3 Tips for Building Big Arms

By: Tony Schwartz


Big arms are one of the most desired body parts of bodybuilders and recreational exercisers, and with good reason. While six pack abs and big pecs are great, the arms are one of the most easily displayed muscle groups, whether in a tank top or short-sleeve shirt, the arms are visible to everyone.

If someone tells you to "make a muscle," what do you do? Instinctively you roll-up your sleeve and flex your bicep.

So without further delay, let's look at how we can optimally increase the size of your arms.

1. Compound exercises
Compound exercises are those that use more than one joint at time. This allows for big weights to be used and activates a lot of of muscle fibers. These 2 factors mean big growth for your arms. Some of my favorite exercises are pull-up and chin-up variations as they put tremendous stress on the biceps.

2. Gain weight
You're simply not going to have 20" arms if you weigh 160 pounds. Your body does not like to get out of balance, so even if you are striving strictly for big arms, you will want to train the rest of your body as well. Some have even stated that it is necessary to add 15-20 pounds of muscle in order to gain one inch on your arms. Suffice it to say, you need to follow a training program that works every muscle in your body and you need a complementary nutrition and supplement plan as well.

3. Get lean
Big arms are great, but I would wager that what you really want is arms that are big AND defined. In order to for this to happen you need to have a relatively low bodyfat percentage. Otherwise your arms will just look big and fat, no matter how much muscle you have. Bodyfat percentage is mostly a function of diet, so you need to make sure that while you are eating to increase your weight you aren't putting on too much fat in the process.

Keep in mind that the arms are muscles just like any other. So you don't need to constantly do sets of curls to get them to grow. Muscles grow while you are resting. So make sure to train hard and then rest hard (eat big and sleep enough).
And don't forget to work your triceps as well. While not the show muscles that the biceps are, they do make up roughly 2/3 of your upper arm mass, so neglecting them is not a good strategy if big arms are what you're after.

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