21-Inch Arms are the Holy Grail in Bodybuilding
Whether you aspire to become Mr. Olympia one day, or have not intentions of getting any closer to a stage than your local beach. Huge, round biceps and thick hanging triceps are a prized possession to proudly show off. Only a chosen few ever reach or surpass the 21 inch arms mark. Give yourself the best possible chance of achieving this elite status. Put these 21 tips into practice.
Work the muscle, not your ego.
The biggest obstacle to building bigger arms is universal among lifters across the globe. Using terrible form and not putting the biceps and triceps under actual tension. Using more weight than can be handled in decent form is the underlying issue. Nobody cares how much weight you use for curls. They see your arms. Lighten up and do it right.
There is a subtle difference between merely using good form and truly working the muscle. You need to feel the biceps and triceps muscles both contract and stretch under resistance as you do your reps. Mimic the motion of a barbell curl, slowly flexing the biceps as you curl upward and consciously stretching them as you lower your arms.
Give them their own day.
You’re not doing your arms any favors by working them after larger torso muscles like the chest, back or shoulders. By then you’re already partially fatigued. Devote a dedicated workout day to arms. Training only arms on that day.
Hit them twice a week.
Work them twice a week. You do not need two dedicated arm days, but rather have one full arm day. You could do biceps after chest, or triceps after delts. Only doing three exercises for three sets each on those days. Two dedicated 21 inch arms workouts is probably too much for most men to recover from.Do a longer, tougher workout, along with a shorter one that isn’t demanding on your muscle recovery.
Heavy chest and back work
Triceps get plenty of work when performing press movements for the chest. and biceps involved in all types of rows and pulldowns for the back. If you slack on those workouts, you’re missing out on residual work and growth for your arms.
Deep tissue massage, a staple among top-level bodybuilders. An effective way to break down fascia to allow additional muscle growth.
Many bodybuilders advocate aggressive, painful stretches held for 30-90 seconds, often with weight. Be careful with this, especially if you’ve never stretched arms out before. Keep in mind of static stretches. Do not add movement to a weighted stretch.
Take it EZ
Barbell curls, the absolute king of muscle building movements for the biceps. The straight bar can cause wrist pain in many. The angled contours of the cambered bar, better known as the EZ-curl bar alleviates wrist pain. While allowing you to work to your full potential on curls.
Having large deltoids, chances that they rob the stress from your biceps in any standing curl. Make sure you work bi’s rather than your shoulders. Upper arms braced an immobile, like preacher curls.
A 200 pound guy might be able to do weight dips with 100 extra pounds. Or close grip presses with 315. It’s doubtful he would ever use those weights for skull crushers or cable pushdowns.
Try Higher Reps
Alternate Bi’s and Tri’s
You start each workout with a finite amount of energy that becomes depleted as you go along. Alternate movements for the biceps and triceps. One gets to rest and recover for a few minutes while the antagonistic muscle is worked.
Press on the Smith
Close grip bench press certainly adds bulk to your triceps. But many have a hard time keeping the barbell balanced and end up struggling. Better off doing close grip presses on a smith machine. Balance is taken out of the equation so you can build your tri’s.
Decline Bench for Better ROM on Skull Crushers
Most effective triceps extensions is the “skull crusher”. Standard version done on a flat bench is that the range of motion (ROM) is incomplete. On a decline bench, a complete ROM is provided.
Beware of Overkill
A good rule of thumb to follow is that when you lose your pump and can’t get it back, you’re done for the day.
If your arms haven’t grown in a long time, the best course of action might simply be to stop training them anywhere from a week to a month. Sometimes your muscles “reset” and make gains once you resume direct work.
Cheat at the Right Times
There is a time for good form and a time to loosen it up a bit. Introduce “cheating” style reps within a set. After you have taken it to failure with good form. This allows to take the muscle further and work it harder. As the other muscle groups are fresh and can assist in the process. Cheat when it gives the target muscle more work. Not less.
If you never do any type of overhead extensions movement, you’re missing substantial development. Opt for overhead dumbbell or barbell extensions.
Hammer It Out
The brachialis is a muscle wedge between the long head of biceps and lateral head of triceps. A direct way to train this muscle is via hammer curl or reverse curls. When fully developed, the brachialis can add a solid inch or more to your upper arm measurement.
Believe Your Arms Can and Will Grow!
You must have faith and believe that your arms can and will grow. If you have doubts, or worse, are convinced that any efforts will be in vain, that negative poison will sabotage your efforts. Either consciously or subconsciously, you will hold back from giving it your all. Why bother? Your arms won’t grow anyway! You’re doomed! Squash that nonsense right now. Your arms are not finished growing yet. They are a work in progress. It’s up to you to force them to grow through intelligent strategy and pure hard work. Apply these 21 tips, and the gains will come.