Scrawny arms won’t get you much attention when you’re trying to look good on stage or in a social setting. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Just like bulking up your chest and legs, there are some secrets that can make a world of difference to your arms. Pay attention to the 5 hacks below and you can build the bigger arms you’ve always wanted.
1. Shake it!
Shake out the lactic acid between sets. Do you know that burn you feel when you’re cranking out reps? It’s called lactic acid build-up. Acid has the potential to burn through the paint on a car. Why would you want to build up an abundance of it in your arms? The more your arms burn, the longer it’ll take to recover between sets and the harder it will be to lift heavy weights.
A trick of the trade is to “shake out the tension” between sets. This will expedite your recoveries, reduce lactic acid build-up, allow you to lift more weight, and reduce the chance of ongoing muscle soreness. Simply shake your arms up and down and side to side really fast for 10 to 15 seconds in between sets.
2. Work your triceps
Don’t neglect your triceps. Weight bangers often spend too much time working their biceps. They do need to be worked, but they only consist of two muscle parts, whereas the triceps have three. It is actually this meaty area of the arm that gives it most of its size. Why on earth would you want to neglect it?
Every time you extend or straighten your arm, you’re working your triceps. That being said, if you want bigger arms, be sure to include exercises like dips, close-grip bench presses, triceps extensions, and dumbbell kickbacks in your program.
3. Increase the intensity
Guess what? There’s more to building bigger arms than doing specific arm exercises. Here’s where the fun begins. When you do high-intensity exercise your heart rate goes through the roof and your body naturally pumps out a ton of growth hormone and testosterone. You are then left with a solid, ripped body that is the envy of many a man.
All parts of the body benefit from this effect, including your arms. That means that doing sprint intervals can actually help your arms get bigger. The problem is, some people lack the mental strength to go this hard. If you want bigger arms, don’t be a sissy — train hard!
You can also get this effect by doing compound exercises like bench presses, deadlifts, pull-ups, and squats. The high amount of muscle fiber recruitment that these exercises require causes a boost in growth hormone and testosterone. Include these exercises and some sprints in your program to help win the battle against puny arms.
4. Rest your pipes
You should know by now that overtraining is a great way to get you nowhere fast. If you like the idea of never gaining size and possibly walking around with your arms hanging down at your sides due to permanent pain, then go for it. Otherwise, pay attention.
Although you want results and you want to look good, this doesn’t mean you should pulverize your arms with endless sets and reps on a daily basis. Always remember, it is during rest that your muscles actually grow. They may look all pumped up and pretty when you’re training, but that’s short term.
With this in mind, take a couple days off in between working your arms, and make sure you get adequate sleep. The best approach is to take 2 full days off in between workouts and aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
5. Eat your way to bigger arms
If you don’t give your body the proper nutrients, don’t expect any miraculous changes to your arms. Muscles need fuel and raw materials to grow and recover. Follow a balanced diet that includes quality sources of protein, carbs, and fat, and drink plenty of water. Don’t be shy with the calories either. Eating like a chicken will yield chicken-like arms.
With a little bit more effort and discipline, you can have world class arms before you know it. The take-home message is that it’s an all-encompassing task. You need to pay attention to your workouts, your diet, and your lifestyle. Use the 5 hacks above, put the work in, and you will get bigger arms!