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6 Weeks To Sick Arms

Sun's out, guns out! Grow like a pro with the ultimate science-based program for insane gains.

When I used to train at Gibson's Gym in Manchester, Connecticut, one of the slogans on the back of the gym T-shirts read, "It doesn't matter what kind of car you drive. What matters is the size of the arms hanging out of the window."

Big arms not only symbolize masculinity, but they're also the most visible body part you have. So it's no surprise that big arms seem to be what every guy, and even many women, want.

Regardless of where you're starting from, this 6-week program will heap a noticeable amount of size onto your arms. Some of you can expect to put on an inch or more on your arms by the end.

This 6-week program is a progression that ramps up the training frequency (how often you train arms each week) starting at once per week in week one; twice per week in week two; and three times per week in weeks three through five. Then you back way off in the final week, number six, to just once per week again.

Trust me, there's a method to this madness.

Week one is designed to annihilate your biceps and triceps. You'll pull out all the stops, using negative rep training to really destroy every single muscle fiber you can in your arms.

You'll need a good week to recover from this onslaught. The next week pops your guns with lighter weight and higher reps. Volume will be low in these workouts, by design. You'll still be recovering from the previous week.

Big arms not only symbolize masculinity, but they're
also the most visible body part you have.

These workouts will help you to better recover from the previous week and will get you ready for the crazy three weeks that are to come.

In weeks three, four, and five, you will be hitting arms three times per week. If you think that sounds like overtraining, you're precisely right. But overtraining does not happen immediately. It takes several weeks to actually become overtrained. The technical term for training that can lead to overtraining is called overreaching.

And what's interesting about overreaching is that research shows that if your diet is adequate in calories, protein and carbs, as well as the right supplements, then you can actually capitalize on overreaching and turn it into a way to grow bigger and stronger.

Several studies from the university of Connecticut have shown that when subjects overreach for several weeks, during the two weeks following, they grow significantly bigger and stronger while taking it easy. The key is to stop the overreaching just before it turns into overtraining.

That's why you'll be training arms three times per week in weeks three through five and then switch it up to just once per week in week six. I also suggest that the week after week six you take it fairly easy on your arms and train them just once that week before getting back into any serious training programs.

These workouts will help you to better recover from the previous week and will get you ready for the crazy three weeks that are to come.

The 3-day per week arm training not only is designed to shock your muscles into growing with frequent and intense workouts that cause overreaching, but it also takes advantage of the staircase effect for building muscle.

This refers to the fact that training activates genes in muscle fibers that are responsible for many of the adaptations that take place, such as muscle growth and strength increases.

For example, consistent training activates certain genes that result in building more muscle fiber protein, which means more muscle size and strength. These genes are typically activated over hours, with some remaining activated for days.

Repeated workouts, if timed appropriately, can build upon the activation of the genes to reach an even higher activity level and greater muscle growth. This is referred to as "the staircase effect."

In other words, let's say a certain gene involved in muscle growth is activated by a workout to the point that its activity is boosted by 100% following the workout, then slowly declines in activity over the next few days so that the day after the workout it is still up by 75%, and the second day after the workout it is up by 50%, then the third day it is up by just 25%, and finally on the fourth day after the workout it is back to the original level.

If you performed the workout on the fourth day after the first workout or later, then that gene would be bumped back up to 100% of its original activity.

However, if you worked out on the second day after the first workout, when the gene was still up by 50%, then you could potentially bump up its activity to 150%. This could lead to even greater muscle growth and strength gains than if you waited to train again after the fourth day or later, like one week later.

This is one reason why training a muscle group every 48 hours could lead to even greater muscle growth and strength gains than training every seven days.

Of course, this program is not all about training frequency. While moving to more frequent workouts can help you build extra size on your arms, to really get them up there in size will require pulling out all the stops. So intensity techniques, like drop sets, forced reps, rest pause, negative reps and supersets will be key in forcing them to grow.

These techniques will not only put more stress on the muscle, but they are also known to boost growth hormone levels. In fact, one study from Finland reported that subjects doing forced reps increased GH levels 3 times higher than when they just stopped after reaching muscle failure.

That extra growth hormone will be put to good use initiating muscle recovery and growth that will get that tape measure stretching. Another study reported in the Journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise that subjects using negative rep training led to high GH levels.

Another key element to this program is the constant switching up of weight and rep ranges every workout to keep your arms growing. This is known as periodization, and research confirms that using periodization, which is the continual cycling of weight and rep ranges, produces the greatest gains in muscle size and strength.

