I know we all would love to have guns for days, meaning, arms of steel that can crack walnuts. And to keep it real, it’s hard as heck to build muscle in the arms anywhere near some of your favorite sports heroes and top models out there without some serious hard work, And even then, it is still an arduous task. But I’m here tonight to spill the beans and school you on what it takes to make the progress you desire.
Before I start, let’s breakdown a couple of exercise principles that you can’t ignore. These must be in place in order to get any results, no matter how hard you work. First up, training frequency.
For the best results, 2-3 times a day is the recommended frequency for strength training and adding a little cardio 1-2 times a week if you really want to burn fat and/or lose weight.
If you begin your routine and get results early, remember this – you’re not on easy street yet. You have to continue to push the envelope. Add a rep or 2 to the mix, and/or increase the number of sets. Once you result begin to plateau, pick up the frequency even more, to possibly 4-5 times per week. Shocking the body is key!
How about exercise tempo? Tempo is the speed of the repetitions. Speed is everything when it comes to muscle building. Fast and slow twitch muscles respond to varying speed. Large motor units (fast twitch) respond to explosive, lighter weight, fast lifts and smaller motor units (slow twitch) love slower, heavier lifts. Varying the type of contractions (eccentric/concentric) will definitely do the trick.
Lastly is progression. The simplest thing that you can manipulate is the amount of weight you are lifting. When you finish your last rep and your muscles are not begging you to stop and take a long break, you aren’t lifting enough. Increase at a rate that is both heavy enough to challenge you, yet light enough that you can manage the lift throughout the full ROM.
So let’s get on to the exercises shall we?
- Dips – Dips are a great workout because they can help to add definition to the tricep, bicep, deltoids, chest and back. You can vary the speed, number of repetitions, weight and angle of movement in order to maximize results. How to Perform – Look straight ahead & keep your body as straight as possible while using the normal shoulder width grip or closer. You want to come down as deep as you can (preferably until your biceps touches your forearms) to get a better triceps workout but coming down far enough at least until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle is good enough. Once you can do anywhere from 5-to-15 body weight dips then it’s time to start doing weighted dips if you really want bigger arms & chest.
- Pull ups – Pull ups are compound exercises that work not only work your back and arms (latissimus dorci, bicep/tricep) pull your body up while your abs prevent your lower back from arching. How to Perform – Proper Pullup form starts hanging on a pullup bar. Grip the bar shoulder-width apart with straight arms. Pull yourself up by pulling your elbows to the floor. Keep pulling until your chin passes the bar. Lower yourself all the way down until your arms are straight. Then pull yourself up again. You can emphasize your arms by gripping the bar with your palms facing up. These are Chinups and they’re effective for building bigger arms.
Lastly and one of my favorites, Push-ups. You may recall that I did an instructional YouTube video on how to perform it properly. I will attach it shortly. Check it out, after I pass on the knowledge.
- Push-ups – Push-ups are one of the best exercises ever invented because they work a multitude of muscle from the arms and chest, to the core and even legs. They require zero equipment while building strength in all of the right places and they have hundreds of variations to keep things fresh. How to Perform – When down on the ground, set your hands at a distance that is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your feet should be set up in a way that feels right and comfortable to you. Keep your body in a straight line – from the top of your head down through your heels. Your head should be looking slightly ahead of you, not straight down. Now, slowly lower yourself down to the floor, barely touch it with your chest, and then come back up. At the top of your push up, pause. Your arms should be straight and supporting your weight.
When it’s all over (pain and sweat), following these simple three exercise faves will have you seeing results in no time. Goodbye flab, hello fab!
Here’s the link to the push-up vid I promised you. Stay safe! https://youtu.be/BGnPlGigzpg