Posted on July 17, 2018 by Jenny Cromack

Building bigger arms is one of the most common goals among male gym goers, alongside broader shoulders. Most people slog through hours upon hours of endless curls and tricep extensions only to be met by diminishing returns due to over-training or not taking the right approach with their training.

Building bigger arms doesn’t have to be complicated and doesn’t require a lot of time. All it takes is 30 minutes of your day, 2-3 times a weeks and an understanding of the fundamentals of muscle growth and repair. Personal trainer, Joe Bradbury, shares a couple of tips and a workout to help build bigger arms.

Fundamentals of Growth

  1. Progressive overload – arguably the most important of the fundamentals is to ensure you are consistently pushing to make each session harder than the last, this can be done by adding more weight or additional sets each time.
  2. Mechanical tension – slow down your reps! By slowing down the movement you increase the overall time that the muscle is under tension for, leading to greater micro trauma = bigger muscles.
  3. Ensure you are consuming sufficient protein to allow your body to grow and repair from each workout – aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight.

The Workout

A1) 3 x 6 Barbell curls

A2) 3 x 6 Dips

B1) 3 x 10 Incline dumbbell curls

B2) 3 x 10 Lying tricep extension

C1) 3 x 12 Reverse curls

C2) 3 x 12 cable rope pushdown

D1) 3 x 15 Cable curl

D2) 3 x 15 Close hand press ups


Pick a weight that you can complete the required amount of reps and sets for. There is a variety of rep ranges to optimally target all muscle fibre types. Perform as supersets with only 30 seconds rest between each set. For an easy way to progressively overload, on your 2nd week perform four sets of everything. On your 3rd week drop back down to three sets but pick a heavier weight then repeat.


Happy curling,