Building big arms
Building massive arms is what many bodybuilders dream about. Not only bodybuilders but also people who are into weight training love to build huge, muscular arms that denote power and strength.
This story focuses on maximising upper arm mass.
Granted, building incredibly shaped yet massive arms is controlled by genetics. Some people are ‘blessed’ and will quickly develop ‘big guns.’ They can get good results despite the mistakes they commit – overtraining, less than perfect eating or lack of adequate rest!
And then you have the persons who just do not seem to make any progress whatsoever. But, with perseverance, intense and sensible training and eating, building massive arms can become a reality.
Being a bodybuilder myself, I often see so many of my competitors overtraining their arms. This is detrimental to gaining size.
Training the arms once in 5-7 days is plenty. This is because both the triceps and biceps are used while you train other body parts. When you train your back, your biceps get involved. And when you train your chest or shoulders, your triceps get recruited.
If you are not making any progress in arm-building, take a good look at how you have arranged your workouts.
If you are training back and biceps on the same day, perhaps you should train them on separate days with a couple of rest days between the workouts. There should be enough gap between these two workouts.
Likewise, if you are training chest with triceps, try doing them on different days, of course, you need a couple of rest days between those workouts as well.
How to train?
If your current workout is not producing results, then it is time you implemented a change.
Try a split like this:
Monday: Chest, Biceps, Abs
Tuesday: Legs, Calves
Thursday: Back, Abs
Friday: Shoulders, Triceps, Calves
Sample biceps routine:
Barbell curls 4 x 12,10,8,6
Dumbbell curls 3 x 10,8,6
Barbell Preacher Curls 3 x 12,10,8
Wrist curls 4 x15,12,10,8
Sample triceps routine:
Close grip bench presses 4 x 15,12,10,8
Lying barbell extensions 3 x 12,10,8
Weighted dips 3 x12,10,8
This may work wonders for majority of the trainees (including professional champions) but not much for a freak of nature (like 8-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman) whose muscles may need more frequent pounding!
Every individual is different
When to change?
Train really hard and heavy on all body parts and see what this split does to your goals.
After 4-6 weeks, you will know if it has started to work. I would recommend some change only if it does not produce any result.
Why train all parts?
The most important reason to train legs, back and chest really hard is that you cannot gain size on the arms if you do not gain muscular bodyweight. You should gain at least 4 kg of lean, fat free muscle to put on ½ to ¾ inch of lean muscle on your arms. Train hard and heavy on basic movements such as Bench Presses, Squats, Deadlifts and Barbell Rows.
Another thing to keep in mind is that even the greatest workout will probably make little sense if you are not supplementing it with an optimum nutrition plan. Heavy training is only a stimulus. The body will try to respond by becoming stronger and growing big only if you give it enough nutrition and rest.
Irrespective of whatever science says, I am still seeing so many people turning a deaf ear to sensible advice, and mindlessly training day-in and day-out for years on with no improvements.
_ Mutuza S. Rasheed