Big arms. Ladies love them and guys wish they had them, or at least wish theirs were bigger.
Big and strong, with as big of a circumference as possible, oh and veiny too, must be veiny.
We could go on and on about the similarities between arms and penises but what it all comes down to here is the simple fact that you can effectively grow one but not the other.
Arms impress in the same way big dicks too. Big bulging arms can simultaneously intimidate other men with smaller, weaker arms while making women flush in the face.
Seriously, when was the last time you ever read a piece of hot steamy romance without the book mentioning big strong arms at least once in addition to a horse, a sunset and silk.
So, arms are like penises in many ways but unlike them in that there are very reliable, repeatable ways to grow them, at least in width. Length is something we all just have to live with 🙁
Why You Should Focus on Growing Your Arms
First, we have to acknowledge that genetics is a big part of bodybuilding. Minus heaps of gear and surgery you’re looking at the best possible way to maximize your genetic potential, not recreate it.
Yeah, “it’s all about genetics bro” is a bit depressing. Those tiny calves will never be as thick as uncle Rick’s. Rick just lucked out on the calf card.
We all know it’s not just that simple though…
The thing is, where genetics can completely suck, they can completely rock too. Rarely is someone dealt 100% poor genetics.
For every calf deficiency there are bicep insert advantages. For every small deltoid insecurity there are perfectly symmetrical abdominals.
The fact is we all have our strong points and our week points. If you are a rather skinny guy and taller, then arms can definitely be turned into one of your strong points.
This is because unlike more rigid predispositions, like tiny calves or narrow clavicles (and thus narrow shoulders), we all have pretty similar dimeter arm bones. This means with enough time and effort most men have the ability to grow impressive arms.
We should know. We went from ectomorphic AF scrawny high schooler with two broken arms (like bone hanging by skin broken) to having two anacondas of arms, bulging forearms and all.
The road to big-armdom is a long one and it is a difficult one, but it is also a fun one, since we ARE talking about training ARMs here…this isn’t a leg workout guide or guide to cardio. As you may know, those roads are long and not fun at all.
Why Your Arms Aren’t Growing
Arms can be stubborn. Not quite calf-level stubborn, but still more stubborn than pectorals, traps, and quads.
Like our calves, many attribute this to the fact that we use are arms everyday, so they build up high levels of slow twitch muscle fibers.
Arms contain a mix of fast and slow twitch fiber types. The forearm and portions of the bicep contain more slow twitch fibers while the triceps have more fast twitch fibers.
This is evidenced in the function. The forearms and biceps have to engage for long periods of time under tension for all rowing/pulling motions, which given how big the back is and how often weight is loaded on the arms for both leg and back days (think rows, pull-ups/pulldowns, deadlifts, shrugs etc).
Conversely, the triceps are involved in more pushing motions, which are often more explosive in nature and generally don’t require high TUT to stimulate growth.
Think dumbbell press, bench press, overhead press, etc. All explosive movements.
Thus, a well rounded training program for growing one’s arms will contain a mix of both high TUT exercises as well as explosive work.
Much of the explosive work will come out of regular compound lifts performed on a regular schedule while the TUT work will be completed with more isolation type exercises like curling, tricep extensions etc.
The Benefits of Focusing On Growing Your Arms
The benefits of big arms are almost endless. Outside of the vanity of intimidation and wooing of the opposite sex there are many more practical benefits of having big powerful arms.
Just a few advantages include:
- Increased deadlift capacity
- Increased back workout volume
- Strong, secure grip for more secure lifts
- Practical self-defense
- Bar room arm wrestling domination
- Ability to open any canned, processed, tightly sealed food
- Impress at work with the firmest handshake of them all
- Make shirts make you look buffer with tight arms
All jokes aside, grip strength is often a limiting factor in other lifts like deadlift, shrugs and rowing exercises. On any given back day you may be combining 4-6 different rowing/pulling movements with the intention of destroying your back muscles.
