do, but I also think they are achievable for most guys.

I kinda think if your arms don’t look developed and you are doing these lifts, then you will only see marginal improvements with pump work. Genetics played you dirty.


Sounds like I need some more strength work

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I can’t do those lifts right now. I could a month ago, but I am dealing with a weird injury in which my tricep and a back muscle don’t fire very hard on my left side. My bench has gone to shit. I can still chin up with a good amount of weight, but I do them kinda in a sideways fashion, so I haven’t been doing them much.

Nothing hurts, just one day those two muscles on the left side had enough of trying to be strong.

I am seeing a PT tomorrow, so hopefully that helps.


Probably the most common statement among men who train for the past century.

  1. It’s mostly hereditary. This is #1 for a reason. You can increase the size of your arms by getting bigger overall, but the relative size of your arms in proportion to the rest of your muscle mass is mostly predetermined at birth. If you are not genetically predisposed to have big arms, relative to the rest of you, you never will, no matter what you do. The only guys I have ever met that were happy with their arms, had big arms, relative to their torso before they ever even touched a weight. This is not to say that you can’t significantly increase the size of your arms. You just won’t be able to change their size in relation to the rest of you, by much. This is true of all body parts. Before I ever touched a weight, I had big legs and pipe cleaner arms. I trained for two decades, gained 65 pounds, and tripled my strength. Guess what! My legs are still massive compared to the rest of me and my arms still suck compared to the rest of me.

  2. You can fight #1 above, and make a very slight difference, by specializing on them, once you have built your mass base. There are a thousand arm specialization routines out there and everyone has a favorite. But don’t make the mistake millions of young men do by specializing before you’ve built the majority of your mass base. You will waste the best training years of your youth by focusing on arms when you still have mass to build everywhere. Don’t specialize on *ANY body part until you can bench 300, squat 400, deadlift 500. Then, identify your weak points and run a specialization program for them.

  3. While you build yourself up, train arms, for sure. But don’t train them any more than you would train any other body part. Physiology 101: As a beginner, you have about 40 pounds of skeletal muscle on your frame, give or take a few based on your height. The combined musculature of both upper arms in an average adult male is about 2.3 pounds, or 5% of your total muscle mass. Train them accordingly.

Why not both? They aren’t as mutually exclusive as some like to think.

Also… you don’t need all the things you have written down in your programming.



Are you gaining weight? I’m struggling to gain arm size as well, but I know if you’re not feeding your body you’re not gonna make any progress


Like @bulldog9899 said - that’s a ton of exercises, even for me. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but fewer sets would serve you well.


I agree with what others have said - train your whole body, train for both size and strength, and cut back on the amount of arm exercises.

Relevant story time - because of a savage injury, I couldn’t train my legs for six years, but I could still train my upper body. I was on a walker or crutches for around 18 months, my triceps GREW, and my dipping strength shot up. However, my arms stalled and would not grow beyond a certain size.

After healing from the injury, I slowly reintroduced squats and deadlifts. In fact, I was so sick of upper body workouts, I slashed the volume… and my arms started growing again. The hormones produced from doing heavy compound lifts, especially using the legs, cause all the muscles to grow.

As a young, returning lifter, train all your muscles, and especially the largest groups, because they’ll cause the greatest systemic growth. Keep your arm day, but decrease the number of lifts to three or four each for the biceps and triceps. Do an exercise in each rep range to work all the fiber types.

For instance, biceps could be weighted chin-ups 4 x 4-6, barbell or EZ bar curls 3 x 6-8, cable preacher curls 3 x 10-12, and incline bench dumbbell curls 2 x 12-15. Triceps could be close grip bench 4 x 3-5, cable press downs 3 x 6-8, single arm dumbbell triceps extensions behind your head 2 x 12-15, and two or three max sets of dips.


So to summarise:

Squats and milk.

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Throw in some Poundstone curls and I think we got the winning formula.

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i do train every body part i hope i didn’t give off that impression. does strength really equal size? i can 6 rep 225 on bench but i don’t think my chest is anymore “better” then the rest of my body?

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I wanted size and everyone i talked to said to go high reps for size so that’s what i did but i’m gonna incorporate more strength now. what if i did half my arm workout strength and then the other half hypertrophy?

right now my knee is still healing from my motorcycle accident so i have to go real easy on legs. i am eating a lot and gaining weight like a pound or a tad more a week or so.

Your rep range is fine… when I talk strength im not specifically meaning 1 rm or even low reps per say. Just don’t ignore some form of progressive of weight on the bar . While I stress using quality form.


I would listen to @bulldog9899 Have you seen that fuckers arms???
Show us those guns big man!

No one wants to really see them.