The BIG arms workout
Bring out the big guns and add significant size to your arms in 4 short weeks
How it works?
Get ready to replace all your T-shirts as the workout you’ll find over the next 17 pages guarantees serious growth. Beware though, it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. It’s been designed by Alwyn Cosgrove who is one of the most in-demand strength coaches in the global fitness industry.
You only need to train 3 days a week, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be slacking.
“You’ll need the rest of the week to recover and grow,” says Cosgrove. The workout is designed to not only target your arms, but also strengthen the supporting cast of muscles that will help them to grow. Keep track of your progress using the chart at the end of the workouts.
Don’t forget that in order to help your arms grow at the fastest possible rate you also need to get the right nutrition, supplements and gear. In short, you are holding in your hands the complete manual for making your arms grow.
What to do…
Three workouts every week for 4 weeks. First up it’s the Size Workout, which is focused on the muscles in your arms. Then you’ll do the Strength Workout which builds power all over your upper body. Finally, return to the Size Workout, for more arm-specific work. Make sure you leave 1-2 days recovery between each session. Perform alternate sets of exercises with the same number. For example, do one set of 2A followed by a set of 2B, until you’ve completed all the sets in that pairing, then move onto the next set of exercises. Make sure you stick to the specified number of repetitions, sets and rest periods included with each exercise description, as they’ve been calculated to be the best combination for achieving the goal of getting bigger arms, fast.
biceps, lats, forearms, abs
Some trainers believe you shouldn’t even touch a dumb-bell to do curls until you can do at least 6 of these. Grab a pull-up bar with an underhand grip and hang from it with your elbows straight. “Adjust your grip if you’re struggling, the narrower it is-the easier the reps will be,” says strength coach Brendan Chaplin, who has trained everyone from Olympians to MMA fighters.
Bend your elbows to pull your chest to the bar. Pause then slowly lower to the start position. Superset this with 1B, below. The first superset should be of 8 reps of both exercise. The second, 6 reps and the last, 4 reps. Rest 2 minutes between each superset. Make a concerted effort not sway back and forth: It’ll ensure you’re working your biceps to their maximum as well as giving your abs a workout to boot.
chest, triceps, shoulders
Grab the parallel bars of a dip station and lift yourself so your body weight rests on your hands. Keep your arms straight but not locked. Bend your knees and cross your ankles. “This keeps your body stable and stops you resting your feet on the floor, which will make it easier,” says Chaplin.
Keeping your elbows close to your sides, slowly lower yourself for a count of 3 seconds until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Take 1 second to press yourself back up, keeping your elbows unlocked at the top of the move. Superset this with 1A, above. This exercise will work a sleeve-swelling two-thirds of the muscle in your upper arm, while also targeting your chest.
shoulders, abs, lower back
Sometimes the biggest gains come from the smallest movements. Sit in a power rack or Smith machine and set a bar on the safety pins at ear level. With a wide-armed overhand grip, press the bar above your head and then slowly lower it back to the pins. However, this isn’t an excuse to rest.
“Be sure to keep the tension on your muscles in the bottom position,” says Cosgrove. Your shoulders, abs and lower back are all supporting players in the game to get great arms, so it pays to strengthen them in this way. Do 3 no-rest supersets with 2B, below, completing 8 reps of each exercise. Rest for 1 minute after each superset.
lats, triceps, biceps, back
This multi-muscle move is a good example of how your entire body supports your arms. Stand holding a barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the hips until your back flat, bend forward at the hips until your back is almost parallel to the floor. Superset this exercise with 2A, above.
“To maximise the tension on your back your knees should be slightly bent, your arms straight under your shoulders and your palms facing you,” says Cosgrove. Slowly draw the weight up toward the sides of your chest. Pause, then slowly lower the bar and repeat. If your arms start to tire, check your posture-you’ll find that resetting yourself will give you a few extra reps. This is excellent move for strengthening both triceps and biceps.
MUSCLES WORKED triceps, forearms
A What goes up must come down and that’s never truer than when trying to inflate your arms. Do this by lying face up on a decline bench and hold dumb-bells over your head with your arms straight-you want every single rep to finish as close to this position as possible.
B Lower the dumb-bells until your forearms are beyond parallel to the floor. “The decline of the bench means your triceps have to work harder against the resistance of the weights and that of gravity,” says Cosgrove. Do 2 sets of 6-8 reps then 1 set of 15 reps. In between each set do a set of 3B, below. Rest 30 secs after each superset. This is the classic tricep-builder.
biceps, lats, forearms, abs
A Good things come in threes and big arms are no exception. “This three-exercise sequence forces your biceps to work at different angles, to elicit even growth,” says Cosgrove. It’s tough so park your ego and use a weight lighter that you’d usually curl. To start, sit face up on an incline bench and perform 4-6 curls.
B Adjust the bench so it’s flat and do another 4-6 reps sitting up with no support. You’ll be recruiting new muscles so it’ll be easier that the final reps of the first set.
C Now set the bench to an incline again. Lie face down holding the same weights. Crank out a few more curls. That’s 1 set: do 3, alternating with 3A, above. Rest 30 seconds after each superset. Throw in a few extra curls if you’ve got them in you but don’t overdo it. Walking around looking like C-3PO for days is no laughing matter.