However after exercise 3 or 4 you may have to decrease weight of volume not because your huge traps or rhomboids are destroyed but because your arms simply can’t continue holding your working weight.
Will Using Straps Weaken My Grip Strength?
Sure, many lifters turn to straps, and for occasional PRs this is fine. The ability to add a little extra grip strength to do one repetition of a very heavy amount of weight with the purpose of putting down a 1RM to measure your progress overtime is a useful thing.
However we caution against regularly training with straps. The straps can easily become a crutch and over long enough time take over work that would normally be stimulating arm growth.
Guys who use straps throughout the years either end up having very limited forearm strength without them (causing them to have to use straps for life) or require them to add in a TON of supplemental isolation work outside of their main lift days to help their arms grow where the straps have been over compensating.
Straps can even be dangerous if you are relying on them to help you complete the exercise. Victor Costa from Vics Natural explains the concept well below:
Secret Arm Building Workout Routines
Yeah sorry, but that heading is just a tease, but of course you know that, there are no “secrets” in bodybuilding, just hard work and discipline multiplied by time.
Still, there are ways you can optimize your training to optimize the rate at which your arms can obtain biological glory.
A few keys we’ve found over the years to help grow our overall arm size
1.Don’t Train Arms Every Day
Every gym has these guys. Chicken legs. Expensive squat shoes. Curling in the squat rack. These prototypical “bros” spend nearly every day in the gym training their arms and yet, they still aren’t even rocking 16 inchers.
Sure, volume is a proven way to boost hypertrophy and ultimately, over time, size as well. However there are limits.
The biggest limit to daily arm training is the hit it causes on your heavy compound lifts. If your arms are always in a state of recovery then you will never be able to maximize the growth you would otherwise get with ridiculously heavy compound lifts like deadlifts, shrugs, and rows.
Isolation work is great, and we’ll get into that later, but heavy compound lifts are also key and in training arms daily you will sacrifice power for these test boosting, growth stimulating core lifts.
Give those little snakes of yours a break. Let them rest and recover and then go in the gym and put them to work moving some seriously heavy weight. Then in recovery days or de-load weeks go ham on the isolation exercises.
2.Focus on Regular Heavy Compound Lifting
As we mentioned above, this goes hand in hand with not training arms daily. Heavy compound lifts WILL grow your arms because you cannot lift heavy weight with weak arms, it is a fact.
A good routine will work in time-tested proven growth movements like squats for legs, deadlifts for legs and back, bench press for chest, rows for back, shrugs for traps etc. These will cumulatively help grow your arms while also targeting other large muscle groups.
3. Embrace Supersets and Drop Sets
Arms are stubborn, you have to wage a war of attrition to get them to grow. This means unlike heavy compound lifts you will need to embrace super sets and drop sets to really beat the shit out of them.
Supersets are great as you can hit both biceps and triceps with tricep extensions and curls with the EZ bar.
Similarly, even if just targeting the biceps for example, doing one or two drop sets to FULLY exhaust the muscles and inflate your arms with blood is recommended.
4. Workout With a Cruel, Unrelenting Partner
Arm training on one hand is quite fun because unlike the back and hamstrings you can actually watch them flex and get all veiny while you’re working them.
When guys talk about how glorious “da pump” is, they are often fantasizing about an amazing arm day they recently had. Surely Arnold was here:
To achieve maximum pump you really have to push yourself past “the burn”. Unlike squats, where you can move heavy weight but not feel like your legs are about to explode yet still stimulate growth and be sore AF the next day, arms you really need to kill at the gym to ensure growth out of the gym.
Pushing out those extra reps and past normal quitting point is best done with a partner. Doing endless drop sets or reverse pyramids is a fun way to run through a brutal bicep workout.
If you don’t have a partner that’s fine, headphones blasting loud and angry music should suffice.
Best Arm Exercises for Maximizing Growth Fast
In addition to heavy compound lifts we recommend mixing in a wide variety of isolation work to maximize hypertrophy and growth.
