A lot of guys are under the impression that the best way to get big arms is to spend hours at the gym doing bicep curls. If you’ve spent any time in the gym at all you may have noticed that the dudes employing this strategy don’t really have big arms at all.
That’s because they are doing the wrong exercises and working the wrong muscles. Keep reading as I discuss the best ways to grow some guns.
First off, let’s look at the anatomy of the arm. Your upper arm contains 5 primary muscles, the long head and short head of the biceps brachialis and the medial head, lateral head and the long head of the triceps.
With that said which do you think makes up the greater percentage of your arm, your biceps or triceps? Let me spare you the math, it’s the triceps. The biggest muscle in your arm is the long head of your triceps. It pretty much makes up the back of your entire arm.
In my opinion, the best way to get bigger arms is to develop all three heads of your triceps, specifically the long head. Let’s go over some of the best exercises and techniques that you can use to trash your tris and make them grow.
The best exercise for the long head of your triceps is the Overhead Triceps Extension. Start with your arms fully extended above your head holding a dumbbell or barbell. Keeping your elbows pointed forward, bend your arms until they reach a 90 degree angle, then straighten your arms and return to the starting position. This exercise can put extra stress on your neck and shoulders so if you feel any discomfort in those areas either make an adjustment or avoid this exercise.
Doing sets of 8-12 reps will increase the strength and size of your arms, but you can take this exercise one step further by doing 2-4 negatives at the end of each set. You’ll need a good (strong) spotter to help you do these correctly, if your spotter can’t pick up the weight your lifting easily with both hands don’t bother, you’ll only get hurt.
Once you’ve reached concentric failure and you’re unable to lift the weight back to the starting position, lower the weight as slow as possible, fighting it the whole way. When you reach the bottom of the movement your spotter will lift the weight back to the starting position.
The idea is to reach eccentric failure, you know you’ve reached this point when you can no longer lower the weight slowly. This overload technique is a great way to take your training to the next level, just be careful and don’t overdue it.
This is just one exercise and one overload technique, when used correctly the results are phenomenal. There are a number of other exercises that you can use to build your triceps as well, here is a list of what I feel are the best movements for massive arms.
- Overhead Triceps Extensions
- Skull Crushers (flat & inclined)
- Rope Extensions
- Close Grip Bench Press
- Weighted Dips
Though these are what I believe to be some of the best triceps exercises, none of them will do anything for you unless they are performed correctly. Intelligent muscular failure is a must if you want your body to respond to your training. I use the word intelligent because so many guys think training is all about going heavy each and every time, this isn’t true in fact if you’re not smart you will get injured.
However, just because I don’t lift as heavy as I can every time I hit the gym, doesn’t mean I don’t push my body to it’s limits. Reach muscular failure when you train, just listen to your body and adjust your training as necessary. Hit these exercises hard, make sure your diet is on point and get plenty of sleep. Do this and you’ll be stretching your sleeves in no time!