One form of periodization that appears to be superior to other forms is called undulating periodizaion, which is simply the constant switching up of weight and rep ranges every workout. Research studies from both Brazil and the University of Connecticut have supported this form of training for making continued gains.

Since you'll be training arms pretty much every other day during weeks three, four and five, you may be worried about your arms still being sore when you train them. Don't be.

Research from Japan shows that when subjects workout intensely to cause muscle pain and train that muscle again just two days later and again four days later when the muscle is still sore, it does not impede recovery. Plus this can actually help them grow.

One study found that when subjects trained the same muscle group just two days, the catabolic hormone cortisol was lower. Since cortisol competes with testosterone, having lower cortisol levels during and after workouts can make you more anabolic and allow your testosterone to better enhance muscle growth.

Training Splits

To properly hit your arms during these 6 weeks, you'll need to alternate your training split. Each week you will follow a 4-day training split.

However, based on the week and number of times you are training arms, you will be training on four different days of the week and pairing up different muscle groups each week.

Use the following training splits for each week of the Six Weeks to Sick Arms program.

Week 1

Use this training split during week one.

Monday: Triceps/Biceps
Tuesday: Legs/Calves
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Back/Abs
Friday: Chest/Shoulders/Traps
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

Week 2

Use this training split during week two.

Monday: Triceps/Biceps
Tuesday: Back/Legs/Calves
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Biceps/Triceps
Friday: Chest/Shoulders/Traps/Abs
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

Weeks 3-5

Use this split during weeks three, four and five.

Monday: Triceps/Biceps
Tuesday: Chest/Shoulders/Traps/Abs
Wednesday: Back/Biceps/Triceps
Thursday: Off
Friday: Biceps/Triceps
Saturday: Back/Legs/Calves
Sunday: Off

Week 6

Use this training split during week six.

Monday: Chest, Abs
Tuesday: Back, Calves
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Shoulders/Traps/Legs
Friday: Triceps/Biceps

Six Weeks to Sick Arms Workouts


Week 1:
Monday: Triceps/Biceps

*To perform negatives use a weight that is about 20% more than your one-rep max and have a spotter help you through the positive portion of the rep. You should be able to slowly lower the negative rep for 3-5 seconds.

#Perform two rest-pauses on the last set by resting for 15 seconds after reaching muscle failure and continuing the set, then resting another 15 seconds after reaching muscle failure again, then continuing.

^Do two drop sets on the last set by immediately reducing the weight by 20-30% and continuing the set.

Week 2:
Monday: Triceps/Biceps


Thursday: Biceps/Triceps

Week 3:
Monday: Triceps/Biceps

*To perform negatives use a weight that is about 20% more than your one-rep max and have a spotter help you through the positive portion of the rep. You should be able to slowly lower the negative rep for 3-5 seconds.

#Perform two rest-pauses on the last set by resting for 15 seconds after reaching muscle failure and continuing the set, then resting another 15 seconds after reaching muscle failure again, then continuing.

^Do a drop set on the last set by immediately reducing the weight by 20-30% and continuing the set.

Wednesday: Biceps/Triceps


Friday: Triceps/Biceps

Superset

Superset


Week 4:
Monday: Triceps/Biceps

*To perform negatives use a weight that is about 20% more than your one-rep max and have a spotter help you through the positive portion of the rep. You should be able to slowly lower the negative rep for 3-5 seconds.

#Perform two rest-pauses on the last set by resting for 15 seconds after reaching muscle failure and continuing the set, then resting another 15 seconds after reaching muscle failure again, then continuing.

^Do a drop set on the last set by immediately reducing the weight by 20-30% and continuing the set.

Wednesday: Biceps/Triceps


Friday: Triceps/Biceps

Superset

Superset

Superset

Superset

Superset

Superset


Week 5:
Monday: Triceps/Biceps

*To perform negatives use a weight that is about 20% more than your one-rep max and have a spotter help you through the positive portion of the rep. You should be able to slowly lower the negative rep for 3-5 seconds.

#Perform two rest-pauses on the last set by resting for 15 seconds after reaching muscle failure and continuing the set, then resting another 15 seconds after reaching muscle failure again, then continuing

^Do a drop set on the last set by immediately reducing the weight by 20-30% and continuing the set.

Wednesday: Biceps/Triceps


Friday: Triceps/Biceps

Giant Set

Giant Set


Week 6:

Easy arm workout - higher reps or moderate reps

Friday: Triceps/Biceps


Jim Stoppani

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About The Author

Jim holds a doctorate in exercise physiology and has been the personal nutrition and health consultant for numerous celebrity clients...

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Herder

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Herder

Good Program just got finished and have increased weight in all bicep/tricep exercises!

