How to Build Arm Muscle

how to build arm muscle

There is no muscle more important for your overall appearance or that’s more of an impression maker than your arms. Big arms are a sure fire way to start catching people taking a second glance, but many people are lost when it comes to how to build arm muscle. Building muscle is one of the hardest things to do and to many, can be much more difficult than losing weight. There are several factors that will affect the size of your muscles and things you may be doing or not doing right now that may be preventing you from getting huge arms.

Compound Movements First

Even when you are trying to get bigger arms you need to prioritize compound movements in your lifting routine. If the first exercise in your routine isn’t a heavy compound lift then you need to change your routine. Compound lifts are any exercise that involves movement in multiple joints at once, such as the bench press which moves your elbow and shoulder in unison, unlike isolation exercises such as curls, that only move one joint at a time, your elbow. Since you can use substantially more weight on a compound exercise than an isolation exercise you tap into more growth potential and stimulate the muscle fibers more [1]. For example, by performing bench press first in your workout, not only are you working the muscles in your chest and shoulders, but you are also putting more of a load on your triceps than you would be able to with an isolation movement like tricep extensions, which will help your arms grow more rapidly than if you were only targeting them with isolation movements.

High-Frequency Isolation Movements

One huge key to growing a specific muscle group is to train that muscle group more frequently, but use fewer sets each time. Let’s say, for example, that right now you are doing three sets for biceps and triceps twice a week, you are doing a total of six sets for each muscle group of the arm per week. If you did only two sets for each but you did it four days a week, now you are doing eight total sets for the week on each muscle, and the muscle is being worked twice as often. This means your body will be building up those muscles more throughout the week than if you had only worked them twice

Eat More

What might be the most critical component of building more muscular arms is probably also the most overlooked. It is absolutely essential to eat plenty of food anytime you are trying to build muscle. In order to build muscle, your body needs to be taking in more calories than it is burning. Without proper nutrition it will be much more difficult or impossible to build any muscle, so be sure to eat plenty of food and protein if you want to build bigger arms [2].


    1. Resistance Training with Single vs. Multi-joint Exercises at Equal Total Load Volume: Effects on Body Composition, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and Muscle Strength
      Antonio Paoli,1 Paulo Gentil,2,* Tatiana Moro,1,3,4 Giuseppe Marcolin,1 and Antonino Bianco5 Front Physiol. 2017; 8: 1105. Published online 2017 Dec 22. doi: [10.3389/fphys.2017.01105]
    2. Muscle protein synthesis in response to nutrition and exercise
      P J Atherton1 and K Smith J Physiol. 2012 Mar 1; 590(Pt 5): 1049–1057.
      Published online 2012 Jan 30. doi: [10.1113/jphysiol.2011.225003]
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