Your Scientific Guide to Gargantuan Guns

Big Ol' Biceps

As far as reps and sets, use lower rep ranges most of the time (4-8). 8-12 sets per week should be plenty.

As you heard in the video, I’ve classified the biceps exercises into two different categories:

  1. Stretch. Meaning the movement emphasizes the lengthened position the biceps.
  2. Contract. Meaning the movement emphasizes the contracted position of the biceps.

I only gave you four examples in the video, but there are dozens (if not hundreds) of different variations that you can use to grow those bis.

There are two ways you can tell if the exercise has a more stretch or contracted emphasis.

  1. The position of your shoulder joint. If your shoulders are neutral (upper arms at your side) or extended (upper arms behind you) then the lengthened position will be emphasized. If your shoulders are flexed (upper arms in front of you) then the contracted position will be emphasized.
  2. The line of resistance. If the line of resistance is coming from behind you 9the lengthened position will get the emphasis. If the line of resistance is coming from in front of you, the contracted position will get the emphasis.

As was said in the Wilfredo Fitness Leg Training Guide, the angles mean everything when it comes to picking an exercise. Now you know how to do that for your biceps.

BUT, I do suggest that you stick mostly to the bicep exercises that emphasize the lengthened position (incline and bayesian curl).

“How come? Shouldn’t I do both if I want to maximize my arm growth?”

Yes, you should do both. But, chances are, you’re already doing A LOT of bicep work in the contracted position.

Think about it. In just about every back exercise, you flex your elbows (which is what the bicep is responsible for).

Plus, in just about every back exercise, your upper arm starts out in front of you (meaning that your shoulder joint is in the flexed position). The line of resistance is coming from in front of you as well.

Therefore, your biceps are already getting a lot of work in the contracted position.

Training the Triceps (The Biggest Muscle in Your Arms)

The triceps have been reported as having a fast twitch orientation, which means you should train them using heavy weight. Use low rep ranges (4-8), and fewer sets (8-12)

Just like the contracted focused bicep exercises I showed you, you probably won’t be needing the Close Grip Bench Press (CGBP).

Most males do a LOT of pressing for their pecs and shoulders. So doing the CGBP is probably redundant.

(Of course, if you don’t do a lot of pressing, this rule doesn’t apply to you).

More of your time should be spent doing tricep exercises in which your shoulders are flexed (upper arms out in front of you).

“What’s so special about tricep exercises that involve shoulder flexion.”

Because the long head of your triceps (part of your tricep that hangs down when you flex your biceps) does the majority of the work when your shoulders are flexed.

Also, the long head of the triceps takes a back seat when the shoulders are neutral or extended. You know, like in EVERY tricep exercise other than the overhead extension variations.

How to Consistently Make Your Arms Stronger (and Therefore Bigger)

It’s been said time and time again on this website. Getting stronger is the best way to measure muscle building progress.

If you want big arms, you better make sure you’re getting stronger consistently.

But, there’s one major issue when it comes to getting stronger biceps and triceps.

Micro-loadability

Learn More About Micro-loadability HERE.

Micro-loadability refers to how small the weight increments are in the context of how much weight you can lift.

Here’s an example,

You can deadlift 300 pounds. The smallest weight plates your gym has are 2.5 pounds. Therefore, you can go up or down by 5 pounds. Compared to 300 pounds, five is a very small amount. Adding that five pounds to your deadlift is not a big deal.

300 lbs/5 lbs = Good Micro-loadability

Let’s look at a bicep curl.

You can do standing dumbbell curls with 30 pounds. The next set of dumbbells is 35 pounds. That five pounds is a major jump when compared to the 30 that you started with.

35 lbs/5 lbs = Piss poor Micro-loadability

Most arm exercises have awful micro-loadability potential, which makes it difficult to get stronger.

But, thankfully, I’ve got a solution for you.

Eccentric Emphasized Reps and Blood Flow Restriction

Eccentrics refer to lifting a weight and then SLOWLY returning it back to its starting position.

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) is a way of performing an exercise in which you tie a cuff around the limb that you are training.

You can read my suggestions on how to properly use Blood Flow Restriction right HERE.

We are going to use these two techniques for specific reasons.

First, we’ll use eccentrics as a way of transitioning from one weight to another.

Instead of jumping straight from 30 pounds to 35. Do sets of eccentric emphasized reps with 30 pounds until you can perform enough to move up in weight.

Now, the Blood Flow Restriction (BFR).

BFR WILL NOT make your arms grow faster on its own. BFR works best when combined with standard heavy training.

The reason for that is BFR allows a lifter to add extra volume/work to a muscle with none of the consequences.

Adding volume will typically make a muscle grow. But adding volume eventually reaches a point of diminishing returns.

If you keep adding volume, eventually, your muscles won’t be able to recover.

That’s where BFR shines. BFR does a fraction of the muscle damage that normal training brings. However, BFR has been reported as eliciting full muscle fiber recruitment.

Therefore, BFR will allow you to do twice the amount of work for your arms while still fully recovering from your training.

To sum everything up,

How Research Says You Should Train Your Arms (in a Nutshell)

Biceps

  • Use a combination of lengthened and contracted focused exercises.
  • Use more lengthened focused exercises.
  • Keep the weight mostly heavy.
  • Use eccentrics and BFR to get stronger.

Triceps

  • Use overhead extensions for most of your tricep isolation.
  • Keep the weight mostly heavy.
  • Use eccentrics and BFR to get stronger.