Monday, June 13, 2011

How I built my new arms!

Hey guys, like I promised I'm going to let you know what I changed about my training to finally get a pair of thick arms attached to my sides!! First I must say that it didn't happen overnight, and it also didn't come easily. I worked hard in the gym, and even more importantly than what kind of movements I did, I ate BIG!!! Know firstly that any kind of workout plan you read about will only work if you back it up with proper diet and rest!! And with that said, lets get started on what I changed in the gym to make this happen:

You can do any workout you want but if you don't EAT BIG this will never happen to you!!!!!!
 So a few years back when I was starting out my arm day would look something like this:

Dumbbell Curls 3sets 8-12 reps
Isolation Curls 3sets 8-12 reps
Hammer Curls 3sets 8-12 reps
Reverse Curls 3sets 8-12 reps
Dumbbell Overhead Extensions Alternating One Arm 3sets 8-12reps
Cable Triceps Extensions 3sets 8-12reps
Cable Overhead Triceps Extension 3sets 8-12 reps

I thought this was a pretty solid routine, my arms would get some blood in them, especially once I started using NO-Xplode. But after a while I came to the realization that my arms really weren't changing much, confirmed by measurements that I had taken. My chest and legs had put on considerable mass, how come I still had stick arms?? Well my routine was a failure for a few reasons, 2 of them are hugely to blame:

  1. The emphasis put on biceps was unnecessary. I wanted bigger arms and I thought that meant bigger biceps! But your triceps are a much bigger muscle than your biceps, and if you want some WOMD attached to your shoulders you're going to need some huge triceps.
  2. Secondly I was using movements that aren't going to build big muscles. There is a place for those lighter "isolation" exercises, but if you want to get bigger you gotta do everything bigger!!!! I was using too many light exercises like DB Overhead Triceps Extensions.
Once I read a few articles about lifting heavy on arm day I realized I needed to change my ways. I quickly noticed the results as my training partners would throw comments at me like "Where did you find those arms??"!!!! So I changed the emphasis from my biceps to my triceps and I incorporated some heavy badass movements on arm day. My new arm plan looked something like this:

Closegrip Bench Press 4sets 6-10 reps
Weighted Dips 4sets 6-10 reps
DB Overhead Extension 2arms 1DB 3sets 8-12 reps
BB Skull Crushers 3sets 8-12 reps 
Barbell Curls 4sets 6-10reps
Preacher Barbell Curls 4sets 6-10reps
Machine Curls Alt Arms 3sets failure

Compare the new triceps lifts with the old ones, the amount of weight being moved in the new exercises is significantly more! Closegrip bench you should be able to nearly do as much as you can bench press, and dip strength will come with time, but eventually you'll be able to attach some weight to your body. I often have 100+ lbs. hanging from me on my last couple of sets!! These movements will force your arms to grow in order to adapt to this immense new stress.

For biceps I switched a lot to barbells, and I made sure to go heavy and not be afraid to throw some cheat reps in there. Safety always comes first but once you become comfortable with your form there is a safe way to do cheat reps, and they are an important part of introducing your body to new stress levels which will force it to grow/adapt!!!!

So stop picking up the 15lb. dumbbells and doing 100 curls and overhead extensions and wondering why you still have arms you could floss your teeth with! Bring those heavy compound movements into your arm day!!!

Lastly DO NOT forget that your arm work out is just a small piece of a much bigger puzzle. I got my arms from this workout, but I also needed to do all of the following things as well to accomplish what I have:

  1. Squat and Deadlift heavy. (These exercises are intense!!! When you do them your body releases a bunch of extra testosterone and growth hormones and these things are required in order to get some beefy arms!!!!!!!!!!)
  2. Eat a TON (I can't stress this enough, you have to eat over your caloric baseline consistently in order to put on muscle, don't ever be hungry!!)
  3. Sleep (You grow and recover when you're asleep, stop reading reddit until 5am, and instead go to bed earlier!!! Sleeping should be the easiest part of getting huge muscles, who doesn't looove sleeping?? But it's a part that a lot of people are missing in their lifestyle!!)


  1. awesome post mate! will be keeping an eye here.

  2. hey man youve made a crazy transformation! congrats...if you have time check out my blog and maybe some tips? much appreciated

  3. Thats a very good routine. Try this Triceps exercise: Decline Triceps Skull Crushers. They work harder then the Skull Crushers, and target all 3 heads of the triceps.

  4. I need help building a solid routine... I'm trying to build a Powerlifting/Bodybuilding hybrid routine. Check my blog, and give me your insights.

  5. great post man. I'm gonna incorporate some of these exercises into my arm routine... question. Do you ever get pain in your elbows when doing triceps?? I get them every time I do skull crushers and they hurt bad but I push through it. Not sure why they hurt since they never used to. oh and could I get a follow on my blog as well? I could use some advice on cutting. I have the basic info but extra critiquing is always a bonus :)

  6. AOBOSS - a lot of tricep works do put a lot of pressure on the elbow area it does happen ive had that same feeling come and go through the past year of my training, when it gets bad just avoid stuff like skull crushers, overhead tricep press list goes on etc,

  7. Yea ae86 is right. I've had trouble with elbow pain, especially on skull crushers and heavy sets of bench, shoulder press and dips. I ice my elbows, and take it easy on them for a couple weeks. You can still tear up the muscles but just do it with exercises that don't hurt, and do higher reps!!

  8. this is great man! did your workout program today actually, keep these stuff coming =) looking forward to video footage. cheers from sweden!