Firstly, I would like to start with an apology for the lack of blogging action of late. I have been a rather busy boy!
To make up for it I am going to provide you with my guide to bigger arms:
1) Do not just train your arms!
In order to achieve an impressive set of guns you need a workout routine that will add mass to your entire body. Your exercise routine should be based around compound exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, shrugs, pullups, barbell rows, bench press etc. Compound movements will increase the size and strength of your entire body. A person that just performs bicep curls everyday of the week will not get anywhere. You would never build a house without the foundations in place, so how will your arms grow without a big back and solid pair of legs!!!
2) Do not ignore the triceps!
A lot of beginners tend to concentrate solely on their biceps, leaving their triceps feeling neglected. The triceps make up a large proportion (~two thirds) of the arms and therefore need attention, in order to create a set of arms worthy of an Adonis. Good tricep exercises include; dips, close grip bench press, tricep extensions and dumbell kickbacks. Bare in mind your triceps do get worked when you are performing those compound movements, such as the bench press and military press.
3) Keep good form and concentrate on the downward phase of the movement!
Slow down! Everyone has encountered that person in the gym performing a set of barbell curls at lightning speed. These ‘cheats’ are getting no where! It is all about maintaining good form and keeping a nice steady pace, especially during the downward phase. During the downward phase of the bicep curl your biceps are working eccentrically. An eccentric contraction is when the muscle lengthens whilst under tension. It has been shown that the eccentric portion of the movement is the most important in terms of hypertrophy, as it is when the muscle is under the most tension. Therefore, make sure you count to at least 3 seconds when you are performing the downward phase of an exercise, such as the bicep curl.
Extra tip – if you fancy changing up your workout a bit try performing ‘negative’ sets. Negatives concentrate on the downward phase of the movement. An example would be to complete the downward phase of bicep curls or pullups very slowly (~6 seconds). ‘Warning’ – your arms may feel like they are about to burst!
4) Work your brachialis!
The brachialis is the little round muscle between your biceps and triceps. Whenever you do any bicep exercise you are going to work your brachialis to an extent. The reason you want to bare the brachialis in mind is because it sits under your biceps and a bigger brachialis helps your bicep peak higher whenever you flex them. Good exercises for your brachialis include: hammer curls, reverse curls and close grip pull-ups (overhand grip so your palms are facing away from you – opposite grip to what you would use to concentrate on your biceps).
5) Chin-ups and Dips!
Close grip underhand chin ups are by far the best exercise for achieving bulging biceps. If you are not strong enough to do one chin up then most gyms have assisted machines that take a proportion of your body weight away, making the exercise easier to complete. Using the assisted machine you will gradually improve until you are able to perform the exercise without assistance! For the triceps you cant go wrong with dips!
In order to gain a great set of arms you have to add mass to your entire body and start performing compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts and barbell rows. The triceps make up around 70% of your arms and should not be ignored. In addition, perform the eccentric phase of the movement slowly and controlled. Chin-ups and dips are great exercises for your biceps and triceps!
Thanks for reading!
Tune in next week to read about the ‘Female athlete – narrowing the gap?’