Want massive arms? Who doesn’t? Want to know how to build them? Read on for the armageddon workout. We give you a blueprint to arm-popping success. Your friends will be jealous and that’s a good thing!
Spring is just around the corner and everyone wants to contribute to the “gun show.” Tank tops and stringers come out of hibernation and so should your bulging biceps.
Do you still have some work to do on those arms?
Want to gain an inch or two in girth?
Release the Armageddon Workout on your arms for a guaranteed big arms workout!
The Secret To Muscle Growth Is One Part Shocking
People are creatures of habit. We’re guilty of going to the gym and doing the same workouts day in and day out. If you’re using the same arm routine every Thursday at 6 p.m., your arms are already prepared for it, and they’re yawning at your silly attempt to make them do anything more than the usual.
Wake those muscles up with a little shock!
Next Wednesday you’ll go into the gym with a new attitude about growing huge arms because on Tuesday you read about how to unleash Armageddon on your arms, and now you are ready to switch up your routine, add weight and shock your arms into growing.
Shocking your muscles is one of the only ways to make them grow.
What do I mean by shocking them?
Think of each time you add new exercises to your routine or add weight or resistance. You probably feel sore the next couple of days. This is because you’ve asked your muscles to do something new. You have shocked them with new stimuli.
In response to your new routine or new stimuli, your arm muscles say, “Oh crap! That was hard. Look – Ah – I’m torn. I need to repair my tears and add a layer of some new muscle in case that happens again!” This is how your body copes and thus how it grows, through the repairing process. What does it all mean? Shocking your arms equals guaranteed arms growth.
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The Other Part Is Confusing
The Department of the Redundancy Department called and said, “Quit doing the same old routine every gym session!”
Confusion means actually confusing your arm muscles by not using the same routines over and over and over. Your arms won’t not know what to expect, so they constantly have to adapt. This keeps the tear and repair process continual and helps with mad arm gains also known as hypertrophy.
There are ways to use the same exercises but still shock and confuse your arms. They include to:
- Increase weight.
- Increase sets.
- Increase the number of reps per set.
- Perform reps until failure.
- Complete drop sets.
- Take shorter breaks between sessions.
- Change the order in which you perform exercises.
- Have two arms days per week (not on consecutive days).
Armageddon Workout And Arm Workouts Techniques You Should Add To Your Repertoire
Some techniques work better than others.
Rest easy. We list them all right here!
Work Until Failure
The goal here is to end up with T-Rex arms! Many people have this idea that 10 reps equal one set.
Why not try to stop counting reps?
Work until your arms literally fail, until you can’t complete the movement.
Let’s look at some workouts that incorporate working until failure:
Drop sets are applicable to almost any and every exercise for arms that you can think of and they include the technique of working until failure.
We’ll use hammer curls for the example. Grab three sets of dumbbells, 30s, 25s and 20s. Begin with the 30s. Start your set and complete reps until failure, until your form breaks, or until you get stuck, meaning you can’t complete the lift due to fatigue. Put the 30s down and immediately, no break, grab the 25s and complete the next set to failure. Then move to the 20s and complete the final set of the drop set to failure. You should have a pretty nice arm pump at the end of the first set.
I would only recommend completing two sets of drop sets, not three. Also, don’t do drop sets on every exercise in one gym session, and don’t use drop sets on the same muscle group in the same day.
For example, you might want to use drop sets for hammer curls and triceps in one arms day and then switch to different types of sets, like more reps or more weight, on your other arm exercises for the remainder of your workout.
Stripping plates is the same as drop sets. But, instead of using dumbbells, you should be using a straight bar or EZ-bar for your arm exercises.
You can perform plate stripping by loading your bar using solely 10-pound plates. For example, if you’re curling with an EZ-bar and you have three 10-pound plates on each side, you can strip away a 10-pound plate from each side as you decrease weight from this drop set. You’re literally stripping away plates.
Side note: If you’re working out alone, stripping plates is more time consuming then when you use dumbbells for drop sets. With dumbbells, you can easily put them down and move to the next lowest weight. This gives your arms almost zero time to rest. That’s exactly what you want.
Stripping plates works better if your coach or workout buddy is with you that day. That way, they can do the stripping while you stay poised to kill the next set. An alternative if you really want to curl using both arms is working on cable machines because dropping the weight takes mere seconds compared to stripping plates.
Running The Rack
Have you ever run the rack?
I’m not talking about cardio here!
This is an Arnold arms approved workout. Running the rack is a great technique for ensuring long-term muscle growth. It applies to hundreds of exercises, but it’s really easy to incorporate for arms.
