The “HOW TO” Guide for 21-Inch Arms

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21 inch arms, infinite_labs

The “HOW TO” For 21-Inch Arms

by: Joe Palumbo, IFBB Pro

“Show some Muscle” you’re not going to pull up your pants and show off your calves. It is the biceps that are usually requested. Nothing says strength than a pair of muscular biceps, and for women, it says total fitness. Every man wants to have a muscular set of biceps. In fact, fitness enthusiast often give their biceps nicknames, BIG Guns or Massive Pythons. The greatest professional bodybuilding champions are usually those who are known for their tremendous arm size and shape, example; Ronnie Coleman. To become a bodybuilding champion or for many who just like to look great on the beach, correctly training the biceps and associated muscles is a must. Biceps: the one section of the muscle that everyone wants to make bigger. It looks like a very straightforward muscle, but its structure is very complex, as it has two different bundles that work separately and the biceps take all the credit. I am sure Popeye never knew just how complex, his big biceps were, thank God for spinach.

Large arms are created with a combination of triceps and bicep work. It is important to train all parts of the arm if you want to build bigger, stronger and more massive biceps fast. The key to building “fuller” biceps is training each part “specifically”. When working the biceps, you’re pulling weight towards you and when you work triceps you’re pushing it away.  Either way, you need to work both muscle groups to get big ARMS.

There are vital qualities that make up great championship arms; you need Size; this includes thickness and roundness from the top of the arm near the shoulder to the bottom near the elbow.  You need good shape with a peak; this comes from good genes or hard work.  You need separation, the definition of the various muscles that make up the arm. There are many different exercises and variations available today, they all have benefits, but you can’t go wrong with sticking to the basic for most rewarding gains. The following exercises will work every angle of the muscle to give you those vital qualities.   With each exercise you want to stay focused on the mind – muscle connection.  You need to feel each rep and feel the muscle working; this is called a great Pump. I am going to start off with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favorite.

Standing Biceps Curl
Considered the king of biceps builders, the regular barbell curls has contributed to more 21 inch arms than any other movement. For this exercise you can use the standing cable machine, EZ curl bar or the standard barbell, all will achieve great results. Hold the bar slightly wider than shoulders width, and keep your elbows close to your body as you curl the weight upwards until it is under your chin area.  There are two distinct  styles of doing  this exercise: Strictly (no leaning back during the movement, starting from a  straight-arm position, using absolutely no body motion or “A Slight Swing”), or cheating (hoisting the weight up by turning the trunk of your body into a pendulum on which the barbell can rely for a slight added momentum). Both methods are workable, and most successful bodybuilders get best results by strict style and then finishing off the harder last 3 or 4 repetitions with cheating motion.  Inhale and slowly return the bar to the starting position.

Workout, 3-4 Sets Starting with 12-15 reps, gradually increasing weight and decreasing reps closing out with at least 6-8 reps (cheating motion)

Preacher Curls (Scott Curls)
For this exercise you can use the sitting cable/ machine, EZ curl bar or the standard preacher barbell, all will achieve the great arm results.
First adopt a position with your arms over a preacher (Scott bench) Hold the bar while elbows are at rest on the bench, curl the bar to your chin and lower slowly.  Do not bounce the weights when the arms are in the straight position.  Raise and repeat.

Workout- 3-4 Sets Starting with 12-15 reps, gradually increasing weight and decreasing reps closing out with at least 6-8 reps.

One Arm  Dumbbells Concentrations Curl
Sit at the end of a bench.  Exercising one arm at a time; Rest the elbow on the inside of the thigh (above the knee.) Rest the non –exercising hand on the free leg. Slowly curl the weight up while keeping your elbow locked in place against your thigh. As you are curling, twist your wrist to the outside. Squeeze the muscle at the top of the movement for a one-count and then slowly return to the start position and repeat.

Workout- 3-4 Sets Starting with 12-15 reps, gradually increasing weight and decreasing reps closing out with at least 6-8 reps.


