The 5 Arm-Building Principles
1 – Do Max Effort Compound Movements
It’s no mystery that compound movements work, but here we’re specifically referring to maximal sets of 1-3 reps. Yes, you need more than higher-rep sets of concentration curls and kickbacks for big arms.
Examples: 2-3 rep max chin-ups and pull-ups, 3-rep max dip variations, 1-3 rep max press variations. These workouts should be lower in volume compared to your accessory work, but the intensity is high.
2 – Rotate Your Accessory Work
You have an endless amount of isolation exercises that you can use, but consistent rotation will allow you to avoid accommodation, as well as figure out which variations are most beneficial for your body. Your intent here is time-under-tension with single joint work. It should be higher in volume than max effort work, but intensity will be much lower.
3 – Perform Loaded Carries
Regularly including loaded carries like farmer’s walks and overhead kettlebell carries has a number benefits, but these movements often get overlooked. Your intent here is to increase work capacity and add an isometric component.
4 – Add Some Tendon Work
Performing high volume tendon and ligament work will serve two purposes, the first being to reduce the risk of tendon/ligament issues, but also to further induce hypertrophy. The pump you’ll experience here is awesome. Second, you’ll be able to facilitate recovery, thereby improving your resiliency to later handle more volume. An example would be doing 100 single-arm pushdowns with a band for triceps.
5 – Grip Work
This can easily be accomplished by factoring in loaded carries or using an inexpensive thick-grip training tool. Stimulating the forearms and grip will carry over to stimulating bicep growth and tax your arms in a new way. Plus, having a badass set of forearms is never a bad thing.