What is running the rack?
Let’s pretend that you’re doing dumbbell curls. Begin with a weight that’s difficult for you, a weight that you know you might only get five or six reps with and complete the set. Drop to the next lowest weight on the rack (5 pounds lighter). Complete another set of five or six reps. Continue down the rack until you reach a weight that you could complete more than five or six reps. That’s your last set.
21s For Optimal Arm Growth
One technique that uses a variety of ranges of motions within the same set to keep tension on your muscles while they’re under a heavy load with the loaded EZ-bar or dumbbells is called 21s. They’re using eccentric loading to help you gain arm size.
Eccentric training focuses on slowing down the elongation of the muscle process in order to challenge the muscles. This can lead to stronger muscles (Eccentric 2016). In other words, you need to work with a weight that’s about 20 to 25% less than your normal weight so that you can perform slow, controlled movements.
Again, let’s use biceps curls to explain the three ranges of motion. Picture dumbbell biceps curls.
Full Range Of Motion (ROM) – Full ROM is how we normally work out. From a fully extended position, raise the dumbbell all the way up to complete the curl.
Lower ROM – The lower range of motion occurs at the bottom half of the exercise. From the fully extended position, lift the weight to a 90-degree angle, elbows bent at your sides.
Upper ROM – The upper range of motion occurs at the upper half of the exercise. From the upright position, nearest your chest, lower your arms to a 90-degree angle, elbows bent at your sides.
You should complete a set of seven reps at each range of motion all in the same set.
Get ready for a serious arm pump!
Here are more arm exercises you can apply the 21s technique to and build massive arms:
- Preacher curls
- Cable curls
- Cable rope curls
- Cable pushdowns
- Lying triceps extensions (EZ-bar or dumbbell)
Heavy One-Arm Concentration Curls
Ready to have biceps that look and feel like a baseball is stuffed inside of them? According to their own research, The American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that compared to seven other exercises that activate the biceps brachii, concentration curls were by far the superior exercise (ACE 2014).
Make mountainous peaks with heavy, one arm concentration curls! Step one is to go heavier than you normally do. You want to shock those muscles even if it means you only get six to eight reps in each set. Just make sure it’s a weight that you can still control.
To begin, sit straddled at the end of a flat bench with one dumbbell. This is a one arm at a time exercise. Once you’re seated, pick up the dumbbell with your right arm. Place your upper arm against your upper thigh to stabilize the arm. Keep your upper arm stationary and complete the curl. Only your forearm should move because you’re concentrating on the biceps muscle contraction. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement. Slowly lower the dumbbell back into the starting position.
All movements should be slow and controlled focusing on the movement of the biceps. Repeat for the left arm. Do three sets for each arm.
Massive Arms Supersets
A superset is when you choose two exercises that work opposing muscle groups, like bis and tris, and complete one set of each without rest. Then take a one to two-minute break between the second and the third sets.
This really turns on the burn – Hello Armageddon! What follows is an arm workout with supersets that will hit every arm muscle and stimulate growth. Complete three sets of each superset and you’re done working arms for the day.
Cable Curl with a straight bar
Cable Pushdown with a straight bar
Standing Dumbbell Curl
When you set up for supersets, keep efficiency in mind.
Notice that all of these sets make a seamless transfer from one exercise to the next without a long break between the superset exercises. If you are going to use a cable machine, do both bis and tris on the cable machine. If you’re using dumbbells, like in superset 4, use them for both exercises. This saves time and keeps your muscles constantly working.
Train Arms Twice Per Week: Timing
You can train arms more than once per week, but it’s good to be strategic about the days you train them. You likely already know that you shouldn’t train them consecutively.
The tear and repair takes time. After you hit your arms hard, they need a couple of days to repair the damage you did to them. Aim for three or four days in between.
The next thing to take into consideration is that your arms are worked as a secondary muscle group during most upper body workouts, especially back day. If you’re looking to maximize arm growth, hit arms after a rest day. That way they’re fully recovered and not already exhausted from the previous day’s workout.
How about after legs day for the second training time?
Your arms are less likely to be constantly used on legs day unless legs days is centered on deadlifts. The point is to strategically set up your workout schedule in advance each week and stick to the schedule for optimal arm growth.
Last, but not least: Don’t do the same arms routine. Plan and execute one workout routine for the first arm day and a completely different one for your second arm day. Remember: Muscle confusion!
Are you ready for your arms to Hulk out of your sleeves?
Use these workouts to release Armageddon on arms day!
Your arms are guaranteed to grow before you break out the “Sun’s Out Guns Out” tank!
By Sarah Chadwell, CPT