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How To Build Bigger Arms: Intense Workout and Techniques

November 4, 2019

Massive arm workout hammer curls

Are you frustrated with the size (or lack of size) of your arms? You train hard, but they’re just not growing like you expect.

Building bigger arms can be tricky. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

I’m going to share one of my super intense arm workouts that you can do, and the techniques you need to use to blast your arms into growth.

You’ll also learn some things you may have not known that’s will really help you pack on arm size.

Why Your Arms Aren’t Growing

There are 2 key reasons why your arms aren’t growing as you want. And it goes beyond just doing a bunch of curls and extensions twice a week.

  1. Your arm workout needs to be more intense
  2. There are exercises outside of just arm exercises that are required to build arm mass

I’m going to cover all of this for you below!

Bigger Arms Workout

You’ll find the exact arm workout below that’s going to help you build bigger arms. I’ll give you the exercises, sets, and reps.

And you’ll also see a third column that lists the techniques, where applicable. I’ll explain those techniques more, and I’ll also elaborate more on each exercise after the workout.

There’s also a reason for the exercise sequence to build more muscle. I’ll cover that too!

Workout Tips:

  • Don’t worry about the weight; it’s best to go lighter and do it right!
  • Regarding the above note, force your muscles to do the work. Don’t just lift weights mindlessly from point A to B.
  • Get a full range of motion on these exercises for the best results. No half reps.
  • Contract your muscles at the peak of and throughout each rep.
  • Focus and concentrate during the workout. Don’t let anything distract you. Yeah, this means no checking social media during this workout, or any workout!
ExerciseSets x RepsTechnique
Reverse Overhead Rope Extensions
superset with Rope Pressdowns
6 x 10-12supersets
EZ Bar Curls4 x 10drop set on final
Single-arm Cable Pressdowns4 x 10rest-pause on final
Dumbbell Hammer Curls4 x 10drop set on final

Arm Workout Video

Exercises and Techniques for Bigger Arms

You probably noticed that there are 3 techniques you’re using in this arm workout. And this is really what makes the difference between doing a regular arm workout and taking your workout intensity to the next level that leads to bigger arms.

  1. Supersets – Going from one exercise to another with no rest in-between
  2. Drop sets – Doing a set, reducing the weight by about 30% and doing another
  3. Rest-pause sets – Doing a set, resting about 10 seconds and doing another with the same weight

All of these techniques serve a specific purpose. And that purpose is to exhaust your muscles. You can learn more about these and more techniques on my post 7 Weight Training Techniques That Increase Intensity.

Arm Exercises Explained

Now let’s dive deeper into each arm exercise above. I’ll also go into more depth with the techniques for these exercises.

You’ll learn why these exercises are some of the best for building bigger arms. And I’ll also elaborate more on the techniques you’re using.

Supersets Reverse Overhead Rope Extensions and Pressdowns

Overhead Reverse Rope Extensions

Rope Pressdowns

If you want your triceps to be super pumped then start out with supersets. And what makes this awesome is you can superset these 2 exercises without having to go to another machine (as seen in the video).

  • The reason you’re using ropes here is that any exercise using the ropes allows you to get that extra squeeze by slightly twisting your wrists.
  • In this case, you’ll twist your wrists outward.
  • When you do that, you can feel your triceps contracting more, giving you that burn and pump.

Lastly, you may be wondering why you’re doing 6 sets here (which is ultimately 12 total sets when you count the supersets). I’m a firm believer that your triceps need more attention and stimulation that your biceps.

Triceps are the larger of your arm muscles. So it makes sense to train them with more volume. And starting out with these supersets are a perfect way to make sure that happens.

EZ Bar Curls

Next is a basic bicep building exercise. I venture to say it’s the best exercise for building bigger arms. EZ bar curls.

You can also do these with the regular Olympic barbell, or any straight bar. But you may find that the EZ bar is not as rough on your wrists and this grip tends to contract your biceps a little better.

