How Can You Develop Solid Arms?

How Can You Develop Solid Arms? Nobody is going to ask you to flex your quads, lats, or pecs. People are going to want you to flex your guns. Get more in-depth principles & tricks to make your arms huge!

TOPIC: How Can You Develop Solid Arms?

The Question:

Nobody is going to ask you to flex your quads, lats, or pecs. People are going to want you to flex your guns. Whenever you walk down the street in a tight t-shirt, the arms are the first to hit the eye.

How can you develop solid arms?

What are some key principles to building great arms?

What are some tricks to make your arms appear bigger?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

1. RippedJordanian View Profile
3. RC26 View Profile
3. bitterplacebo View Profile

1st Place - RippedJordanian
How Can You Develop Solid Arms?
Contact This Author Here.

Arms are the most trained, most desired, and most eye catching appealing part of the human body, no question about it. Massive arms are the trademark of the bodybuilder, and you can show them off easily with a sleeveless or tight shirt.

No words can describe the sensation when you pull up your shirt sleeve and display massive rock hard arms to a dumb-stricken crowd. That's why it's important to know how develop solid arms by using proper training, rest, and nutrition.

The arms are made of 4 main muscle groups, the biceps, the triceps, the forearm flexors, and the forearm extensors. Let's look at the anatomy of each one in detail:

Biceps Brachii:

A 2 headed muscle group which curls the arm and twists the wrist. The 2 heads are the long head and the short head. Although it's not considered part of the biceps, the brachialis muscle plays a significant role in the peak and appearance of your biceps from the back.

Triceps Brachii:

A 3 headed muscle that extends the elbow. The three heads are the long head, the medial head, and the lateral head.

Forearm Flexors & Extensors:

13 muscle heads which serve to twist, turn, flex, extend, raise, lower, and basically move your forearms in every direction.

Developing Solid Arms: How can you develop solid arms? What are some key principles to building great arms?

Now that we've seen each muscle group that makes up the arms, we need to know how to develop the arms. Gaining muscle mass in general revolves around these key principles:

I want to stress that supplements are optional. However, if any of the other 3 factors is removed, then say goodbye to massive arms. Supplements will aid you in achieving the results to want, but they are not a necessity as are the other 3. Now we'll look at each of the factors in detail.



To develop balanced, solid, massive, and defined arms, it's important to train properly. It also helps to use intensity increasing techniques which will all be explained. I will only show you the most effective exercises to hit the biceps.

Standing Barbell Curl

This is the most important and vital exercise for the biceps. It builds overall mass in the biceps, especially on the inner head. Remember to use a wide grip, use a straight bar for more inner short head mass, and keep your elbows pinned to your sides so you don't cheat.

Variations include the drag curl, close-grip, and long-grip. You may choose to use an EZ bar which will hit both heads of the biceps more evenly.

Standing Dumbbell Curl

This is another basic and vital exercise for the biceps. It hits both heads of the biceps more evenly and encourages strength. It's a great exercise because each arm gets time to rest while the other is curling. This promotes strength and mass.

Arnold Curls (aka Zottman Curls)

An effective variation to work both heads of the biceps intensely while also using the second function of the bicep, which is to turn or twist the wrist.

Incline Dumbbell Curl

A great way to hit the biceps at a new angle and use extreme stretching. These are one of Arnold's personal favorites. Lying down on an incline bench produces an extreme stretch and totally new angle to shock your body if you need a new program. Make sure your arms are vertical.

Preacher Curl

This is an ideal exercise if you need to hit your biceps at a new angle and increase your bicep peak, which is the height of your biceps. Remember, as you reach the top, contract your biceps and hold for a short moment to keep the stress.

Concentration Curl

This is also a great exercise for definition and bicep peak. Do it at the end of your workout because you can't handle heavy weights with it anyway. Remember, feeling the weight slowly is the key, not using heavy weight.

Hammer Curls

This exercise works the outer bicep, the brachialis, and the brachioradialis which gives the biceps extra peak and outer mass.

Overhead Cable Curl

Great for finishing off the biceps and stretching them when you don't have enough energy to use free weights anymore. Remember to keep your arms out and horizontal.


An effective mass stimulating compound exercise. It's a good idea to superset it after an isolation exercise such as bar curls. I will talk about that later.


Skull Crushers

The greatest mass triceps exercise. It also provides a good stretch and hits all the heads evenly. Remember to lower just above your forehead and lockout at the top while contracting. Use heavy weights and low reps, while keeping your hands strictly vertical.

Seated Triceps Press

A good choice for concentrating on the lateral head. Don't place your elbows too far back as it will strain your neck. Remember to keep your arms steady as it's very easy to cheat on this exercise.

Rope Pushdown

A good choice for concentrating on the long and medial heads of the triceps. This exercise is also easy to cheat on so remember to keep your form.

Close-Grip Bench Press

One of the best mass producing exercise which covers all 3 heads.

Dips - Triceps Version

This is another mass producing compound exercise, which should shock your body and provide new mass. For resistance, place plates on your thighs. Lower your body slowly and feel the burn. It's a good idea to superset this after an isolation exercise such as skull crushers for a great pump and lots of mass.

Pushups - Close Triceps Position

Just the same as a normal pushup, but keep your hand close together on the ground. For a more intense version, try the one handed variation with the other hand on the backside. Very intense!

Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown

Concentrates on the medial head, it's a good exercise to finish off your routine.


Palms-Down Wrist Curl Over A Bench

The basic mass resulting forearm exercise, you can use a dumbbell or a barbell.

Palms-Up Barbell Wrist Curl Over A Bench

The basic mass resulting forearm exercise for the opposite forearm. Again, you can use a dumbbell or a barbell.

Plate Pinch

Good for your pinching power, although not very useful for real life situations.

Reverse Barbell Curl

A great exercise for forearm development that incorporates the biceps, it will help tone your biceps as well as get you massive forearms.

