Most men would like to have a good set of arms. The kind of arms that fill a large tee shirt. The kind of arms that turn heads walking down the street. The kind of arms that nearly bust out of a loosely fitted shirt. The kind of arms you are proud of. Most men want this but they forget that to achieve this lies a lot of hard work.
Ask CT Fletcher, I think he knows a thing or two about training arms.
So below are some tips to take you forward in the aim to have some 18’s by your side.
1. Use compound exercises and don’t be afraid to go heavy. Too many people focus on the rep side and the pump and forget about adding weight to the bar. For triceps use dips and close grip bench and for biceps go for close grip chins and rope pull in variations to load up on.
2. I see people wanting to use too much variety when it comes to training arms, especially the biceps. Sometimes the simplest plan is the best, for example, just keep it simple and do five sets of ten to fifteen reps with barbell curls, if the right weight is used, this alone should be plenty.
3. Once the heavy compound exercises have been done, don’t rush isolation training. Use a timer to see how long a set lasts. Try and make the set last between 30-60 seconds and really focus on the muscle, leave your ego here and use a weight where you can hit the targeted time. Although don’t get too hooked up on the time, just focus on what you are doing.
4. Use various cheat methods to get you through the set. Training biceps can hurt as it is only a small muscle and so they can start to get that burning sensation very early on. If this happens, either shorten the range of motion or just use a cheat to get through the set. This way you can overload the muscle to get the most out of it. This goes for triceps as well, use a slight roll to squeeze out a few more reps with extension work.
5. Try training with a partner when doing arm work, your rest is his work set and vice versa. This way you do not rest too long between sets and you get the job done quicker.
6. Again after the big exercises have been hit I like to superset a few exercises together in a type of giant set, so this could be for example for triceps, barbell extensions, decline dumbbell extension and pushdowns, not worrying too much about what reps to hit but more on how the muscle feels. Or you could do two bicep exercises followed by two tricep exercises.
7. Sometimes not having a plan is best, with the aim of the session to hit your arms as hard as you can in a limited amount of time, just pick the weight up and go.
8. Train them two to three times per week. A few sets can be added to the end of any session, just use different exercises every time.
9. If you want to get strict then put your back up against a wall while doing curls, this will show you how little weight you sometimes need.
10. Accommodating resistance such as bands or chains are good for tricep work. They can be used for people who sometimes get elbow pain when doing regular bar weight extension work and also are great for overloading the top end, so to match the strength curve of the exercise.
11. S&P’s 10 exercises for your arms
- biceps – chin variations, row variations, rope pull in, EZ bar curls vs chains, db curls elbows in
- triceps – close grip bench, dips, EZ bar extension vs bands, BB extension vs chains, bodyweight extension
So what to do now?
Step 1. Get a tape measure and measure you arms when flexing, no pre pump.
Step 2. Check below to see were you stand.
- 11-12″ – Poor Effort – Need to focus on big compound exercises and eat more, no need to curl right now
- 12-13″ – Poor – Still no need to curl
- 13-14″ – Weak
- 14-15″ – Average – Get some extra isolation work in now to help with the gains
- 15-16″ – Above Average
- 16-17″ – Solid Effort – Starting to turn some heads
- 17-18″ – Nearly a Hero
- 18″ – Hero – Do whatever you want from now on
Please note, any sort of arm training needs to be in conjunction with a solid nutrition and training plan for the whole body. Don’t expect that after just a few sets of curls, you will achieve the set of arms Schwarzenegger would be proud of.
Thanks for reading.
Until next time