Arm Workout

arm workouts Best Arm Workouts with Weights — How to get 18 inch?

Huge arms – this is the symbol of bodybuilding in the mind of the majority of people. It’s not possible to imagine a modern professional bodybuilder without well-developed arms. It’s an unquestionable fact.

best arm workout The majority of people when either thinking or talking about arms imagine exactly biceps… Still, its contribution to your arm size is much less than the contribution of triceps. Unfortunately, people tend to forget about this muscle group. One more interesting moment is that our arms contain a fair amount of fat. All weight lifters working with heavy weights usually have huge arms; but if they ‘burn fat’ these huge arms the impressive 21 inch will turn into at least 18. Still, 18 inch arms is a very serious result; not everyone is able to achieve it. Why?

I won’t talk about experience of other athletes. Instead of this I’ll try to analyze my own experience. Probably you’ll find it strange but I believe that exactly this arms workout method will suit you as well. I know it because I myself was able to achieve 18 inch arms; and these inches are high-quality and lean, by the way.

There are people who are destined to have big arms: they can only bring a spoon to their mouths but their biceps will grow anyway. Such people got their magnificent biceps muscles from their mothers who, most probably, weren’t engaged into weight lifting at all. In general, it’s difficult to find among professional bodybuilders those who got their big arms with difficulties; still, there are some of them. The most vivid example is Larry Scott. Yes, the very Larry Scott whose name is given to a bench for preacher curls. This guy had great difficulties with increase of his arms size.

How can one reach the mark of 18 inches? – Now I’m going to tell you about the method I used to achieve this result. The two main rules of arm workout are the following:

First: you need heavy power workout – I don’t see any other way to progress.

Second: you need to workout your biceps and triceps together.

There was time when I used to divide arm training. I was sticking to this type for quite a long time (for about half a year) in order to be sure and not to make too hasty conclusions. And so what? – During this period my arms didn’t increase in size at all. And, on the contrary, when you workout biceps and triceps at the same time it’s possible to feel real pumping effect when your biceps are overfilled with blood as if ready to explode.

best arm workouts Power training is not an easy rule as it may seam from the very beginning. When training within the framework of power training method, it’s possible either to grow a lot or to become a handicapped person. It’s USELESS to grow muscle mass slowly and carefully with the help of miracle tools advertised in fashionable glossy magazines; they can be useful only for maintaining of the already existing muscle mass. But, anyway, an experienced athlete is able to do it with the help of only 10 lbs dumbbells. You don’t believe me? Then look at Vince Taylor: this guy admitted this fact himself. But if you really want to grow your muscle mass you need to grow training weights as well. Are there any other variants of increase of workout intensity comparable to power scheme? I think there aren’t – at least they would be less effective.

My Arm workout & Exercises

While the main factor of my arm workout was increase of training weights a set of my basic exercises remained unchanged for many years. I do the following exercises for biceps:

  • Standing Barbell Curls
  • Standing Hummer Curls
  • Alternate Dumbbell Curls
  • Scott Bench Curls

The first two exercises are the most important for arm workout. I never replace them with any other exercises and always try to increase working weights. What comes to the very end of my arm workout, it can be very different because I allow myself a lot of experiments. I can work with a rope, change my grip, work in favour of maximum muscle contraction and so on. What comes to triceps workout, the exercises are the following:

  • Close-Grip Bench Presses
  • triceps extension
  • Triceps Pushdowns

I do regularly only the first two exercises. In the end of my triceps workout, as well as of my biceps workout, I perform whatever triceps exercises I want; for example, I can do Dips or Vertical French extension

How is it possible to unite training of both biceps and triceps in one training session? ALTERNATION appears to be quite a useful method. Its main idea lies in the following (3 variants):



  • – you complete a biceps set and right after it (without a rest interval) a triceps set;
  • – you complete a biceps set; then you have a usual rest interval and complete a triceps set only after it;
  • – first you do a biceps exercise (several sets); then – a triceps one. After this you train biceps again; and then triceps again.

Doing this you kill two birds with the same stone: you powerfully train your muscles and are able to work with heavy weights during the whole training.