Wrist Roller

The most natural wrist movement, it's a more compound exercise which will get your more results. Usually, more natural movements like squats will get more results than odd ones, such as leg extensions.


Grippers are a vital piece of equipment to have for good forearms. They should help you gain strength and mass.

Intensity Increasing Techniques For Pummeling Your Arms!


Most effectively done on bar curls, they involve going through 3 different parts of the bar curl, each for 7 reps. Pick a weight you can only do for 7-10 reps. Start at the bottom of the bar curl exercise and raise the weight as usual, but raise it only 1/2 of the way. Lower it 1/2 of the way and raise it back up again. Do this for 7 reps.

Make sure you keep the stress on the biceps by contracting at the bottom in this phase. Now raise the bar completely to the top of the exercise and lower it 1/2 of the way. Now raise it 1/2 again. Do this for 7 reps. Now do 7 complete normal bar curls. That's 1 set. These should be done at the end off the workout to finish off your biceps.


Supersetting 2 exercises is to perform the isolation one then the compound one with no rest in between. For biceps, you could do bar curls to exhaustion then quickly max out on chin-ups. For triceps you could do skull crushers then quickly max out on dips.

For forearms you could do wrist rollers followed quickly by towel chin-ups. Supersets help add intensity and shock your muscles into new growth. They also help define the muscle. Some people also superset opposite muscle groups. For example, you might superset preacher curls and seated triceps press. Check out this article for more:

Drop Sets

Start with a heavy weight, complete as many reps as possible. Then when you can't do anymore, use a lighter weight and do the same. Continue doing this until the 2.5 pound dumbbell feels too heavy.

Partial Reps

Moving the weight through a part of the exercise, usually the part where you can lift the most weight. The weight you lift on full range of motion (ROM) exercises is limited to your weakest point of the exercise. There are some portions of the motion where you will be stronger than others, and it's a good idea to work that portion extra through partial reps.


Taking the principles of partial reps further. Perform the exercise until you can no longer do any more reps. Now perform small, partial or mini reps on the semi stretched point just above the stretched position of the exercise.

Click Image To Enlarge.
Video Guide: Windows Media Player (585 KB) - MPEG (1.9 MB)

For a barbell curl, it would be a few inches over the bottom of the exercise. This semi-stretched position offers the greatest amount of strength and will give you amazing mass gains. Read this for more:

Forced Reps:

Perform an exercise until you can no longer do any more reps. When you can't lift the weight by yourself, let a spotter help you push out 2 or 3 more reps. This is just as much a morale boost as it is physical help. Forced reps should not be done on every set.

Rest-Pause Training

Perform an exercise until failure, then put down the weight, rest for 5-10 seconds, and crank out a few more reps. This works very well for training in the high-rep range where lactic-acid (burn) failure comes before muscle strength failure. The 5-10 seconds will help clear out the lactic acid so that you can continue to muscle failure.


Use a weight is too heavy to lift but you can just lower it slowly. Use a spotter to help you lift the weight, then lower it slowly on your own. Another way to do this is to use a weight which you can lift, but have a spotter put some extra resistance on the way own by pushing or leaning against the bar.

A good variation to use when you have no spotter is done on a machine. Raise the weight with both hands and lower it with one. Use the same hand for every rep and switch hands every set.

Isometric/Static Holds

When you can't do anymore reps, hold the weight in the middle of the exercise without moving it to create a mind-blowing pump!

Stretching & Flexing

Always stretch post workout to relax your muscles. Flexing between sets also fills the muscle with blood to speed up repair and keeps pressure on the muscle which will result in more mass. Here's a good article about stretching and flexing:

Doorway Stretch:

One-Arm Triceps Stretch:

Forearms Flexor Stretch:

Forearms Extensor Stretch:


Eating properly is much more important than training properly. Here's an overview of the 5 nutrients:

Here are the foods you will need to be eating divided by food groups:


Use this calculator to get an estimate of your BMR, which is the amount of calories you burn without doing any exercise. You will need to add calories because you surely do some activity, including weights. Add calories based on your level of activity and your body type to get your maintenance intake, or the amount of calories you need to maintain the amount of muscle you have.

If you are the skinny type, add 250 calories. If you are the muscular and well built body type, do not change anything. If you are the overweight type who tends to gain fat easily, subtract 250 calories. Add calories depending on the amount of exercise you do in your daily life.

Now, since you are bulking, add calories depending on your body type. If again you are an ectomorph (skinny) add 750 calories. If you are a mesomorph (muscular and skinny) add 500 calories. If you are an endomorph (gain fat easily) add 250 calories.


Proteins are made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. They are the main building block of muscle so you should be eating a lot of it. There are different types of protein rated according to biological value, or the speed in which the body can make use of this protein.

The protein with the highest biological value is whey (20% of the protein in milk), followed by eggs, followed by meats, followed by casein (80% of the protein in milk), followed by soy.

Here is the list of the actual values:

      • Whey Protein: 100
      • Egg White: 94
      • Whole Egg: 88-100
      • Chicken: 81
      • Beef: 80
      • Casein: 80
      • Soy Protein: 74
      • Fish: 60

Aim for at least 1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight, preferably 1.5.


Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy for our body, that's why it's important to consume a lot carbohydrates while bulking. Carbohydrates are rated according to glycemic index. The higher a food is on the GI, the faster it digests.

The faster a food digests, the more sugar is released into the blood which results in higher fat deposit. Basically, the lower the food is on the GI index, the better, except for post workout where a high GI carb is optional. Here's an article which contains lots of foods and their GI rating:

Your main sources of carbohydrates should come from the following:

      • Oats
      • Pasta
      • Brown Rice
      • Whole Wheat Bread
      • Potatoes
      • Yams
      • Milk (Lactose)


Fats are an important part of your diet, but they should not be eaten in excess. There are different types of fats, and there are actually healthy types which are necessary for your diet and can actually help burn other fats!

