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The arm workout for bigger and stronger arms

Are big, strong and defined arms top of your better-body wish-list? You’re not alone. And like most people I bet you’ve not yet achieved the results you’d hoped for. That’s all about to change, thanks to my tried-and-tested big arm workout. Use it start sculpting the bigger, more defined and more impressive arms you’ve always wanted, says New Body Plan fitness director Joe Warner

First things first. Most men wish they had bigger and more defined arms. Yet most men fail. They never achieve their number one fitness goal for one simple reason. They never use a training plan to help them achieve their goal.

Think of your body as a house. Would you start building without a blueprint? Of course you wouldn’t. You’d be mad to even consider it.

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It’s the same principle for your body. You need a step-by-step strategy to realise any fitness goal, whether that’s to build a big and broad chest, get rid of stubborn lower back fat, or set a  one-rep max in the deadlift. Without a plan, you will fail. No plan. No result. It’s as simple as that.

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Do you really want bigger arms but don’t yet have a plan? Use my tried-and-tested arm workout below to kick-start your new fitness challenge. Yes, you’ll need a proper progressive workout plan in order to fully maximise the size and strength of your biceps and triceps.

But my arm workout is a great place to start if you want to learn a little more about how a solid session should look on paper, and feel on the gym floor, if you’re serious about getting the bigger-muscle results you’ve always wanted!

Your complete guide to building bigger arms

How to do my big arm workout

This workout is made up of seven exercises. The first two moves are straight sets, so do all the reps of each set of the first move (1). Then do all the reps of each set of the second move (2).

The next two moves are paired into a superset, so do all the reps of the first move (3A), then all the reps of the second move (3B). Rest then repeat the superset for the stated number of sets.

The final three moves are grouped into a triset, so do all the reps of the first move (4A), then all the reps of the second move (4B), then all the reps of the third move (4C). Rest then repeat the triset for the stated number of sets to complete my big arm workout!

The chest and tricep workout for a broader chest and bigger arms

Before you begin my big arm workout!

Don’t forget to consider my expert tips ahead of your arm workout to get the results you want faster!

Don’t lift too heavy

It can be tempting to select the heaviest weight possible when training arms. But this isn’t the best approach to build big arms. It’s much more important to hit the rep target for the all sets while using perfect form and having stuck to the tempo and rest periods detailed.

These key workout variables have been specifically considered to maximise the amount of time your muscles are exposed to bio-mechanical tension. And it’s this tension which damages the individual muscle fibres, which then grow back bigger and stronger. So don’t forget: tension is far more important than weight!

Adjust how much you’re lifting

A lot of people don’t like changing the weight they’re lifting between sets. But if you fail to hit the rep target on a given set, and have more sets of that exercise to do, you’ll have to reduce the weight you’re lifting. Why? Again, it’s far more important to do all the reps per set stated to cause the maximum muscular damage to your biceps and triceps. So don’t be afraid to adjust the weight down if you need to.

And if the weight felt far too light, make sure you go slightly heavier for the next set. A good rule of thumb that the weight is right is that for the first couple of sets you feel like you have one or two reps left in the tank, but for the final couple of sets you’re having to give it your all to get all the reps done.

Take a mini-rest mid-set

Arms burning but you’ve still got a few reps to do? Don’t drop the weights and quit on the set! This is where so many people go wrong. They give up at the first sign of a struggle so never force their muscles to grow bigger and stronger.

Once you reach that point, instead of stopping, simply pause in the start position of the exercise and take three really deep breaths. Think about that oxygen replenishing your muscles and focus on how much you want these results. After those breaths resume the set and get those final reps done!

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The big arm workout that really works!

1. Smith machine close-grip bench press

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 90sec
Lie on a flat bench in the Smith machine. Hold the bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip on the bar.
Unlock the bar from the rack and lower it down to your chest in two seconds under complete control.
Press the bar back up until your arms are fully straight, then immediately begin the next rep.

2. Underhand lat pulldown

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2011 Rest 90sec
Sit at the lat pulldown machine holding the long-bar attachment with a shoulder-width underhand grip.
• Keeping your chin and chest up, pull the bar down to chin height, leading with your elbows.
Pause at this bottom position for one second, squeezing the bar as hard as you can to place greater tension on your biceps and forearms.
• Reverse the movement back to the start position in two seconds, fully controlling the ascent of the bar back up to work your arms harder.

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3A. Lying EZ-bar tricep skullcrusher

Sets 3 Reps 8 Tempo 1111 Rest 0sec
Lie flat on a bench holding an EZ-bar in both hands with a shoulder-width overhand grip. Your arms should be fully straight with the bar directly over your chest.
• With your elbows fixed in position and pointing straight up, lower the bar down towards the top of your head. It’s really important that your elbows don’t move: the only parts of your body that should move are your forearms.
• Once you’ve lowered the bar as low as you can press it back up to the start position then immediately start the next rep.
• Do all 8 reps then immediately begin move 3B, using the same weight for both moves.

3B. Lying EZ-bar tricep press

Sets 3 Reps 20 Tempo 1111 Rest 90sec
Lying on the flat bench with the bar held in a shoulder-width overhand grip, lower the bar down to your chest then press it back up again. That’s one rep.
• The weight might feel too easy at first, but you’re doing 20 reps so the set will get very challenging as it progresses.
• If it helps do the reps in 5-rep chunks, taking a big breath after every 5 reps for a mini rest.
• Once you’ve done all the reps rest for 90 seconds then repeat the superset twice more.

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4A. Standing EZ-bar bicep curl

Sets 3 Reps 6 Tempo 1111 Rest 0sec
Stand tall holding an EZ-bar in both hands with a wide overhand grip.
• Keeping your chest up and your chin up, and with your elbows tucked in tight at your sides, curl the bar up to shoulder-height.
• Pause at this top position for one second, squeezing the bar as hard as you can to tense your biceps hard, then slowly lower the bar back down under complete control.
• At the bottom fully straighten your arms by flexing your triceps then immediately start the next rep.
• Do 6 reps then immediately begin move 4B.

Check out our ultimate guide to the barbell bicep curl!

4B. Standing dumbbell bicep curl

Sets 3 Reps 8 Tempo 1111 Rest 0sec
Stand tall holding a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip.
• With your elbows tight to your torso curl the weights up to shoulder height.
• Pause and squeeze the dumbbell handles hard for one second.
• Slowly lower the weights back down until your arms are fully straight then start the next rep.
• Do 8 reps then immediately begin move 4B.

Get more expert advice with our dumbbell biceps curl masterclass!

4C. Standing dumbbell hammer curl

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 1111 Rest 90sec
Change your hand position on the dumbbells to a neutral (palms-facing) grip.
• Curl the weights up to shoulder height, squeeze the handles for a second, then lower them back to the start position.
• It’s likely you’re going to be struggling at this point because of fatigue from the first two moves, so take your time of these reps. Use the mini-rest method I’ve explained above, and mentally break the set down into two mini-sets of six reps, or four mini-sets of three reps, if that helps you dig deeper to get the set done.
• Once you’ve done all 12 reps rest for 90 seconds then repeat the triset twice more to complete my big arms workout!

Get more bonus tips and advice with our dumbbell hammer curl masterclass!

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