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I don't mind answering these questions at all but I decided it was time for me to put all my knowledge on this subject into one of my articles for Bodybuilding.com. This way anyone can have a detailed blueprint of how to start the process of building HUGE arms.

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In the article below we will discuss the anatomy of the forearms, biceps and triceps, their function, location in the body and some exercises for each muscle group. To give you what you are really looking for I will also include 5 of my favorite workout programs to help increase those guns of yours.

Biceps

Biceps Brachii

  • Location: Front part of the upper arm between the elbow and the shoulder
  • Function: Elbow Flexion, basically making the curling motion
  • Exercises: Barbell and Dumbbell Curls

Brachialis

  • Location: Small muscle over the lower portion of the upper arm that connects the bottom half of the bicep to the forearm
  • Function: Elbow Flexion
  • Exercise: Hammer Curls and Reverse Curls

Forearms

Pronator Teres

  • Location: Underbelly of the forearm
  • Function: Turning the hand so the palm is facing down
  • Exercise: Palm Up Barbell Wrist Curls Over Bench

Brachioradialis

  • Location: Top and outer portion of the forearm
  • Function: Flexes the arm at the elbow
  • Exercise: Palm Down Barbell Wrist Curls Over Bench

Triceps

Triceps Brachii

  • Location: Back portion of the upper arm between the elbow and the shoulder
  • Function: Extension of the elbow
  • Exercises: Lying Tricep Press and Close Grip Bench Press

Rep Ranges

First and foremost let's get something straight. We all know that the biceps are the show muscle for your physique. When someone asks you to show your muscles, 9 times out of 10 you flex your biceps.

It is great to have well developed biceps, but make sure you don't forget to train the rest of your muscles in the upper and lower arm with the same volume and intensity as you do your biceps.

Many beginners fall into that trap and create terrible imbalances in their arms. Even the great Arnold Schwarzenegger admits he trained his biceps harder and more often than his triceps in the beginning. This built an imbalance that took him years to balance back out.

For training your upper arms (biceps and triceps) I like to use all kinds of rep ranges, high (15-20), moderate (8-12) and low (4-6). Each has its own purpose and will be critical to use all ranges in your pursuit of bigger arms.

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Forearms on the other hand are what I like to call the "burning buggers." You will have to endure some high rep muscle-burning sets to get these babies to grow. Reps can go as high as 50 to get these to burn like they are on fire, but it will be all worth it when you have thick meaty forearms like Popeye.

Now that you understand which muscles make up your arms, their function, location and the rep range needed to stimulate them, let's give you some workouts to help you build your arms.

All exercises should be performed in perfect form because bad form or habits that you start now will follow you and will lead to lack of progress or worse, injury in the future. Many if not all the exercises will be new to you. So make sure you use the Exercise Guide on Bodybuilding.com to help you with your form.

Arm Building Workout Programs

Workout 1
1
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
3 sets, 4-6 reps
2
Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension
2 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Triceps Pushdown
2 sets, 15 reps
4
Barbell Curl
3 sets, 4-6 reps
5
Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl
2 sets, 8-12 reps
6
Standing Biceps Cable Curl
3 sets, 15 reps
7
Palms-Down Wrist Curl Over A Bench
5 sets, 25 reps
Workout 2
1
Bench Dips
3 sets, 6-8 reps
2
Lying Triceps Press
2 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension
2 sets, 12 reps
4
Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curl
3 sets, 6-8 reps
5
Barbell Curls Lying Against An Incline
2 sets, 8-12 reps
6
Lying Cable Curl
3 sets, 15 reps
7
Cable Wrist Curl
5 sets, 50 reps
Workout 3
1
EZ-Bar Curl
3 sets, 6-8 reps
2
Cable Hammer Curls - Rope Attachment
3 sets, 12 reps
3
Concentration Curls
3 sets, 15 reps
4
Dip Machine
3 sets, 6-8 reps
5
Decline Dumbbell Triceps Extension
3 sets, 8-12 reps
6
Cable Incline Triceps Extension
3 sets, 15 reps
7
Palms-Up Barbell Wrist Curl Over A Bench
5 sets, 25 reps
Workout 4
1
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
3 sets, 6-8 reps
2
Cross Body Hammer Curl
3 sets, 12 reps
3
Machine Preacher Curls
2 sets, 15 reps
4
Decline EZ Bar Triceps Extension
3 sets, 6-8 reps
5
Low Cable Triceps Extension
3 sets, 8-12 reps
6
Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown
3 sets, 15 reps
7
Plate Pinch
5 sets, 50 reps
Workout 5
1
Barbell Curl
3 sets, 4-6 reps
2
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
3 sets, 4-6 reps
3
Incline Dumbbell Curl
2 sets, 8-12 reps
4
Lying Triceps Press
2 sets, 8-12 reps
5
Machine Preacher Curls
2 sets, 15 reps
6
Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown
2 sets, 15-20 reps
7
Seated Palm-Up Barbell Wrist Curl
2 sets, 50 reps
8
Seated Palms-Down Barbell Wrist Curl
2 sets, 50 reps

Conclusion

There you go. 5 killer arm workouts. Now you have all the ammo to help build your guns. I hope this article cleared up some of the questions you might have had about building your arms. It takes hard work and a sound workout program to improve your physique.

Having skinny arms is a thing of the past, now you have the knowledge and workout program to make a difference. Use what you have learned to bring out the big guns. As always if you have any questions don't hesitate to drop me an email.

Main | Arms | Back | Chest | Core | Legs | Shoulders

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