Trans fats or saturated fats are the most unhealthy types. They are found in foods like fried foods, chocolate, and fatty beef. The healthy types are called Omega-3 oils, which are found in fish oil and walnuts. Fats are necessary for production of hormones so don't cut back on them. Instead, eat them from healthy sources.

Your sources of fats should be:

      • Walnuts
      • Almonds
      • Fish Oil
      • Peanuts

View Top Selling Fish Oil Products Here.

Vitamins & Minerals:

Vitamins are organic compounds which the body cannot produce by itself. Eating healthy foods is vital to get the necessary vitamins and minerals you need to survive. Processed foods do not have vitamins and it's important to eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and natural foods. Taking a multi vitamin is also vital.

There are 2 categories of vitamins:

      1. Water soluble (C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Cobalamin, Pyridoxine, Pantothenic acid, Biotin, and Folic Acid.) These are usually harmless if overdosed, but they are removed easily from the body and need to be replenished.

      2. Fat soluble (A, D, E, and K) These can cause health problems if overdosed, and they stay in the body throughout the day so they don't need to be replenished.

Minerals are inorganic compounds which the body needs to optimize health. They are divided into bulk minerals and trace minerals.

Bulk minerals are minerals which the body needs in great quantities because it makes things out of them. They are in order:

Trace minerals are needed in minute amounts, usually in micrograms. They are in order:


Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate. It is very important for a smooth functioning digestive system. Fiber is divided into soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can slow down the digesting of carbohydrates to a healthier pace while insoluble fiber helps the digestive system.

Some sources of fiber are:

      • Oats


Water is vital for your body, no question about it. Aim for 1 gallon a day to keep your body healthy and to reduce the stress on your kidneys from eating extra protein.

Remember to eat every 3 hours to keep a constant flow of nutrients to your muscles and to keep your metabolism high. You should eat 6-8 meals a day.

Rest & Recovery:

Rest is important for muscle repair and recovery. You should get at least 9 hours of sleep every day. Another reason to sleep is because your body produces hormones which increase strength and mass including growth hormone and testosterone.


Although they are optional, supplements can help you reach your goals faster if you use them to compliment an optimal lifestyle of diet, rest, and training. Some basic supplements include multi-vitamins, whey protein powder, and fish oil capsules. For people 16+ who have trained for 1 year or more, creatine, glutamine, and BCAA's are very effective.


If you want to know more about creatine, see my article. There are different types of creatine. Loading is optional, but will give results faster. It is better to cycle creatine even if you have healthy kidneys, because when you begin taking creatine again, it will have a much greater effect.

 Is There A Difference Between The Various Forms Of Creatine? Is There A Difference Between The Various Forms Of Creatine?
There seems to be newer and newer forms of creatine hitting the market all the time. Monohydrate, liquid, creatine ethyl-ester, dicreatine malate, micronized, kre-alkalyn, and effervescent are just a few different types of creatine.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

The typical way to take creatine monohydrate is to begin a 5-7 day loading phase while taking 20 g of it at 5 intervals throughout the day. Then, take a 4-6 week maintenance phase of 5 g a day. To calculate more exact creatine consumption, use this fitness calculator from

What are some tricks to make your arms appear bigger?

  • The best way to create the illusion of size is to train the biceps brachialis, located between the lateral head of the triceps and the biceps. This will also give you the illusion of width in the biceps and make your arms look fuller. The brachialis is trained by hammer curls and reverse curl movements.

  • Another way to create the illusion of size is to get more defined. Definition means burning that fat layer that's making your muscles look soft instead of rock hard diamond cut arms.

  • Small vascular forearms also make your arms look big, and vice versa. Obviously this is not advised.

  • Well developed and defined shoulder muscles will bring out the definition of your arms because the shoulders meet both the triceps and the biceps. Definition in that area will certainly make your arms appear bigger and harder.

  • Getting a biceps peak using concentration curls and preacher curls will give the illusion of larger biceps as a result of the increased with you get.

  • Concentrating on lateral and long heads will give you wider triceps, and since triceps make up 2/3 of the arm, will give you the illusion of wider arms in general.

  • A slimmer and smaller compact core or waist will help give you the V-taper, and give you an illusion of wide arms in general.

  • Tight black shirts seem to be the best at showing your muscles and definition.

  • Get a tan. Darker skin drastically increases definition and gives the impression of size. A tan is also very sexy!

  • Using a nitric oxide boosting product will widen the blood vessels in your body, including the arms. This increases the size of your muscles and veins, and will keep your arms pumped up! Garden hose veins on your forearms and biceps are also extremely noticeable and stand out. This will attract attention to your arms.

"To maximize arm development, the biceps, triceps and forearms must be equally and evenly developed in proportion to the surrounding muscle groups: the deltoids, pecs, lats, and traps."

And Finally... The Workout!

Beginner Workout:

For beginners, the most important thing to develop is a solid base of muscle, and some more neuromuscular efficiency. Most experts recommend a 1 or 2 day split, which means either a full body workout, or an upper and lower body workout.

Here we'll go with an upper body/lower body split. It's also important not to use free weights because your muscle fibers are still tender, and they can be damaged easily but the continuous stress. Your workouts should not last more than 1 hour, and if they do you will be compromising your growth.

DO NOT use any supplements except for a multivitamin and fish oil, your body does not need extra protein right now because your current diet probably includes too much anyway. No junk foods!

Day 1:

      • Smith Press 12 10 8
      • Lateral Pulldown 12 12 10
      • Low Row 15 12 12
      • Shoulder Machine 12 10 8
      • Machine Curl 12 10 8
      • Triceps Pushdown 12 10 8

print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 1.

