Every red-blooded man with hair on his balls wants bigger, more muscular arms. It’s in our DNA. But for those with less than ideal “Gunshow Genetics” growing massive arms can be easier said than done. So what’s the secret? Well, there’s no magic secret, but there certainly are some basic training strategies you can follow to achieve your goal of becoming “well armed”.

First of all, the best way to make your arms bigger is to gain some quality muscle mass over your entire frame by following a solid hypertrophy / muscle-building program, such as our FREE Basic Anabolic Hypertrophy Training (BAHT) program and nutrition plan.

You need to develop a solid base by building overall mass using big compound exercises before you start focusing too much on smaller muscle groups. I also don’t suggest trying to add inches to your arms during a “cutting phase”, or while following a caloric deficit. You need to be ready to gain some weight by eating more and training hard.

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You can download our Free Muscle Building Program HERE:

Basic Anabolic Hypertrophy Training

Once you’ve gained a few pounds of overall muscle on your frame, then you can start focusing on specialized arm training. Here are your tickets to the GunShow!

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1.  Focus on big compound movements but include isolation work.

Make the ‘big bang’ exercises such as chin ups and dips the focus of your upper body workouts, but if you want to specialize in arm development you also need to include more isolation exercises for biceps and triceps as well.

2. Train arms with higher frequency.

Hitting arms two or three times per week will lead to faster gains. Don’t stress about over-training … you’re only doing this for a few weeks. You can follow our BAHT routine, but hit arms at the end of each upper body workout, plus a third “arms only” day if you can handle it.

3. When possible, give arms their own workout.

BigArmzTrain arms separate from the rest of your upper body workout. For example, rather than always training arms at the end of your upper body workout, hit them a few hours later that same day (if 2-a-day workouts are possible) or the following day. This will allow you to use more weight and attack your arms while they are fresh.

4. Train arms with less volume (but high intensity)

Small muscles require less volume, and recover faster (which allows for more frequent sessions). Smaller muscles have less overall muscle fibre. Therefore it takes LESS overall training to fatigue these muscles and exhaust glycogen stores.

5. Train biceps and triceps in a full range of motion and in their weakest positions.

Make sure you include exercises that hit bis and tris at each extreme range of motion (ie: when the muscle is fully shortened or lengthened). Arms get a lot of work in the mid-range where they are strongest. To stimulate new growth, introduce a new stimulus by targeting different positions in the strength curve. You’ll see what we mean when you check out the exercise selections below.

6. Train with a controlled tempo (repetition speed), focused tension, and slower eccentric / negative reps. 

Perform each repetition with strict form and continuous tension, focusing on squeezing the muscle on every rep. Do not swing or jerk the weight. Also, lower the weight to the start position at least twice as slow as you raised it (ie: 1 second concentric phase and 2-3 seconds eccentric phase).

7.  Thick grip training builds big arms.

Fatgripz-bar-banner-273x145-BWThick bar training can increase muscle activation and blow up your forearms as well as stimulate more upper arm growth. Try adding Fat Gripz or other thick bar training accessories to your arm workouts and see what happens. Go to www.fatgripz.com to check these things out.

Here’s an example of what each arm isolation workout would look like:

Workout 1 – Fully Lengthened Positions:

As mentioned in Tip #5 above, we want to train our biceps and triceps at both extreme ranges of motion. This workout will focus on training biceps and triceps in a fully lengthened (stretch) position, using exercises such as incline dumbbell curls and seated overhead tricep extensions.

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Workout 2 – Fully Shortened Positions:

Then at your next arm workout you will train biceps and triceps in a fully flexed position. I like to use a longer rope or cable for the triceps pushdowns so that I can extend further behind me with each rep to contract the triceps in the fully shortened position. (Keep in mind that the triceps also extend at the shoulder as well as at the elbow). For the bicep exercise preacher curls work well, but I recommend trying cable curls reaching back behind your head and really squeezing the biceps (with your elbows pointing up) to hit that full contraction in the shortened position. (Remember the bicep also contracts at the shoulder joint). Here’s an example using a lat pulldown machine: Arms_Shortened_Position

Workout 3 – Mid Range Positions:

Training the extreme opposite ranges with the above exercises can be quite challenging, so you may need to start off using lighter weight in order to reach those fully stretched and shortened positions. That’s why this 3rd “arm only day” is important. Now you get to use the good old fashioned, heavy-ass mid-range exercises like standing bar curls and lying headcavers (or close grip press). This is an Extra Arms Only Day that you will add in after a few weeks of hitting arms twice per week. You’ll need to find time to do this workout on its own, in addition to the regular 4 Day BAHT Split.

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If you haven’t already, remember to download your free copy of Basic Anabolic Hypertrophy Training E-Book, which includes an Arm Specialization Program:

=>FREE HYPERTROPHY PROGRAM

Let the Gains Begin!

Josh & Steve