Yet so many guys struggle to grow their arms, regardless of how much time they spend. And although you might respond with more arms work, it’ll be in vain. The truth is, you can train your arms as much as you want, but if you keep making a few critical mistakes you’ll never get great results.
Escape the black hole of ineffective arms training by learning the eight reasons why your arms still aren’t growing, and what exactly you can do to fix it.
The biggest problem isn’t that you don’t have big biceps; it’s that you aren’t big at all. If you’re 6′ and 160lbs, you’ll never have big arms. You’re too skinny. If you want big arms or a big chest, you need to get big all-over.
Eat more to get bigger arms.
Follow this rule: take your height in centimeters (sorry, America) and subtract by 100. Your result is your minimum target weight in kilograms. For example, if you’re 6′ (183cm), you should weigh at least 183lbs (83kg). If not, get there first.
No body part grows by beating it every day—you need to rest to let your arms recover. In the hours after a workout, your muscles lose strength and power as they heal; after 36-48 hours, the muscle actually gets stronger, which is a process called “supercompensation”.
You must give yourself rest. Also, you arms are tiny compared to other muscle groups like your legs or back, can’t handle as much stimulus, and may take longer to super-compensate.
Researchers from Norway found that performing legs exercises before arms exercises led to bigger and stronger arms than arms exercises alone over 11 weeks. The study showed that immediately after you train your legs, you’ll have more testosterone and growth hormone in your blood—by training your arms afterward, you’d get superior results.
Make sure to blast your legs with heavy exercises like squats, deadlifts, and lunges to elevate your anabolic hormone concentration. Although training your legs leads to acute increases, it also leads to higher levels long-term.
Although isolation exercises are the backbone of arms workouts, you’ll never build huge arms without strong surrounding muscles, too.
Instead, add complex exercises to target not only your arms, but also your forearms, shoulders, back, and chest. To build your triceps, add weighted dips, close-grip bench presses, and barbell overhead presses. To build your biceps, include chinups and reverse-grip barbell rows.
Too many guys work their biceps only.
Remember that your triceps give your upper arms their size. (The triceps actually occupies two-thirds of your upper arm.) And to build truly huge arms, you need to hammer your triceps just as much as your biceps.
Take a scientific approach to build massive arms. With any muscle group, there are fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers, each adapting to a different level of volume and intensity. Spend 3-4 weeks developing a specific fiber, and then cycle to another one.
Do you always do 3 sets of 8 reps of biceps curls? Add massive volume with band-resisted curls, and do as many as you can until failure (40 or more reps) for a few weeks. Do you always do dropsets? Try going extra heavy and repping out only 5 reps for 4 or 5 sets.