Dec 18, 2011 5:22pm | report
 
james007b

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james007b

did you get good result from this routine dude? and also in weeks 3-5 did you train your back 2 times per week?

Feb 17, 2012 12:48pm | report
browardct

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browardct

What kind of workouts did you do other than the ones defined for biceps/triceps...do we need to build one or can we find one to follow ? thanks

Apr 3, 2012 4:31am | report
bravotraining

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bravotraining

Can you please confirm?

"Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
3 sets of 3-5 reps*
2-3 min rest"
Does 2-3 min rest mean the rest to be taken after each set of same exercise or the rest taken after all 3 sets on one exercise are complete and before starting the next exercise? e.g. 2-3 mins of rest mean the rest to be taken after each set of the 3sets of Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press OR it means rest to be taken after completing 3 sets of Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press and before starting 3 sets of Seated Triceps Press? Please confirm.
Thanks in advance for your help and assistance!!

Apr 22, 2012 7:27pm | report
Klawson92

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Klawson92

Hey, Did you find this workout to be pretty good? Also, did you see gains in your chest?

Apr 23, 2012 11:51pm | report
Lefaotogi

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Lefaotogi

Are your arms bigger yet ?

Oct 27, 2012 4:27pm | report
Julez56

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Julez56

I'm on week 3 right now !! This program is great !!

Dec 28, 2011 2:05pm | report
 
LegendJohal

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LegendJohal

are you seeing any difference? is it good?

Apr 18, 2012 9:59pm | report
bravotraining

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bravotraining

Can you please confirm?

"Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
3 sets of 3-5 reps*
2-3 min rest"
Does 2-3 min rest mean the rest to be taken after each set of same exercise or the rest taken after all 3 sets on one exercise are complete and before starting the next exercise? e.g. 2-3 mins of rest mean the rest to be taken after each set of the 3sets of Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press OR it means rest to be taken after completing 3 sets of Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press and before starting 3 sets of Seated Triceps Press? Please confirm.
Thanks in advance for your help and assistance!!

Apr 25, 2012 9:21am | report
RUFFLICTION

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RUFFLICTION

Week 3 baby! feeling great!

Jan 8, 2012 10:13pm | report
 
james007b

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james007b

Did you notice the results dude?

Feb 12, 2012 9:12am | report
ch9jermain

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ch9jermain

What results have you gotten so far??

Jun 28, 2012 8:32pm | report
fnatickk

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fnatickk

Week 1 :D

Feb 10, 2012 11:12am | report
 
james007b

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james007b

did you finished dud? good results?

Mar 5, 2012 4:08pm | report
james007b

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james007b

Has anyone got good results from this routine?

Feb 12, 2012 9:11am | report
 
rmessmann

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rmessmann

you forgot the "dude"

Apr 11, 2012 1:51pm | report
jcruzscorpio

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jcruzscorpio

I started this program back in feb & would finish it do a different program & get back on this one it increased my bench press by 50lbs, & my tris r diffently bigger it works & has became my most favorite workout I do

Dec 18, 2012 2:06pm | report
Musclealb

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Musclealb

great results DUDE...loool

Feb 8, 2013 7:46am | report
Ahatch0788

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Ahatch0788

I'm from Manchester, CT too!!!

Feb 22, 2012 4:01am | report
 
SteveP1317

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SteveP1317

Dude no way im from ellington the town over lol that ***** awesome

Apr 8, 2012 7:35pm | report
devizl

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devizl

im allredy treaning wither hiit befor this program and ifeal exhosted in the midel of weak 3 like joints pain -- and the missing part wher to but ur cardio and dosnt leg deserve mor day in sted of treaning with back ? other body barts routin must be desckrebted .

Feb 23, 2012 6:20am | report
 
Sir Flexalot

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Sir Flexalot

What did i just read? Is that english?

Apr 10, 2012 12:34pm | report
awg5890

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awg5890

I'm still trying to figure out what the hell that last word says.

Apr 11, 2012 11:26pm | report
Sourapple

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Sourapple

Translation :

Prior to this workout I was training with HIIT. During this program I feel exhausted during the middle of week 3, mostly pains in my elbows and shoulders. This plan is missing when you should be performing cardio. I also believe that legs deserve its own day rather than training legs and back on the same day. The workouts for days that don't include arms (I.e back or chest day) must be described.

May 1, 2012 10:45pm | report
VJ999

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VJ999

The full point, is to prioritise your arms for the 6 weeks, and not other body parts. and the other body parts can still be worked on as given by some crossfit exersices and compound movements.

Dec 2, 2013 12:45pm | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 219 Comments

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