The Truth About Building Big Arms
By: Jimmy Smith

The Truth About Building Big Arms



Quick quiz, what is the one area that causes people to stop and stare? Quick quiz number 2, what is the one area that attracts the most attention? Ding, ding, ding, if you answered arms then you are correct. The problem is most people have such a hard time building a nice sets of areas. Well they use to, this is the exact program that I’ve used when I work with fitness models and physique competitors who need arm size fast.

Nothing, nothing sticks out more than a good set of arms on men or women. It’s a good thing that this program will give you incredible arms in only eight weeks.

Anatomy Lesson

Before we can set out to build massive arms we need to know what we’re working on. We’re going to focus on three muscles, the Triceps, Biceps and Brachialis.

The Truth About Building Big Arms

Triceps

The Triceps brachii muscle is made up of three individual heads, the Long head, Lateral head and Medial head. While they all have different origins they all have the same insertion, which is the elbow. Their prime movement is extension of the elbow. It is important to note that the Long head extends the arm behind the body, which will allow us to specifically train it with certain exercises.

Biceps

The Biceps brachii is a small muscle; it crosses both the shoulder and the elbow. The prime movement of the Biceps brachii is elbow flexion, as well as supination of the forearm.

Brachialis

The Brachialis is often ignored when individuals attempt to increase arm size. It runs right under the Biceps brachii. The Brachialis acts as an elbow flexor and is actually the strongest elbow flexor. Maximum development of this muscle is critical if one wants to build their biceps to supreme size!

This program is designed for an eight-week jump start to your arm training. For the majority of individuals, arm growth is stagnated for various reasons so the first four weeks are going to be spent on training your arms in ways you've never trained them. To steal a quote from eight time Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman, “Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder, but don't nobody wanna lift no heavy ass weight!” For anyone that has ever seen a clip of Ronnie training there is one thing that stands out, his intensity. Traditional hypertrophy (muscle size) settings call for 60% of your 1RM. While nothing is wrong with that percentage, there is another way around it. Lifting at 60% of your 1RM stimulates your Type 1 or slow twitch muscle fibers. While good for size gains they do not have the growth potential of Type 2 or fast twitch muscle fibers, which are called into use during the last few reps or a 10-12-repetition set. How do we get around this issue and stimulate the fast twitch fibers? We do this by lifting at a higher intensity, aka lifting heavy ass weight?.

Tempo

The Truth About Building Big Arms There is one critical factor that needs to be considered when determining what rep ranges to use - Time Under Tension (TUT). Understanding the concept of tempo is very much a key to enhancing gains. Each rep is nothing more than the time that the working muscle is under tension. It is well established that to induce metabolically adaptations, one should strive for sets that last between 20-50 seconds. If a tempo is written 301, that means we lower the weight in three seconds, no pause on the bottom and lift it as fast as possible

Weeks 1-4

As previously mentioned, the first four weeks will be dictated to getting you out of your rut and into explosive arm training. To do this we are going to target the Brachialis. The two most effective ways to do this are with an overhand or hammer grip. In order to stimulate the muscle differently we’re going to focus on both grips. Our first exercise is a barbell reverse curl.

Barbell Reverse Curls

To Perform
-Grasp bar with a shoulder width over hand grip.
-The elbows to the side, raise the bar until forearms are vertical.
-Lower until the arms are fully extended.

Dumbbell Hammer Curls

To Perform
-With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your arms hanging at your sides, palms facing each other.

-Keep your elbows locked into your sides. Your upper body and elbows should remain in the same place during the whole lift.

-Keeping your palms facing each other, curl the weight in your right hand up in a semi-circle toward your right shoulder

For our triceps training during these 4 weeks we are going to attempt to fully stimulate all three triceps heads. The medial head is the big dog of the triceps heads, as it is always active. To kick-start our training we?re going to use heavy loads.

Dips

To Perform
-Using the parallel bars, grip the handles and push yourself up to your starting position.

-With elbows close to body and hips straight, lower body until shoulders are slightly stretched. -----Push body up in same posture and repeat.

-You can bend and cross your legs or keep them straight. To work the triceps, keep your body STRAIGHT up and down and do not lean over

The Truth About Building Big Arms Close-Grip Bench Press

To Perform
-Lie on a flat bench. Hold a barbell with both hands with a close grip, about 8 - 12 inches apart. ----Keeping your arms close to your sides, lower the bar until it is touches your chest, approximately 1 inch below your nipples.

Program Set-up

Bodypart Sets Reps Tempo
Barbell Reverse Curl 5 2-4 311
Dips 5 2-4 401
Rest 1:30

Bodypart Sets Reps Tempo
Close Grip Bench Press 5 2-4 321
Dumbbell Hammer Curls 5 2-4 311 Rest 1:30

The periodization of this block is so that each week you?ll do another set of two repetitions. So the first week your first exercise my look like this ?

