For many of us, the summer may almost be over, but rest assured that the warm weather isn’t gone just yet, and besides which, it’s never too cold to show off a set of ‘guns’ that would make The Rock envious. For people looking to build a lean, powerful, muscular, and aesthetic physique, one of the first places to begin is your arms, as your arms are often your go-to muscles when it comes to flexing. You could have the widest back, the thickest chest, the roundest shoulders, and the best legs in all the land, but if you have a set of scrawny spaghetti arms you simply are not going to look right. If you’re looking to fill out a T-Shirt slightly larger than an XS, you’re going to have to work your arms and work them well. Despite this however, growing your arms isn’t as difficult as you may have thought, and it is certainly about so much more than simply curling until you’re blue in the face. The main problem that people have with growing their arms and packing quality muscle mass onto their frames, is that they simply aren’t quite sure about which exercises to perform, and how frequently to perform them. As mentioned, we all know that curls are the most popular form of exercise for the arms, particularly the biceps, but that doesn’t mean that’s all you should be doing. If you’re fed up of people mistaking your arms for a piece of thread hanging from your T-shirt, take a look at these four, slightly unique and unusual methods of growing your arms and you’ll be flexing the guns in no time at all.
Vary your repetitions
When you see most bodybuilders, and everybody else for that matter, training their arms in the gym, if you bother to count how many reps per set they perform, more often than not they’ll be performing the standard 8 – 10 reps. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, that does not mean that you should perform 8 – 10 reps each and every single session. Instead of this you should try to mix things up a bit, vary your reps, and train in various different rep ranges. The idea is to maximize time under tension so as to really stimulate each muscle fibre as effectively as possible. Now, as for frequency, that depends on which routine you follow. If you have an arm day in which you perform 6 – 8 exercises per session, try to mix things up so go with high reps to begin with, then medium for the next few exercises, and perhaps finish with low reps. The weight will not matter as long as you go to failure. You could even try a few weeks of high reps, then a few of medium, and a few of low reps. Just remember to mix things up, vary your reps, and train in different rep ranges to get maximum muscle stimulation.
Train them more
If your arms simply are not growing, obviously you’re doing something wrong, and one common mistake that people tend to make is not training them frequently enough. If you’re only training them once per week, perhaps with just 2 exercises per muscle group, try increasing your training frequency and either dedicate a day solely to arms, or on days when you do train arms, add another couple of exercises per muscle group. Just remember, it won’t take them long to begin responding to training so even if you need to take a week off and focus solely on arm training, then just go ahead and do it. Alternatively, why not add an extra arm session so that you train arms twice per week instead? After a few weeks you’ll begin to notice vast improvements and then you can think about taking a step back and training them once per week again.
Train them less
Another common mistake that people tend to make when training arms is to over train them and work them too hard and too frequently. If you feel you need to train them more for a while like we mentioned previously, then that’s fine, but if you’re already training them pretty frequently, you may wish to take a step back and train them less. Some people will train arms every single workout, which is far too much if you’re doing this over and over again. As you may know, overtraining prevents the muscles from repairing themselves properly and as a result they basically will not grow and in actual fact, they may even get smaller and atrophy as you’ll be breaking them down in the gym, and not allowing the body to rebuild them and repair them. If you’re training too frequently, cut back on the amount of exercises/reps you perform for a few weeks, add an extra rest day, and see if that helps.
Don’t neglect your triceps!
People trying to get a set of large and muscular arms are notorious for neglecting their triceps and focussing on the biceps instead. Whilst training biceps is very important, so too is training your triceps and in fact, many experts will tell you that the secret to large arms is in fact a large and developed set of triceps. The biceps is a much smaller muscle group with just two heads, hence BI-cep, the triceps however, is much larger and has three heads, hence TRI-ceps. Many experts will instruct you to switch your training around in favour of the triceps as opposed to the biceps, so whereas people may perform 5 bicep exercises and 2 triceps exercises, they will instead be told to perform 4 triceps and 3 biceps instead. You can instantly tell if somebody focuses on biceps and neglects their triceps as they will have a small arm, with a large bicep muscle that perhaps looks like a ball hidden under the skin. A large set of triceps however, will give the arms a bigger and fuller look and will make the biceps look more natural and even.