How do I build arm muscles?
While you think that I’ll be listing some of the best isolation exercises that target your arms, we have to go over that misconception. The best way to build muscle mass in your arms is by gaining more muscle mass overall.
Isolation exercises may have their benefits, but big compound movements are the key to significant muscle mass gains. Squats, deadlifts, and bench presses are prime examples of these movements that best build muscle mass.
The primary factor that makes these movements so effective is that they require you to use multiple muscles at once. Because more muscles are working together, you’re able to lift heavier loads than in a curl or an extension. And because you’re lifting heavier loads, this leads to a noticeable increase in muscle mass.
Here’s a list of the best compound movements you can incorporate to build overall muscle mass:
- Barbell hip raises
- Bench press variations (flat, incline, and decline)
- Barbell hip thrusts
- Parallel dips
Isolation exercises are still good for you.
While compound exercises can lead to the most overall gains, isolation exercises specifically target selected muscle groups. The secret to doing isolation exercises that maximize your gains is to start heavy and end light. With the key to muscle mass being heavier weights, this should come as no surprise. To get those massive arms of your dreams, you’ll need to push the envelope here.
For triceps, this means doing these first:
- Close-grip bench presses
- Floor presses
- Board presses
- Overhead dumbbell presses
- Skull crushers (lying tricep presses)
- Tricep pushdown
And for biceps:
- Straight-bar curls
- EZ-bar curls
- Alternating dumbbell curls
- Hammer dumbbell curls
Do not overtrain.
You should only work your arms out for a maximum of two weeks per week. The muscles in our arms are more prone to overworking, as they’re involved in nearly all upper body movements.
Nutrition above all else.
“20% of your body is made in the gym, while the other 80% is made in the gym.” You’ve probably heard that phrase at least once in your life. Well, it’s true. The truth is that no matter how hard you’ll work out, you’re limited by your food intake.
It’s a rule of thumb to go on a caloric surplus or consume more calories than you burn when your goal is weight gain. You’re probably looking at 3000 kcal/day for most guys. If you’re skinny and have a fast metabolism, you might need to consume even more.
Muscles grow when they rest. It’s advisable to take ample time to recover, especially from an especially stressful workout. Research suggests that recovery time should be directly proportional to the intensity of your workout.
Track your progress.
To ensure the efficacy of your exercise and diet efforts, you will want to measure your arms’ circumference every week. While tracking your results, you can tweak your diet or workout program depending on your goals.