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The Big Arm Routine

Average: 4 (149 votes)
4 5 149
Shock your arms with this routine! Work this routine into your workout for 10 weeks. Once per week for the first 8 weeks, then twice per week for last 2 weeks.

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Build Muscle
Workout Type:
Single Muscle Group
Training Level:
Intermediate
Days Per Week:
1
Equipment Required:
Barbell, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Author:

Workout Description

Want bigger arms? Arms stuck in a plateau? Shock your arms with this routine! Work this routine into your workout for 10 weeks. Once per week for the first 8 weeks, then twice per week for last 2 weeks.

Workout Notes:

Thoroughly warm up and stretch both biceps and triceps before the workout. Stretch both muscles at the end of the routine.

  • Rest between sets: 90 seconds.
  • Rep timing: slow and precise.
  • Frequency: once per week for weeks 1-8, weeks 8-10 twice per week.

Workout Schedule:

Big Arm Routine
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curl 5 8
Barbell Curl 1 20
Incline Dumbbell Curl (bench 30-40 degrees) 5 8
Incline Dumbbell Curl (bench 30-40 degrees) 1 20
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Close Grip Bench Press 5 8
Close Grip Bench Press 1 20
EZ Bar, Lying Tricep Extension 5 8
EZ Bar, Lying Tricep Extension 1 20
Tricep Pushdown, (hands 8-10" apart) 5 8
Tricep Pushdown, (hands 8-10" apart) 1 20

 

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    Average: 4 (149 votes)
  • About The Author
    Doug is an ex-competitive bodybuilder with over 20 years fitness experience, specifically diet & nutrition, weight management and training techniques.
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Comments (470)

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prashant singh
Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 04:49

thnxxxxx

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Clint Dew
Posted Thu, 09/09/2010 - 18:31

I've been working out for about 10 months, I'm now going to incorporate your "Big Arm Rountine" with my training. I'm 63 years old, how much of a factor will my age play as far as gaining size? Thanks, Clint

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Fri, 09/10/2010 - 11:38

Hi Clint,

Hard work at any age will pay off. Check out the transformation that Errol Hannigan made:

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/interview-with-captain-ahab-er...

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adam pitre
Posted Sun, 11/28/2010 - 17:48

im alitle lost i work out al the time then i hit my maximum size but i cant get bigger. i was takeing gp3 for a while but i stoped id like to do this without suplipents.

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 12/06/2010 - 13:56

Hi Adam,

Gaining size comes down to 2 things:

1) Pushing yourself with weights. This will allow you to maximize muscle retention while losing fat. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Diet. Make sure you eat properly, or your training will go to waste. Here are some articles that can help:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/your-go-to-guide-to-gaining-m...

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-...

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tommy hadden
Posted Tue, 05/25/2010 - 16:40

what is the weights system?? Am i right to assume heavy on the 8 rep sets and lighter on the 20 rep sets??

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 05/25/2010 - 17:02

Yes. Try to use as much weight as possible for the given rep range.

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Egzon
Posted Fri, 06/25/2010 - 12:17

Hey right now im going to the gym 6 days a week each body part twice so is it ok if i just do the bicep portion of this without the triceps and twice a week instead of once? thx

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 06/29/2010 - 08:25

Yes.

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peter
Posted Mon, 09/06/2010 - 22:57

I currently do a workout in which i do triceps 3 x per week and biceps 2x per week
would it be ok to supplement one of each of these days to do the big arm routine along with my current workout?
thanks

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Wed, 09/08/2010 - 10:13

Hi Peter,

I wouldn't recommend any additional work above and beyond this routine. For extra work, you would be better off focusing on heavy pushing and pulling lifts like barbell rows and bench press.

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alex
Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:04

Do I work on both biceps and triceps the same day?

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 09:26

Yes, perform them on the same day. Once per week for the first 8 weeks, then twice per week for last 2 weeks.

