3 Steps To Building Bigger Arms (Hardgainers)

December 15, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Bigger arms, bigger arms, bigger arms!


Tall (6ft plus)?

Arms that hang down to your knees?

Or just plain out right struggling to build arms?


If any of those pain points apply to you, then you will no doubt be constantly screaming out. ”Bigger arms, bigger arms, bigger arms”. Because it really can be a struggle for people like you (And in this case, people like me too). And in my case, I can build shoulders, traps, wings and chest muscles with frightening ease. But when it comes around to building arms, I just want to cry ūüôĀ . It’s not as drastic as suffering from chicken leg syndrome, with an abnormally top heavy body.

But I’d say it’s not far off…. having a bulky upper body with little twig-let arms poking out of the side of it.

I say erghhh!!


If you have suffered from this scenario like I have done, then the 3 steps below should help you fix the problem by helping you build at least 1/2 of an inch on your arms.

#1 Maintain Your Current Physique


A basic strength/size routine (With less volume/ frequency)

Now, we’ll get into step #2 (The arm workout) in just a moment. But before we do, we are going to structure your weekly workout for the rest of your body. For most of you, you probably perform a 3 day split routine. Say…

  • Monday
  • Wednesday
  • Friday

So let’s stick with that. However, for the 3 steps to building bigger arms guide we will indeed perform a basic strength/size routine (With less volume. frequency).

So your current workout may look something like this….

Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday

5-7 exercises each day

  1. Bench press                                                 3 sets            6 to 10 reps
  2. Chin ups                                                       3 sets            8 to 12 reps
  3. Standing/ Seated calf raises                     2 sets           12 to 20 reps
  4. Squats                                                           3 sets             8 to 12 reps
  5. Dumbbell press (Standing/ Seated)       2 sets             8 to 12reps
  6. Tricep extension (Or similar exercise)   3 sets            6 to 15 reps (Depending on goal)
  7. Barbell curls (Or similar exercise)          3 sets            6 to 15 reps (Depending on goal)

Note: I personally wouldn’t recommend this kind of workout, if the goal is to increase muscle mass. The 3 Done and Out approach is better for that.

Now remember, the goal here is to focus on building bigger arms, which means focusing on them more than usual. Which also means cutting back on your current workouts, which may look like the one above. The new workout will look like this…

Monday and Friday ONLY

  1. Bench press                                                 3 sets            6 to 10 reps
  2. Chin ups                                                       3 sets            8 to 12 reps
  3. Standing/ Seated calf raises                     2 sets           12 to 20 reps
  4. Squats                                                           3 sets             8 to 12 reps
  5. Dumbbell press (Standing/ Seated)       2 sets             8 to 12reps

The main reason for cutting back is so that you can stick to the consistency rule and maintain the gains on the rest of your body. And which is of course the no.1 rule for achieving great muscle building results.

That’s step one out of the way. But here’s a few rules to follow while performing the step #1 workout.

  • Progressive failure is the key. Don’t train ’till failure.
  • Feel free to increase the weight if things become a little easy.
  • Stick to 90 second rest periods between sets

#2 Arm Isolation Workout


Now that we have cut back on the volume and frequency of your standard 3 day split workout. It’s now time to focus on the 3 day workout routine for your arms (Which will be performed during the same week as your lowered volume/frequency workout from step #1)

Some rules

#1 Muscle building goal structure

Strength/Power¬†¬† 1 ‚Äď 5 reps
Hypertrophy (size) & some strength 6 – 12 reps
Local endurance/ little size  12-20 reps

#2 The good form rule

If the weight you lift turns out to be too heavy, decrease the weight. Focus on steady progression and load up the weights again as your strength increases.

#3 Longer rest periods

90 second rest periods are fine for your 8-12 rep sets. But not for your 1-5 rep sets. These need to be longer so that you can regain your strength for the next set.

And so we don’t forget…

The goal is to build bigger arms

The workout

Monday

  • Super set workout (Perform an exercise straight after completing the previous one – 45-60 second time gap)

Seating dumbbell tricep extension

5 sets/ 12 – 15 reps

Standing dumbbell curls

5 sets/ 12 – 15 reps

Mondays notes

  • Always 12 reps and above! Can’t finish a set? Just decrease the weight.
  • Perform this workout after your step #1 workout

Wednesday

  • Heavy and hard

Lying EZ bar Tricep Extension

5 sets/ 6-8 reps (Increase the weight each week)

Standing barbell curls

5 sets/ 5 – 8 reps (Increase the weight each week)

Wednesdays notes

  • Perform this workout after your step #1 workout
  • Longer rest periods between sets

Friday

Barbell curls

3 sets/ 8 – 12 reps

Tricep extension

3 sets/ 8 – 12 reps

Fridays notes

  • Perform this workout before your step #1 workout

#3 Growth = Steady Progression


We all know the core rule is…

  • 70% Diet
  • 30% Gym

Just don’t make the mistake of trying to bulk too quickly. Doing so may actually go against you in the long run, as described in this post.

Besides, the body can only assimilate so much food at once (70% diet), so don’t go over board by stacking your guts 24 hours around the clock. Just keep feeding your protein intake every 3 hours or so.

Progression is the key here. It is a much safer approach, allows you to enjoy the journey and is much more rewarding. After all, it is a lifestyle. A lifestyle that you’ll learn more about and enjoy, in the upcoming program I’m working on (Which will also contain the full version of how to build bigger arms).

Enter your email address below for future updates regarding this.

The Stay-Fit Bug Fitness Program For Hardgainers

A program that I’m confident will improve your bodybuilding lifestyle for the better in 2011 and beyond.

And remember to stack up on your EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids). You won’t be able to bulk effectively without them.

You can learn more about that in the Guide to Necessary Supplementation ebook below.


I can’t determine how much your arms will grow from following the above (Genetics and other factors). But if you follow ‘everything’ that’s available to you on this page, then you will indeed grow some size on those guns. The only thing left for you to do now is to go and get those guns blazing.

Train insane!

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