Some of our favorite arm-focused exercises include:
Most Effective Bicep Exercises:
Biceps are fun to mix in regular heavy work at a set pace with a good rhythm as well as slow extension work with high time under tension.
On a dedicated arm day, our bicep oriented work will include a combination of combined movement and isolated single arm movements. Mix the classics with newer isolation work. Classics work. Isolation polishes.
A typical split might look like:
Straight Bar Curls
30lb x 20, 35lb x 18, 40lb x 16, 45 x 14, 50 x 12, 55 x 10
14lb x 20, 14lb x 20, 14lb x 20, 14lb x 20
Cable machine (short) Straight Bar Curl (elbows flared out as opposed to pinned to sides like first (long) straight bar exercise)
50lb x 20, 40lb x 20, 30lb x 20, 20lb until failure
Most Effective Tricep Exercises:
Triceps need to balance biceps, if not eclipse them in training as they are a much larger and more dominant muscle group.
Some great tricep work might include some of the following routines:
Flat Bench Dumbbell Tricep Extensions
8lb x 20, 10lb x 16, 12lb x 12, 14lb x 10
Cable Tricep Pushdown with (short) Straight Bar
30lb x 16, 40lb x 14, 50lb x 12, 60lb to failure
Most Effective Forearms Exercises:
Forearms don’t need to be trained as much as biceps and triceps because they are so slow-twitch dominant they get worked best when being forced to grip heavy loads like when doing deadlifts and shrugs.
Still, there are movements that can be done once a week or so to augment heavy lifting to stimulate more forearm growth.
All the work below is in the very high rep range as this is required to squeeze any burn out of this stubborn muscle group.
Dumbbell Top Wrist Contractions
8lb x 25, 8lb x 25, 8lb x 25, 8lb x 25
*superset the above with:
Dumbbell Bottom Wrist Curls
8lb x 25, 8lb x 25, 8lb x 25, 8lb x 25
Rope Curl Finisher
3 sets rolling rope up and down in a controlled fashion
Top Tools & Gym Equipment Sustained Growth
The gym is nothing but a bunch of gravity-dependent tools. Use these tools the correct way (dialed form, reps, sets) and feed your body the food it needs and YOU WILL GROW. That is biology. We respond to stress by beating it.
So what tools are best for maximizing arm growth? Well the conventional arm tools found in most gyms include the following:
- EZ Curl Bar
- Straight Curl Bars
- Cable Machines
- High volume pulling exercises like deadlifts, barbell rows, and even weighted-pullups.
These various pieces of equipment are all used in the exercises described above as well as most conventional arm work that can be done in traditional gyms. For some, like pull-ups, you can buy your own bar to install at home to increase your access and thus volume of back training, which indirectly maintains strong forearm growth as well.
There are other tools though that you can purchase to either bring to the gym to augment your in-gym work or that you can use at home to train your arms when you don’t have access to the gym.
We break these tools into the “physical” which include items that mechanically tax your muscles and “chemical” which include supplements that biologically help grow your arm muscles.
Arm Blaster Workouts & Benefits
One of the biggest reasons guys aren’t getting the growth out of their arms is because they let their egos get in the way.
Ego lifting results in the lifting of so much weight, more than the lifter can actually handle, to the point where form “cheating ” is necessary.
When training arms cheating is most often seen in the swaying of the body to use momentum to swing the weight up. We also see elbows swing back and forth to gain mechanical advantage.
No products found.
Bodybuilding is never about cheating, it is about making this as hard as possible because it is only through this direct stimulation that our muscles will tear and rebuild stronger.
When you cheat on form you cheat on growth.
The Arm Blaster is a relatively new tool, at least available to the public, that is a godsend for form-cheaters as it forces the wearer to keep their elbows at a fixed point when doing curls
Sure, the wearer can still swing their torso to gain momentum but at least we are keeping our elbows fixed, which keeps tension focused on the bicep, where it should be!
