When I first started my journey — as a late teenager — I focused on endless bicep curls. I mean, I believed that burning away at bicep curls would give the size I wanted to get the attention from girls.

But building biceps alone will not give you big arms.

Triceps are actually a larger muscle group and emphasizing triceps training will get you building big arms in no time.

This small distinction has huge consequences.

For years I had small arms. I spent way too much time burning away at high repetition sets, with too much attention to biceps and little to no attention on triceps.

Let me show you my skinny arms (and my goofy look!)

There is no secret to building great arms. The way to do it is to focus on heavy compound lifting, focusing on rep ranges in the 5 to 7 range and getting enough protein and overall calories. The end.

Don’t be like most guys that burn away at bicep curls with little to no attention to their daily protein intake or overall calorie intake (calorie surplus).

In terms of exercise choice, it is quite small. You only need to do a handful of exercises for biceps and triceps, along with getting enough protein and overall calories. You’ll get incredible results.

Just a quick reminder that nutrition is also key to all weight training. Getting enough protein and enough calories will ultimately determine whether your arms will grow or not.

If you neglect protein requirements and do not get enough overall calories (calorie surplus) then this guide will be a waste of time. I wrote an article and filmed a video course showing you exactly how you can get enough calories.

If you are in a calorie surplus and getting enough calories… read on!

There are a few points I need to point out first.

  • Always full range of motion. There are no shortage of guys that do bicep curls at half range of motion or with no motion (they swing from their hips which gives the illusion of a curl!)
  • You can train your arms (biceps and triceps) twice per week — but make sure you give them their 24 to 48 hours rest before training them again.
  • Direct forearm training is not necessary as forearm muscles are trained indirectly with other exercises such as the deadlift, bench press, and so forth.

Summary of what I have been doing for the past few years:

  • Train biceps and triceps 1 to 2 times per week
  • One day of minimum rest between bicep or triceps training sessions.
  • 3 minutes rest between sets
  • 5–7 reps per set
  • 16 sets total for both biceps and triceps!

In terms of programming; biceps can be trained on the same day as Back and triceps can be trained on the same day as Chest. Biceps and triceps can also be trained together. If you would like to learn more about a fantastic beginner weight training program, go here.

MEAL PLANNING MASTERY

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Exercise List for Biceps

The following is a list of exercises that are my personal favourites which have contributed to the biceps and triceps I have today.

Click on each exercise to watch a video demonstration.

Exercise List for Triceps

Click on each exercise to watch a video demonstration.

This is how I would setup my “arms” day. So, training biceps and triceps in the same training session.

  1. Barbell Bicep Curls

Warm-up sets

Once I complete the 3–4 warm-up sets for my biceps. I jump straight into the “work” sets

4 sets @ 5 to 7 reps each (with 3 minutes rest between sets)

2. Tricep push-down

Warm-up sets

Once I complete the 3–4 warm-up sets for my triceps. I jump straight into the “work” sets

4 sets @ 5 to 7 reps each (with 3 minutes rest between sets)

3. Concentration Curls

4 sets @ 5 to 7 reps each (with 3 minutes rest between sets)

4. Close-grip bench press

4 sets @ 5 to 7 reps each (with 3 minutes rest between sets)

My Closing Thoughts

What I usually do is I will train biceps, then rest 1 minute, train triceps, rest 1 minute, then back to biceps, and repeat.

Rather than waiting 3 minutes — switching between biceps and triceps will give the other muscle group time to rest and essentially shorten the total amount of time I spent in the gym.

So in the sample training day above — there are only two exercises for biceps and two exercises for triceps. There’s not much to it.

So pick any two from the exercise list for biceps and any two from the exercise list for triceps and apply the same programming (i.e., once per week, 5 to 7 repetitions per set, 4 sets per exercise).

And remember — you are lifting in the 5 to 7 rep range. Once you reach 7 reps, you will increase the weight by 2.5 kg or 5 lbs and you will strive to increase the weight on a week to week basis.

Consistency is king. Stay on top of your protein and get enough calories. I know I rant on about protein and “overall” calories but you will spin your wheels if you focus only on training strategies with no regard to nutrition.

MEAL PLANNING MASTERY

NEVER PAY FOR A MEAL PLAN AGAIN! LEARN HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN DIET PLAN WITH FOOD YOU LOVE TO EAT TO LOSE FAT AND GET INTO SHAPE.

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