"How To Effectively Train Your Arms For Maximum Development"
Today, I’m going to let you in on a little secret for building big arms. First, let me tell you a quick story about how I “used” to train my arms. When I first started to train arms, I wanted to lift just like Arnold did, especially the way he used to do the “cheat” curls. Arnold was able to cheat curl 250 pounds, as in the picture below.
This was what I wanted to do. I wanted to load 250 pounds on that bar and curl it up, just the way Arnold did. So, My training buddies and I would load that bar up and basically do a dead lift to get the weight up, and than with a monstrous heave, we would almost bend in two at the waist to get that weight up. Our barbell curls looked more like an olympic lift than it did a proper barbell curl. We honestly thought this was the only way to build big arms.
We trained like this for about 3 months. In fact, we all joined our local gym and decided to train like the big boys did (I was only 16 years old or so). In our very first arm session we trained like we normally did and started doing these outrageous barbell curls. One of the gym owners took one look at us and came over to give us a quick lesson on doing the barbell curls.
Well, not so much a lesson as the action he took. He basically unloaded about 75 pounds off the bar, without us saying a word (We didn’t want to object - He was about 280 pounds of muscle with 20" arms!!). He than proceeded to perform a proper set of barbell curls and provided the finer points of doing a barbell curl. He proceeded to take us through an arm workout that to us, seemed quite easy.
We didn’t do our normal 25 sets for our arms, but only 8 and we didn’t do 5 different exercises but only 2 or 3. Instead of doing our usual 4 or 5 or repetitions, we did 10 to 12 and we didn’t go to failure. However, our arms pumped up! We relied on muscle to lift the weight as opposed to tendons and ligaments.
We asked him how and why his arms got so huge doing this type of workout? He had two parts to his answer and they shocked me. Firstly, he said big, thick arms are built from doing heavy bench press’, shoulder press’, chin ups, and heavy bent over barbell rowing. He basically said if you want big, muscular arms, you have to start doing the compound lifts such as:
• Bench press;
• Incline press;
• Barbell front shoulder press;
• Seated dumbbell press;
• Dead lifts;
• Chin ups;
• Bent over barbell rows
He went on to explain that our arms basically act as levers for our larger and stronger muscle groups such as our chests, shoulders, and back. The larger muscle groups are capable of handling much heavier weight than our arms alone. For example, we are capable of handling much, much more weight for the bent over barbell row than for standing barbell curls. Although different exercises and motion, they both stimulate the biceps.
The same can be said for the bench press. We are physically capable of handling much more weight for the bench press than for lying triceps extensions. They both hit the triceps in a very similar manner but, we can handle much more weight for the bench press.
By getting stronger in the compound exercises, you will inadvertently strengthen your arms, which, over time will start to get larger and larger. This was the real magic to building big arms. Constantly improve in your compound lifts and you're going to get huge arms - No questions about it.
Secondly, our biceps and triceps are very small muscle groups. However, our arms are involved in just about everything we do from taking a drink of coffee to getting out of bed. When it comes to weight training, we use our arms for everything. Whether we are doing dead lifts, squats, or the bench press, we are constantly using our arms. It doesn’t take a lot to stimulate our arms for muscle growth.
There is no need to do super heavy cheat curls or cheat dumbbell curls. The important point here is to provide your arms without enough stimulation for muscle growth. The compound lifting will take care of all the heavy motion.
The actual arm workouts will work on muscle stimulation. Of course, the workouts will use heavy weight but will also allow for a higher repetitions range - 10 to 12 repetitions. The real trick is to make sure you improve from one workout to the next. There is no need to do 20 sets for your arms. All you need is 8 hard working sets for your arms to grow. Combine that with your heavy compound lifts and your arms will have no choice but to get big.
• Strive to improve on your compound lifts from workout to workout - This is top priority!
• Strive to improve in each of your arm exercises from workout to workout
• Cut out excessive cheating
• Perform all exercises with proper form and technique
• Ensure you work the biceps and triceps with full range of motion with smooth repetitions
I’ve followed this advice for many years and it works. This is a common sense approach to building big arms and if you follow it, you will build big, thick arms. With that in mind, I’ve specifically designed Building Muscle 101's Big Arm Program around these principles.
Combine this lesson with lesson 1 (First email lesson), and you will have a solid foundation on which to start building big arms.
Here are some more reading about these principles:
You might want to stay tuned for my next email because I’m going to provide you with a mass building eating plan for workout and non workout days. You're going to have to eat a lot of quality nutrients if you want to build big arms and this meal plan will definitely help.
My next email will be in another 4 days. Until that time, keep following the program. If you have any questions, you can email me at:
All the best,
Can't follow a meal plan? Try getting your ready made "Anabolic" meal plans here.
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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