The Best Arm Workout To Build Huge Arms Fast
Arm day, it’s every gym goers favorite day of the week because it usually requires the least amount of physical exhaustion yet produces one of the greatest pump feeling that you can feel and see throughout you’re entire workout. Want to get achieve ever greater pumps? Use a pre-workout that includes the right ingredients that will burst those arms through your shirt!
In the gym there is no better feeling than a skin-bursting arm pump that’ll leave your shirt hugging the guns. We know if you use the right pre-workout, it’ll help promote massive pumps..but what about an intra-workout supplement? If you choose the right one, it can lead to better endurance, longer lasting pumps, and stronger workouts. That being said, if you’re heading into the gym for any workout without a game plan ahead, you’re already set up to fail no matter what supplements you have; this is just as important for arm day.
Before we jump into the arm workout, lets look at the arms anatomy (primarily the biceps / triceps) to understand the purpose behind the chosen exercises because if you want results, there has to be a purpose behind what you do.
So why do we call this part of our arm the bicep? Simply enough we do this because the bicep consists of two muscles the Bicep long head (outer head – thickness) and bicep short head (inner head – bicep peak) where they cross the shoulder joint and connect down on the forearm.
Main Functions of The Biceps:
- Flexion of the shoulder
- Twisting the palm up (supinated)
- Flexing the arm (curl motion)
The muscle fibre make-up of the biceps:
- Our biceps are made up of 60% fast twitch muscle fibres and 40% slow twitch muscle fibres.
What this means:
- 60% of the time you should aim to train the biceps in a 6-12 rep range, heavier weight with longer rest periods (but this doesn’t mean you get to cheat and forget about form – form is key to muscle fibre recruitment). Aim to lift the weight at a faster speed while still in full control; don’t try to break any world records for the fastest curl time, you won’t impress the nurse at your local hospital with it.
- 40% of the time you should aim to train past the 12 rep range (roughly 12-20 reps) with short rest periods (under a minute).
How to hit your biceps at different angles
Doing different exercises will target the biceps differently (yes, this is actually possible). A movement like a preacher curl will have greater tension on targeting the bottom of your bicep while doing a standing bicep curl will have greater tension at the top of your bicep, which will target the upper part of your arm.
The biceps are the strongest (greatest mechanical advantage) at a 90-degree angle so this is where it will be easiest to lift the most weight (top half of the curl). A great way to make this hard to get your lifting partner to assist on the top half, or use bands! Finally, if you’re performing a burnout set, doing partial reps after being completely burnt out is a great way to target muscle fibres that you may have not hit during the exercise.
How to target the inner bicep:
Doing dumbbell-twisting curls. Starting off at the bottom in a normal position and twisting your arm(s) up as you move through the curl so that at the peak of the curl be sure to point your pinkie up and squeezing on the way up to really target that inner bicep head.
How to target the bicep brachialis (“The Peak”):
Doing reverse or hammer curl are key exercise to target this muscle. Because the brachialis is wedged in between your bicep and tricep, growing this muscle will push up on the bicep and help build that ‘peak’ that you’ve always wanted! If you’re not doing reverse or hammer curls I highly suggest you start!
In addition to this, performing standing bicep curls and cable curls will also help achieve your desired peak look!
Let’s move onto the triceps.
Based on what we talked about for the biceps, I bet you can guess why we call it our triceps? You’re right, because there are three heads on the tricep!
Lets dive right in!
The lateral (outer) and medial heads of the tricep are attached to the upper part of the arm (the humerus) and the long (inner – middle) head of the tricep inserts on the scapula, they all insert on the elbow. This is important to understand because what exercises you decide to do will dictate how the triceps are targeted, based on their functions.
Your triceps are designed to perform an extension (straightening) of the arms
The muscle fibre make-up of the Triceps:
- Our triceps are made up of about 65% fast twitch muscle fibres and 35% slow switch
What this means:
- 65% of the time (2-3 exercises) you should aim to train the biceps in a 5-10 rep range, heavier weight with longer rest periods. Aim to lift the weight at a faster speed while still in full control/
- 35% of the time (1-2 exercises) you should aim to train with more explosive exercises.
Note: The long (inner) head also works to extend the shoulder down and backward. If you’ve ever felt your tricep while performing a straight-arm pull-down this exactly why!
How to target the long (inner) head:
Basically, putting the triceps under more stretch while performing an exercise will target the long head more that will allow greater growth.
Example: Performing a skull crusher while lying on a bench will target the long head more if you allow your arms to fall low behind your head to create that stretch and tension. This is similar to a French press (seated overhead dumbbell press).
How to target the lateral & medial heads of the tricep:
Performing more isolated movements such as cable tricep pushdowns and kickbacks will target these muscles.
Doing close grip bench press is great for building each head of the tricep and should definitely be a staple in your training regimen at some point (whether arms or chest).
Close Grip Bench Press: 4 sets x 5-10 reps
Seated Tricep Pushdown (machine): 4 sets x 5-10 reps
Tricep Cable Pushdowns (rope): 4 sets x 12-20 reps
Tricep Single Arm Cable Kickbacks: 4 sets x 12-20 reps
Preacher Curls: 4 sets x 6-12 reps
Standing Cable Curls: 4 sets x 6-12 reps
Standing Straight Bar Curls: 4 sets x 6-12 reps
Seated Dumbbell Curls (point pinky up at top): 3 sets x 12-20 reps
Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curls: 3 sets x 12-20 reps
If you train hard, do this workout, eat the right food, supplement with the right post-workout product for optimal recovery, and sleep well you will see massive gains in no time at all!