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ak
Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 21:32

This workout is killer! But I have one problem. When doing the close grip bench I feel a lot of painful pressure on my elbows am I doing something wrong or is there an alternative exercise that will give the same result?

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Steve
Posted Fri, 05/28/2010 - 06:59

How close is your grip? I recommend about a hand's length shorter then your bench press grip. Also make sure you aren't flaring your elbows out.

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Abdullah
Posted Wed, 11/03/2010 - 05:21

Hi their. I'm a registered physiotherapist and I'm inclined towards tendinitis as the cause of your pain. the fact that we use our triceps as a form of stabilizing muscle during a lot of the exercises tends to take its toll through over-compensation resulting in a tricep tendinitis. The bad news is that if it is diagnosed as such,a minimum of 4 weeks rest is necessary.

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JIMMY PEREZ
Posted Sat, 05/29/2010 - 11:27

i have to just one time per week, or can i jump twice per since week one

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Sat, 05/29/2010 - 11:32

I would follow the program as structured.

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Bruce Groh
Posted Sat, 05/29/2010 - 14:48

To Doug: Thanks for your site. I have tennis elbow, from years of this
sort of training. I've trained since 86, so I guess things do happen.
I use to do 62-72 on the barbell curls, but now I have experimented with changes. I do a 12 lb warm up and than do 32 lbs, but I slow the execution of the rep down, so as to stimulate the muscle in a different mannor. I have also found quarter reps, to half reps or 21s have also been a nice change from the norm, but for my situation, I can't go crazy like years ago. I train using common sense on a whole. It's only my right arm that has this problem. It is not a constant pain, but if I do try to use a heavy weight, than I'll feel it. I guess at 58 I can't complain. I feel great and the desire to hit the iron is always there. Any suggestions? Thanks Bruce

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Steve
Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:04

Bruce...you're doing the right thing by experimenting. I had very bad tennis elbow and found that by cutting down on direct bicep work, and by adding in deadlifts, my condition improved dramatically. I can't say that this will work for you, but the best thing to do is to experiment.

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Chris
Posted Sun, 05/30/2010 - 23:24

Do you alternate biceps and triceps? ie. barbbel curl then close grip then barbell curl then close grip etc. ?

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Steve
Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:42

You could. Either way is fine.

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Joe
Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 12:33

Are you able to do work your biceps and triceps on different days, for example, can I do the tricep workout with my chest workout, and then my biceps with my back? Cheers

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Steve
Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 18:10

You could do that.

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bobzilla
Posted Fri, 06/04/2010 - 15:22

How do I add inches to my arm while keeping in tone with the rest of my body and adding all around strength?

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Sat, 06/05/2010 - 10:09

You need to stay persistent. Keep training week in and week out, using a battery of heavy compound lifts and eating slightly more then it takes to maintain your weight. Always push for more weight on the bar.

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peter
Posted Sun, 06/06/2010 - 11:33

hi steve,,,i have been training for 2 years i felt dramatic changes but not with my biceps and triceps i dontknow why???i used to train them 3 exercises each one 4 sets was it too much?thanks

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Steve
Posted Sun, 06/06/2010 - 11:55

That might be a bit too much. Were you focusing on heavier weight, and were you eating to gain weight?

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Lucas
Posted Tue, 06/08/2010 - 08:31

Hi Steve- Few quick questions

How long should it be before you start seeing results?

How much size increase would you expect after the 10 weeks?

is there any danger in doing the routine twice a week the whole way through?

cheers

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 06/08/2010 - 09:11

To maximize results never waste a set, always pushing for more reps and weight. Also, eat more then it takes to maintain your weight. A beginner who trains hard and eats properly can experience rapid gains, and if you do these things you will see good progress in 10 weeks. I wouldn't try to double up the routine. Run it as presented.

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nilesh
Posted Wed, 06/09/2010 - 02:11

hi steve, i am doing workout since 2 years . but not satisfied with result. my workout routine is chest-back,shoulder, bicep,tricep. shall i change routine. will try bicep-tricep on same day?