Dips - 5 sets - 4 reps, 4 reps, 4 reps, 3 reps, 2 reps

The last week the same exercise may look like this -

Dips - 5 sets - 2 reps, 2 reps, 2 reps, 2 reps, 2 reps

Weeks 4-8

Now is the time to really see those peaks develop. We’re going to slightly raise the overall volume while still hitting those type IIb muscle fibers. By raising the volume and frequency of arm training, as well as developing a higher cross sectional area based on the first four week training, we are now primed to move heavier weight for more reps more often.

Our aim is once again to target the Brachialis, as well as all three triceps heads, so the same exercises as listed above are going to be our core exercises, but the exercises used for the first four weeks are not to be repeated during this phase. We’re going to use two advanced principles during these weeks, drop-sets and isometric holds. These aren’t your traditional run the rack drop-sets nor are they cluster or rest pause training. You are not going to be picking your 2RM and then dropping the weight or resting for ten seconds. Okay, you understand about the drop-sets, but why use isometrics? It has been found in many bodies of literature that during isometric muscle actions almost all motor units can be recruited. Why is this important to me? Do I just want to get big? Recruiting more motor units will lead to a increase in neural efficiency, which will lead into great force production potential, which then leads to you moving more weight, which is the basic principal of muscular overload.

The way that these two principles will be used is as follows. For day one you will use a 4RM and once the fourth rep is completed you will hold the weight at 90 degrees of either flexion or extension for 3-6 seconds. Once you have reached your allotted time goal you will then drop the weight by five pounds and proceed to do 2-4 more reps, finishing with a 3-6 second isometric hold on your last rep at 90 degrees.

For triceps we are going to use a decline EZ bar triceps extension and an incline EZ bar triceps extension

Decline EZ Bar Triceps Extension

To Perform
-Position yourself face up on an decline bench.

-Using an EZ bar, extend your arms until they are perpendicular to your torso.

-From this position, relax your triceps until your biceps make contact with your forearms.

The Truth About Building Big Arms Incline EZ bar Triceps Extension

To Perform
-Position yourself face up on an incline bench.

-Using an EZ bar, extend your arms until they are perpendicular to your torso.

-From this position, relax your triceps until your biceps make contact with your forearms.

Our biceps training is going to consist of incline dumbbell curls and close grip EZ bar curls

Incline Dumbbell Curls

To Perform
-Lay back on an incline bench, hold two dumb with arms extended and back

-Curl the dumbbells up with both hands, being sure to turn the wrists as the weights are raised

-Slowly return to the start position

Close Grip EZ Bar Curls

To Perform
-This is like the normal EZ Bar Bicep Curl, but with a closer grip which works the outer part of the biceps more.

-Grab a cambered EZ Curl bar and hold it on the innermost ridges.

-Your two hands together should be in the shape of a big V.

-While standing, hold the bar at arm's length in front of you. Curl the bar up while keeping your elbows in the same place

Program Set-up

Day 1
Bodypart Sets Reps Tempo
Decline EZ bar Triceps Extension 4 X4(2-4) 311
Incline Dumbbell Curls 4 X4(2-4) 401
Rest 1:15

Bodypart Sets Reps Tempo
Incline EZ bar Triceps Extension 4 X4(2-4) 401
Close Grip Ez Bar Curls 4 X4(2-4) 311

Why Are My Sleeves Ripping?

So there you have it, your eight-week jumpstart to new arms for beach season. Go ahead, do it if you want them bad enough, but don't come crying to me about all the new attention you will be getting.


Jimmy Smith Creator of The Muscle Bible

The Muscle Bible Jimmy Smith is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness , and Best Body magazines.

His "The Muscle Bible" workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines and all over the Internet on t-nation.com and bodybuilding.com and his workouts have help thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, and gain muscle.

For information on the The Muscle Bible visit www.ineedmuscle.com

 

 

More Articles By Jimmy Smith

More Bodybuilding & Fitness Articles

 

 



 

Bikini

Figure

Female Model

Male Model


  • 2013 Fitness Atlantic DVD
  • 2012 Fitness Atlantic DVD
  • 2012 WBFF Eastern US Championship
  • 2011 Fitness Atlantic DVD
  • Fitness Atlantic 2010 DVD
  • Fitness Atlantic 2009 DVD
  • Fitness Atlantic 2008 DVD
  • Fitness Atlantic 2007 NPC Dutchess Classic
  • Fitness Atlantic 2006 NPC Northeastern
  • Fitness Atlantic 2006 DVD
  • 2005 INBF New York State
  • 2004 Fitness Atlantic DVD
  • 2003 Fitness Atlantic DVD
  • 2002 Fitness Atlantic DVD
  • 2001 Fitness Atlantic DVD
  • 2000 Fitness Atlantic DVD
  • 1999 Fitness Atlantic DVD
  • Rachelle Cannon – Queen of Quands
  • Hugh Ross Access Granted
  • 2013 Fitness Atlantic DVD