Top Reviewed Arm Blasters on Amazon
1. Body Solid BB23 Bicep Bomber
We like the BB23 Bomber because it has a little more curve at the ends which help prevent your elbows from flaring out.
Other arm blaster bars are a little more flat, which work better for broader chests but when wet and sweaty can leave your elbows slipping off the ends.
- Specially-contoured weightlifting bomber positions the body properly for curls
- Isolates the arms and shoulders while keeping the elbows and back locked in position
- Webbed nylon belt with 1,000-pound weight capacity
- Oversized neoprene neck pad and dense elbow pads for ideal comfort
The BB23 gets our vote of approval for the extra curvature at the tips for a more secure fit. This is the perfect blaster with guys with normal sized arms and who have a tendency for their elbows to flair out.
2. Core Prodigy Cannon Curl
The Core Prodigy is a solid, well-built arm blaster that utilizes a heavy gauge aluminum and double thick elbow pads set on a wider, less curved bar.
The relative flatness of this bar compared to others means it’s better for men with broader chests or just huge mofos in general who have way more “width” than the average Skinny Yoked reader.
- Bicep Isolation - The Core Prodigy Premium Arm Blaster perfectly supports your elbows and enables you to keep the correct posture during curls. Users of the bicep blaster immediately notice proper muscle isolation when curling for a bigger pump and better...
- One Size Does Not Fit All - The Core Prodigy Arm Blaster is available in the standard Cannon Curl size (2.5 inch chest depth + 23 inch length) as well as a larger Flex size with a deeper curve and wider gap between the arms (3.75 inch chest depth + 24...
- Strength & Comfort - Heavy duty thick gauge aluminum provides strong bicep curl support and stability while pads on the abdomen, elbows and neck support offer serious comfort.
- Ultimate Arm Builder Support - This Arm Blaster is the perfect weight lifting arm blaster and one of the most essential gym accessories for muscle concentration.
This blaster is perfect for lifters with broad chests or generally broad rib cages.
3. Legendary Workout Arm Blaster
While the first product is unique for its curvature, and the second is unique in it’s width and flatness, the Arm Blaster from Legendary Workout is unique in its rounded edges.
If you look closely at many other arm blaster products you’ll notice the edges are often more or less square. The edges of the Legendary Workout product on the other hand are much more rounded.
- ARM BLASTER: Top quality lightweight aluminum without screws for biceps and triceps curls isolator
- ARMS BUILDER ISOLATOR: Sustain up to 300 lbs and comes with an adjustable comfort neck strap
- WEIGHT LIFTING GRIPS: quality fitness workout glove with maximum protection & comfort for all sizes
- VIDEO AND eBOOK: 20 exercises for bicep and tricep curl that allow user to build ideal muscle arms
If you are a hobbyist or amateur lifting this won’t matter much, however if you already have THICK arms, particularly wide triceps, then something with a rounded corner will be more practical as it won’t dig into the overflow of muscle that may be hanging over the edges.
Oh, and unfortunately this product comes with gloves. Go ahead and give those to your girlfriend, you won’t be needing those..
This blaster is best for guys with massive arms/tons of existing tricep mass.
4. Bradley Martyn Official Arm Blaster
There aren’t many unique design aspects to this blaster, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less effective than the above products.
The Bradley Martyn Arm Blaster does everything well and is tested up to 30olbs. Oh, and it comes in gold. Yes, GOLD!
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The Bradley Martyn Arm Blaster is perfect for the average lifter who likes a little bit of bling-bling.
Additional Forearm & Grip Building Equipment
While the above focuses on building your biceps there are already a ton of tools at your disposal at your local gym for building biceps and triceps.
The forearms however are a slightly different monster as many gyms don’t have anything outside of dumbbells to use to help build forearms, which are essential for building strong grip strength.
Plus, having huge biceps/triceps but tiny forearms makes you look like you got chicken arms, similar to having big quads/hams but no calves.
