Why You Need Arm Development, And How To Get It!

See how I get fired up and why I became so obsessed with improving my arm workouts. Full training program included!

Let me take you back to 1994. It is mid-July and I am heading to South Beach in Miami, FL. Mind you, I am with 3 of my Ranger buddies and we are on leave from the 75th Ranger Regt. in Ft. Benning, GA. I am about 6 weeks out from the Armed Forces Bodybuilding Championships, which I was preparing for, so I have been dieting for 10 weeks by this time. We are heading to South Beach to tan and check out the sites (if you know what I mean).

Well, we arrive at the Clevelander Hotel on South Beach late in the evening, but I still need to train. I am tired, but I still have cardio and shoulders to do. I head upstairs to the second floor, where they have an awesome gym in the hotel, so I can get my shoulders blasted and my dreadful last cardio session knocked out for the day.

It is 10:00 am; I finished my cardio and my oatmeal with egg whites (yummy), Then I head down to the beach where my buddies are already set up. As I stroll across Ocean Drive, I can't help to notice the remembered sites of South Beach. You must realize I am six weeks out and looking for some heads to turn to verify my conditioning. (Vanity... huh?!) Ah, I get a look from a hottie sitting in her car... yeah, I needed that, so I can keep up the dreadful dieting and cardio.

I was not going let these arms slack anymore.
"I was not going let these arms slack anymore."

I finally get to the beach with my ego in check. Ha! Ha! I find my buddies sitting close to the water break with there towels spread out across the sand and there white as a ghost bodies laid out all over the place. I guess last night was a rough one.I find my spot in the sand and drop my beach chair. My buddies are obviously rookies to the beach scene.

Now understand, I am six weeks out and at around 250 lbs. and fairly lean, not shredded, but lean. I am feeling good here, because my ranger buddies are all 5' 7" or so and maybe at 170-180 lbs, but they can run like deer and do cardio forever, you know the type. I was once, but I caught the get big bug. Well, we are chilling out and acting cool, looking good, and roasting our butts off in the hot Miami sun. Then it happened! Here it goes...

Just as I am reaching for my cooler of food, one of my buddies says... "Hey look at this guy". Another says "Dude he is big". And the other says "Yeah, he looks good". I am just pissed, not because they are not saying those things about me, but because the guy was just irritating. Allow me to explain.

He was walking along the shoreline in his Speedo, but that was not what was killing me. What was taking me over the top was my buddies were saying this guy was big and looked good, because he had good arm development. Of course, he left his chest, shoulders, back and especially his legs at home.

He had to have left them at home, because no way could he have these well developed arms without anything else. Could he? I mean flat chest, no back, no shoulders and absolutely no legs at all, none. Big bird had better legs!!!

Now, I am on a mission, because I realize I do not have the best arms. They can be definitely better; a weakness for quite sometime for me. I was not going let these arms slack anymore. So, I started my research and my quest for the ultimate arm workout to get the best arm development possible.

I began by talking to some of the best strength coaches in the business and the pro bodybuilders with the best arm development. The list was long and prestigious. I spoke with Ian King, Charles Poliquin, and my favorite Brian Bacheldor. These guys in my opinion were, and still are the innovators of the strength training business.

I also spoke with Vince Taylor who has one of the all time best arm development ever. I had a sit down with Dorian Yates, the master of hard training and the reining Mr. Olympia at the time. My thoughts were to see what each guy had in common and what each guy did different.

I wanted to pen what I found and what I did different to get me to that 20-inch mark. Yes, I made it, the 20-inch mark. I often wondered what it was like and when I measured with everyone in the office looking, it made my day!!! Here is how it went down...

The one thing everyone had in common was training heavy at least one session per week or every other session. The other was a variety of movements, which I felt in some cases were not as necessary, but I really did not feel I was in any position to argue with this group of gun carriers. After putting the data together, the following workout is what I have found to be very effective and obviously effective for others in the arms race. (I stole that from Charles Poliquin's book... haha).

The Complete Guide To Bigger Arms & Well Developed Arms

Now, I want you to understand why my split was as this way. I was always well developed in my back, so I put it at the end of the week. I also did not have any problem with legs, so I moved it towards the end as well. The idea was to focus on arms with out losing my focus on my other weak points - chest was one of those.

I now had my training split put together and am ready to plan the exercises, sets, and reps. I want to remind you also, that a program without an end is not a good program, because we have to find a point to evaluate the program. The program will be for 8 weeks and then we will make a determination of our progress. The goal here is to increase arm size and overall development, so I had a friend measure the arm with a tape measure, flexed and unflexed, cold and warm (before training & after training).

You cannot tell me a program has worked for you unless you have some statistics. I often hear guys in the gym say "man this workout is awesome I got huge off of it", but you know the guy looks the same as he looked a year ago. Take the time and do the measurements!!!

The Program

Below is the program I followed and received awesome results. You will notice that we are doing 3 sets per exercise for most of the movements, but that is not including the warm up.

I do not agree with stating an exact warm up, because we have found that most individuals will vary in their need for warm up time. The other reason is we have found that most individuals (believe it or not) will warm up too much and miss their work sets. The sets stated in this program are all work sets... no warm up included.



Wednesday & Thursday

Friday, Saturday & Sunday

Saturday & Sunday

The idea here was to split my week of arm training into a heavy day (low to average rep range) and a light day or a shaping day (higher rep range) if you will. I also wanted to prioritize the arm training during the split as well.

I have thrown in some forearm work for you guys that actually train that area, but I will tell you that I have never done forearms due to the indirect training they receive.

Note: My arms measured at 18 inches when I started this program, but I followed this program for 8 weeks and then 4 weeks of SAIS Mass training and 8 weeks of this program again.

The results were astonishing for me, because like I said earlier I never had good arms. I have measured my arms at 20 inches on many occasions since then and I can assure you it makes a big difference in my overall physique.


I will tell you something else that has helped me and will continue to be in my arsenal... Vitargo CGL. Before each arm training session I mix up one full serving of Vitargo-CGL in 20 ounces of water and start sipping on this power-drink between my arm training sets.

Vitargo-CGL gives me a massive amount of energy and an out of this world pump as it super-charges my muscles with glycogen. When I am done training arms I feel like my muscles and veins are ready to pop through my skin.

However, I don't feel tired or exhausted after my arm training because Vitargo-CGL replenishes my energy so quickly. The day after training my arms look almost grotesquely full and they always feel hard like a rock.