Let’s not kid ourselves: 2020 was a nightmare for weight training. Between the deadly pathogen raging through the population, unemployment reducing the amount of cash available to spend on supplements, and the fact that nearly every gym world wide has been closed means that most of us have been slacking when it comes to our weight training.
We know what you did last summer
Unfortunately, we’re never getting that time back, and it’s going to take months of gruelling work in the gym if you want to see those gains again.
Luckily for our readers, we’ve amassed a few strategies to help increase the size of your arms in as short of time as possible. Obviously you want to devote equal training time to every part of your body, but we know everyone is looking to get massive guns right before the summer.
So without any further messing around, let’s get down to the most effective strategies for building massive arms quickly.
Use Blood Flow Restriction Training Bands
Blood Flow Restriction Training, or BFRT, is a relatively novel training method when it comes to lifting weights and bodybuilding. BFRT involves wrapping knee wraps, pressure cuffs, or specifically designed blood flow restriction bands around the upper portion of a limb. When done properly, the wrap will allow blood to flow into the limb, but restrict the flow coming out.
This type of restriction gives a massive pump on the muscle, which helps promote growth. BFRT has seen a boom in popularity in recent years, and for a good reason: it works.
Check out our line of Blood Flow Restriction Training Bands and our Guide to Blood Flow Restriction Training
Increase Your Volume
One of the most obvious ways to stimulate muscle growth is to increase your volume. There are a few different strategies used for increasing the daily or weekly volume of your arm training, and we will go over a few of the most effective ones.
Add an additional set of each exercise- Let’s say you’re currently doing 3 sets of 8 reps for incline bicep curls. With this strategy, you would increase to 4 sets. It’s likely you won’t be able to finish your final set, but that’s not the point. You’re just looking to increase the workload on your selected muscle group.
Add an additional exercise- If your current routine has you doing 3 biceps exercises and 3 triceps exercises, the simplest way to up your volume and get bigger arms is to add an additional exercise for each muscle group.
Add additional sets on another day- Who says you can only work a certain muscle group once per week? If you’re only training arms once a week, why not increase it to twice per week? The best way of doing this is spreading your workload evenly over the week. For example, if you currently work your arms on Monday, you can add in another arm workout on Thursday or Friday, which should give you plenty of time to recover.
Go Full Range-of-Motion
We’ve all seen it in the gym; that one guy that’s curling more weight than he should be, only going halfway down and using his entire body to toss the weight back up.
We hate to admit it, but we’ve all probably been guilty of this at some point. If you’re currently cheating in a lot of your routines, you can see immediate results by using the full range of motion on a given exercise.
When doing curls for example, focus on allowing your arms to completely extend at the bottom of your rep, even going so far as to allow your arms to relax prior to lifting the weight each time. When working your triceps, make sure you extend all the way, locking out at the elbow.
This could easily fall under the above section about increasing volume, but supersets are so effective at building muscle that they deserve their own blog post.
A superset involves doing two different exercises, one immediately after the other, without any rest in between. What this looks like is doing your standard set of dumbbell curls immediately followed by a tricep exercise, such as overhead cable extensions.
Supersets allow for a massive increase in your workout intensity, shortening the rest period between sets. Arnold himself was a big proponent of superset training, which should tell you all you need to know.
Check out our Guide to Superset Training here
Train Your Triceps!
Well-developed triceps are actually the key to massive arms, but many people tend to neglect the triceps in favor of the biceps (out of sight, out of mind). While the bicep is the most visible muscle in your arm, the tricep is (or should be) bigger.
In fact, the tricep comprises 2/3 of the muscle mass in the arm, and the fact that it has 3 heads versus the biceps 2 should be enough to convince you of its importance. Go find any person in the gym with arms that you admire, and I guarantee he or she will have large, well-developed triceps.
If you’ve been shying away from training your triceps, or just haven’t been training them as hard as your biceps, you may see some quick gains by using the above-mentioned methods to increase volume.
There’s no way around it: if you want to get big, you’re going to have to eat big. Training your arms is no exception.
Make sure you have enough high-quality sources of protein on hand, and keep track of your calories and macros. If you’re increasing your volume but not seeing the gains, you may need to increase your caloric intake.
Don’t Forget the Forearms
While you may think you don’t need to include any forearm training in your routine, you’re likely under training this often overlooked muscle group. No bodybuilder’s arms are complete without massive Popeye-esque forearms.
Since your forearms primarily help with grip, you actually train them on nearly every exercise you do, but adding a few sets specifically for forearms at the end of your workout will help them grow. We recommend keeping it simple with dumbbell wrist curls. Do 3 sets with your wrists facing up, and 3 sets with wrists facing down. These can be done with either dumbbells or barbells.
As you can see, there are a number of strategies for quickly increasing the size of your arms. Try adding in some supersets, or increasing your volume first, and if you’re not seeing the results you want, whip out the big guns and pick up a pair of our Blood Flow Restriction Bands here. Not only will they improve your training and increase the general size of your arms, but they give an incredible pump after your workout, which will last all day.