Every man wants muscular and bigger arms. But we also know how hard it is to gain muscle size, especially in the arms area. This is why we rarely see anyone having strong and impressive arms.
No doubt that gaining arms size is difficult AF but we can definitely speed up the process if we do everything that contributes to the arm size perfectly. And that is what this article is all about.
Muscle contribution to arm size
Most of the people focus entirely on biceps by doing a lot of bicep curls to increase the arm size. This is a pretty common mentality and it happened with me too.
But the truth is that the biceps just make 1/4th of the arm size and the big 75% of the arm size is contributed by the tricep muscles.
This makes clear that just working biceps won’t let you achieve that huge arm you have been trying for. You also have to focus more on your triceps to increase your arm size.
Now we know that we have to train both biceps and triceps for arms size, let us dive a bit more deep.
Biceps is not a single muscle but is made up of 2 muscles that are Short head biceps and Long head biceps.
Similarly, Triceps too is not a single muscle and is made up of 3 parts which are called the Long head, medial head, and lateral head.
Now we will see the exercises which we could do to target each of these muscle parts effectively to trigger the overall upper arm growth.
Exercises for arm size.
Effective exercises for every muscle part mentioned above :
The short head of the Biceps:
- Wide grip bicep curls.
- Preacher curls.
- Lying cable concentration curls.
- High cable curls.
Training short head of the biceps will help your arms look broad from the front.
The long head of the biceps:
- Close grip biceps curls.
- Hammer curls.
- Concentration curls.
Training long head of the biceps will help you achieve the bicep peak.
The long head of the triceps :
- Dumbell kickbacks.
- Triceps extension behind the head.
Training this part of the triceps contributes a lot in the size department.
The medial head of the triceps :
- Overhead triceps press
- Triceps pushdowns
- Diamond push-ups
The medial head of the triceps is the least visible muscle of the arm but it important to have this part stronger as this muscle helps in stabilizing the elbow and is necessary for the proportionate look of the arm.
The Lateral head of the Triceps :
- Diamond push-ups
- Triceps dips
- Tricep pushdowns
This is the outer part of the triceps and hence the most visible one. Training this part will help your triceps achieve the horseshoe look.
This is a sample workout for arms that you can try. This is my personal bigger arms workout which I am currently following.
I usually split my arms day in two different days one for biceps and the other for the triceps.
When it comes to the workout for bigger arms you should take care that you should train arm muscles twice a week. Not just arms but this is applicable for other small muscle groups as well.
Biceps day :
- Warm-up with one set of chin-ups and one or two sets of lightweight dumbbell curls just to get the blood flowing through the guns.
- EZ-bar bicep curls with standard grip : 3 sets each of 15 reps – Use challenging weight but with the correct form and the full range of motion.
- Dumbell curls : 3 sets of 15 reps each arm – Lift the dumbbell in the inward direction so that the long head of the bicep is targetted. ( You can do close grip barbell curls instead ).
- Hammer curls : 3 sets of 15 reps each arm
- Concentration curls : 3 sets of 15 reps – Lightweight.
- Preacher curls : 3 sets of 15 reps.
- Reverse curls : 3 sets of 15 reps.
- Wrist curls : 3 sets of 15 reps
- I end my biceps workout with one or two Back exercises ( Rows, lats pulldowns or deadlifts )
- Warm-up with 2 or 3 sets of Diamond push-ups.
- Start with 3 sets of Overhead dumbbell tricep extension of 12-15 reps each.
- Skull crushers : 3 sets of 15 reps.
- Triceps dip : 3 sets of 15 reps ( Can place plates on the lap to make it more challenging).
- Dumbbell tricep kickbacks : 3 sets of 15 reps – Lightweight.
- V-bar/T-bar Triceps pushdowns: 4 sets of 15 reps each – Go a bit heavy on this one.
- Rope triceps pushdowns: 2 sets of 15-20 reps – Lightweight.
- I usually end my triceps workout with 2-3 Chest exercises.
The muscle-mind connection is really important. Feel the squeeze and stretch in your muscles with every repetition you do. Sounds crazy but the muscle-mind connection is really important for muscle growth and muscle maturity.
It is said just right that the body is made 30% in the gym and 70% in the kitchen.
You can not expect your arms to grow without eating enough. It is so obvious that your body will need extra intake of food if size gain is what you want.
Hence maintaining a slight caloric surplus is super important in this process.
I wish I could share the number of the calories I consume for building muscles but Unfortunately, it is not that simple and we all have different bodies.
But no worries You can calculate the number of calories you need on the basis of your body measurements and you can design your own diet accordingly. It is simple and I have shared all these simple steps that you could follow to calculate your caloric intake for building muscles (Click here for the guide to calculate calories) and hence gaining arms size.
In order for muscles to grow ( arms in this case ) along with diet and workout, the rest is also important which is when the muscle recovery takes place.
Training arms every day ain’t gonna help in gaining size rather it might cause muscle loss and hence shrink your arms. Arm muscles or any other small muscles in the body need at least 48 hours of time to recover after an intense workout.
More sleep = Fast recovery
And recovery is the phase where the actual size gain takes place. So design your workout regime as such that the muscle group you trained could get at least 48 hours of time to recover before its next turn of the training.