Increase and pursuit of heavy weights when performing arm exercises are dangerous. At first you need to train using light weights in order to learn correct performance technique and feel the way your arms are working. Too heavy weights will force you engage other muscle groups (back, legs, shoulders, etc.) to help triceps muscles. Learn to direct training loads to the target muscle. Both biceps and triceps are small muscles that can be easily injured. But still, if your aim is muscle size I advice you to risk.


Let’s talk about peculiar features of biceps training, about the way you should train these muscles.


arm workouts for men How often?

Biceps is a small muscle and its recovery potential is quite high. Still, I don’t recommend you to workout it too frequently. I often hear people advising to workout arms 2-3 times a week but I don’t think it’s reasonable. My experience shows that it’s better to train biceps either hard or often (but not hard and often at the same time). I share the opinion of Mike Mentzer. If your program includes only two arm exercises (one for biceps and one for triceps) then you’d better workout your arms twice a week. However, if it includes a lot of exercises and is characterised by high work intensity, you’d better stick to just one arm training each 5-7 days.

How hard?

You need to choose working weights for your arm exercises so that you can perform 4-6 sets of 6-10 reps each and your performance technique is irreproachable. Too light weights will not allow you to ‘break through’ your biceps: my long-term practice shows that the weight with which you can complete 12-15 and more reps stimulates biceps less than the one with which you are able to do only 6-8 reps. Still, there are exceptions to this rule. Take into consideration your genetic ‘rep corridor’.


Partial reps workout influence biceps development very positively. You can end each set with 2-3 partial reps or complete sets consisting of exclusively partial reps after 1-2 complete amplitude sets.

It’s also useful to perform sets with a stop in the middle of the amplitude movement (according to the principle of maximum contraction). Again, you can either use this technique for 2-3 finishing reps or organise a whole set according to it.

Biceps reacts to negative training (when weight lowering is performed slower than its lifting) very well.



arm workout routines When we bend our arm we engage not only biceps but also the muscle that’s situated under it – the brachialis muscle. It carries a half of force of an arm bending moment. But that’s not all! If we had only biceps and triceps on our hand it would look much less impressive and massive. No, they wouldn’t be small and thin but, at the same time, they wouldn’t look like arms having both well-developed biceps and brachialis muscles.

The brachialis muscle participates to a great extent in shaping of our arm. Its anatomical position (in case it’s well-developed) predisposes it to ‘push’ biceps outwards and by doing this to make it look more massive and impressive.

Besides it brachial muscle is situated so that it lies not under biceps but under forearm muscles as well. Due to this fact our forearm obtains conical shape and looks more massive.

If it would only biceps muscles responsible for the shape of our arms it’s even difficult to imagine what size they would have to be in order we could reach the desired image of our arms. It’s great that nature had thought about everything and no additional efforts are required from our side. In order your flexor training isn’t one-sided you need to include in it such brachial muscle exercises as:

  • Reverse Grip Barbell Curls
  • Scott Bench Reverse Grip EZ-Bar Curls
  • Hummer Curls
  • Cable Hammer Curls – Rope Attachment


Why do you think a lot of triceps workout admirers don’t succeed? Why don’t they succeed even if they stick to correct intensity and frequency of their trainings, give enough time for their muscles to recover and eat appropriately? The reason lies in their anatomy.

As you know from the anatomy course, triceps consists of three fascicles: the long, medial and outer ones. The most difficult thing is to train the long and outer triceps heads; these are the ‘laziest’ heads. Each triceps head fulfils different work depending on resistance required to be overcome. During every-day activity and light training almost the whole amount of work is done by the medial head with a small help of the outer one; the long triceps head isn’t engaged at all. In case of certain loads, however, both these heads start working much more actively and the medial head remains active anyway.

Any triceps workout should include such exercises that will load all three triceps fascicles more or less equally. Only by fulfilling this condition your triceps is loaded adequately and has a good impulse for growth.

In order your triceps workout is truly efficient you need to define which of your triceps fascicles is behind (most often it’s an outer one) in order to load it to the fullest extent.

