How to build big guns: The secret workout that adds mass to your arms

Everyone wants big arms – even your mum probably does. Having big arms can make clothes look better on, give off the impression that you’re more muscular than you actually are and 101 other incredibly vain things. The fact of the matter is, arms look better big. Use this workout once a week, preferably a day after the last workout of the week.

Barbell movement

These first two movements utilise barbells in order to facilitate progressive overload. By consistently loading the EZ bar over the weeks and months, you’ll add mass to your arms.

Ez bar curl

3 sets // 8 reps // 90 seconds rest

This is a staple bicep exercise and is easier on the joints than a conventional barbell curl. This allows you to load the biceps with as much weight as possible.

Skull crusher

3 sets // 8 reps // 90 seconds rest

The opposite movement to the curl. Along with the close grip bench press, this is the best exercise for overloading the triceps specifically.

Dumbbell movement

The dumbbell movements allow for overload although the overload will not be as progressive as the barbell exercises. The aim of these movements is to feel the exercise, not focusing on ego-lifting heavy weights. Instead you should try to use a tempo of 1 second up, 0 second pause & 2 second lowering.

Dumbbell Curl

3 sets // 10 reps // 60 seconds rest

The dumbbell curl is the classic bicep exercise, allowing for the bicep to be placed under more resistance than with the barbell, with the individual peaks taking more of the stress. This is due to the shoulders and back being less involved in the movement.

DB Skull crusher

3 sets // 10 reps // 60 seconds rest

This is a fantastic move for hitting the long and the lateral heads of the triceps. It also allows for proper isolation of the triceps with no pectoral activation, meaning they get the chance to recover better for their next session.

Isolateral movement

Using isolateral exercise allows your muscles to work independently and can fix any imbalances by making the weaker muscle work alone to keep up with the stronger one. Superset these final three exercises for a sleeve-busting pump. Although the shrugs aren’t technically isolateral, they work perfectly in this mini-circuit for frying the traps and forearms – making this the perfect finisher.

One-arm cable curl

3 sets // 12 reps // 30 seconds rest

This isolates the bicep even more than using a dumbbell. By locking your shoulder and elbow in place during this move, you’ll allow your bicep to do all the work. You can get a lot out of this exercise without using heavy weights – so keep it light and concentrate on the movement.

One-arm tricep cable extension

3 sets // 12 reps // 30 seconds rest

This is in much of the same vein as the cable curl. It allows you to not only take the chest out of the movement but also the shoulders. This ensures all the tension is placed on the tricep and helps to really build the ‘horseshoe’ look that is the goal for every man aspiring for massive arms.

Dumbbell Shrugs

3 sets // 12 reps // 30 seconds rest

Whilst not really an isolateral movement, the final exercise in the workout is shrugs. Building big traps is key to filling out clothes as well as possible. The traps create a fantastic foundation for large arms by drawing attention to the right areas of the upper body. Shrugs also place immense stress on the forerarms, building vascularity and fantastic grip strength.

This whole workout should only take around half an hour and will add mass to your arms within a few weeks. The volume isn’t too high as to affect your other big lifts but not too low as to be a pointless waste of time. Give this a go for 12 weeks and watch your arms blow up.

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