How do I get big arms? 5 tips for sleeve-bursting guns

July 2, 2018

 

It is a well known fact that many consider advanced arm development to be the badge of one’s bodybuilding achievements, especially to the casual onlooker.

 

Here’s a prime example of this. I can’t remember the last time someone asked me “How big is your chest?” or “How big are your thighs?”, but yet it is a frequent occurrence to have people ask: “How big are your arms?”

 

I know when I started bodybuilding, arms were not where my training regimen started and ended- total body development should be the ultimate training endeavour for all gym goers.  

 

All you need to take on this arm training programme is access to a few inexpensive training tools, such as dumbbells, barbells, an EZ curl bar, expansion cables, and towels.

 

Growing your arms is not a complicated process- don’t be fooled by the minimal number of training tools I have mentioned, for they are the basic weapons you need to be well on your way to kick your arm development into overdrive. 

 

Here is the basic premise for performing this sleeve busting upper arm (biceps/triceps) program.

 

Beginning with the biceps, use a heavy bulk building type of exercise such as the Standing Two-Hands Strict Barbell Curl (using a straight bar). You will be performing two sets of these with a 1-minute break in between. 

 

After the final rep of the second set, immediately jump into one set of 10-12 maxi-pump reps with no rest, with a shaping type exercise such as the Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Concentration Curl. This completes one series of this super-set.

 

Depending upon your energy levels, the bicep super-set can be repeated for a total of 2 to 3 more times.

 

Upon completion of the Arm Training Technique program for the biceps, move on to the triceps. Triceps make up 3/4 of your arms and pushing them to their limits is absolutely key for holistic arm development.     

 

For this muscle group, you might use a heavy bulk building type of exercise such as the Seated EZ-Bar French Press combined with a shaping exercise such as the Isolated Triceps Pushups for a good pump. Employ the same super-set  protocol (rest between first two sets, but no rest before maxi-pump reps) as described for the biceps.

 

 

MACK'S ARM HACKS

 

1) PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD IS YOUR FRIEND  

 

As your strength increases and you are able to accomplish 12 maxi-pump reps per set, increase the amount of weight on the bar so you can only do 10 maxi-pump reps. Use the Double Progression Principle and work up in reps and weight. 

 

2) REST IS KEY

 

Rest for one minute between each of the 2 maximum intensity sets (4-6 reps) for the chosen bulk exercise. Upon completion of the final rep of the second set, immediately launch into the shaping exercise (10-12 reps). This completes one series of the modified “true” super-set.

 

Do a total of three to four series, resting for 90 seconds between each series.

 

3) BE IN CONTROL 

 

Technique and rep cadence are of paramount importance. Perform each and every rep s-l-o-w-l-y, as opposed to doing them explosively without adhering to strict form.

 

I recommend a rep seed ratio of 6/1/4; spend 6 seconds in the positive phase (upward motion), 1 second of iso-tension at the completion of the positive phase (highest point in range of motion) and 4 seconds in the negative phase of each rep (lowering motion)- always be in control of the weight and never the other way around. 

 

4) DIVIDE AND CONQUER 

 

Consider the following training splits for a good balance between gym work and recovery: 

 

EVERY-OTHER-DAY SPLIT:

Day 1: BACK, CHEST AND SHOULDERS 

Day 2: REST

Day 3: BICEPS, TRICEPS AND FOREARMS 

Day 4: REST

Day 5: QUADS, HAMSTRINGS AND CALVES  

REST

Day 1: BACK, CHEST AND SHOULDERS...

 

PUSH-PULL SPLIT:

Day 1: QUADS, HAMSTRINGS AND CALVES 

Day 2: REST 

Day 3: BACK AND BICEPS 

Day 4: REST

Day 5: CHEST, SHOULDERS AND BICEPS 

Day 6: REST

Day 7: REST 

 

5) SPICE THINGS UP 

 

Once you have been doing the Arm Training Technique for a while, you will find many rep variations. For example, rather than doing the assigned 4-6 power-reps and the 10-12 maxi-pump reps, you might choose instead to go with a 5/20 modified “true” super-set series. Here’s how it works.

 

Begin a series by doing 2 MAXIMUM INTENSITY SETS for 5 power-reps each on the BULK exercise and 20 maxi-pump reps on the SHAPING movement. The options are virtually endless, but I recommend that you stay within the original guidelines of the system.

 

 

THE FULL ROUTINE: 

 

BICEPS SERIES 1 (REPEAT ONCE WITH 90 SEC BREAK) 

 

1) STANDING TWO HAND STRICT BARBELL CURL (see demo)

1 set of 4-6 reps 

 

REST FOR 1 MINUTE

 

2) STANDING TWO HAND STRICT BARBELL CURL 

1 set of 4-6 reps 

NO REST

3) STANDING ONE ARM CONCENTRATION CURL (see demo)

1 set of 10-12 reps 

 

BICEP SERIES 2 (REPEAT WITH NO REST) 

 

1) WRIST TWIST BARBELL CURL (see demo)

1 set of 4-6 reps 

 

REST FOR 1 MINUTE

 

2) WRIST TWIST BARBELL CURL 

1 set of 4-6 reps 

 

TRICEPS SERIES 1 (REPEAT ONCE WITH 90 SECS BREAK) 

 

1) SEATED EZ-BAR FRENCH PRESS (see demo)

1 set of 4-6 reps 

 

 

REST FOR 1 MINUTE

 

2) SEATED EZ-BAR FRENCH PRESS 

1 set of 4-6 reps 

NO REST 

3) ISOLATED TRICEPS PUSH UPS (see demo)

1 set of 10-12 reps

 

TRICEPS SERIES 2 (REPEAT WITH 90 SECS REST) 

 

1) REVERSE TRICEPS BENCH DIPS (see demo)

1 set of 4-6 reps

 

REST FOR 1 MINUTE

 

2) REVERSE TRICEPS BENCH DIPS

1 set of 4-6 reps

NO REST

3) EXPANDER CABLE FRENCH TRICEPS EXTENSION (see demo)

1 set of 10-12 reps

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR  

MACK PIJEWSKI

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