What it takes to build muscle on your arms
There are ten essential guidelines that you can use to get the biggest gains in muscle mass. There are some bodybuilding guidelines that address training, and others that will address secondary issues that are vital if you want to build muscle on the arms. Your arms consist of three primary muscles, the forearm, the bicep, and tricep. It is important that you target each muscle equally to maintain proportion and ensure that your muscles work together just as they grow together.
10 Guidelines to follow to get ripped arms
The Anatomy of the Arm
When it comes to the anatomy of the arm most people focus their attention on working out the bicep the most. This is a mistake because the biceps only make up 1/3 of the muscle in your arm, the bigger muscle that is much more apparent is the tricep. The tricep makes up 2/3 of the muscle in your upper arm. It is important to workout your triceps just as much if not more than your biceps if you want to see explosive gains in muscle mass. The muscles grow more proficiently when they are being worked together. As you continue to work the muscles in your arm together, you'll notice that it really helps you get bigger biceps and triceps.
Work your biceps and triceps hard, but briefly
When you are lifting weights, focus on form and feeling the burn. Ever heard the phrase "no pain no gain", this is actually true however I do not mean that you should overexert yourself in the gym because that will lead to injury. Be smart about your routine, use good form, and push your muscles to the extent that you know you will be tired. Be sure that you do not push yourself too hard, you will injure yourself. To elaborate, you should lift heavier or do more reps than you are used to, the point is to progressively get stronger. To get bigger and stronger, you need to trigger a growth response and to trigger a growth response you need to workout slightly beyond your comfort zone.
The biceps and triceps tend to feel fatigue fairly quickly. Do not overwork your muscles because that may actually be counterproductive to your bodybuilding goals. When you overwork your muscles, you trigger a catabolic response that can actually damage muscle tissue. Shoot for a few high intensity sets that really challenge your arms in a reasonable manner.
Target Specific Muscle Groups
The biceps and triceps are two different muscles. Make sure you target each muscle equally, by neglecting the triceps you will be restricting the growth of your biceps. Make it a priority to target each part of the muscle during your workout. A good example for triceps would be skull crushers and tricep extensions. Biceps: Preacher Curls, one armed preacher curls. Forearm: Farmers walk exercise.
Workout to a variety of exercises (switch it up every 2 weeks)
Its important to keep your muscles guessing. Don't get too caught up in one routine that you do at the gym, by doing so your muscles will adapt and become accustomed to that workout and it will be hard for you to trigger or maintain a growth response in your muscle. Change your routine at the gym every 2-3 weeks and incorporate new exercises into your workout routine.
Use High Intensity Training Techniques
Remember it is important to shock your muscles into growth if you want to trigger a growth response that will build muscle. If you want to maximize your gains, its important that you make an effort to target individual muscles equally. For example, create a well rounded workout routine that works your chest and back one day, arms and legs another day, and abs on the last day.
Have a healthy balanced diet, with lots of protein
It is recommended that you consumer at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Ensure that you are eating healthy proteins, not just pizza all the time. Include Vegetables, milk, and fruit in your diet, not just meats. Some good sources of protein are chicken, steak, salmon, tuna, turkey, and beans. If you are a vegetarian, you can have almonds, beans, eggs, milk, tofu, and edamame is also a great source of protein. Be sure to limit the amount of tuna in your diet due to mercury content that naturally exists, and also be sure to limit eggs in your diet because of the cholesterol. But remember, its not all about a high protein diet, make sure you get a fair share of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Get Plenty of Sleep
There's an old saying: "Your body does not build muscle in the gym, it builds muscle in the kitchen". While this is a very true statement, it is not absolutely complete. Your body builds muscle when your sleeping too. When you are asleep, your body is restoring its energy supply, and your muscles are regenerating during rest. If you do not get enough rest, not only are you more vulnerable to injury but you will also be limiting your gains. It is also a known fact that bodybuilders try to get 8-10 hours of sleep during intense competition because its proven to allow substantially higher gains in muscle mass when compared to someone that did not get sufficient sleep.
We are have very busy lives and it can be hard to find time to eat 5 or 6 smaller portion meals that are balanced and nutritious at the same time. For this reason, supplements are a very good investment. They ensure that your body stays in an anabolic state when your on the go. "Anabolic meaning building muscle". When your body is in a catabolic state, your metabolism is breaking down muscle tissue to supply the body with energy. Some good supplements to take for optimizing gains in muscle would be Nitric oxide as a pre-workout supplement. Protein drinks or protein bars are definitely a must because protein plays such a significant role in building muscle. Glutamine is also good for preventing your muscles from going into a catabolic state. Consider getting a whey protein powder, it will really help you optimize your gains.