Day 2:

      • Bodyweight Squats 20 20 20
      • Leg Curl 15 12 10
      • Leg Extension 15 12 10
      • Seated Calf Raise 15 15 15
      • Sit-Ups 20 20 20

print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 2.

Intermediate Workout:

For people who have been working out 6 months or more, this workout should help increase muscle mass on the arms. In this workout, arms are given their own day. There are so many different splits possible so I will only illustrate the arm workout itself. Supplements should include a whey protein post workout with creatine and glutamine optional.

Day 1:

      • Seated Incline Dumbbell 10 8 6
      • Decline Skull-Crushers 10 8 6
      • Preacher Curl 12 10 8
      • Close-grip Bench Press 10 10 8
      • Hammer Curl 10 10 8
      • Kickbacks 12 12 10

print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 1.

Advanced Workout:

Warning, this workout is only for people who have been working out 3 years or more! This is an advanced workout which contains 2 of the intensity techniques I spoke of above. For this workout, it's important to maintain form and follow through on what is required. Diet must contain supplements which help in repair and recovery of the muscle such as glutamine, BCAA's, and creatine, and an NO booster is optional.

Good luck. I hope that you are able to use this information to achieve massive eye-popping arms!

Thanks, and sorry for all those links


2nd Place - RC26
How Can You Develop Solid Arms?
Contact This Author Here.

Nobody is going to ask you to flex your quads, lats, or pecs. People are going to want you to flex your guns. Whenever you walk down the street in a tight t-shirt, the arms are the first to hit the eye.

Whether you want to look good at the beach or give yourself a better shot with the girl down the street, solid arms are imperative to your aspirations. This article provides you with all the tips and tricks that will grant you solid guns.

It's time to stop dreaming and start building!

How Can You Develop Solid Arms?

Developing solid arms requires knowledge, dedication, and hard work. Although genetics greatly determine muscle shapes and sizes, you can develop your muscles the way you like them. If building high peaked biceps is a priority of yours, certain exercises need to be performed along with plenty of flexing and posing. But first, you need to learn what muscles make up the arms.

The Anatomy Of The Arms:

Muscle Location Primary Functions
Biceps Brachii
Long Head
Short Head
Upper Arm Curl the arm, pronate the wrist
Triceps Brachii
Long Head
Lateral Head
Medial Head
Upper Arm Extend the elbow, supinate the wrist
Brachialis Upper Arm Flexes the elbow
Brachioradialis Lower Arm Flexes the elbow
Pronator Teres Lower Arm Flexes the elbow, pronates the forearm
Anconeus Lower Arm Assists triceps in elbow extension
Wrist Extensors
Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
Flexor Digitorum Profundus
Flexor Carpi Radialis
Palmaris Longus
Flexor Pollicis Longus
Lower Arm Curl the palm down and forward
Wrist Flexors
Extensor Digitorum
Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus
Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis
Extensor Carpi Ulnaris
Extensor Indicis
Extensor Digiti Minimi
Extensor Pollicis Longus
Extensor Pollicis Brevis
Lower Arm Curl the knuckles back and up

For more information on anatomy, visit here.


Now that you know the anatomy of the arms, let's look at the exercises that build them.

Since the arms are fairly small muscles, 2 to 3 exercises for each the biceps, triceps, and forearm is adequate. 3 sets of 12 reps provide the best overall results. However, if you need to attain some mass, then keep the rep ranges between 4 and 6 while using heavy weights.

Biceps Training:

Biceps are arguably the most popular and over trained muscle group. One thing for sure though is solid biceps look amazing. There are many different shaped biceps, including long, short, high, and low.

Overall Biceps Development:

Dumbbell Curls - view exercise
This exercise takes the biceps through its full range of motion and is good for overall biceps development, along with the brachialis and brachioradialis.

Alternate Dumbbell Curls - view exercise
This works both biceps heads and allows you to concentrate on one arm at a time. The brachialis and brachioradialis are also worked.

Seated Dumbbell Curls - view exercise
Using a seated position helps minimize cheating. This exercise primarily works both biceps heads, along with the brachialis and brachioradialis.

Biceps Mass:

Standing Barbell Curls - view exercise
This exercise builds mass in the biceps, along with the brachialis, brachioradialis, pronator teres, and wrist flexors.

Biceps Long Head:

Close-Grip Standing Barbell Curls - view exercise
Positioning your hands closer together isolates the long head of the biceps.

Biceps Short Head:

Wide-Grip Standing Barbell Curls - view exercise
Positioning your hands farther apart isolates the short head of the biceps.

Biceps Length:

Incline Dumbbell Curls - view exercise
This exercise stretches the biceps. The brachialis and brachioradialis are worked to lesser degree.

Lying Dumbbell Curls - view exercise
This exercise provides a great stretch in the biceps because of the long range of motion.

Preacher Curls - view exercise
This is a great exercise for filling the gap between the lower biceps and the elbow joint, while stretching the biceps. The brachialis is also involved.

Biceps Height:

Concentration Curls - view exercise
This exercise helps create maximum height in the biceps, and also develops the brachialis.

Overhead Cable Curls - view exercise
This exercise is usually performed as a cool down, and is good for stretching the biceps, and working the brachialis.

Triceps Training:

Triceps are the muscles that make the arms look huge. Just like biceps, triceps can have different shapes, therefore need to be hit from several different angles in order for them to be fully developed.

Overall Triceps Development:

Dips - Triceps Version - view exercise
This exercise works all three heads of the triceps.

Triceps Mass Lying Triceps Extensions - view exercise
This is the best mass building exercise for the triceps.

Triceps Long Head:

Seated Triceps Extensions - view exercise
The long head of the triceps is mostly involved when performing this exercise.

Seated Overhead Barbell Triceps Extensions - view exercise
This exercise primarily works the long head of the triceps.

Triceps Lateral Head:

Triceps Pushdowns - Rope Attachment - view exercise
Using a rope primarily works the lateral head of the triceps, along with the long and medial heads. The anconeus is worked to a lesser extent.