There are various tools you can use to build both forearm grip strength as well as overall forearm diameter. With the following you’ll be looking like Popeye in no time!
Best Grip-Enhancing Products on Amazon
1. Fat Gripz by Fat Gripz
These guys are the original and Skinny Yoked is all about supporting creators and innovators so we have to recommend the original Fat Gripz as the go-to forearm augmentation tool.
Simply pop them in your gym bag and bust them out when you’re doing arm specific work with regular barbells. This includes both narrow grip bench pressing (great tricep building exercise!) or curls for biceps.
- ✓ POWERFUL ARMS GET ATTRACTION AND RESPECT INSTANTLY – They are the body part that everyone sees. Take a moment to imagine how you would look with hard defined arms that turns heads - instantly changing how everyone sees you… and treats you
Gripz last forever and are regularly promoted by guys like Jay Cutler and Phil Heath so you know your in safe hands with these grips
2. Iron Bull Strength Alpha Grips 3.0
We are recommending these because while they are not “the original” grip builders they have evolved the design slightly to make it more comfortable for some lifters.
Just like Apple never invents anything, they simply refine existing successful tech, the Alpha Grips 3.0 have taken regular fat grips to a new level.
They come in a wide variety of colors and have a unique slightly rounded curved shape that provide a more ergonomic feel in the hand.
- BUILD BIGGER, STRONGER ARMS: The Alpha Grips will instantly recruit more muscle fibers in your arms and forearms by increasing the diameter of any barbells, dumbbells, cable attachments and exercise machine handles. Using fat grips is the equivalent of...
- FULLY VERSTAILE: Simply wrap the Alpha Grips around any regular dumbbell, barbell, pull up bar, push up bar, cable attachment or any other bar and turn it into thick bar training. These grips will triple the size of regular bars (3.0 inch diameter) and...
- PATENTED ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Our unique and patented curved design gives more support and a more natural hand placement on the bar allowing for safer and more efficient training. Convert any bars within seconds in 2 easy steps: 1-Spread open the grips,...
- USED BY TOP BODYBUILDERS: Thick bar training is used by NFL players, MMA fighters, bodybuilders, cross-fitters, powerlifters and many pro athletes. Fat grips create less stress on joints, less injuries, less imbalances and recruits more muscle fibers. You...
The debate between flat grips and ergonomic grips has raged for years. You see dumbbell manufacturers produce straight grips and ergonomic, same with cable machine grip attachments. Well, the debate now extends to grip builders.
Highly Reviewed Grip Trainers on Amazon
In addition to tools that augment existing equipment like the above fat grips there are a whole world of grip-specific isolation tools that focus on grip and forearm strength.
Building grip strength takes time. Sure, you build when you lift heavy, but you may not always have the energy to lift super heavy, nor do you always have access to a ton of weight and a squat rack.
This is where grip isolation work comes into play as with all of the below tools you can work your grip strength out almost anywhere, from the car, to the office to the couch.
If you’re going to be watching Netflix why not build your forearms at the same time!
1.Classic Spring Grip Strengtheners
Many would say professional bodybuilders achieved perfection in the 70’s and 80’s. Part of this obviously is balance of gear used, but part of it was also a dedication to old school lifting techniques.
In the world of bodybuilding the saying “don’t mess with a good thing” applies more than an many other aspects of life.
From heavy barbell work to sweating out cardio on resistance bikes, the “old school” tools got the job done and still do.
- BREAKTHROUGH YOUR PHYSICAL LIMITS – As most athletes know, if you want to improve your overall fitness you MUST train your weakest link. But there’s a difference between knowing this and DOING IT. If you’re looking to take your power lifting or...
- DESIGNED TO INCREASE YOUR GRIP STRENGTH – There’s nothing in a typical gym that compares to these hand grippers. Just think about it. Nearly every piece of equipment you touch wasn’t SOLELY created to target and isolate your forearms, fingers, and...
