Outlines how to get bigger arms, explains the anatomical basis, and how to train smarter as well as harder to grow arm muscles.
Let’s be honest … What is the most impressive thing about a well-built body? A good chest, thick legs or a wide back are certainly very impressive. However, muscular arms are always the eye-catcher, even when you think about top bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger. With the following tips and strategies, you can take your arm growth to a new level.
How to get bigger arms: the anatomical basis
Anyone who starts to train their arms usually starts with the classic biceps curls, as they usually think that the biceps determine most of the arm circumference. And this way of thinking is not so absurd, since the biceps are hardly overlooked. However, the biceps does not make up most of the arm circumference.
Most beginners will find this out over time. Because a much larger part of the arm circumference is determined by the triceps. Because while the biceps only has 2 muscle heads, the triceps consists of 3 muscles. It goes without saying that you can breathe more muscle mass into 3 muscles than 2. If you are trying to increase your arm circumference, you can still train the triceps with more exercises than the biceps!
Hard but smart training
Since the biceps and triceps are rather small muscle groups, you should be careful not to burden them with too many exercises. Of course, the popular belief is that more sets lead to more muscle mass. But that’s only the half-truth. For example, if you train your chest one day, your arms the next day and your back the next day, you have a high load on the arm muscles on all 3 days. And this then simply leads to overtraining. A small muscle group (which includes the arm muscles) will overtrain faster than a large muscle group.
In this case, it means that your arms will not grow, but rather shrink, as they have no way of regenerating. And a muscle only grows in the regeneration phase! You should therefore give your arms a day off in between. You can achieve this through training that is not only adapted to the load, but also to the regeneration phase!
Mix it up!
Another common belief is that you can get the most muscle mass with free weights. In the case of arm training, this would be dumbbell & barbell curls or triceps presses. These exercises are very well suited to regaining mass in your arm muscles, but shouldn’t be the only exercise selection in your arm program.
Above all, try to incorporate concentration exercises into your arm training. This can be done on the cable puller or on various machines. The advantage of concentration exercises is that significantly less auxiliary muscles (in the case of arm training, this involves the back and shoulders) are used than with free exercises.
A major disadvantage of free exercises is that most exercisers use far too much weight. As a result, muscles are naturally included in the exercise that you normally do not want to train with and the actual target muscle is trained rather ineffectively in this way. Therefore always try to find the right mix of (cleanly executed) free exercises and concentration exercises.
Use intensity techniques with care
Many bodybuilders often use intensity techniques during arm training. In this way, the arm muscles are challenged even more and have to adapt accordingly. This then happens through new muscle growth. So much for theory….
They are great for effective training, but should be used wisely. Because with too much, the same applies as described above: Too much leads to overtraining! Overtraining should be avoided in any case, as it can lead to injuries in the worst case. For this reason, do not resort to intensity techniques in every arm training. It would be ideal if you use this every 2nd to 3rd training session.
Pay attention to the regeneration phases
As mentioned before, too much stress will lead to overtraining at some point. In order to avoid this, you should sensibly include days off from training. A sensible training plan that includes the regeneration phase could look like this, for example:
- Day 1) chest
- Day 2) legs
- Day 3) back
- Day 4) break
- Day 5) arms
- Day 6) shoulders
- Day 7) Break
Also make sure that you get enough sleep, because this is the only way the body can recover and adapt accordingly.
You are what you eat
Working out hard is no problem for most bodybuilders (or fitness athletes). However, with regular hard training you also need the appropriate nutrition, since the body cannot produce new muscle protein without the right “building materials”. You can keep the following tips in mind:
- After training, eat a quickly digestible protein – the best “anabolic steroids” there is.
- A protein-rich and rather calorie-heavy breakfast can breathe new life into your muscle growth. You don’t have to be afraid of putting on body fat, however.
- Consuming a slow-digesting protein before going to sleep can do wonders effect.
