The Real Secret To Building Big Arms

big arms doing push downs

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Let’s face it, everybody wants big, muscular arms. You know the kind of arms I’m talking about, they sort of look full and square and usually have a garden hose sized vein running through them.

These are the kind of arms that command power and usually draw stares from everyone who sees them.

Yes, a big pair of arms is something that every weight trainer desperately wants.

It be nice to have a set of arms like that, wouldn't it? Well, if you're reading this page, chances are, you'd like to have a pair of muscular arms.

How do you build big, muscular arms?

Now, I’m not going to lie to you. Only a lucky few will be able to attain 21 inch arms. Not all of us are genetically blessed to allow for that kind of arm growth. Don’t feel bad because I got some great news for you. Anyone, can build big arms that are 18 or maybe even 19 inches round. Believe me, these are big arms and will be noticed no matter what you're wearing.

Genetics aside, attaining big guns is possible for just about anyone and there is no real secret to building big arms. There are really two things you must remember when you are building big arms. First, big arms are not built by actually training arms. And second, if you want to build arms, you must prioritize their training.

Hold On! What Do You Mean Big Arms Are Not Built By Training Arms!

Alright, you got me. Your arms will grow if you train arms and prioritize them. What I’m talking about is to add some big poundages on certain movements that will allow for big time arm growth.

Let me ask you a question. What do you think will be more beneficial to your arm growth. Doing concentration curls with 20 pound dumbbells? Or doing a heavy set of bent over barbell rows using 225 pounds? How about doing triceps kick backs in comparison to heavy bench presses? I’ll tell you right now with absolute certainty that barbell bent over rowing is going to be much more beneficial to your biceps growth than concentration curls. As will heavy bench presses will do for your triceps growth when compared to triceps kickbacks.

The real secret to building big arms are the compound movements. Compound movements are actually massive growth movements and must be performed if you ever want to get out of the 16 inch arm phase and move on to big time arms.

Believe me, no one has ever built big arms by simply doing triceps kickbacks and concentration curls. If you ever want to get a pair of 18 inch or 19 inch arms, you must perform heavy compound movements.

Compound movements are multi joint exercises that involve more than one muscle group. Compound movements allow you to use more weight than isolation exercises. I like to think of compound movements as “spreading the weight around” where each muscle involved has a chance to benefit from the weight being used.

For example, when you are doing a heavy bent over row, the actual target muscle group is the back but the biceps are almost directly involved. Now, if you were to perform the bent over row ala Dorian Yates style, you add even more biceps involvement. Since your body is naturally stronger in this movement, you will use heavier weight than if you were to do seated dumbbell curls.

What does this mean? Simply put, larger and stronger biceps.

The same can be said for the bench press. Although the targeted muscle group is the chest, the triceps and front deltoids are directly involved in the movement.

The point I’m trying to make is that you absolutely must stick to the heavy, compound movements if you ever want to have a pair of big arms. If your arms are under 16", drop all of the concentration curls and triceps kick backs type movements and go back to the basics. In fact, get rid of all isolation exercises in your training routine and go with compound movements. To this day, I don’t do any isolation movements. Unless your dieting and preparing for a contest, get rid of them.

Examples of compound movements:

- Bench Press;
- Barbell Bent Over Rowing;
- Deadlifts;
- Standing Barbell Curls;
- Close Grip Bench Press;
- Shoulder Pressing;
- Chin Ups;
- Squats

The second secret to building big arms is prioritization. In order to improve anything, and that not only goes for body building or weight training, you need to give it your 100% attention and effort. If you want a big bench press, are you going to give it all your effort and attention? If you desperately want to make next year's football team, are you going to give this goal all of your effort and attention?

Arnold said it best. To improve a certain body part, you need to concentrate on that body part. I agree 100%. So if you want to build a big pair of muscular arms, you have to train them first and give them 100% of your effort and attention.

On the first day of your training cycle, you will only train arms and nothing else. Keep all of your arm movements in the compounds range such as heavy close grip bench presses and heavy standing barbell curls.

Personally, if I want to improve a certain body part of get to a certain poundage in a movement, I'll train that particular body part with that particular exercise alone, with no other muscle group. For example, let's say I want to improve my calf development. This what I'll do. I'll train them first in my cycle and only train calves. By giving your muscle group priority and give it 100% of your attention and effort, they will have no other choice but to grow. This what you want to do for your arms.

I should also mention that you must consume an additional 500 calories per day. Simply drink another protein drink per day. If you want to grow, you must increase the amount of quality nutrients you are ingesting on a daily basis.

Try this drink as soon as you're done working out:

1 ½ cup strawberries
1 cup low fat strawberry yogurt
1 scoop(2oz) vanilla protein powder- 22 grams protein
1 tbsp honey
1 ½ cup low fat or 1% milk
1 cup orange juice
5 grams creatine monohydrate

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Alright, now you have an idea of what is involved in building a big pair of arms. I’m going to give you an arm workout that prioritizes arms and uses compound movements for big time growth. You can find the complete workout at:

Build powerful arms using upper arm exercises

If you want a good 9 week muscle building / fat burning program I highly recommend you take a look at Kyle Leon's program called "Somanabolic Muscle Maximizer" The reason why I'm recommending this program is because it is the only one I know of that uses a proprietary software to customize a complete muscle building and fat burning nutrition program for you. The system uses:

  • Body type;
  • Gender;
  • Age;
  • Metabolism; And
  • Activity levels

To produce a 9 week muscle building course that includes a weight training program and custom nutrition system. Check it out here.

I've actually purchased and used the program myself. You can read my review of this program at:

Kyle Leon Muscle Maximizer Review

Good luck and all the best,


As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

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