The ideal physiques are all about balance – but thick arms look good in a t-shirt, or any shirt for that matter. Thick, muscular arms are a bit of a status symbol and are impressive but can be tricky to build. It’s now well-known that leg day is the most important workout day of the week, but at the other end of the scale, you don’t want to be skipping arm day either. You don’t get pythons from doing squats, so be sure to spend some time working the upper limbs.
Start With Compound Exercises
You might counter this suggestion with ‘what compound movement trains arms?’ If you are asking that question then you need to find yourself a pull-up bar right away and get to work. Begin your session with pull-ups and dips, working both the biceps and triceps. You can either train either side of your arms separately – one after the other, or you can superset – doing one push exercise, then a pull. Up to you, and what workout you are after. Pull-ups and narrow grip dips are a great way to start your arm workout off and work your arms while also strengthening the core and supporting muscle groups.
Get Your Elbows Tight
This is true for both bicep exercises and triceps exercises. Keep it controlled, keep your elbows tight, and work the target muscles. Focus in on the muscle group you are working and use it with strict form to get the most out of each exercise. The most common time for your elbows to drift outwards and upwards is during barbell curls, so pay close attention when doing those.
Vary Your Grip
For both biceps and triceps, the positioning of your grip targets different areas of the muscle group. The stock standard way of doing bicep barbell curls is with your hands shoulder width apart. If you do this, and only this, your body will adapt and you will only be hitting the central part of the bicep. Switch up your grip, using narrow grip in close, as well as wide grip, to target the outer and inner heads of your biceps. The wider you grip the bar, the more you target the inner, shorter head of the biceps. Include all variations of the barbell curl. You don’t have to do them all in the one workout, but switch it up week in, week out.
Crush Your Triceps
When most people think of thick arms, they think of biceps. That’s the muscle group that we see when we look front on at people, and it’s the muscles we have been flexing to prove how strong we are since we were kids. The truth is though, that the triceps are the biggest muscles in your arms. If you develop big triceps, your arms will look thick and powerful, all of the time. Again, switch your grip up when training triceps, target all three heads and both pressing exercises and overhead extensions.
To stimulate growth, you need to be lifting heavy within the 6 – 8 rep range. It helps to start your workout heavy and work your way up to higher reps when you reach the more sculpting orientated exercises. Lift heavy to failure, force your muscles to grow stronger and bigger to be able to handle the load you put on them. In each exercise you do, you should be pushing your limits in the final set, squeezing out the last few reps and pushing your arms to failure.
Arm training takes focus, and it can seem easier than other days, such as leg or back day, so push yourself to work just as hard. Execute each exercise with the correct form and technique and force your arms to grow thick and strong.