Big arms can take someone’s physique to the next level. Our arm muscles play important roles in many staple lifts like the bench press, pull-ups, and rows. Despite using our arms for so many big lifts, arm muscles can lag for many people. Having a lagging muscle group can be frustrating, especially when you start noticing that your other muscle groups continue making progress.
If you’ve been wanting to unlock massive gains on your arms, you’re in luck. Fitness icons Frank Sepe and Sadik Hadzovic took us through an epic arms workout and shared key tips to maximize gains.
- Dumbbell Bicep Curl
- Preacher Curl
- Kneeling Bicep Cable Curl
- Cable Pushdown
- Machine Dips
- Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Note: You'll want to aim for 4 sets and about 10-15 repetitions for all of the exercises in this workout.
Sadik: We do alternating bicep curls and then after we’re done alternating, we do concentration curls where we keep our elbows tucked. If you want big arms, this is what you’ve got to do.
Frank: Keep your elbow in, concentrate, squeeze. You can’t cheat on this one, if you want, put your back against the wall so you don’t use too much momentum. On arm days I like to stick with the basics, but I change up the reps, tempo, and rest intervals. I take very little rest between sets. I try to get 3-4 exercises per body part and I’m an extreme volume trainer, I’ll go as high as 10 sets on some exercises.
Frank: I like isolation biceps exercises where nothing else moves aside from your biceps. I do a full range of motion on preacher curls for the first set. As lift the weight up, I make sure I squeeze my biceps. And then I’ll do half reps too, at the end of each set. I do half reps just to get extra blood flowing to the area for a pump.
Sadik: For this type of arm workout, I’d say you’ll want to do at least 4 sets of 10-15 reps per set.
Sadik: I try to keep the tension and focus on the bicep peak on this exercise. I flex through this movement, controlling the weight on the way down and then flexing it up. Remember to hold the contraction at the top to maximize tension on your bicep and then lower the weight slowly down.
Frank: Again, we’re going to talk about the importance of keeping your elbows static. Even on this exercise where you’re crouched, you want to keep your elbows in place to get a good contraction as you squeeze your biceps.
Frank: The key with this one is to do the movement controlled, elbows in, and squeeze. On pushdowns, I do it in two ways, either I do continuous tension where I don’t lock out or I squeeze and lock out each rep when I’m using lighter weights. It’s important on this exercise to not try using the full stack of weight and relying on other muscle groups to move weight. Cut the weight down, that’s how you learn and get definition.
Sadik: This movement mimics the side triceps pose that a bodybuilder would do on stage. You’ll want to mimic that pose in the final part of this exercise to get the most blood possible into the muscle.
Frank: I do the same thing as cable pushdowns with this one, lock the weight out and squeeze. I like to do higher reps with triceps exercises and get a lot of blood flowing to the muscles.
Sadik: This is one of my favorite mass gaining movements for the triceps. Nothing gets my triceps beefy like this exercise. On this exercise, I aim for 4 sets of 10 repetitions each set. It’s important to use the full range of motion and control the weight on the way down, this places the maximal stretch on the triceps. You also want to keep your core tight and engaged so that your body stays balanced.
Frank: I like to do movements like these that are heavier at the end of my arm workouts when my elbow is warmed up. A lot of people get “happy feet” on this exercise and move them around, keep your feet planted on the ground.
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