- ON-THE-GO HAND EXERCISES – Unlike most training, you can do these exercises just about anywhere. You can use these while you’re at the office or even in the car if you travel for work. They’re basically a discrete training tool that transforms your...
- CREATE HANDS OF STEEL – Just like in life, you’re going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We mention this because our grip handles weren’t built for dainty little hands. They were built to toughen you up and that’s how finger...
Spring loaded grip trainers like the above set from Heavy Sports are great because they are:
- Progressive: Building in Resistance
- Simple: They won’t break, there’s not moving parts here
- Strong: They’re pure metal. They last forever.
You can’t go wrong with a set of spring-loaded grip builders with iron grips as they not only build your hands but keep your callouses in tip top strength too! No nancy hands here!
2. Gripmaster Hand Exerciser by Gripmaster
Gripmaster, they are the masters of grip, get it?
While spring loaded trainers are great because of their simplicity they are also thus slightly limited in that they train all the fingers simultaneously.
This is nice as it places all more emphasis on the forearm itself, but not so great if you want to add a bit of diversity to your arm training.
The Gripmaster and Gripmaster Pro have been around forever and have won a loyal fan base because of their unique ability to allow the user to train each digit independently.
- THE ORIGINAL SPRING-LOADED HAND & FINGER EXERCISER: Prohands is used by professional athletes, world-class musicians, and as a rehabilitation tool. Made from high-quality components ABS plastic, stainless steel springs and approved santoprene.
- STRENGTH, POWER & ENDURANCE FOR ATHLETES: Exercise each finger individually, or the entire hand. Isolates and exercises each finger individually for strength, dexterity, and endurance. Develops outstanding hand, wrist and forearm strength.
- REHABILITATION & PREVENTION (STRONGER, HEALTHY HANDS): Ideal for anyone wanting to develop and maintain strong healthy hands. May help with arthritis, carpal tunnel, neuropathy, and poor circulation.
- THE PROHANDS FAMILY OF HAND EXERCISERS (2ND IMAGE): VIA is our entry-level model, GRIPMASTER is our signature model, GRIPMASTER-Rehab has an added palm cushion, and PRO is our most advanced model for pros and motivated individuals.
Having individual finger buttons means you can roll your squeeze on and off or squeeze all at once, mixing up how you stimulate your forearms.
The flexibility of independent finger movement is fantastic, however the resistance itself is not adjustable so like the spring operated units you will need to buy new ones as you progress and build your strength.
This isn’t all that bad though as they’re quite cheap.
3. Hand Resistance Bands by Airisland
While all of the above grip trainers focus on the squeezing and contraction of the inner forearm these resistance bands by Airisland focus on the opening of the digits, which places a whole new strain on the top part of your forearm.
Just like the contraction and the stretch are equally important while lifting weight, the contraction and opening of the hand are equally important for building balanced forearm strength.
- MAKE EXERCISE SIMPLE – Our finger resistance bands can improve finger strength for athletes (rock climbing enthusiasts, fitness, tennis, baseball, boxing, tennis, golf and shooting) and musicians (guitar players, bass players, pianists and violinists)....
- USE IT ANYWHERE ANYTIME –Our finger extensor exerciser has a small size and modern looking. You can use it while walking, traveling (car, airplane, bus), in office, school, watching TV or any place you want to exercise.
- SAFE AND DURABLE – Built with100% 1st-grade silica gel. BPA-free. Our hand stretcher is WASHABLE and LAST LONGER.
- THREE LEVEL FOR MORE NEED – Level1-Gray, Level2-Blue, Level3-Black. Use different bands based on force requirement.
Who doesn’t love resistance bands? We use the to warm up, we use them to mix up our squat and bench routines and now we can use them in conjunction with other traditional arm training tools to build our grip strength as well.
Wrist Rollers: Unsung Heros of Forearm Building Equipment
Wrist rollers are some of the most old-school forearm grip building tools around. Most old school gyms will have a couple well used wooden dowels with ropes laying around to which you can tie some smaller plate weights.
