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Arms Training 101: How To Build Sleeve Busting Arms

The closest muscle group to every man heart is not the chest or the back, it is the Arms. Everyone loves to have big arms, they are a symbol of power and manliness.

Arms also are the first muscle group that people notice about your physique. Big developed arms can change your life. Do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger would ever be in the box office if he didn’t have that huge tennis ball Biceps? I doubt it.

I think we all can agree that developing a big sleeve splitting arms is an essential element in developing the perfect physique. The problem is, besides being one of the most trained muscle group by gym trainee, we rarely see a lot of guys with bulging arms.

There is a bunch of reasons for this. But, I think if you nail down the training keys that I am going to share with you today, you will be in your path to 16 inch Arms in no time. So keep reading.

Arms Anatomy

Before we start discussing the training keys for developing a big massive set of guns, we need first to understand the basic muscle anatomy of this muscle group.

The arm has two main muscle groups: the Biceps and the Triceps.

The Biceps

The Biceps or Biceps Brachii is a two-headed muscle that origin from under the deltoid and insert below the elbow.

The basic function of the Biceps is to lift and curl the arm. Also, another function of the Biceps is to pronate the wrist.

The Biceps has two main head, the short head, and the long head. Also, another muscle group of the Biceps is Brachialis or the outer head of the Biceps.

The Triceps

The Triceps or Triceps Brachii is a three-headed muscle group that works in opposition to the biceps. It is also originating from under the deltoid and inserting below the elbow.

The basic function of the triceps is to straighten the arms and supinate the wrist.

As it name apply, the triceps has 3 main heads: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head.

Now, after this brief anatomy lesson, let’s move to the fun part, the keys to develop sleeve-busting Arms.

Arm Training keys

Key 1: Stress For Not Weight

Yes, cheat-curling 160 lbs with a full body swing won’t grow your biceps. So stop wasting your time. If you are serious about growing your Arms the first thing you need to do is to perfect your training technique.

Improper technique and heavy weights are a combination for a snail-paced growth and injuries. On the other hand, executing your arm exercises with proper training technique will target your muscle fibers more and it will increase the tension on your arms. Increased muscle tension is one of the main drivers of hypertrophy. So, you will get more growth and le injuries and elbow pain.

Another mistake trainees make in arms training is improper posture. Don’t roll your shoulders forward to lift more weight. This will only reduce your range of motion and mess up your postural alignment in and outside the gym. So, always make sure to keep your spine neutral, your chest up and your elbow close to your body.

Key 2: Center Your Workout Around Heavy Compound Movements

But, didn’t you just said that heavy lifting is bad for arms training. It is, if you are swinging the weights and messing up your posture. But, what I am talking about is prioritizing the big moves that will allow you to lift heavy weights with perfect form and without postural issues.

Exercises like the Close-grip bench press and the Barbell curl would allow the use of relatively heavier weights. This will place more tension on the muscle fibers and push them to grow bigger and stronger. Also, those exercises would allow the implementation of progressive overload, the most powerful method of hypertrophy. So, it is always a good idea to start your Arm training workouts with some heavy compound movements to activate the high threshold muscle fibers and grow those Guns.

Key3: Target All Heads Of your Triceps

Triceps represents the 2/3 of your arms. So, if you want to have big arms you first need to have big triceps.

For full development, you need to target all 3 heads of the triceps: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head.

Here is a list of the best exercises for each head:

Triceps Head Long Head Lateral Head Medial Head
Best Exercises -Lying EZ bar triceps extensions

-Overhead triceps extension

-Narrow grip EZ bar pull-over

 

-Close-grip bench press

-Triceps pushdowns

-Standing Barbell French press

 

 

-Dumbbell Kickbacks

-One-arm Triceps pushdowns

-Neutral standing dumbbell press

 

Key 4: Plan Variety In Your Training

There is no training method that will produce results forever. So, you have to constantly shock your arms with a variety of exercises and training techniques. Especially if you are no longer a beginner.

Using a variety of exercises is especially important in arms training. For instance, let’s take the biceps as an example. Exercises like Scott Curls and Preacher Curls will work the first part of the elbow flexors, Barbell curls will stress the mid-range and Concentration Curls would emphasize the end range.

That is why it is very important to use a wide variety of both biceps and triceps exercises to target all the muscle fibers of the arm.

Key 5: Focus On Mind-muscle Connection

If you want to grow your arms you have to concentrate during every set of your workout. Don’t go through the motion just for the sake of completion. No, you have to put your mind inside the muscle and feel every contraction. An enhanced concentration will help you to handle heavier weights and to place more stress on your muscle fibers.

I remember during an interview when Arnold was asked about his opinion on the mind-muscle connection he replied: “I think that the biggest mistake is that you go to the gym and you go through the motions, but you don’t really have your mind inside the muscle”. Enough said I guess.

So, next time you are in the gym training your arms try to perform each rep with the end goal in mind. Also, know how many reps you are going to perform. Don’t go by your feeling because you can talk yourself into performing fewer reps. And the final component of concentration is to feel the muscle as I said. You gotta feel the burn if you want them guns to grow.

Key 6: Focus On The Brachiialis:

The Brachiialis is that small muscle shaped like a golf ball between the biceps and the triceps. Although it is trained in every elbow flexing movement, the brachiiali muscle can become a weak link and derail your progress if not targeted optimally. Focusing on the Brachiialis will give you that thick arm looks from the front. Also, if you never truly focused on that muscle group before, targeting it optimally will increase your arm size in no time. At least that’s what it did to me, I added 0.5” in 3 weeks of Brachiialis specialization plan.

The best Brachiialis exercises are Hammer curls and reverse curls.

Key 7: Focus On The Long Head Of The Biceps:

Due to improper execution, the long head of the Biceps is often a weak link for most bodybuilders. This head is optimally targeted when your elbows are behind the torso.

The best exercises to target the long head of the Biceps are Incline dumbbell curls and Drag curls. Adding one of those two exercises to your arm routine will result in tremendous growth.

Putting It All Together

Ok, now that you know a few key principles about optimizing your arm training, let’s put it all together and design a workout routine that will annihilate every last muscle fiber of your arms and force them to grow.

The Workout

Exercise Sets Reps Rest Notes
Superset

1A-Cable Rope Curls

1B-Cable Rope extensions

4 12-15 60 sec
Superset

2A-E Bar Preacher Curls

2B-EZ Bar Triceps Extension

4 10-12 60 sec
Superset

3A-Close-Grip Bench Press

3B-Barbell drag Curls

4 8-10 90 sec
Superset

4A-Concentration curls

4B-Dumbbell Kickbacks

3 15 45

 

Now, Time to get those Arms to grow!

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