Life
by Mike Arone on January 30, 2012

Let’s put this all in perspective… Michelangelo didn’t start flinging paint at the Sistine Chapel hoping it would form one of the most well-renowned masterpieces in history. No. This guy methodically sketched a foundation and continually worked over years until it formed into perfection.

My point is you need to focus on lifts that will be your “sketch,” or in other words, your “foundation” to build upon. Start with perfecting compound lifts such as the deadlift, the squat, or even pulling your own body weight. Once these exercises are perfected, you can begin to isolate and focus workouts solely on arms.

Second, if you want bigger arms be sure to emphasize your triceps. Your triceps, in case you didn’t know, are a substantially larger muscle than the bicep; therefore it contributes more to the overall size of your arm than the bicep.

Does it look as glorious as the beloved bicep? No, but it is essential that you dedicate time and effort into the triceps in order to form bigger and more proportional arms.

Another way to contribute to your arms size is specialization. Do your workouts as you normally would, but add a few sets of arm exercises at the end of every workout. This will keep your progression going in other areas while helping you to accelerate growth on your pipes.

Don’t torch your arms — the goal is to get in some solid reps while focusing on technique and isolation. Be sure to implement variety in the exercises that you choose — i.e. weight, reps, and angles at which you hit the muscle.

Example:

Day 1
Workout as you normally would*. At the end of the workout perform the following:
Barbell Curls: 4 sets of 6 reps [heavy]
Tricep extensions: 4 sets of 15 reps [light]

Day 2
Workout as you normally would*. At the end of the workout perform the following:
Dumbbell Curls on Incline Bench: 4 sets of 15 [light]
Close Grip Bench Press: 4 sets of 6 reps [heavy]

See where I am going with this? You can be as creative with your exercises choices as you want. Triceps lacking? Focus more on them. Biceps sagging? Implement more focus on bicep exercises here.

[*Note: On days that your workout consists of other arm exercises do not perform additional specialized exercises.]

Though pulling heavy weight contributes toward arm growth, shuttling massive amounts of blood to these muscles will also aid in recovery and growth.


How can this be done? High repetitions? Sure. But even better than that is to implement drop sets into your workout. That way you are maximizing total volume for each set performed.

Example:


Barbell Drop Set
95 lbs. for 6 reps [no rest]
85 lbs. for 8 reps [no rest]
75 lbs. for 10 reps [no rest]
45 lbs. for 15 reps

Rest and then repeat for 3 more sets.

[Note: There are many different variations for exercise choice — use what works best for you.]

There you have it — a blueprint on how to build vein-popping arms. If there is anything that you take from this article remember that focusing solely on your arms may be good for the short term, but overtime you will digress in other areas and progress will be lost.

If you utilize the above tips I promise that the next time you say “Sun’s out, guns out!” it may actually bare some semblance of truth.

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