Trim body fat
If you are eating high quality proteins and your diet is healthy, you should be burning fat. This is assuming that you have a decent workout routine as well that keeps your metabolism running fast. One reason that the muscles on your arms (triceps and biceps) may not be showing is because you have a thin layer that is hiding the physique, by focusing on high reps you will be focusing on burning fat more than building muscle. By doing higher weight, lower reps (6-8) you will be encouraging muscle growth. Its always good to switch it up and go heavy one week, and go lighter the next if you want to trim body fat.
Another great way to trim body fat is to implement a decent cardio workout into your routine, riding bikes, swimming, running, daily walks can all go a long way when it comes to burning fat.
Make sure you are stretching before and after workouts
To avoid injury and maximize muscle gain make sure you stretch before your workout. This will also help you to maintain and improve flexibility. Its no good to go to the gym to lift weights when your feeling all stiff. Stretching is also good for strength training because your muscles tend to be stronger when they are conditioned and stretched.
Stretching will also prevents shortening of the muscles which can lead to injury later on. Last but certainly not least, when you strech your muscle fibers expand, which allows more room for growth. When you do not stretch, this can leave your muscles feeling trapped and therefore they will be less likely to grow when the muscle fibers limit the muscles growth potential.
Review on MuscleTech Anarchy Preworkout
High Protein Meals
Proper Nutrition for bodybuilding or building muscle
In order to build muscle, its very important that you have a nutritious diet with lots of protein. But for best results and for optimum health, its important that you focus on other critical nutrients besides protein. In order to make sure that you have a well rounded diet, I recommend including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. The more variety you have in your fruits and veggies the better.
With that being said, broccoli, bell peppers, whole grain rice and other nutritious foods are great foods that you should try to include in your diet. The more vegetables you keep in your diet, the less likely it is for you to have a nutrient deficiency. Banana's are a great source of potassium and are great before and after a workout because they help reduce cramps, and they contain many nutrients that aid the muscles during intense workouts. Apples are also great, I enjoy eating apples in the morning because they work well as a quick energy booster. Despite Fruits and veggies, here are some high protein foods that are great for anyone that is trying to incorporate a high protein diet.
Keep in mind it can be hard and expensive to eat 5 to 6 meals per day that are high in protein, for this reason I recommend getting a supplement to help you reach your goals when it comes to Protein Intake.
High Protein Foods That Are Great For Building Muscle
- Steak (great source of lean protein)
- Fish (also a great source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Garbanzo beans, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and Lentils. (Lentils contain more amino acids than any other bean)
- Lean Ground Beef (I recommend that you choose organic ground beef)
- Lean Turkey
- Protein Bars
- Eggs (Typically have about 6 grams of protein per egg, most of the protein is in the egg whites)
The richest sources of protein are toward the top of the list.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Stuart (author) from Santa Barbara, CA on September 24, 2017:
Thanks for the comment
Ahmad on September 23, 2017:
Gurjot brar on July 22, 2017:
How to make bodybuilder
manvendra singh on December 03, 2016:
I like It...
kjrzeek1 from New Jersey, USA on June 23, 2012:
Nice hub. I have tried everything, and I am in prety good shape but for some reason I cannot get my arms any bigger. I have nice definition and a solid peak but lack the arm size I would like. Gonna try some of your tips....thanks!
Farhad khan on June 01, 2012:
thanks advise me.
Stuart (author) from Santa Barbara, CA on February 20, 2011:
I definitely agree with you wpexplorer, especially since it costs more money to get all that food. Foods that are high in protein like fish and steak are also expensive, but luckily there are less expenses sources of protein like beans. That's a good way to mix it up as beans are also a great source of protein.
wpexplorer from USA on February 19, 2011:
Nice guide man. I definitely think most people fail in terms of eating. They workout really hard but don't eat enough food to let their muscles grow. Train hard and eat well and you'll grow.
Max on January 13, 2011:
These are all very true. Thanks for the tips they were helpful and I am excited to share them.
Jack on October 17, 2010:
Thanks for all the helpful workout tips.
feyin from Sweden on August 12, 2010:
Most of the topics are general for all musclebuilding. But it's OK.
bojanglesk8 on August 12, 2010:
Doug on July 22, 2010:
Getting ripped arms is easier than most people think if you follow the right diet and training routine
Sportswear on May 24, 2010:
Maybe the first blog that doesn´t just say to train your arms, but also shows the importance of a healthy diet and enough sleep. Thank you!
abdul on May 02, 2010:
thank for informing me. i will try this and see how it works.
Sam on April 09, 2010:
Thank you! Very informative. I will be sure to share some of this with my boy friend!
Lorenzo on April 03, 2010:
Thanks for the awesome link to the workout guides, I've been trying to get bigger biceps for weeks, and this advice really helped me.