Triceps Medial Head:

Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns - view exercise
The under hand grip works the medial head most intensely, with involvement form the long and lateral heads, and anconeus.

Seated Bent-Over One-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extensions - view exercise
This exercise works the medial head of the triceps along with the long and lateral heads.

Forearm Training:

Most people skip forearm training and then complain why they don't have Popeye like forearms. Good forearm development can make your arms look big when you're wearing a long t-shirt.


Hammer Curls - view exercise
This exercise primarily works the brachioradialis and biceps, and to a lesser degree, the brachialis.

Reverse Barbell Curls - view exercise
This exercise works brachioradialis, wrist extensors, brachialis, and stretches the biceps.

Wrist Flexors:

Barbell Wrist Curls - view exercise
This exercise works the wrist flexors.

Wrist Extensors:

Reverse Barbell Wrist Curls - view exercise
This exercise works the wrist extensors.

For more exercises, visit here.

Sample Workout:

Muscle Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Biceps Standing Barbell Curls 3 12 90 sec
Biceps Preacher Curls 3 12 90 sec
Triceps Lying Triceps Extensions 3 12 90 sec
Triceps Dips - Triceps Version 3 12 90 sec
Brachioradialis Hammer Curls 3 12 90 sec
Wrist Flexors Barbell Wrist Curls 3 12 90 sec
superset with
Wrist Extensors Reverse Barbell Wrist Curls 3 12 90 sec

print Click Here For A Printable Log Of This Sample Workout.

Key Principles:
What are some key principles to building great arms?

There are many key principles to building great arms, including diet and intensity techniques.


You can't build solid arms without a good diet. Whether you want to add muscle or lose fat, your diet affects your overall progress.


You need a high caloric intake in order to put on size. But don't just eat anything to get a certain number of calories, unless you want to get fat. Eat clean most of the time and prepare to grow.


Protein is the first of three macronutrients. It's made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Protein has the ability to build, repair, and maintain lean muscle tissue. Eating an adequate amount of protein throughout the day provides the body with all the necessary amino acids, which are needed to keep you in an anabolic condition.

The Most Popular Amino Acids In Bodybuilding:

        • Leucine- responsible for the regulation of blood sugar levels, and the growth and repair of tissues in skeletal muscle, bones, and skin.
        • Isoleucine- promotes muscle recovery and assists in wound healing.
        • Valine- helps the repair and growth of muscles.
        • Glutamine- preserves muscles mass.
        • Arginine- has the ability to retain nitrogen, which is important in protein synthesis.
        • Carnitine- increases energy and decreases body fat.
        • Histidine- needed by the body for growth and repair of muscle tissue.
        • Lysine- used by the body for calcium absorption, which is needed for muscle and bone growth.
        • Phenylalanine- elevates the mood by stimulating the nerve system.
        • Methionine- assists in the breakdown and use of fats.
        • Threonine- involved in liver functioning, lipotropic functions, and maintenance of the immune system.
        • Cysteine- strengthens the lining of the stomach and intestines.
        • HMB- prevents muscle loss and can limit fat storage.

For more on amino acids, visit here.


Carbs are the second the three macronutrients. They are the body's main supply of energy. An ample amount of carbs is needed to provide energy for your workouts.


Fats are the third of the three macronutrients. They are broken down into three groups, saturated, unsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Eat good fats such as omega-3 and omega-6, as they present support for the body's cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems.


Muscles are made up of approximately 75% water by weight, which means the quantity of water consumed greatly determines the size of muscles. Water is responsible for transporting nutrients to cells and removing waste-by products.

Vitamins & Minerals:

Vitamins are essential in a muscle building diet. They are broken down into two categories, water-soluble and fat-soluble. Without vitamins, the body cannot function properly.

Minerals are essential substances that the body requires. Calcium, potassium, and sodium are examples of minerals.

Intake Calculator:

Each day, you need to calculate how much calories, protein, carbs, and fats you take in.


Eat every two to three hours, and supplement with whey protein post workout, casein protein before sleeping, and a multivitamin. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.



        • Whole Eggs
        • Egg Whites
        • Lean Beef
        • Chicken
        • Turkey
        • Fish
        • Cottage Cheese
        • Peanut Butter


        • Oatmeal
        • Pasta
        • Potatoes
        • Fruits
        • Vegetables


        • Fish Oil
        • Flax Seed Oil
        • Eggs Yolk


      • Whey Protein - Optimum 100% Gold Standard
      • Casein Protein - Optimum 100% Casein Protein
      • Multivitamin - Universal Animal Pak

Sample Diet:

      • Meal 1: 5 egg whites, oatmeal, water
      • Meal 2: Whey protein shake, 1 apple
      • Meal 3: 6 oz. grilled steak, salad, water
      • Meal 4: Whey protein shake, 16 fl. oz. Gatorade
      • Meal 5: 6 oz. turkey, rice, salad, water
      • Meal 6: Cottage cheese, casein protein shake


Resting is very important for muscle growth. Sleep at least 8 hours each day, and take a week off from the gym every couple of months to let your body fully recuperate and grow.

Overtraining can be detrimental to your muscle building goals. If you don't rest, your muscles won't grow and you will increase the risk of injury. Don't train on weekends, so when you get back to the gym on Monday, you will be fully recovered. I recommend you train your arms in the beginning of the week and always train them first.

Training Tips & Tricks

All of the intensity techniques below should be incorporated into your workouts every once in a while. These techniques help you build muscle faster and prevent you from reaching a plateau.

Supersets- almost every bodybuilder has used this technique because it works so well. Supersets are two exercises performed back to back without any rest.

Pre-Exhaust Supersets- perform an isolation exercise followed by a compound exercise for the same muscle group.

Post-Exhaust Supersets- perform a compound exercise followed by an isolation exercise.