  • On that final set, you’ll do a drop set.
  • So make sure you set your weights up accordingly.
  • For example, if you’re curling 60 pounds make sure it’s easy to strip weight off to make it about 40 pounds for your drop set.
  • Or if your gym has EZ bars already set with weights, just have that lighter bar close to you for that final set.

Single-arm Cable Pressdowns

Doing single-arm cable pressdowns will really allow you to bring out those cuts and striations in your triceps. Just make sure you’re doing full range of motion, and flex your triceps at the peak of the rep, when you get all the way down.

  • One your final set you’ll do a rest-pause set.
  • You’ll basically bang out a set with one arm, rest 10 seconds and go again with that same arm (using the same weight).
  • Then repeat with the other arm.

Dumbbell Hammer Curls

Dumbbell hammer curls are one of my all-time favorite exercises for biceps. This exercise adds more shape to your biceps, both that round muscle belly and the peak.

It’s important, like all of these arm exercises, to do controlled reps and really force your muscles to do the work.

  • Now, on your final set, you’ll do a drop set.
  • Rather than performing that drop with one arm at a time, perform this final set with both arms simultaneously.
  • This will give you that burn and pump in your biceps.

Sequence of Arm Exercises for the Pump

Another thing you may have noticed different about this arm workout is that you’re alternating biceps with triceps. The traditional bodybuilding workout has you training one first followed by the other (ex: all biceps followed by all biceps).

But I prefer to alternate these exercises. I’ve found that this gives you a better pump and your arm muscle will feel and look full. I make the joke in the video that after this workout your arms will get stuck going through the gym door!

How to Build Even Bigger Arms

Barbell Rows back exercises for bodybuilding mass

Doing arm workouts are awesome and a lot of fun. But if you’re neglecting other body parts like chest, and especially back then you’re limiting your arm gains, big time.

Here’s the deal…

  • When you train chest and shoulders (pushing movements), you also train triceps
  • When you train back (pulling movements), you also train biceps

So if you really want bigger arms it’s crucial that you train chest, shoulders and back hard and heavy.

More Exercises for Bigger Arms

Make sure you’re doing these exercises below. This is where your real arm mass is going to come from. And when you train arms directly, you’ll be just adding in those details.

  • Chest (Triceps): Bench press, dumbbell press (also the incline version)
  • Shoulders (Triceps): Overhead barbell press, seated dumbbell press
  • Back (Biceps): Barbell rows, dumbbell rows, lat pulldowns, seated rows, T-bar rows

Your Next Arm Workout

One thing I didn’t mention earlier is that I rarely train just arms. I’ve always felt that would be wasted time in the gym because arms are such a small muscle.

So I recommend either doing a ‘bro-split’ like chest and arms, or shoulders and arms or back and arms. If you do this, you could split the above arm workout in half:

  • Day 1: Chest with the first triceps and bicep exercises
  • Day 4: Shoulders with the second triceps and bicep exercises

Or you could do a compound exercise before training arms, like deadlifts. You can read about some of these options in my post 3 Reasons Why Training Arms Only is a Waste of Time.

All that said, it’s certainly okay to train arms on their own day. You could fit in an arm workout at the end of the week, which is common. Or you could do an arm day between your heavy training days.

Either way, I encourage you to try this arm workout. And more importantly, integrate these techniques. I think you’ll notice some serious arm gains within a few weeks.

**If you’re ready to start an intense 12-week program, check out my premium programs below:

Hardcore Muscle Building Program
Lean Muscle Building Program

Excuses Don’t Build Muscle,


About the author

Jason Stallworth

Hi, I'm Jason Stallworth and I created The Muscle Program in 2010 for the purpose of helping you build muscle. I know first-hand how weight training and being in the gym has shaped my life in more way than one. And here is where I share that experience with you so that you can continue pushing yourself and becoming the best version of yourself each day!