An INCH on your arms in 40 minutes
These 4 key exercises will boost the size of your guns in just one super-fast session, ready for your big night out
You’ve already done the hard yards by slaving away in the gym so if you’re after a little boost before a big night out, you’re more than entitled to it. That’s why we asked Brad Morris, a sports scientist and former UFC heavyweight, to create a quick-fire arm workout that will buff up the size of your arms and give you an ego boost before any occasion. “To get the biggest possible muscle pump you should follow two rules: Use high reps and rest little,” says Morris. “This works the muscles intensely and forces them to engorge with blood so they appear fuller.” As well as forcing blood into the muscles, research in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that when your muscles contract they can create a vacuum that pulls the blood into the muscle, so the more reps you do the stronger the vacuum and the bigger the size increase. Perform both supersets one after the other then rest for 1-2 minutes and go again. This is the protocol that professional bodybuilders follow before they step under the spotlights, where there’s absolutely no place for imperfections to hide. And if it can do that for them, imagine the impact will have on you.
Do 4 sets of each move resting for 1-2 minutes between each superset
1A HAMMER CURLS (20 REPS)
A Grab a dumb-bell in each hand, wrists facing one another, and lie back on a bench set to 45 degrees. This angle takes the force of motion out of the equation and makes your biceps work harder.
B Bend your elbows to curl the weights up. Pause when they’re in line with your shoulders. “Squeeze your biceps at the top of the rep to add extra tension, then lower to the start,” says Morris. For biceps that will stand to attention at every raise of your pint glass.
1B DIPS (20 REPS)
Muscles triceps, chest, shoulders
A Position yourself over the parallel dip bars, elbows locked, feet crossed. You can do dips on the side of a bench instead if you’re just starting out.
B Bend your elbows to lower yourself as far as is comfortable. “Keep your body upright to work your triceps more than your chest,” says Sam Jones, director of Blue Skies Health, Fitness and Well-being. Your sleeves will be tighter and your chest will get a little touch up.
Do 4 sets of each of these moves straight after one another resting 1-2 minutes after each superset, for big arms, fast
2A CABLE ROPE CURLS (15 REPS)
A Stand in front of a cable crossover station and attach a rope to the lowest setting. Grip either side of the handles in each hand and stand upright with your elbows straight.
B Bend your elbows to curl the handles as high as you can. “Don’t let your elbows flare out as this puts less tension on your biceps and more on your shoulders,” says Jones. Slowly lower the handles back to the start position but don’t let the weight rest on the stack so you keep the tension on your biceps. This will give you the bulging biceps you need to carry that tray of drinks without a single spill.
2B PUSHDOWNS (15 REPS)
A This will ramp up the size of the muscles that will prop up the bar later, so don’t be afraid to load up on this one. Attach a straight bar to the high pulley of a cable crossover machine so that it rests just below your chest height. Hold the bar with a shoulder-width over hand grip.
B Tuck your elbows into your sides and push the bar slowly down towards the floor until your arms are completely straight. Pause at the bottom and tense your triceps, then slowly release the bar back up to the starting position for arms that will always stand out, no matter how crowded the pub is.
What is ‘the pump’?
That’s the tight, congested feeling you get after you’ve thrashed a muscle, almost like it’s eaten too much. “When you work a muscle to fatigue, the way you should have throughout this workout, your body shuttles blood into it to deliver the extra fuel and oxygen it needs,” says Morris.
“All this extra blood is delivered by veins that also swell, due to the increased blood flow, and contribute to the muscle’s ramp up in size.” So pump it up to feel your arms straining against the sleeves of your shirt all night.
Maximise your assets
Since you’ve got the workout down pat the only other thing you can do to keep your muscles looking extra large is to take a ménage a trolls of arm-maximising supplements that work together. The first item on your list should be nitric oxide which research in the journal Circulation found dilates your blood vessels, letting more blood into your working muscles.
The second supplement you should be stocking up on is creatine. Research in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found part of the reason it’s great for muscle-building is because it traps fluid in your muscles.
The final item on your list should be glycerin-creatine’s bedfellow. A study at the University of Glasgow reported that a creatine and glycerin combo increased body fluids by almost 50% more than creatine or glycerin alone. Take 5g of each to maintain that post-workout size for as long as the pubs are open.