The One Thing that you are (most likely) neglecting if your Arms aren’t getting any bigger


Are you one of those who are having trouble getting any results from their arms’ training? Are you wondering why all of those curls that you are doing doesn’t seem to add even a micro-millimeter to your upper-arm circumference? Then you are probably neglecting one thing, and don’t worry, it’s going to be very simple to fix.

I had to be honest with you; I wasn’t always a rational thinker when it comes to fitness and lifting. Like you I went to the weight room in my younger days doing random, probably useless stuff.

I remember that I even had a pair of 18 pound dumbbells that came from my uncle. Those were the old school pure steel and smelled like rust. And I did nothing but bicep curls with it. Actually I did seated concentration curls with it – not like I knew what that was called back then! All I know was that if I was able to do 100 reps with those continuously then I would get bigger arms!

But don’t get me wrong; what I was doing actually helped my overall physique and “maleness” .I was still doing better than those other teenagers doing endless curls with a beer-bottle in parties! And definitely I was doing better than those other kids playing computer games from sun up to sun down (actually from afternoon till morning). And I started with that 18 pounds almost struggling to get one rep, but in a few weeks, me and my cousin, Andrew were able to graduate from that and do endless curls instead with uncle Jun’s 25 pounds (which was the heaviest pair that he’s got left with him at that time).

Now, those curls really added a little bit of shape and made our arms look like arms and not sticks. But after a while it got a little bit frustrating as we got used to doing that over and over again and YES even reaching 100 reps!

I am not talking about error in rep range here because clearly we were not doing stuff correctly in the first place. It was helping us but only up to a certain point and we wondered what we were doing wrong?

By the way, we have also touched upon the most scientifically proven efficient rep and set range for great results in this article.

I now wrote this post because like us, I still see intermediate members of our gym make the same assumptions as we did when we were 14, and that is:

“Want bigger arms? Then just do a lot of BICEP CURLS!!”

Although these kids have great “bicep” programs, and are using the best “bicep” exercises, they clearly fall deep into the mirror syndrome, where a practitioner only trains the muscle groups that he sees on the mirror (or only the obvious ones).

What most lifters don’t realize is that arms do not only consist of just the biceps brachii. A large sum of your upper arms actually belongs to your Triceps!

Triceps brachii is located on the opposite side of your biceps and it’s the muscle group that assists in every pushing motion done with your upper limbs. Like what its name implies, it has three muscle heads (no; that does not refer to people addicted to weights). Biceps Brachii has two heads so from that alone we can clearly see that your triceps are bigger (or should be bigger) than your biceps.

agonist - protagonist bicep tricep

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Actually this is one of the things that I have outlined in my article about why your arms don’t get bigger, check that one out as well!

So to train your biceps obsessively in the quest for bigger arms while taking your triceps for granted will not bring you much success. Some even say that huge triceps separate men from boys, and that, my friend is a fact.

Lee priest Arms so big with a car

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Training biceps will only develop two “heads”, imagine fully developing three additional muscle heads? I am no math expert but I can say that you would be more than double the amount of gains that you would receive!

So to avoid misbalancing your bicep-tricep development I recommend to train your biceps and triceps together once a week or once every training cycle. What I usually do is a lot the last training day of the week solely for shoulders, biceps, and triceps. I think triceps is one of my strong points so I always train it last. Since my biceps actually lags far behind my tris development I would make sure to hit that while I am fresh but if you have been neglecting your triceps for quite a while, you definitely should hit your triceps first!

Your Triceps regimen doesn’t need to be that long, remember that your arms contain more slow twitch and endurance type fibres so it actually responds well to being stimulated more often every week than other major bigger muscle groups like chest and back. But as a general guideline you should do fewer sets with your arms since they are a smaller muscle group and they have already been partially stimulated by your major body-group exercises like squats, bench presses, rows, etc.

My triceps regimen would tend to look like this:

Skull crushers 3 sets of 10-15

One hand overhead triceps extension 3 sets per arm 12-15

Cable pushdowns with the cable machine for 3 sets 12-15 often times drop-setting the last set for 3-4 drops

Then I’m done! Eat your eggs, people!

A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.
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2 thoughts on “The One Thing that you are (most likely) neglecting if your Arms aren’t getting any bigger

  1. “I was still doing better than those other teenagers doing endless curls with a beer-bottle in parties”

    I laughed my ass off with that.

    As far as i see it, i will have to agree with you in one thing and disagree in another.
    I totally agree that triceps can contribute to having bigger arms based on the fact that they are bigger than biceps.

    But i don’t think that guys lack of big arms because of not doing triceps and focusing on biceps. I know guys who do a lot of tricep work that still have small looking arms.

    I think that the problem is caused because of two other factors
    1) Nutrition & 2) Workout Intensity,Rest and Tempo.

    1) If you don’t get enough necessary nutrients to support muscle growth how exactly will the muscle grow?

    2) On the other side if you are working your triceps and you take long rest periods(rest), you execute the movement really fast(tempo) or you use inapropriate weights either very light or too heavy(intensity) you will end up staying the same.

    There are also other factors that play a significant role but i don’t want to make this comment huge and hard to read so i am skipping them.

    1. HAHAHA
      I am reallly glad you loved that!!
      🙂
      Anyways I agree with everything you said. But anyways most newbs I see are guilty indeed of ignoring tris,, especially the ones below 18 years old.

      But I totally agree with this one as well:
      1) If you don’t get enough necessary nutrients to support muscle growth how exactly will the muscle grow?

      You see, your body will like put an extra inch around your arms for every number (it depends on the person, most say 10 pounds tho) of pounds you gain in lean mass.

      Cheers!

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