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8 Week Big Arms Programme

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How to get big arms

With summer coming those guns will soon be getting some well deserved airing. If you haven't been working on filling your t-shirts over the last few months, then read on. This programme is all about getting the most from your arms, without jeopardising the rest of your physique. No one wants to have to wear jeans all summer because the legs have been long forgotten.

This programme is arms heavy, so unless you want to arm yourself with some bigger bi’s and tri’s for the summer months, it may not be for you. Conversely, it’s really important that you complete all session if this is the programme for you. There's no point just picking the arms sessions and neglecting the others body parts, first this won’t help you keep the other muscles groups up with the arms, but more importantly, it could lead to muscle imbalances and injuries.

Failure

To illicit some muscle growth, we want to take the muscle to failure. Training with weight and rep ranges that are comfortable won’t do the business. The muscles can cope with that and thus don't need to develop. You have to step out of your comfort zone whilst still ensuring good technique and quality reps. Match that with going to failure, and follow a nutrition plan to support muscle growth and results will ensue.

Weekly Routine

Get the most out of your training by focusing on different areas of the body on different days. For example:-

  • Mon: Legs/Shoulders
  • Tue: Arms
  • Wed: REST
  • Thu: Triceps/chest
  • Fri: Biceps/Back
  • Sat: REST
  • Sun: Arms

Legs/Shoulders

The following exercises are easily combined to work the legs and shoulders:-

  • Back squat
  • Overhead press
  • Barbell Glute bridge
  • Push press
  • Leg extensions
  • Lateral raise
  • Leg curl
  • Face pull
  • Calf raise
  • Dumb Bell shoulder press

Arms

Some classic weights for the guns:-

  • Incline Dumb Bell curl
  • Diamond press-ups
  • Chin-ups
  • Dips
  • barbell curl
  • Skull crusher
  • Rope cable curl
  • Rope cable hammer curl
  • Preacher curl
  • TRX tricep ext

Triceps/chest

Try mixing up these tri and chest moves:-

  • Close arm bench press
  • Bench press
  • Bar cable triceps extension
  • Incline Dumb Bell press
  • Close arm press-ups
  • Dips

Biceps/back

Burn the biceps and back with a combination of the following:-

  • Barbell curl
  • Chin-ups
  • Dumb Bell hammer curls
  • Seated cable row/seated row
  • Rotating Dumb Bell curls
  • Wide grip lat pull down

Form

Ensure good form for each and every exercise. Do not pick a weight that is too heavy causing technique to suffer. For example, if you are hunching the shoulders when curling to help lift the weight, the biceps are not doing the work in isolation. Lower the weight and ensure the only joint moving is the elbow. Equally, if on the squat exercise you cannot go to 90 degrees, lower the weight and do the reps fully and correctly with the correct tempo. No half reps. No poor reps.

Tempo

Tempo is one of the most overlooked yet fundamentally important things to get right. Do not just move the weight up and down as quickly as possible. Use the tempo to increase the time under tension and thus work the muscles more which will in turn illicit growth.

The tempo throughout this programme is 2-0-1-0. A two count to lower the weight (the eccentric portion when the muscles are under tension) and a one count to raise the weight (the concentric or lifting portion). The zeros indicate no stopping at the top or bottom, just keep the weight moving to maintain the tension in the muscle.

Sets/Reps

Weeks 1-2

Perform 3 sets 12-15reps of each exercise

NB. if performing 15reps easily, up weight so you failure between 12-15reps on each exercise.

Weeks 3-4

Perform 3 sets 8-12reps of each exercise

NB. should be increasing all weights from weeks 1-2 to ensure rep range 8-12reps isn’t overshot.

Weeks 5-6

Perform 4 sets of 5-8reps of each exercise.

NB. should be increasing all weights from weeks 3-4 to ensure rep range 5-8reps isn’t overshot.

Weeks 7-8

Perform 3sets of 8-12reps of each exercise with the SAME weight at weeks 5-6 where possible. If form is really poor or only 5/6reps are being made then lower weight, otherwise try to keep higher weight for these last two weeks.

Repeating the programme

One of the biggest mistake people make is using the same sessions or programme over and over. It’s better the follow a programme for a period, then change to something else so the muscle have to re-adapt. It’s then ok to come back to something. If you liked this programme, have at least a week off before repeating it. Ideally though, try something else for four weeks before coming back to it.

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