Want bigger guns? You’ve come to the right place.
We’ve called on Jack Lovett, a two-time British Natural Strongman Champion and founder of North East training mecca Spartan Performance to give away his arm-pumping secrets. So gather round, listen up, and take notes.
This is what you’ve been waiting for.
1. Get A Grip
To add size to your biceps and triceps, you first need to bulk up your grip. If your grip fails before your strength, you’ll won’t be able to lift big enough to trigger hypertrophy. Boost your pincers with extended dumbbell farmer’s walks and you will enjoy greater gains moving forward. You can also check out our complete guide to grip strength – here.
2. Join The Band
To create the illusion of bigger arms, add band pull-aparts to your regimen. Hold a light resistance band at shoulder height and pull in both directions. This encourages scapula retraction, forcing your shoulders back to straighten out your posture, which helps your arms appear larger. Stock up on our favourite Unit Nine bands here, and chuck them in your gym back for biceps anytime, anywhere.
3. Mechanical Engineering
A mechanical drop set – going from the hardest to the easiest version of an exercise, without dropping the weight – is a guaranteed shot in the arm. Start with a steep preacher curl where you stand and lean over the pad. Lift to failure, then immediately switch to a sitting 45-degree preacher curl and work to failure. Finish with standing barbell curls to failure. The weight stays the same but you sneak out bonus reps for extra growth.
4. Fatten Up Your Gains
Amp up your barbell work with Fat Gripz, which thicken the size of the grip to about the width of a Coke can. Holding a thicker bar recruits more muscles in your wrists, forearms, biceps and triceps, without even changing your workout routine.
5. Feel The Force
Sit at your desk, lift your arm and clench your biceps. Notice the tension and the shaking. It’s easy to perform the movement of an exercise without understanding the feeling of an exercise, but only by understanding that sensation can you maintain the muscular tension which sparks growth. Next time you curl, chase that feeling with every lift.
6. Hang Time
Forearms are often ignored but people see them before they clock your bis and tris. Grab a pull-up bar and hang to failure. Gymnasts have huge forearms because that simple isometric bar hold delivers a massive bang for your buck.
7. Friday night special
For some pre-pub muscle, follow strength coach Christian Thibaudeau’s ‘multi-hold pump set’. Lie on a bench to do skull crushers but just hold the dumbbell for 20sec at your weakest point (with your forearms and upper arms at 90 degrees). Then do 8-10 skull crushers and return to the hold for 15sec. Do 6-8 more reps and another 10sec hold, then finish with a final set to failure. Your arms stay under tension they’ll be flooded with blood and fill your sleeves well into the early hours. Enjoy.