Trisets- perform three exercises in a row without any rest.

Giant Sets- perform four exercises in a row without any rest.

Forced Reps- when you can't perform any more reps, have your training partner help you perform a couple more reps.

Partial Reps- when you can't perform any more full reps, continue by doing partial reps, whether they're three-quarters reps, half reps, or quarter reps.

Cheating Reps- when you can't perform any more strict reps, use momentum and secondary muscles to complete additional reps.

Pyramids- perform a number sets for a certain exercise, and after each set, increase the weight.

Drop Sets- move quickly from one set to the next while decreasing the weight each time.

Rest-Pause- perform as many reps as possible until you reach failure, then rest for few seconds and try to perform additional reps.

21s- Complete 7 half reps in the lower range of motion, 7 half reps in the upper range of motion, followed by 7 full reps.

Static Contraction- holds a weight at lockout for as long as possible.

Isotension Principle- After you complete a set, flex the muscles you're working for thirty seconds.

Peak Contraction Principle- for example, when doing concentration curls, flex the biceps at the top part of the movement.

Training & Nutrition Journal

This is key in bodybuilding, especially if you want to build solid arms. A good way to track your progress over a period of time is by having a training and nutrition journal. When doing this, you can look back at how much you have achieved and increase your motivation.

Training Journal Sample:

Date- 6/19/06
Current Weight- 205 pounds

Muscle Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Biceps Standing Barbell Curls 3 12 90 sec
Triceps Lying Triceps Extensions 3 12 90 sec
Brachioradialis Reverse Barbell Curls 3 12 90 sec
Wrist Flexors Barbell Wrist Curls 3 12 90 sec
Wrist Extensors Reverse Barbell Wrist Curls 3 12 90 sec

print Click Here For A Printable Log Of This Training Sample.

Nutrition Journal Sample:

Date- 6/19/06
Total Water Intake- 2 gallons

Time Meal Calories Protein Carbs Fat
6 a.m. 6 egg whites, 2 egg yolks 153 27g 0g 5g
9 p.m. Whey protein shake ? ?g ?g ?g
12 p.m. Grilled steak, salad ? ?g ?g ?g
3 p.m. Grilled chicken, rice ? ?g ?g ?g
6 p.m. Whey protein ? ?g ?g ?g
9 p.m. 5 egg whites, casein protein shake ? ?g ?g ?g

Quality Not Quantity

Use correct form on all exercises to prevent injury. Tearing a muscle can happen at any moment during an exercise, and it's not worth getting injured by lifting heavy weights while using bad form. Don't let your ego get in the way.

Stretching and breathing correctly can also help you prevent injuries. More on this below.


Probably the most under rated part of the workout, stretching is vital in building solid arms. Overtime, stretching lengthens muscle fibers, and relaxes muscles after your workouts. Stretching before and after your workouts is strongly recommended.

Here are some good stretching movements.

Biceps: Doorway Biceps Stretch Standing Biceps Stretch

Triceps: Overhead Triceps Stretch

Forearms: Single Arm Wrist Flexor Stretch Single Arm Wrist Extensor Stretch


Breathing helps your overall form when exercising, which is necessary when trying to build solid arms. For example, when doing Lying Triceps Extensions, inhale on the way down, and exhale on the way up. Small things like this can greatly improve your progress.

Flexing & Posing:

Flexing and posing are also crucial parts in your workout regimen, because they keeping your muscles pumped and allow you to learn how to control them. Many people have trouble controlling their muscles because they don't practice.

Here are some flexing poses for your arms.

Biceps: Front Double Biceps Pose Rear Double Bicep Pose

Triceps: Side Tricep Pose

What are some tricks to make your arms appear bigger?

To make your arms appear bigger, develop your lats, and when you're walking around, squeeze your arms to your lats. Another trick is to develop your deltoids so they are big and round. This gives your arms an overall bigger look from top to bottom. Developing your brachialis also seems to make your arms bigger by up to one inch. The brachialis also helps show the clear separation between biceps and triceps.

Try to increase your biceps height and length by putting extra emphasis on the biceps long head. This gets your arms size from a number of different angles.

Make sure you develop the biceps, triceps, and forearms in proportion to the rest of your body to appear bigger.

Instead of wearing sleeveless shirts, wear a tight t-shirt where the sleeves cover only half of your upper arm. This makes the arms look huge. Then you can squeeze your arms into your lats to make them look that much bigger.

Losing fat and increasing vascularity also seems to make the arms look bigger. If you have trouble increasing vascularity, get a pump running through your arms and your veins will show.

Get a tan, which makes your arms look more defined and slightly larger.

Last but not least, you can try to supplement with creatine for a couple of weeks. Not only will creatine increase your strength and energy levels, but it will allow your muscles to hold more water, thus making them bigger.

I hope you've learned how to build solid arms, good luck!

3rd Place - bitterplacebo
How Can You Develop Solid Arms?
Contact This Author Here.

It can be sad, but true, that one of the most popular parts of the body happens to be the arms. Being more visible when clothed than other parts, most males will be driven to hold their arms to a greater degree of importance than other features. Some might speculate that this is because a visibly sculptured arm can reflect power, inspire confidence, or possibly attract women.

Whatever the reason for wanting good looking arms, it's safe to say that the trend will continue to be perpetuated in years to come. So, we can choose to go along with what we are naturally given, disregarding what we know about culture and the influence of a firm arm, but for those that want their arms to be the envy of others, do read on.

How Can You Develop Solid Arms?

The basic idea behind a solid arm is to have the best ratio of muscle to fat mass as possible. Note that this is not exactly the same as just trying to put as much mass on the arms as possible. These bulking approaches can put a good deal of muscle on, but often leads to some fat increases and arms that may look larger, but soft.

