Nearly all guys want big arms, this quickly becomes apparent in the gym when you guys waiting to do preacher curls on the bench or getting all the dumbbells for there curls, all wanting to build bigger arms.
The truth is many people need to learn more about big arm building and why they are doing it wrong, these are four of the most common mistakes made by people wanting big arms and what makes the difference between those wanting them and those with huge biceps.
1) Any Exercise Works Well As The First Movement In Your Workout
If you are unsure of where to start when working on your arms then don’t start by doing preacher curls or tricep press-downs as this is a big mistake.
Do It Right
Choose mass-building exercises early on in your workout when you have the most energy. The best mass-building moves? The ones where you can push the most weight.
Multi-joint exercises which recruit secondary muscle groups fall into this category (A good reason you start a chest workout with a press and a leg workout with squats), there are quite a few exercises to choose for tricep workouts but not so for biceps,basic standing curls will allow your biceps to move the most weight.
2) Not Working The Target Muscle From Various Angles
When we refer to training arms ‘angles’ refers to the arms position in relation to your torso as well as grip, if all your curls are done with your arms locked by your sides then gains will be limited.
How To Fix This
With biceps, your arms in front of your torso (e.g. preacher curls) more of the focus is on the muscles short head, when your arms are behind your torso (e.g. incline bench dumbbell curls) the focus is on the muscles long head and a neutral grip (hammer curls) and using close or wider grip during barbell use recruits muscle flexors in slightly different ways.
With triceps when your arms are overhead you focus on the long head and going from an underhand to overhand grip (press-downs) moves the emphasis from lateral to medial head.
A variety of grips and arm positions emphasizes the various heads of your muscles for a more complete development.
3) Performing The Same Rep Sequence
People usually choose a weight that they can perform 10 reps with, have a rest and then repeat, this is a mistake.
How To Fix
Using heavier weights for lower reps (less than 6) promote maximum strength increases, and more moderate weight for moderate reps (8-12 reps), if done to failure promotes muscle growth.
The target muscles quickly become accustomed to the same number of reps like when every set is 10 reps. Because you are stronger earlier on in the workout that is the time to challenge your muscles with heavier weights using the best mass gainer moves you can.
Pick high weights to reach muscle failure at the lower end of the rep scale (as little as 6 reps), as you progress through your workout select slightly lighter weights so you fail at 8, 10 and 12 reps, this will allow you to work the muscle at different intensities. This means that you move from heavy weights on the mass builders to lighter weights to pump the muscle.
4) Not Pushing Past Failure
If you do the same workout constantly but expect new results then you are not thinking this through.
How To Sort This Out
Your body does eventually adapt to a routine which can work great at first, many people find the most success from changing up their routine every 6-8 weeks to push past their training plateau’s.
A good way to achieve this is by using more advanced techniques to get past these plateau’s and work on past muscle failure for 1-2 sets, this can be done with drop sets, rest pause, negatives and forced reps.
Supersets is a technique whereby you perform two exercises back to back with no rest until you have completed both. This joins antagonist muscle groups, making one stretch whilst the other flexes, this pumps more blood into the area.
Research tells us that when you precede a move by one that is it’s antagonist then the second one is stronger, doing press-downs for instance before some curls makes the curls stronger!, change up the pattern of what comes first the next time you workout.
Supersets also save a lot of time, reducing rest times, rather than flying about all over the gym these exercises below use one machine for both exercises.
Applying these fixes to your arms day will show you have learned all about how to build big arms and will combine the best mass-building moves and the mass-building benefits of supersets, this will mean faster workouts, intensity boosters and better moves.
The Big Arms Workout
– Close grip bench press 3 sets of 6-8 reps.
– Standing barbell curl 3 sets of 6-8 reps.
– Seated overhead dumbbell extension 3 sets of 8 reps.
– EZ-Bar preacher curls 3 sets of 8 reps.
– Cable kickback 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
– Standing one-arm cable curl 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
– Rope press down 3 sets of 10 – 12 reps.
– Rope hammer curl 3 sets of 10 – 12 reps.
Some Useful Tips
1) Next time you do an arm day do the biceps moves first in the superset sequence.
2) Although there are no warm-up sets listed, do as many as you need but do not take them to muscle failure.
3) Choose a weight so that you reach muscle failure on the final rep.
Hopefully now you will have a better understanding on how to build big arms.