These types of forearm trainers are great because they put enormous time under tension loads on your slow-twitch forearms which makes for one helluva crazy burn and leaves you with a throbbing full-arm pump.
Forearm-specific tools are rare and are nice because they compliment upper arm work perfectly, not only destroying your forearms but engaging your front deltoids as well as you hold your arms out in front of you parallel to the floor when using these tools.
The Wrist Ripper is one of the more popular models available for purchase.
- The Wrist Ripper is a wrist roller exercise product that puts a new twist on one of the oldest and most effective ways to strengthen the hands, wrists and forearms. The WristRipper has many added improvements over homemade and other wrist roller products...
- #1 Strong injection molded handle provides multiple gripping options to work different ranges of motion for a complete forearm workout. #2 Rubber gripping areas help reduce slipping. #3 Heavy duty adjustable webbing strap and center guides keeps strap in...
- This product will quickly improve your performance in any activity that requires grip strength and the use of your hands and wrists. Golfers, baseball players and body builders love this product!
- WEIGHT PLATES ARE NOT INCLUDED WITH THIS PRODUCT AND ARE SOLD SEPARATELY. Maximum recommended weight is 10lbs.
The bar has round ends to stop your hands from sliding off and it comes with a seatbelt-strong strap and carabiner for quick and easy loading and unloading of weight plates.
Another nice aspect about the Wrist Ripper is that the seatbelt is a ribbon. This means it lays flat as it spools up and doesn’t bunch up like round rope/cable has a tendency to do.
Someone was really using their noggin when they designed this thing.
Sure, it may not the cheapest thing in the book, and you COULD always build your own wrist roller with a quick trip to your local hardware store, however in terms of a ready-to-use solution that will last years, “tha ripper” is a solid choice.
>Check out our guide to wrist straps too if your forearms are giving out early in your pull days
Chemical Enhancement Options
While the above items were all physical in nature and are designed to mechanically aid in building your arms the below products are chemical in nature and designed to enhance your pump form the inside out.
In combination to a regular workout, healthy diet, sufficient protein and the above tools the following supplements make for great additions to maximize your arm workouts.
1. Pump-Inducing Pre-workouts
Pre-workouts. We’re all addicted and if you’re not you are lying. There are pre-workouts for all occasions, some focus more on a “smack-the-snot-out-of-you” up front jolt of caffeine.
Others are designed to make you go HULK mode once actually in the gym, like GAT’s Nitraflex, which we recently reviewed as one of the most “go apeshit” preworkouts on the market.
- INCREASE MUSCLE GROWTH WITH SUPPORTED TESTOSTERONE LEVELS: In a clinical study, calcium fructopyranose borate (CFB) was shown to increase total and free testosterone within 3 hours of a single dose equivalent to just over 2 scoops of Nitraflex.
- INCREASE BLOOD FLOW AND ENERGY: This clinically tested, high-intensity pre-training formula has potent ingredients to help magnify energy, alertness, strength, stamina, pumps and free testosterone during workouts.
- CREATINE-FREE, IDEAL FOR PRE-CONTEST PREP AND LEAN MUSCLE: Creatine causes water retention, which can make achieving a dry, hard muscular look even more difficult, so we left it out. NITRAFLEX is ideal for pre-contest prep and lean muscle physique.
- BOOST BENCH PRESS STRENGTH IN 2 WEEKS: Increase bench press strength up to 10 lbs in just 2 weeks. Potent ingredients will increase energy for each workout while increasing strength.
For arm training in particular though it’s more about chasing that glorious pump than it is going berzerk. Nitraflex or even something like B-Nox Androrush by Betancourt, which we’re also fans of by the way, are great for prepping for a big back or leg day.
For pure nitric oxide production and vein popping pumps though our favorite supplement by far is the caffeine-free High Volume by PE Science.
PE Science is known for making quality products. Their protein for example has a perfect ratio of slow digesting casein and faster digesting isolate and taste ridiculously good.
