#1: Work the Right Muscles the Right Amount
I’m sure if I asked you to flex, but without specifying a muscle group, you would flex your biceps. Time and time again, people who want bigger arms focus almost exclusively on their biceps. What so many people fail to realize is that your triceps, not your biceps, are the largest muscle group in your arms. So, what does this mean?
If you want bigger arms, work the biggest muscles in your arms the most. Now, I’m not saying you should completely neglect your biceps, or your forearms either, but you shouldn’t let your arm workouts revolve entirely around your biceps – you’re just not going to see the results you’re after from doing that.
#2: Don’t Do an “Arms Day”
The standard bodybuilding approach to gaining size is working each muscle group only one day per week and totally obliterating that muscle group. Following this logic, you would have one day designated to your arms and you would make sure you destroy your arms at the gym. This approach is fine if you’re a pro bodybuilder who only has to focus on working out and you can afford only the very best nutrition and supplements to aid in recovery. However, it’s not a good strategy for the average guy.
Here’s why: If you’re an ordinary guy with a fulltime job, social life, family life, etc… do you really want your arms to be so sore you can hardly move them for three to four days of the week? What if you’re a line-cook or a carpenter? What if your girlfriend or neighbor needs you to help them move some furniture or carry some heavy bags? What good are you going to be if anything like these examples pops up the day after your “arm day”?
Essentially, you’re setting yourself for overtraining. One day, sooner or later, you’re going to need your arms for something functional while they’re still burning from your arm-blasting session at the gym. You’re better off training your arms two or three days per week with less intensity.
#3: Mix Up Your Arm-Workouts
Some guys will just stick to compound movements, like bench presses and pull-ups, while other will just stick to isolated movements, such as curls and tricep extensions. Both styles are good in their own right, but having a mixture of both will give you the best results overall when it comes to size and strength. If you just focus on compound exercises, you won’t get the size you desire. If you just focus on isolation exercises, you’ll gain some size but not much strength.