Having powerful arms is the desire of many men who train in the gym: but how do you proceed to be able to strengthen biceps and triceps, and therefore have powerful arms to show in public?
Here’s how to proceed in order to achieve this particular result.
Training Program To Be Able To Strengthen The Arms
In order to set up an arm strengthening program, it is necessary to consider the multiple factors of the training methodology that influence the achievement of this goal.
The first factor to consider is the weekly frequency of biceps and triceps training sessions: normally the weekly routine for the biceps and triceps involves the coupling of one and the other with larger muscle groups (for example pectoral-triceps, dorsal- biceps). A weekly session dedicated only to biceps and triceps training can be added to this classic coupling to emphasize the work on the arms.
The second factor to consider is the recovery between one training session and another: as regards training with overloads, my advice is always to recover at least 36 hours between one workout and another, to allow the necessary adaptations to the body and avoid overtraining.
The sessions do not have to be very long, just train up to a maximum of 50-60 minutes for the entire workout with about thirty minutes for the part relating to the arms (30 minutes refer to routines coupled to larger muscle groups).
In the training routine, the first exercise will always be heavy, multi-joint, to stimulate the white fibers to the maximum and stimulate increases in strength. The subsequent exercises will be of isolation and the intensity may decrease in favor of the volume, as the last exercise you can also insert exercises with the cables.
Another factor to consider is the relationship between volume, understood as the amount of training (therefore the number of exercises and series), and intensity, understood as the load to be used during the series. The volume will be higher in the first week of training, decreasing in favor of intensity as the weeks progress. For example, if in the first week you enter four sets per exercise using a certain training load, in the following week you can decrease by one set but increase the training load.
As for the selection of exercises for the biceps, exercises such as barbell curl, dumbbell curl, cable concentration curl can be performed, while for triceps forearm extensions with a barbell, dumbbells, combined with free body exercises such as the various forms of dip, on the bench or parallel bars.
Exercises To Strengthen Biceps And Triceps
The exercises to strengthen the biceps are of different types, from those with dumbbells or barbells to those with cables. However, it is advisable to always give priority to the use of the dumbbells and the barbell. The use of these tools in the gym is essential for increasing muscle mass and strength as exercises with barbells and dumbbells create greater muscle damage, due to the absence of pulleys, present in cable exercises, which dissipate forces, reducing tension and consequently muscle stress. It is advisable to use cable exercises in the last part of the routine, they allow you to safely complete the routine as they stress the tendons less than in previous exercises.
Some of the main dumbbell and barbell exercises are listed and described below:
EZ Barbell Curl
The first exercise to strengthen the biceps, certainly among the most effective, is the barbell curl. I entered the version with the angled barbell, in my opinion, less stressful for the wrists and for the tendons and ligaments of the forearm. The barbell curl allows you to lift high loads with both biceps, allowing for greater increases in strength.
The exercise must be done standing, with the torso straight and the legs slightly spread shoulder-width apart. You can flex your legs slightly while performing the exercise to “cushion” the joints.
Stand with your back perfectly straight and your knees slightly bent. In supination, grasp the angled barbell (EZ) a little more than shoulder-width apart.
Flex the forearms towards the arm without swinging the torso while exhaling, return to the starting position while inhaling.
Perform three sets of eight to ten repetitions, arriving at muscle failure within the repetitions indicated.
Use breaks between sets of about two minutes.
Alternating Dumbbell Curls
The second exercise to strengthen the biceps is the dumbbell curl, which can be done standing or sitting. The standing version is shown in the image. Hold two dumbbells, with both arms extended at your sides: the torso must be straight, and the back must not move during the lifting and lowering of the arm. Legs apart should be shoulder-width apart, and avoid unnaturally moving elbows
Alternately flex your arms, exhaling in the flexion phase and exhaling in the extension phase. To emphasize the work of the bicep, before flexing the forearm on the arm, slightly flex the arm up and forward. After about 10-15 degrees of arm flexion, begin flexing the forearm. The explanation for this emphasis lies in the fact that the biceps is a bi-articular muscle, therefore it affects two joints, that of the shoulder, with the flexion movement of the arm on the shoulder, and that of the elbow, with the flexion movement of the forearm on the arm.
Perform three sets of twelve repetitions per arm reaching muscle failure within the repetitions indicated. Use breaks between sets that are slightly less than two minutes
As a final exercise for the biceps, you can insert the curl into the cables. Place a busbar on the low cable. Grasp the bar with a supination grip, exhale flex your arms, inhale return to the starting position. Also in this case the bi-articular movement rule explained in the previous exercise applies.
Do two sets of twelve reps with breaks between one-minute sets.
French Press With Dumbbells
As the first exercise for strengthening the triceps, we find the French Press with dumbbells: I have included this version, certainly less famous than the one with an angled barbell because I believe that the barbell version can annoy the tendons of the elbows in the long run. Furthermore, the use of dumbbells, at the neuromuscular level, stimulates both arms in a suitable way.
The exercise involves the use of a bench, on which to lie down in a supine position. Subsequently, the arms must be brought upwards, above the head, and in each hand, a dumbbell must be held. The exercise consists in flexing the arms towards the head, forming 90 ° angles between the arm and the forearm: it is important to carry out the movement slowly so that any kind of injury can be avoided.
During the flexion of the forearm towards the head you inhale, during the extension, you exhale.
Perform three sets of eight to ten repetitions reaching muscle failure within the repetitions indicated, with breaks between sets of about two minutes.
Overhead Arm Extensions With Dumbbell
The second exercise useful for strengthening the triceps is the extension of the arms over the head with dumbbells. Bringing the arms up to the head allows you to activate the long head of the triceps more. In the routine for the triceps, it is therefore always advisable to include an exercise that involves lifting the arms up to the head.
Holding a dumbbell, then bring your arms above your head with your elbows at ear level. From here, extend your forearms while exhaling, return to the starting position while inhaling. Perform three sets of twelve repetitions arriving at muscle failure within the repetitions indicated, with breaks slightly less than two minutes between sets.
Push Down To One-sided Cables
To complete the routine, you can use a simple wire insulation exercise. Grasp the handle positioned at the high cable with a reverse grip (in supination), exhaling extend the arm, exhaling return to the starting position.
Perform two sets of 12 repetitions with one-minute breaks between sets.
In the second week, you can try to increase the loads while decreasing the volume of the training (for example if in the second exercise for the biceps in the first week you have performed three sets, decrease by one set keeping the repetitions unchanged and trying to increase the load).
As a final suggestion, I recommend not to forget the other muscle groups and to be constant in your workouts to get powerful arms in a short time!