The correct way to create decently chiseled arms would be to coerce some moderate muscular growth in the arms while slightly reducing overall fat stores in the body. Don't be fooled by people who say it's possible to tone only a certain area of the body. Localizing training to certain areas will not spot-reduce the fat in that area


The right approach is to train with heavy weights to stimulate muscle growth, with cardiovascular activities on the side to lower body fat, and a balanced diet designed to support both goals. This three-pronged approach will help anyone to develop the arms they are looking for.

Key Principles:
What are some key principles to building great arms?

Weight Training:

Training with weights is the heart of making arms take on a pleasant shape. There are several ways to exercise each muscle of the arm, and it is important to do so for complete development. Following are the specific muscles of the arm and how best to encourage their growth.

Biceps Brachii:

A muscle on the front of the upper arm, consisting of an inner and outer head. Its purpose is to flex the arm at the elbow. Any type of arm curl will exercise the biceps, with a wider grip targeting the inner head, and a narrow grip doing the outer head. Various biceps exercises can be browsed through here.

Triceps Brachii:

The muscle running along the back of the upper arm, designed to extend the arm at the elbow. It consists of three heads. Making up 60% of the arm's mass, the triceps will play a great role in the way anyone's arms look.

Long Head-Located on the back, inner side of the upper arm and comes into play during exercise where elbows are extended overhead. As the biggest head of the triceps, it might do well to emphasize this one.

Medial Head-The back, lower, and inner side of the upper arm is concerned with elbow extension and is strongest in a palms-down grip.

Lateral Head-This head is the outer part of the upper arm and happens to be strongest with a palm-up grip during an arm extension.

Using the information above to judge how each works, a multitude of triceps exercises can be found here.


The section of arm between the elbow and wrist is often left out of training, even though it is the most readily seen part of anyone's arm. Because of this, they should be of primary concern when training arms to look well. There's two main parts of the forearm that need attention.

Flexors-These are on the bottom, pinky-side of the forearm and works most when curling the wrist inward when the palm is facing up.

Extensors- On the opposite, thumb side of the forearm are a different set of muscles. They are used when the palm is facing down and the wrist curled upward.

All exercises to isolate the forearm muscles are here.


As a small muscle that runs beneath the biceps, it can actually push the peak higher. In order to achieve better arm development, it's important not to overlook this muscle, as is often the case. Any type of hammer curl will train this muscle. Reversing the grip for curls also hits the brachialis.


As the uppermost part of the arms, where they connect to the torso at the shoulders, the deltoid can help create a strong, broad look.

There are three types of fibers associated with the deltoids:

        1. Posterior-Used in moving the arms away from the front of the body towards the back.
        2. Anterior-Concerned with rotating the arm to come upward in front of the torso.
        3. Lateral-Function to abduct the arms away from the torso.

Using these guidelines, pick a variety of exercises from the following list.

Frequency, Sets & Reps:

With the crash course in arm anatomy out of the way, we can finally look into the principles to follow during the training itself. The main areas of concern are training frequency, sets, and repetition count.

For individuals that have a workout routine for full body growth, it's recommended to train every muscle group only once a week to ensure full recovery and avoid overtraining. But for those only focusing on arms it would be feasible to hit every muscle listed above about twice a week-possibly every 4th or 5th day.

While it is possible to develop the arms alone, it's advised to not segregate them for too long a time. Besides just leading to an unbalanced physique, leaving larger muscle groups untrained can even be detrimental to arm development. By training a wide variety of the body's larger muscles, it often adapts via hormones that lead to increased growth throughout the body.

As for the number of sets to utilize during each workout session, it's often best to stick with a volume that is capable of being done within an hours time. With rest times of about 1-2 minutes between sets, it's possible to perform about 16 or more total sets. This can easily be organized as either 8 exercises, 2 sets each, or 4 exercises, 4 sets each.

It's important to keep each workout intense and short in order to keep stress levels in the body low. Working out too long can place undue stress on the system making it more difficult to grow muscle or even lose fat.

The number of reps is a little more subjective, and open to variety. The best way to coerce muscle growth is to keep them guessing, making it harder for them to adapt to one type of stimulus and stay that way. A good suggestion would be to use sets of 8-12 reps until failure for maximum hypertrophy most of the time.

Then, occasionally use higher or lower weights for less or more repetitions, respectively. This will not only target all muscle fiber types for growth, but best of all, keep the muscle from adapting. Just remember to keep proper form with whatever weight that is being used. If the muscle isn't "felt" working during an exercise, then it probably isn't and will not grow.

While varying reps alone can prevent adaptation, there are so many other methods that allow for breaking plateaus. The human body is lazy and won't grow unless it has to. That's why sometimes we can choose to utilize some of the following "shocking" techniques once in a while:


This entails going from one exercise to another without rest. It increases muscular "discomfort," taking it beyond what it is accustomed to.

Drop Sets:

These take muscles to failure and then beyond by dropping the weight, ultimately causing the muscle to work for an increased duration through the full range of motion.


After a set of approximately 10 reps to failure, continue partial reps at the stretched point, where the muscle is most powerful. This method is said to facilitate both size and strength gains by stimulating all muscle fiber types in a single set.


Usually seen in biceps curls, this method focuses on each end of a muscle body as well as the middle portion. These sets will most likely provide an excellent burning sensation in the muscle.


The idea behind this is that it is easier to go through the negative portion of a movement. So doing more negatives when a contraction is not possible will tear more muscle tissue, and thus allow for greater amounts to be built back up.


While mentioned briefly already, recovery is a concern that needs to be explained in further detail. Muscular recuperation is primarily promoted by sleep, nutrition, and relaxation. All that needs to be said of sleep is to get around 8 hours or more each day. Since protein is the nutrient responsible for building muscle tissue, it's necessary to get at least 1 gram or more per pound of body weight.

