Well kids, today I’m going to talk about arms… Yes! Those big and nasty arms you dream about all night long. Sad, very sad, my dear friend. However, I know you desperately want this info… So let’s get down to business!
Phase 1 - Going to the gym for the first time
Mistakes, mistakes and again mistakes. I’m training 4 days a week and I see a lot of young fellas who probably come for the first time to train. Guess what they do? They grab a 20 kilo barbell and try doing bicep curls with it. Let’s say it looks more like a back exercise than bicep curls.
Now that’s not the worst one! After a couple of weeks they understand that it’s not enough to bomb their “huge” biceps, so they decide to add some super-sets to their “get-Jay-Cutler-hands-in-6-weeks” program… So, if you want to waste your time / get injured, be my guest, go on.
Phase 2 - Starting to train with some common sense
Ok so after I had a laugh on the account of those “special” people let’s start outlining a normal program. You want to get big arms, right? But you should know that there are no big arms without big body… So let’s start from a basic strength program that will help you put some kilos on thee. Personally I prefer to train 4 times per week.
- Warm up
- Sitted Military Press — 5 sets – 10, 8, 6, 4, 3
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise — 3 x 10
- Side Laterals — 2 x 10
- Rear Laterals — 2 x 10
- Barbell Shrug — 3 x 15
- Warm up
- Deadlift — 5 sets – 10, 8, 6, 4, 3
- Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown — 3 x 10
- One-Arm Dumbbell Row — 3 x 10
- Bicep Barbell Curl — 2 x 10
- Bicep Hammer Curl — 2 x 10
- Warm up
- Bench Press — 5 sets – 10, 8, 6, 4, 3
- Incline Dumbell Press — 3 x 10
- Weighted Dips — 3 x 10
- Tricep Pushdown — 3 x 12
- Skull Crusher — 3 x 10
- Warm up
- Squat — 5 x 10,8,6,4,3
- Leg Press — 4 x 10
- Leg Extension — 3 x 12
- Leg Curl — 3 x 12
- Knee/Hip Raise On Parallel Bars — 4 x 20
By the away it may stay your main program even when you become an advanced weight lifter, just lift more.
Phase 3 - Getting to an intermediate bodybuilding level
First of all I need to explain myself, what the hell do I mean when I say “intermediate-level bodybuilder”? For me it’s someone who has already benched 220lbs/100kg for at least 4 reps, deadlifted 330lbs/150kg for 3 reps and squatted 308lbs/140kg for 3 reps. When you are strong enough you may switch your program to something more advanced and have “Arm Days” concentrating on your arm muscles.
- Warm Up
- Bicep Barbell Curl — 4 x 10
- Barbell Preacher Curl — 3 sets – 12, 10, 8
- Hummer Curl — 3 x 10
- Close-Grip Bench Press — 4 sets – 10, 8, 6, 4
- Seated Overhead Triceps Extension — 3 x 10
- Triceps Pushdown — 3 x 12
Note On This Workout Routine
From my expierince it will work for you a month or 2 and then your arms will adapt to it, so keep it as your “secret weapon” and not a regular workout routine.
Phase 4 - Lift Big, Get Big
In this phase I won’t talk about programs but give you a couple tips. I personally tried to add an “only-hands-workout-day” and it was nice but I think it’s not the best program for those who want to get stronger in main lifts. (Bench Press, Deadlift, Squat and Army Press.) So what I’ve done was switch to a more strength-oriented program and guess what? My arms are still getting bigger. I won’t get now into anatomy and all that crap that you won’t read anyway so I’ll get straight to the point.
- Bench PressThis exercise is the key for big pecs (chest) but not only… This exercise involves your triceps. When you bench heavy (not 45lbs/20kg for 30 reps) you get your triceps working pretty hard! Don’t believe me? Fine, go to youtube and search for Ted Arcidi or Bill Kazmaier and look at their arms.
- DeadliftMy favorite one since I’ve started lifting heavy weights for low repetitions. (Maybe ’cause my cardio sucks…) Works on your back and biceps as well.
- Heavy Barbell ShrugsExcept the fact that it gives you manly neck and traps it also helps you put some extra meat on your hands. I recommend doing it in a deadlift day.
- SquatsProbably the best leg exercise. You can’t get a big body without working your legs…
Any Final Words?
Last tip that I’m going to give you is: don’t become obsessed with your arms. Stick to your program and don’t fall a victim to all that bullshit the media is trying to feed you. Just warm up, push/pull, run, eat and sleep. Be patient and success will come faster than you think.