STANDING REVERSE  FOREARMS CURLS;
For this exercise you can use the standing cable machine, EZ curl bar or the standard barbell, all will achieve great results.   The Reverse Curl works a muscle in the arms that is not particularly visible: the brachialis (located on the lower aspect of the upper arm, just below the bicep muscle). Not being visible often translates into not being important in the eyes of many trainers. But for the lifter in search of bigger arms, the Reverse Curl is a KEY exercise. It pushes the peak of the bicep muscle up higher, making for a more dramatic flex and an overall bigger arm!

Start off with a barbell and stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Let both arms hang down in front of your body fully extended with your palms down towards the floor, elbows at your side.  Next, simultaneously lift the barbell upward keep your wrist straight and level with your forearms. Slowly return to the start position and repeat. Be sure to keep your elbows locked at your sides throughout the entire movement. ! You should feel this exercise in the upper forearm, near the elbow.

Workout- 3- Sets Starting with 12-15 reps, gradually increasing weight and decreasing reps closing out with at least 6-8 reps.

STANDING ONE ARM HAMMER CURLS
Position dumbbells to the side of the body; palms facing in and arms straight down.  With elbows to the sides, raising one arm until forearm is vertical and thumb faces shoulder. Lower to original position and repeat with the alternative arm.

Workout- 3- Sets Starting with 12-15 reps, gradually increasing weight and decreasing reps closing out with at least 6-8 reps.

The follow exercises will work every angle of Triceps Muscle.  Your triceps make up roughly 66% of your arms.  Building thicker, more developed triceps muscles makes your entire arms look more like shotguns than pistols. Again with each exercise you want to stay focused on the mind – muscle connection.  You need to feel each rep and feel the muscle working.

Tricep Pressdowns
This exercise is done using an overhead pulley machine, just like the one used for Lats Pulldowns. Hook a small bar to the pulley and hold it with an overhand close grip. Keep your whole body steady. Press the bar down as far as possible before locking your elbows, now release and go back to starting position.  Remember exhale while you exert.  Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.  Keep the whole body steady.

Workout- 3-4 Sets Starting with 12-15 reps, gradually increasing weight and decreasing reps closing out with at least 6-8 reps.

Seated Tricep Extension
For this exercise you can use the sitting cable machine, EZ curl bar or the standard barbell, all will achieve great results Sit on a flat bench (preferably one with a back support) and while holding a barbell securely, position it above your head with your arms extended.  Make sure to keep a little bend in your arms while extending your arms. Slowly lower your arms down behind your head while keeping your elbows in and all the tension on your triceps. Slowly raise the barbell back up to the starting position while keeping your elbows in throughout the movement.

Workout- 3-4 Sets Starting with 12-15 reps, gradually increasing weight and decreasing reps closing out with at least 6-8 reps.

One Arm Bent Over Tricep Kick Backs
Hold a medium weight in both hands and bend over until your torso is at a 45-degree angle or parallel to the floor (more advanced). Bend the knees if needed and keep the abs engaged to protect the lower back.  Begin the movement by bending the arms and pulling the elbows up to torso level.  Holding that position, straighten the arms out behind you, squeezing the triceps muscles.  Do this exercise one arm at a time if you’re using heavier weights or need more support for the lower back. Keep the abs engaged and the back flat throughout the movement. At the end of the movement, your arms should extend along the body, palms facing each other. Try not to swing the arms to get the weight up.

Workout- 3-4 Sets Starting with 12-15 reps, gradually increasing weight and decreasing reps closing out with at least 6-8 reps.
Train Hard,  #BESAFE

Joseph Palumbo
IFBB Professional Bodybuilder
Director of Physical Performance Infinite Labs Orlando FL
Certified Trainer
Advance Sports Nutrition Specialist  (ASNS)
Certified Navy Seal Fitness Instructor
Freelance writer: Workouts and Training Techniques, Strength Training and Conditioning, General Fitness, Weight Loss and Nutritional Needs