Build Big Bi's & Tri's!

Arms are a body part that every man wants. Everyone strives to obtain big, bulky biceps and triceps, down to thick, and vascular forearms. Learn how to get huge arms with this volume workout!

Arms are a body part that every man wants. Everyone strives to obtain big, bulky biceps and triceps, down to thick, and vascular forearms. Currently there are many different routines out there, ranging from doing multiple warm-up sets followed by one single all out set for biceps and triceps, to doing 20+ sets for each biceps and triceps.

So now you may be wondering, "what is the best method for growth?" Individual response to various training protocols may vary, but I feel that higher volume routines work very well for arms. Note that I said "higher" volume. This is because I feel that arms can be trained with more volume than some other body parts, although I don't think that you should use as many extreme training techniques with arms as with other bigger body parts. Sets should consist of heavy straight sets, with drop sets every few exercises.

Exercise selection is another factor you must take into consideration when designing an arm workout. The best way to train arms is by doing your first biceps exercise followed by your first triceps exercise, and so on. By rotating your exercises like this I feel that you can train with more volume, and achieve an amazing pump.

The workout I am going to describe is a lot like a Lee Priest style workout only using more compound exercises. Also, the exercises are not supersets, you should perform all your exercises for the first muscle group before moving on to the rest of them. So now I will describe my arm workout, the exercises I select, and why they are preformed.

Biceps & Tricep Workout

Double Arm High Cable Curls - View Exercise

I feel these are a very effective first exercise. When preformed slow and controlled you can achieve a nice contraction in the biceps. This exercise is often used as a finishing exercise, but I like to use them as a warm-up for compound movements.

  • Sets preformed - 5
  • Reps preformed - Pyramid from 15,12,10,10,8

V-Grip Cable Pushdowns - View Exercise

Since my first biceps exercise is a cable movement, I also like to make my first triceps exercise a cable movement. I like to use a close grip V-bar and keep my elbows in tight. These hit all three heads of the triceps nicely, especially the otter head.

  • Sets preformed - 5
  • Reps preformed - 15,12,10,10,8

Incline Bench Alternate Dumbbell Curls - View Exercise

I feel that these are a very good mass builder for the biceps, which is why I put them second in my workout. I feel that you can go very heavy on these while still staying strict because of the back support. These can be preformed with both arms at the same time, or you can alternate them, which is what I prefer because you can work each arm independently.

  • Sets preformed - 4
  • Reps preformed - 10,8,7,6 (each arm) after the last set I get up and perform a drop set.

Decline Close Grip Bench Presses - View Exercise (Shown with normal grip)

This exercise is seldom used, but the angle with the decline is much more effective than a standard flat bench. This exercise is a great compound mass builder for the triceps allowing you to effectively hit all three heads. When performing this exercise you should bring the bar down to the lower portion of your pectorals, and keep your elbows in tight.

  • Sets preformed - 4
  • Reps preformed - 15,10,8,6

Single Arm Preacher Curls - View Exercise

After doing the incline dumbbell curls I move onto more of an isolation exercise. Personally I am more of a dumbbell fan for biceps due to the fact that they allow a greater degree of isolation than a barbell, I also feel barbell movements are stressful on your wrists. These should be preformed on the angled side of the bench, with a slow and controlled motion and emphasis on the peak contraction.

  • Sets preformed - 4
  • Reps preformed - 15,12,10,8

Incline Bench Nose Breakers With An EZ - Bar - View Exercise

This exercise is another great mass builder for the triceps. When performing these you should bring the bar not to your nose, but to your forehead. Also, instead of just bringing the bar straight up, you should concentrate on keeping it at an angle so you can apply more constant tension to the triceps.

  • Sets preformed - 4
  • Reps preformed - 15,12,10,8

Standing Alternate Hammer Curls - View Exercise

The biceps are a small muscle, which do not require many exercises to stimulate them properly. Hammer curls are a neglected exercise, but are very effective for adding width and size to the biceps and forearms. When performing alternate hammer curls, the dumbbell should be raised to 90 degrees, while slightly brining it across your chest. By performing the exercise in this manner you will be able to stimulate the desired muscle groups more effectively.

  • Sets preformed - 4
  • Reps preformed - 10,8,8,6

Bench Dips - View Exercise

The bench dip is a classic old school exercise that is never seen preformed anymore. This exercise is an excellent mass builder when weight is added to your lap to keep your reps in the lower range. By performing this exercise you will be able to effectively stimulate all three heads of the triceps.

It also works as a great finishing exercise by putting enough plates on to keep your reps in the 8-10 range, then have your partner keep taking off plates until you are only using your bodyweight. So you could start with 3, then drop to 1, then to your bodyweight to get a final pump in your triceps.

  • Sets preformed - 4
  • Reps preformed - 15,12,10,8 (drop sets are employed on the last two sets when weight is added)

Forearm Workout

Forearms are a body part that gets neglected very often by many people in the gym. When most people are finished with biceps and triceps they leave, and do not perform any direct forearm work, claming they get stimulated enough with arm training and back training.

I do not feel that this theory holds true, and it is a similar excuse as to why people don't train calves. If you wear wraps on back day (which you should) I feel forearm stimulation is minimal, which is why I feel that a few sets of direct forearm training at the end of arm day can't hurt.

Single Arm Dumbbell Wrist Rolls On The End Of A Bench - View Exercise

Since hammer curls are preformed I feel that the brachial is gets enough direct stimulation, but the flexor and extensor muscles do not. That is why I perform an exercise that stimulates those muscles. These should be preformed one at a time with your forearm firmly supported on the end of the bench.

  • Sets preformed - 3
  • Reps preformed - 15,12,10

Behind The Back Barbell Wrist Curls - View Exercise

This exercise is not the greatest due to the limited range of motion, but acts as a great finishing exercise for the forearms. When performing this exercise you should concentrate on the peak contraction of the forearms. Perform as many reps with a given weight until you can't hold the bar any longer.

  • Sets preformed - 2
  • Reps preformed - 12-15


This workout described above is a moderately high volume workout consisting of 17 total sets for biceps and triceps. When training arms you should focus not so much on the weights you are moving, but the feel of the muscle through the exercise. Body parts such as chest, back, and legs should be trained with more ferocity and explosiveness, concentrating on using heavier poundage every workout.

By no means am I saying to go into the gym and curl 25lbs dumbbells, but you should not be throwing around weights using ridiculous form. All of your reps should be controlled with a peak contraction and a slow negative. Through trial and error I have come to the conclusion that arms can be stimulated more effectively when trained with a higher volume protocol.

So, on a final note, I highly suggest that you try to switch up your arm workout once and awhile and try this approach that I outlined above. What's one workout worth to try a new approach for better results?