By changing my arm workouts I gained a quarter inch on my biceps and triceps in less than 4 weeks
Arms could quite possibly be the next most common body part to work out after chest. They fill out your short sleeve shirts and strike fear into the heart of would be girlfriend snatchers. Yes, arms are awesome but they have to be big to really look good. What’s the secret?
If you’ve read my book, Body Spartan: Genesis, you know that I’m a huge proponent of changing your workouts every 4-6 weeks. This shocks your muscles and keeps them growing. Otherwise you will hit a plateau and your body will stop growing. The human body is awesome in that it adapts to stresses. As body builders and fitness freaks, we have to keep surprising it to keep the muscle fibers growing.
For someone like me who hits plateaus constantly due to the fact that I’ve been lifting intensely for 21 years, finding a routine that causes my arms to grow a quarter inch in less than four weeks is a #Win. If my arms get that much growth, imagine what someone’s arms can gain who hasn’t been lifting as long or as intensely as I have. Double #Win for this set of arm workouts I’m about to show you.
Arm workouts tweak #1: reduce rest periods
I want you to, without cheating and reading ahead, pick the time frame that you use for rest between sets most of the time.
- 1 minute
- 2 minutes
- 3 minutes
- I don’t know, I’ve never tracked it
If you answered “d” then the first step is to start timing your rest in between sets. I use the timer on my iPhone since I already use it as my iPod/Pandora AND I’m using the Gym Genius app with the Body Spartan workout on it.
If you’re ready to gain muscle and tweak your arm workouts then you need to cut your rest time to 1 minute or less in between sets. Jay Cutler trained this way for his last Olympia contest and attributed his gains to this method. By reducing your rest time you are preventing your muscles from recovering completely and keeping them full of blood – AKA “pumped”.
Arm workouts tweak #2: increase volume
Most people I talk to will do about three or four exercises for their triceps and about two or three for their biceps. We’re going to do five exercises for each and three sets on each exercise for a total of 30 sets in less than an hour. Scared yet? Don’t be. This will separate the men from the boys and the women from the girls. Rise up and let’s tackle this.
You can pick your exercises from the list below. Start your arm workouts with triceps or you will regret it.
Tricep exercises for arm workouts – pick 5 (3 sets of 10, 1 minute rest)
- Rope cable pull downs
- Straight bar cable pull downs close grip
- Straight bar cable pull downs normal grip
- Straight bar cable pull downs wide grip
- Overhead barbell skull crushers (extensions), lying down
- Overhead dumbbell skull crushers, lying down
- Seated overhead dumbbell extensions
- Dips (weighted)
- Machine dips
- Reverse grip cable pull downs
- Close grip bench press
- Machine extensions, seated
- Dumbbell kickbacks
Bicep exercises for arm workouts – pick 5 (3 sets of 10, 1 minute rest)
- Barbell curls
- Barbell preacher curls, wide grip
- Barbell preacher curls, normal grip
- Barbell preacher curls, close grip
- Dumbbell preacher curls
- Seated, incline bench dumbbell curls
- Hammer curls
- Reverse curls (barbell)
- Rope cable curls
- Cable curls close grip
- Cable curls normal grip
- Cable curls wide grip
- Machine seated curls
Stick with the same five exercises for four weeks. Then, completely change them up. If you follow this program as instructed and make sure you are getting the proper nutrition and sleep, you are guaranteed to gain size on your arms. You’ve got to push yourself in these arm workouts though. Tracking and journaling is the key to exceeding your previous arm workout’s numbers. In order to grow you have to increase the intensity. This is done by adding weight, increasing the reps, and decreasing rest.
Take your arm measurements before you start and then at the end of the four weeks. I want to know how you did!
Go get your #BeastMode on!
If you liked this post or found it useful, please share it!