Use nutritional supplements
Once you have mastered the basics of nutrition, you should incorporate nutritional supplements into your eating plan. The following are ideally suited:
- – Arginine (ensures better blood circulation and thus improved nutrient transport)
- Creatine (increases muscle volume and increases the ATP storage for more strength during training)
- Caffeine (provides more motivation during training and can ensure that the
Refill muscle glycogen stores more quickly after exercise)
- BCAA (protects your muscles from protein breakdown and improves the effort during the training)
If you stretch your arm muscles properly after training, this (correctly applied) ensures that your muscles recover faster. Because stretching increases the blood flow within the muscles and thus ensures a faster removal of waste products (which arise during training) from the muscles. In addition, stretching makes your muscles more flexible and less prone to injury. However, avoid stretching BEFORE or during exercise, as this will cause injury and can lead and reduce the training performance.
Lose Body Fat
Many people only use a tape measure to help them indicate that their arms are well trained. If you belong to this group, you should change your mindset as soon as possible, because the size alone does not determine whether your arms look impressive or not. Much more important is that your arms look hard and defined. For example, a defined arm of 40cm can look more impressive than a “fat” 44cm arm. This can be seen particularly well in professional bodybuilders. In the offseason they don’t look nearly as impressive as they do on stage. And in the offseason, bodybuilders are (mostly) much heavier than on the bodybuilding stage during a championship. Try to keep your body fat percentage low. A defined athlete is far more impressive than a “porker”.
4 expert tips for bigger arms
Along with the brain, our arms are probably one of the most important “tools”. Without someone’s arms, there would be no houses, cars, or smartphones. Yes, not even the keyboard with which this text is written would then exist. No wonder so many people train their arms to make them bigger. Big arms are very aesthetic and look good from all angles – provided they’re properly trained.
TIP 1 FOR BIGGER ARMS: MORE VOLUME
The volume of a training session is directly related to muscle growth. That means, if you do ten sets for your arms per week and get no results, increase the set count! Alternatively, do another arm workout. It’s not complicated – just attack the target muscle (in this case, the arms) more often.
TIP 2 FOR BIGGER ARMS: SUPERSETS
Supersets are two exercises for the same muscle group that are performed one after the other. The break time between exercises should be as short as possible. The actual recovery time is after completing the superset. The aim of this intensity technique is a stronger activation or stress on the CNS (central nervous system). This activates more muscle strands and increases the essential, anabolic effect. Perfect for training with the goal of getting your arms bigger!
TIP 3 FOR BIGGER ARMS: MUSCLE SHOCK
A shock is a condition that is triggered by a shock caused by a sudden and / or unpleasant event. The “classic” is a car accident. We or our soul are in shock. The same applies of course to a muscle – this can also be shocked. Our body thinks for itself. It adapts to the circumstances and thus regulates metabolism and anabolic and catabolic states. At some point you get to a point where you don’t see a milligram gain. Then it’s just “always the same” for our body – it has adapted OR is fighting against it.
Everything that goes beyond what is necessary is ballast for our body and this must be destroyed as effectively as possible. For this reason, you should shock the muscles at regular intervals. How do you do that? Ideally through training that deviates significantly from the rule!
Either you use significantly more weight for fewer repetitions, unknown and never performed exercises, or you change the training sequence. Ideally, it’s a combination of many changes. As a result, there is hardly anything in the way of the growing poor.
TIP 4 FOR BIGGER ARMS: USE THE BLOODFLOW RESTRICTION TRAINING!
Put simply, you use a kind of dam principle. The blood circulation to the target muscle is restricted and thus you ensure that the blood can no longer flow back. In the arms, the blood supply would be restricted above the biceps or below the shoulder. This leaves more blood in one arm. During training you will feel an extreme pump effort. After the sets, you open the dam and the blood circulates much better and faster. This has the advantage that, on the one hand, more nutrients get into the target muscle and, on the other hand, more waste materials can be transported away.
You don’t necessarily get bigger arms with just a few biceps curls! There is definitely more to it! And anyone who has been on the iron for a long time knows that at some point new methods and techniques will have to be used. Use these tips to exercise and your arms will grow and get bigger!