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Steve
Posted Wed, 06/09/2010 - 08:33

The best way to insure results is to push for progression of reps/weight on every set of every workout, and to make sure you are eating more then it takes to maintain your bodyweight.

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nilesh
Posted Sat, 06/12/2010 - 05:25

wouldi follow ur workout bicps tricep on same day

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danny
Posted Thu, 06/10/2010 - 08:37

steve for the last 3 weeks iam doing this routine. so i have to continue doing this routine every week? as you know that preacher is also a very important excercise for biceps but it is not included in this routine.so what are your suggestion about it. if you give us 8 weeks routine of biceps and triceps just like the shoulders routine.it will be good for us

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Steve
Posted Thu, 06/10/2010 - 14:24

Preacher curls are a decent movement, but I would run the routine as specified. The bicep movements in this workout are very effective.

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Josh
Posted Thu, 06/10/2010 - 15:11

how long intil i will see results

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Steve
Posted Thu, 06/10/2010 - 16:16

A beginner who trains hard and eats properly can experience rapid gains, and if you do these things you will see good progress in 10 weeks.

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Shane
Posted Fri, 06/11/2010 - 08:06

I do my workouts at home and I do not have a bench, so could I just do concentration curls instead of the incline dumbell curls? Also will this break my plateau? I'm stuck at curling 25 pounds and can't increase the weight without it killing my forearms.

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Steve
Posted Fri, 06/11/2010 - 08:07

Are you having a plateau with muscle size or with strength?

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Shane
Posted Fri, 06/11/2010 - 12:30

Hello Steve. I'm having a little trouble with both :( This is the only muscle that i'm having trouble with. I've been having this problem for about a month.

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Steve
Posted Sat, 06/12/2010 - 11:51

How is your daily eating? Are you eating like a bodybuilder and taking in protein and enough calories to grow? And are you working the entire body and doing heavy lifts for each bodypart?

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Dan
Posted Fri, 06/11/2010 - 19:04

Hi Steve, I usually work out at home and can do all the exercises apart from the tricep pushdown. Do you have any alternatives I could do instead of this?? Many thanks.

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Steve
Posted Sat, 06/12/2010 - 11:53

The French press would be a great choice.

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adam
Posted Sat, 06/12/2010 - 23:00

what do you think of the schedule that I am following:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: chest & triceps (bumbbell flys, bumbbell bench press, closed grip bench press, bar skullcrusher, french press)
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: biceps & shoulders (bumbbell curl, concentration curl, standing barbell curl, barbell upright row, seated dumbbell press)
and everyday I do 6 sets of floor crunches w/ 30 reps

i want to build up muscle mass as fast as I can but am I doing my muscles more harm than good by following this schedule?

also, i have seen improvement on my biceps & triceps but my abs don't seem to be improving.

thanks

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Steve
Posted Sun, 06/13/2010 - 11:23

Don't underestimate the impact that heavy back work has on arm growth.

Regarding your program, keep in mind that more is generally not better. Big arms are built with heavy compound lifts, and a solid muscle building diet. I would strongly considering backing off of the volume a bit.

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Michael
Posted Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:01

What about the legs ? Legs are muscles too

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MIchael
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 00:18

Can i take the concept of 5 heavy sets of 8 and 1 set of 20 and apply it to the rest of my routine?
will it be effective in building muscle/ gaining muscle mass?

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Steve
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:55

Absolutely! This is a solid approach.

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Jamie
Posted Wed, 06/16/2010 - 02:21

Gidday steve, I've recently read that close grip pull ups are a great compound workout for the biceps, would it be fine to throw in, for example, 5 sets till failure of close grip pull ups to this routine?
Cheers

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Steve
Posted Wed, 06/16/2010 - 10:47

Hi Jamie,

You can definitely work them in. I would use them instead in incline curls.

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