Secrets to Bigger, Stronger Arms

The secret to bigger stronger legs is heavy simple movements and plenty of rest in between power movements (and between workouts in general). And a lot of guys put this same regimen to work for them when working their arms. It makes sense that it should work the same way, but there are enough differences in the muscle fibers and joints that arms need their own approach to gaining size and strength.

As Heavy as You Can Perform in Perfect Form

When you are standing on a rack with 500 pounds on your shoulders doing squats, there are not many ways you can cheat, other than minimizing the distance you are traveling (half squats). However, when doing curls and triceps, you have access to all kinds of other bigger muscles you can pull in by swinging the weight. However, we all know that this does nothing other than cheating yourself from getting an effective arm workout.

If you like lifting heavy, you’ll want to go only as heavy as you can perform in strict form. We also recommend using a full range of motion, meaning to stretch the muscle all the way open, before pulling it in tight and squeezing it. And arms do respond to low reps and heavy weight, which means you can throw on enough weight to only perform 3 to 5 perfect reps, but we would not do that more than once or twice a month or you could end up overtraining.

Don’t Forget Your Forearms

When was the last time that you heard praise about building a great set of forearms? It is not often, yet they hold the key to lifting heavy for just about every other muscle in your body. It is difficult to deadlift heavy with weak forearms, just as much as it is to curl or press. At the beginning (or end) of your arm routine, we recommend doing some work on your forearms, concentrating on strengthening your grip. Hand vices work great, or you can also perform a few sets of holding a couple of heavy dumbells to your sides for as long as you can.

Another great way to shock the forearms, biceps, and triceps into new/quick growth is to use bar grips. Your body will adapt to the size of a standard Olympic bar rather quickly, and from there on it will be difficult to shock the muscles. By altering the diameter of the bar, the muscles are unable to adapt, and so they must strengthen in order to handle the ever-changing workloads. Yes, your forearms are far more important to your overall size and strength than most guys realize.

Isolation Work

When discussing how to get big, much of the work involved is heavy, compound, simple movements. That is what your body responds to. However, we are actually isolating a comparably small muscle out from your larger ones, which requires more of a mind/body connection. When lifting heavy, your body responds by utilizing as many muscles as it can to get the job done, but we’re not interested in what your body wants, but rather what it needs.

To work the biceps and triceps effectively you need to connect your mind to those muscles so that you can focus all the weight into the hand going directly to those muscles. If you’re new to isolation work, the best way to teach yourself is to concentrate on one arm at a time. You can gain some pretty phenomenal control over these muscles with enough practice. Isolation work can also balance out any inconsistencies that your right or left dominant brain has caused. Most people have a stronger arm, but to build bigger, stronger arms means that you also want them to be balanced.

Standing Ovation at the End of Every Chest and Back Workout

Most men work every body part once a week, and that is fine for the large muscles. The arms, however, are unique in that it is impossible to work the upper body without enlisting at least a portion of their aid. And so, even though you may not intend to, you end up working them out about twice a week, which is perfect, but you can actually do better than that.

A secret about strengthening your arm muscles is that they can handle more workouts per week, so we recommend doing some strict isolation work on the days that you do chest and back. In particular, do triceps after a chest workout, and biceps after your back (rows) workout. And we did say ‘isolation’ work, so break out those adjustable dumbells and focus on squeezing and lengthening the muscles with every rep.

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About Dr. Eric J. Leech

Eric has written for over a decade. Then one day he created, a site for every guy.

About Dr. Eric J. Leech

Eric has written for over a decade. Then one day he created, a site for every guy.