High Volume is PE Sciences pump product. It is caffeine free so you can stack it with another pre workout which we like.
- Caffeine free pre workout – High Volume is a premium, scientifically dosed pre workout without caffeine. This unique formula is different from most pre-workouts because it relies exclusively on fully dosed performance increasing and vasodilating/Nitric...
- Premium nitric oxide boosting – 4 grams of pure l-citrulline (more than twice the amount of common pre-workouts), agmatine sulfate, arginine nitrate, and hydromax glycerol combined
- Versatile and stackable – While High Volume is the ultimate in caffeine free preworkouts by itself, its unique formula allows it to be taken at any time of day or in combination with almost any other product.
- Amazing taste and mixability – with over 5 amazing flavors you'll always be able to mix it up while enjoying the same great product.
For example, we often train arms at the end of a back day. So we end up taking a pre-workout with caffeine before training back for 40-50 minutes.
At this point we start arms but don’t want to ingest even more caffeine.
High Volume can be downed towards the end of our back workout to provide an excellent pump for our arm finisher movements.
What Not to Do/Common Mistakes to Avoid
We want to focus on actionable exercises, tools and regimens that will help you build your arms.
We don’t like being negative but we feel we should cover a few of the most common pitfalls that bodybuilders stumble into during their pursuit for the swolly grail of arm gains.
Mistake #1: Going Too Heavy Too Soon
We’re all about going heavy. You NEED to go heavy once and a while to maintain your growth over time.
Heavy lifts though are most beneficial when applied to compound movements where large muscle groups with the support of complimentary muscle groups can safely move big weight. Think bench, squat, deadlift.
Curls on the other hand are isolation exercises. They put all (well, 95%) of the focus on one muscle: the biceps, and the biceps aren’t a huge muscle group by any means.
This means proper form and long time under tension should be your goals. In loading up way too much weight you not only won’t impress anyone you will also most likely swing your body and cheat on your form, thus sabotaging your gains train.
Additionally, going too heavy too fast with things like curls are seriously dangerous as they frequently result in bicep tendon tears.
This injuries not only look nasty but require surgery to repair and take months to heal from. Just ask Calum Von Moger, as he teared his bicep which set him back huge, simply by showing off with Chris Bumstead.
*Thanks though guys, we love the channel and that was some impressive “group curling” while it lasted!
Mistake #2: Developing Imbalances
Just like guys who focus too much on chest and forget their back inevitably have bad posture long run as their chests curve inwards it is important to keep arm balance as well.
For every chest day you need an opposing back day to keep your muscles in balance so neither group can take over and “become dominant”, which long run messes up posture and ultimately lifting ability.
Don’t only focus on your biceps, as tempting as it may be. Train your triceps the same amount, if not more than your biceps as they are actually a much larger muscle group and super important in lifts involving pressing motions.
Plus, huge biceps with tiny triceps looks funny, same as over-developed triceps but under-developed biceps. Always strive for symmetry!
Mistake #3: Neglecting Other Muscle Groups
Yes, by this point it is abundantly clear that having big arms is not only great at improving your over-all lifting abilities and impressing both men and women alike but also make for a more impressive, complete physique.
Still, arms never “made the man”. Big arms are great COMPLIMENTS to an overall yoked physique. Do not get fixated on your arms at the expense of trap, deltoid or chest development.
We’ve written before on how important focusing on building deltoids can be to creating an more impressive, more aesthetic physique.
Likewise, building up your traps should also be a focus as they not only help blend the neck into the shoulders and create for a Bane-like back, they will also requre arm work to build!
That’s right, arm training doesn’t always have to be isolation-oriented. By focusing on building your traps with rack pulls, shrugs, static holds, you will simultaneously be training your arms.
In the end, big ass arms, when married to big rounded shoulders and thick popping traps all tie together to create levels of ‘mirrin not seen since the Zyzz graced this earth.
Last update on 2021-10-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API