Influence of exercises on different triceps heads (fascicles):
all three heads at once
Incline triceps extensionDips – Triceps VersionPush-Ups
the long head
Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Triceps ExtensionsReverse Grip Standing ExtensionsOne-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extensions
the outer head
Dumbbell triceps extensionsCable Rope Overhead Triceps Extensions
the outer and medial heads
Cable One Arm Triceps ExtensionsStanding triceps extensions


For beginners enough only one-two exercise for arms (for biceps and triceps)

Arm workout routines for beginners
Barbell biceps curl 2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10)
close grip bench 2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10)

After few months you can add two exercises (one for biceps and one for triceps)

Pre — intermediate level Arm workout routines
Arm workout routine # 1
Barbell biceps curlclose grip benchhammer curl

triceps extension
2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10) 2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10) 3 X (6-10)

3 X (6-10)
Arm workout routine # 2
Barbell biceps curlDips — tricepsreverse curl

2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10) 2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10) 3 X (6-10)

3 X (6-10)
Arm workout routine # 3
Dumbbell biceps curlclose grip benchreverse curl

Tricep Dips
2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10) 2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10) 3 X (6-10)

3 X (6-10)

and arm workout routines for intermediate level:

Intermediate level — Arm workout routines
Arm workout routine # 1
Dumbbell biceps curlclose grip benchhammer curl

triceps extension

Barbell biceps curl


2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10) 2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10) 3X (6-10)

3X (6-10)

3 X (6-10)

3X (6-10)
Arm workout routine # 2
Barbell biceps curltriceps extensionreverse curl

Vertical French extension

preacher curl


2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10) 2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10) 3X (6-10)

3 X (6-10)

3 X (6-10)

3 X (6-10)
Arm workout routine # 3
Dumbbell biceps curlTricep Dipspreacher curl

triceps extension

concentration curl


2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10) 2 warm ups + 4 X (6-10) 3 X (6-10)

3 X (6-10)

3 X (6-10)

3 X (6-10)


  • It’s not possible to equip a Volkswagen with a truck wheel; and it’s not possible to have 20 inch arms attached to a 140 lbs body. I mean that small muscle groups (such as biceps and triceps) grow only together with big ones (back, legs and chest).
  • Workout your biceps muscles as intensively as any other body part. Give preference to compound exercises with free weights. Try to reach absolute muscle failure in each exercise.
  • Alternate exercises for triceps and biceps muscles. If you do supersets for both muscles at the same time, you’d better start with biceps and then train triceps (but not on the contrary); otherwise triceps will be limiting your strength in biceps curls.
  • Your biceps will look longer and more buffed if you pay necessary attention to workout of the brachialis muscle – the muscle that’s situated on the outer arm side right under biceps. The main brachialis exercises are the following: Reverse Grip Barbell Curls and Hammer Curls.
  • Biceps functions include not only bending our arms in the elbow joint but also supination – turn of forearms outward. Don’t forget about it and, when you work with dumbbells, always try to turn your wrists to change the grip from a neutral one to a supinated one.
  • It’s very useful to extend your biceps muscles during rest intervals. You can do it by moving your arm as far backward as possible when holding a support. Such measure will increase blood circulation, improve delivery of nutrients to muscular tissues and speed up removal of toxins from muscles.
  • Perform the most difficult (compound) exercises in the beginning of your arm workout. Pumping can be left for finishing arm exercises.
  • It’s necessary to workout exclusively target muscles and try to reduce the work of other ones to the minimum. This means that your exercise weight should be such that you can work with it contracting only your target muscles (for example biceps). Perform all exercises in the same tempo: slowly and accurately. Always try to increase basic weights but never at the expense of correct performance technique.
  • Don’t take liberties with warm-up sets. It’s a dangerous mistake that can lead to a serious injury.

Arm workout routine is not so difficult as you can think, my friend. It was Dennis Borisoff and . I hope my workout recommendation will help you to achieve huge arms .

The Best Arm Workouts with Weights for men is Written by: Dennis Borisov
© April 2010 All rights reserved. Reprint article with link only.