How to Train for Bigger Arms:
In order to maximize an individual’s progression within a specific muscle group; understanding the anatomy of the muscle group and following a proper training program are two crucial components to yielding real results. This article provides insight over the anatomy of the bicep and triceps muscle groups, as well as how to optimize arm focused training. Understanding the anatomy of a specific muscle group allows to the individual to properly structure a training program that yields real results. The bicep and triceps muscle groups consist of more type II muscle fibers, meaning they are more resilient which promotes faster recovery. Having a high number of type II muscle fibers, implies the bicep and triceps muscle groups are more receptive to higher volume. Performing two training sessions per week will help to maximize one’s progression in these specific muscle groups. The two variables that play a major role in yielding results when training arms are technique and total volume. A common misconception that occurs in the fitness industry is that lifting heavier weights equates into more overall muscle progression. For this specific muscle group that misconception is false, an individual can see more results and progression using 15 pound dumbbells by utilizing proper technique rather than an individual using 40 pound dumbbells with poor technique. Understanding the determinants that affect a specific muscle group in a certain way are underlying factors that help to optimize one’s training.
The anatomy bicep muscle group consists of the biceps brachii long head and short head, brachialis and the coracobrachialis. When training this specific muscle group, one must focus on the concentric and eccentric portion of each movement, this will help to ensure proper technique is being utilized. During the concentric portion of various movements, supinate pinky at the top of the motion. Supination of the pinky helps to create the bicep “peak” and lead to increases in size of the muscle belly. During the eccentric portion of the movement, one must utilize slow and controlled reps in order to ensure maximal time under tension. The elbow needs to be viewed as the fulcrum to a lever, this helps promote total isolation of the targeted muscle group. Any excess movement that inhibits the isolation of the muscle group will force the body to engage more muscle groups, which will lead to slower progression. Another key component in maximizing arm focused training bouts, is by targeting the muscle group from different angles which ensures proportional muscle growth.
The anatomy triceps muscle group consists of triceps brachii long head, lateral head and medial head. When training this specific muscle group, one must focus on the concentric and eccentric portion of each movement, this will help to ensure proper technique is being utilized. During the concentric portion of various movements focus on not fully locking out elbows, this will help maximize total time under tension. Maintaining maximal tension within the triceps during the concentric portion of the movement will help to promote strength and size gains. During the eccentric portion of various movements focus on keeping elbows stationary, any excess movement of the elbows will decrease the effectiveness of the movement. Utilizing slow and controlled reps allows an individual to maintain a stationary elbow position. The elbow needs to be viewed as the fulcrum to a lever, this helps promote total isolation of the targeted muscle group. Another key component in maximizing arm focused training bouts, is by targeting the muscle group from different angles which ensures proportional muscle growth.
In order to maximize total progression when training the bicep and triceps muscle groups, I suggest utilizing a volume focused training day and utilizing a mass focused training day. Targeting these muscle groups twice a week is crucial when wanting to optimize a training program. Focus on utilizing the principles stated for each muscle group and perform slow controlled reps, and the results will speak for themselves.
Volume Focused Triceps Workout: (Perform with Chest focused day)
Cable Rope Pulldowns: x 20, 15, 15, 12
Cable Rope Overhead Extensions: x 15, 15, 12, 12
Cable Kickbacks: x 12, 12, 10 (each arm)
Volume Focused Bicep Workout: (Perform with Back focused training day)
Alternating Dumbbell Curl: x 15, 15, 12, 12 (each arm)
Cable Straight Bar Curl: x 20, 15, 15, 12
Two-Handed Dumbbell Hammer Curl: x 12, 12, 10
Mass Focused Total Arm Workout: (Perform Bicep & Triceps together)
Straight Bar Curl: x 12, 12, 10, 10, 8
Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curl: x 12, 10, 10, 8 (each arm)
Preacher Curl: 12, 10, 10, 8
Dumbbell Farmer Curl: x 10, 10, 8, 8 (each arm)
Close-Grip Bench Press: x 12, 12, 10, 10, 8
Straight Bar Cable Pushdown: x 12, 10, 10, 8
Preacher Bar Skull-Crushers: x 12, 10, 10, 8
Dumbbell Overhead Extension: x 10, 10, 8, 8
Understanding the muscle group being targeted helps lead to greater overall progression and optimizes an individual’s training. By applying the principles stated in this article, one will be able to maximize arm focused training bouts. Combining proper form and technique with compound movements, will lead to proportional muscle growth and optimize overall progression within the targeted muscle group. I hope this article provided some clarity regarding how to build bigger more proportional arms and helps to provide real results for those looking to take their fitness to the next level. Try out these sample workouts and let me know what you think!