21 Arm Routines - Part 3

The greatest arms in bodybuilding were built by diligent men with incredible routines. Follow advice from heroes of the past and get arms worth flexing - Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

15 /
Develop scary big arms using
The Incredible Hulk's routine.

The runner-up in our Armed and Famous list may not have had as notable a big-screen career as a Stallone or Schwarzenegger, but what he does have is the largest pair of muscular arms in Hollywood history - 23 inches at their peak.

In addition to playing the titular character of The Incredible Hulk series on the small screen and Hercules on the big one, Lou Ferrigno was a top bodybuilder in his day, which spanned from the 1970s to the '90s.

He had two Mr. Universe titles, as well as one runner-up spot to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Mr. Olympia.

Lou Ferrigno's Arm Routine*





*Note: Lou likes to pyramid up in weight/down in reps for successive sets.

**Eight light warmup sets

16 /
Sly's Arms Race:
nonstop, all-out action.

Sly trains fast, moving from exercise to exercise without rest. Not only does this get him muscular but conditions him, as well.

Sly's Arms Race

Biceps: 4-5 Rounds Without Rest

Forearms: 4-5 Rounds Without Rest

Triceps: 4-5 Rounds Without Rest

*A bandbell is a device invented by Westside Barbell founder Louis Simmons featuring weights attached to the ends of a barbell by bands, creating instability.

**Grapple grips are short, thick cable attachments.

17 /
The 2011 Mr. Olympia's triceps may be otherworldly,
but his triceps routine is grounded in reality.

Reigning Mr. Olympia Phil Heath never had to worry about his triceps. "It's not that I don't want big triceps, but the truth is, I've never had much difficulty adding mass to them," he once stated. Lucky bastard.

Still, Heath knew early in his bodybuilding career that if he wanted to become the world's greatest bodybuilder he couldn't rest on his horseshoe-shaped laurels.

Instead of just relying on the genetic gifts he had, he hammered away at those horseshoes, and in time forged what are now among the greatest triceps the world has ever seen.

While Heath relies on tried-and-true triceps-building exercises, he likes to mix things up by incoporating the Fascia Stretch Training technique (aka FST-7), devised by his trainer, Hany Rambod.

FST-7 involves finishing off a body part with seven sets of an exercise performed for 6-8 reps and with 30-45 seconds of rest between sets.

Phil Heath's Triceps Routine


18 /
The heavyweight boxing champ
looks hard and hits harder.

Dr. Steelhammer holds four of boxing's five heavyweight titles (his brother, Vitali, carries the fifth)-a feat that's no doubt due in part to his exceptional strength and conditioning.

A Ph.D. in sports science, Klitschko understands how to train, and his program blends power, strength, and bodybuilding to make his arms both deadly weapons and enviable trophy muscles.

Klitschko's Routine

6 Rounds:

    • punches

      1. Simulated Punches w/ Dumbbells

      1 min, 1 min rest between rounds

6 Rounds:

    • punches

      2. Simulated Punches w/ Medicine Ball

      3 min, throw medicine ball against wall and catch on rebound with opposite hand simulating throwing punches


19 /
There's no point in debating who's got the best arms
in the NFL until Thomas Jones decides to retire.

Although 2011 turned out to be a massive disappointment for the Kansas City Chiefs, their entire season has been a metaphor for the career of running back Thomas Jones.

In his 12th season with the league, he still maintains the same professionalism and work ethic that landed him there in the first place. And despite being in the twilight of his career, Jones, for our money, still has indisputably the best set of guns in the National Football League.

Here, with the help of trainer Pete Bommarito, is how he maintains his reign.

Thomas Jones' Arm Routine


* Straddle a standard t-bar row unit. Pull the bar up to your chest, hold for six seconds, then lower it. Do one quick rep, then repeat the hold process for five seconds. Do another quick rep, then continue like this until you're holding for one second.


20 /
Try Greg plitt's bi and tri day
for model arm development.

If you've walked past a newsstand, watched TV, or been within a mile of a gym over the past 10 years, you've almost certainly seen Greg Plitt.

One of the most popular fitness models ever, Plitt stays in high demand because he's perennially in top shape and epitomizes the physique guys want.

Here's the routine that keeps his guns loaded.

Gregg Plitt's Arm Routine

Note: When Plitt wants to add size he performs 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 reps for each exercise. To get more defined, he does 15, 12, and 10 reps.







21 /
Save this brutal combo circuit for last.
Trust us on this one.

Is it a strip set? A dropset? Are we running the rack here? We really have no clue.

What we do know, however, is that this diabolical little circuit is a finisher in every sense of the word: Once you've completed it, your arms will, indeed, be finished.

Line up four pairs of dumbbells on a rack, a bench, or on the floor. Set them in descending order, from heaviest to lightest. For guys of average to above average strength, a challenging dumbbell lineup would be 40 pounds, followed by 30, 25, and 20. Next to your dumbbells, place a 45-pound plate.

First, perform 10 double hammer curls - using both arms at the same time - with the 40-pound dumbbells. Then, without resting, do the same with the 30s, the 25s, and then the 20s.

Finally, and again without resting, statically hold the 45-pound plate at the halfway point of a curl (your elbows should be bent at 90 degrees, with your forearms parallel to the floor).

Starting with 40-pounders is challenging, so if you can't make it all the way through your first time out, drop the weights down to a lighter combination and try to get through three rounds, resting 90 seconds between rounds.

The Finisher Workout

3 Rounds:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3