Training arms for big biceps and triceps

Published: 28th June 2010
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Before we start....... if you're looking to get a great pair of arms then remember not to neglect your triceps. A good arm ratio to train for is 40% bicep to 60% tricep. It's an easy task to develop good strength in your arms, but it's a hard and painful task to develop a great, Spartan pair of arms, worthy of showing off. There are key training points and methods that you must remember when bodybuilding your arms.

* TEMPO: There are three phases, the lift, the transition and the lowering. To ensure you get the most out of every rep you should be counting the time taken on each phase. Try following the method shown below.

1. The lift: Take two seconds to lift the weight (Also known as Positive or concentric)
2. The transition: Once you have the weight at the top, pause and contract the working muscle for at least one second. This will enhance the shape and tone of your arms and improve your peak.
3. Lowering: This is the most important part the lift (Also named negative or eccentric phase) when increasing muscle strength and size. You should take 3 - 4 seconds when lowering the weight.

* FORM: This is crucial and most people don't train with correct form, just trying to lift as much weight as possible, even a power lifter has a form to keep to. A main point to remember when training your arms is that the muscles really only work around one joint, the elbow. You should think of this joint as a leaver. This leaver starts at your elbow moving your forearm and wrist, so try to keep your shoulder to elbow still. If you do this right you will feel the muscle in use burn and fatigue.

* CHEAT: It's ok to cheat if it's your last rep of your last set. Now when I say cheat I don't mean hips and back swinging like your thrusting into the mirror, with your elbow coming up to your chin! What I mean is a slight swing or lift of the elbow to push through that last rep.

* NEGATIVES: Negatives are an amazing tool in any workout, ensuring to shock your muscles into gains! This technique concentrates on using the negative phase (Eccentric, Opposite to lift) to strengthen and condition the muscles whole length.

1. Lower the weight for 6 - 8 seconds.
2. Using your other arm quickly throw the weight back up and start the rep again.
3. Perform this for 6 - 8 reps.
4. Only perform one set.
5. The weight should be approximately 105% of your regular one rep max.

They are easily used in an arm workout and can be done on your own by using dumbbells. Only perform this technique once a month, due the strain and maximal lift and ensure you are properly warmed up.

* TECHNIQUES: Use a variation of techniques like the one mentioned above. Burnouts, forced reps, supersets, rep range etc...The list goes on. The thing to remember is never let your muscles adapt to your training. Change your routine at least every 4 weeks.

* FEED YOUR MUSCLES: To build quality muscle you have to feed them in order to help them repair. OVER EAT. Take a look at our diets and recipes on

* REST: A common mistake by most people is that they train their arms too often. Don't forget that when you perform a back or chest exercise you are using your arms as a secondary muscle. Try to give your bicep / tricep rest for 48 hours after your workout. (unless on performance enhancing supplements).

* SUPPLEMENTS: I am a firm believer in people not using supplements before they need them, just like not running before you can walk. They should be used once you have developed a good training mentality and workout ethic. When you do use them ensure that you pick one to suit your lifestyle and goal e.g. if your forgetful or have a busy lifestyle try an "all in one". Take a look at our supplement page.

So now we have gone through the key points put them into practice and be patient. Massive muscles and Spartan, athletic strength can't and won't be built over night. If you need any further help with your training don't hesitate to message me through my Fit2talk profile by searching "Fit2talk" on the people search.

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