Stress Reduction:

Lastly, stress reduction is necessary in order to allow the body to fully recover. Under stress the body is unconcerned with things like digestion and rebuilding muscle. Using techniques like stretching, deep tissue massage, yoga, or breathing exercises can vastly aid relaxation and recovery.


The other physically active part of our solid-arm plan involves a fat reduction technique. The best way to do this happens to be cardiovascular activity. Walking, especially when heart rate is slightly elevated, happens to be one of the best forms of cardio for fat loss since 85% of the energy used is taken directly from fat stores.

The first step towards determining how much cardio to do would be to find your body fat percentage. This can be done most easily with skin-fold calipers. Multiplying this number by total body weight gives how many total pounds of body fat one is carrying.

Now, we just have to do some number crunching. Estimating that a 45 minute walk over 3 miles will burn about 500 fat calories. Doing this walk 7 days a week will consume 3500 calories, an equivalent of one pound of fat. It may not sound like much at first, but doing this consistently can go a long way in improving the overall visual appeal of anyone's physique. It's simply a matter of putting in the time to get down to our ideal body weight.


Because losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously is a difficult proposition, nutrition needs to be planned out and consistent to make both aspects a reality. Eating too much will allow a person to bulk up, but will yield soft and smooth looking arms.

This is why the first step would be to determine one's caloric needs for maintaining weight. The easiest equation to get this is to estimate 15 calories per pound of body weight. Then, from this number, eat about 500 extra calories to facilitate muscle growth. Remember, if cardio is performed as suggested, fat gain should not be a problem, and some loss should even be expected.

Also, be sure to get a good ratio of carbs, fats, and protein. A good ratio might be something like 40% of calories coming from carbohydrates, 40% from protein, and 20% from fat. These calories should come from clean sources like the following:

Carbohydrates Protein Fat
Wheat Bread
Whey Protein
Soy Protein
Egg Whites
Lean Beef
Nuts (Almonds/Peanuts)
Whole Eggs

Together, this nutrition plan along with the cardio and weight training will sculpt a set of arms solid as stone.

What are some tricks to make your arms appear bigger?

Sure, the arms can be forged into cannons of steel by using the methods above, but there are some adjustments that can be made to give them an extra edge above the rest. The best way to categorize these tricks seem to be as illusions or supplements.


How one carry's themselves has a significant effect on how the arms appear to others. The easiest way to make the arms look bigger would be to create a contrast. A good place to make this happen is the waistline. In addition to minimizing body fat through cardio, add abdominal exercises to tighten the midsection.

Performing crunches, reverse crunches, exercise ball crunches, or stomach vacuums can work to make the arms appear larger by contrast.

Another illusion deals with how the arm and wrist are positioned. When the arm is fully extended the triceps are contracted and will appear bigger. On the other hand, when the elbow is completely bent, the biceps are contracted and look larger. A good compromise is to keep about a 90 degree bend in the elbow while flexing in order to make the arm look its fullest.

Also worth mentioning is the way the fist and wrist are twisted during a classic biceps flex. If a fist is made and simply curled straight down toward the arm, the biceps will appear more round with a bigger peak. In contrast, if the wrist is rotated to face forward, in the direction the eyes are looking, the biceps will elongate. It's a neat trick, try it out sometime.

Other than just wearing a well-fitted shirt or contracting the muscle a few times to get a small pump going, these are all the illusionary tactics I know of that can help make arms look their best.


The other main way to get the arms to look bigger than what they normally are would be to take certain supplements. Each of the following types of supplements has its own mechanisms for increasing muscular size.

Creatine: Not only can it increase energy reserves, leading to better strength and endurance, but creatine also enhances the degree of water uptake into muscular cells. This supplement ultimately heightens muscle volume and size.

Nitric Oxide: The simplest way to explain this supplement would be to say that it helps increase blood flow. Because this will aid in nutrient transportation into muscle cells, nitric oxide leads to larger, fuller muscles and better vascularity.

Caffeine: This mild stimulant works by placing a slight stress on the body, which activates the sympathetic nervous system. This "fight or flight" response diverts blood from the gut and other areas and into muscle tissue. The end result is a bigger, and pumped up muscle.

Supplements worth looking into that contain all or some of the mentioned ingredients include NO-Xplode, Nitrix, and Cellmass. I've used all these products and others from BSN and am pleased with the quality and results when compared to the products of other supplement companies.

As we can see, there's no magician's magic that can be worked to suddenly make a person's arms look significantly larger than their normal size. Real results are only obtained through hard work and dedication. Don't settle simply for the illusions when so much more is possible.


Review Of Other Articles
Or "Why Wasn't Mine Picked?"

Aussie LTD


  • Solid information, good amount of content. Nice conversational style.


    • Some structure problems. Spelling errors.

Comments: In the second section, second and third paragraph are weak. Second paragraph opens with unnecessary comma. Second sentence of second paragraph is a run on.

Third paragraph opens with a run on sentence. These errors greatly devalue the solid workmanship evident in this article. When sentences are broken with a comma always evaluate the case for forming separate sentences. Better proof reading would have helped here. A spell checker is a minimum. A second set of eyes is even better.

No bodybuilder would go on stage without practicing their routine many times. Looking at writing in the same way can make your work much more powerful. Read it over and over. Leave it and come back. Each time strive to improve.

It will never be finished but when the time is right you can turn it in with confidence.



  • Another very informative article.


    • Structure of paragraphs makes piece less readable.

Comments: Opening paragraph sticks to one main subject, hitting all the muscle fibers. But the line is far from straight. This makes the reader work to follow the content. Not always appropriate in an ezine article.

This method of construction continues throughout the article. While the information is first class the structure makes it difficult to absorb.

Many primers for writers advise writing an article as if telling a story to a close acquaintance. Read the work out loud to a friend. Get feed back and have others read the work.

Many times a writer will have revised a work many times before submitting. Each sentence, phrase, and paragraph will be tuned many times for best readability.