There’s a tremendous amount of effort and strategy needed to achieve impressive arm development. It isn’t as simple as doing more bicep curls every week. If you’re struggling to develop arm size, here’s five things you can do to kickstart new muscle growth and get bigger arms.
Supersets And Giant Sets
Training with sustained intensity gets uncomfortable but it’s necessary. You may not even realize you’re just going through the motions of a workout without really challenging yourself.
When you’re in an intensity rut, one of the best ways to get out of it is with supersets. It allows you to chain different exercises into one routine, that often results in an enormous arm pump.
If your arms don’t feel like they want to pop from all the blood flooding into your biceps and triceps, crank up the intensity with a few super and giant sets.
Give this routine a try:
Leverage Larger Muscle Groups
One of the craziest things you’ll hear about training arms (that’s actually true) is to do more squats or deadlifts. When you first hear this, you try to figure out how you’re gonna get an arm pump from doing squats.
But there’s a not so obvious reason behind this methodology. Training larger muscle groups (like legs) has a significantly greater influence on your growth hormones than smaller muscle groups.
Heavy leg exercises, like squats, causes a temporary (but large) spike in growth hormone that can then benefit subsequent arm training. Your focus may be on arms, arms, arms.
But what you need to do is squats, squats, squats before you get to arm training.
Activate More Fast Twitch Fibers
It isn’t an exaggeration to say genetics plays a dominant role in size and muscularity. Everyone’s a little different, and some people struggle to add size because their genetic make-up is more suited to long distance running rather than bodybuilding.
Bodybuilders, and guys that are just naturally jacked, have more fast twitch muscle fibers than a smaller endurance athlete. Their bodies are just primed to do different things.
If you’re a “hard gainer”, and you weren’t genetically gifted with fast growing muscles it doesn’t mean you can’t add size.
You’ll just need to take a few extra steps to help stimulate the fast twitch fibers you do have. Here’s a few things you can do:
Negative pull-ups (biceps/forearms)
Push-up Negatives (triceps)
Negative preacher curls
Negative skull crushers
Explosive Strength Training
Find The Right Volume
If you’re struggling to add arm size, or you’re stuck in a plateau, you may not be in the right volume range for your body type. Doing 12 sets of 8-10 reps isn’t going to be the sweet spot for everyone. That’s going to be too much volume for some people, and not enough for others.
It has a lot to do with experience, and genetics. You’ll need to find the right training volume that produces the best results for you.
Here’s a few variables you can try:
- German volume training (10 sets method)
- Split volume into multiple days (train biceps twice per week, instead of one long session)
- High reps, low sets
- Low reps, higher sets
What works for you may not work for others, and vice versa. You have to keep tweaking your arm routine, until you find what produces the greatest muscle response.
Training For Mass
There are so many different exercise variations for building biceps, triceps, and forearms that many of the time tested mass builders get lost in the wash. These are the core mass building arm exercises you shouldn’t cut back on when designing your routine:
Bicep Mass Building Exercises
Standing Barbell Curl
Incline Dumbbell Curls
Tricep Mass Building Exercises
Straight Bar Pushdowns
Forearm Mass Builders
Reverse Barbell Curl
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