How to Increase Arm Size
One of the first things that people notice when they meet a person for the first time is that persons build. Normally, the chest and arms are the first part of the body that is noticed. Well-sculpted biceps never go unnoticed. This is probably because most people have arms that are just 12 inches, or less.
If you’re an athlete with smaller arms, or just want to increase your arm size, then you’re in luck. The arms are one of the easier muscles within the body to isolate and build. Less experienced athletes will visit gyms and train hard for long hours every week. This really isn’t necessary and overtraining the muscles is actually detrimental to your progress in the long run.
How to Increase Arm Size with Proper Nutrition
As mentioned above, there are athletes that focus too much on the gym and not nearly enough on their nutrition. A muscle building diet is one of the three key elements to building muscle mass, along with a proper exercise routine and smart supplementation. So, what is proper nutrition for building muscle?
When we say proper nutrition, we’re talking about your calorie intake equaling your bodyweight times 15 to 20. This means that a 175 pound athlete with a muscle building goal should consume 2,625 to 3,500 calories each day. We’ve previously looked at some of the best foods for building muscle, which include foods such as fish, chicken, lean meats and oatmeal. We also realize that it is very hard to consistently consume over 2,625 due to our busy lifestyles. This is why muscle building diets are often supplemented with whey proteins and big mass gainers.
When it comes to increasing muscle mass and arm size, you need to remember that you can never build muscle if you are underweight. So, if you are below the normal weight, concentrate first on building up your weight and maintaining a proper muscle building diet before you try to add muscle in the gym.
How to Increase Arm Size by Working Out
Once you conquer the nutrition aspect of building muscle mass, you’re ready to hit the gym without for efforts being for not. The arm consists of the biceps, triceps and forearms. The biceps and triceps are the primary arm muscles whereas the forearms are generally worked as a secondary muscle throughout your workouts because they assist in nearly every upper body exercise.
The arm muscles are small when compared to the large muscle groups such as the back, chest or legs. This means that there are fewer exercises and less time required to properly work them out. Our favorite arm exercises are:
- The barbell biceps curl
- The hammer dumbbell curl
- The incline dumbbell curl
- The dumbbell seated overhead triceps extension
- The lying triceps extension
- The cable pull-down triceps extension
We previously took an in-depth look at these exercises in an article titled A Look at the 6 Best Arm Exercises with Weights.
Work Your Arms Even When You’re Not Working Your Arms
As we said earlier, the arms are typically worked in isolation. However, most exercises also use the arms as secondary muscles. Exercises such as dead lifts and squats that utilize weights will help build your muscle mass. So, even when it’s not “arm day” your arms will still get used to some degree on chest day, back day, and even leg day.
Additional Requirements to Build Muscle Mass
In addition to proper nutrition, a great workout designed for gains, and smart supplementation, there are a few other key aspects that are often overlooked when it comes to increasing muscle mass.
The muscle building process is at the forefront. Muscles are not built while you’re in the gym. The muscles are actually broken down and damaged by your workout. The human body views the muscles being damaged as an attack on the body and fights off that attack by rebuilding the muscle mass to become bigger and stronger to fend off additional attacks. That is the fundamental behind why we’re able to continuously able to lift more weight and grow larger muscles mass.
Since our muscles don’t actually grow while we’re in the gym, they grow during the recovery process. The recovery process starts the minute we leave the gym and continues for roughly 48 hours or so. What you do during this recovery period is imperative. During this time, we generally eat high protein foods or take high protein supplements because protein is the building block of all muscle mass and we can quickly inject the muscles with the primary nutrient it requires to grow.
It’s also incredibly important to get a proper amount of rest during the recovery period. This means that you should give your muscles at least two days to recover before returning the gym to target the same muscle group. However, you shouldn’t wait two days between every workout. Meaning, you should workout your arms today, your legs tomorrow, and your chest the next day, giving you at least 2 days before you return to the arms. Remember to have one or two rest days each week to give your entire body time to recover.
The other part of proper rest involves maintain a routine that allows you to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. This becomes easier when your muscles are tired from workouts. A body at rest helps the body’s system to produce the necessary growth hormones that can do wonders for increasing muscle mass and arm size.
Does Slow and Steady Win the Race?
When it comes to building muscle, we want to do it fast. Obviously, that goes without saying. But, is that always the best approach? Normally, quick muscle building solutions are not permanent solutions and can even be potentially harmful to your muscle mass in the long run.
This is why it’s important to take your time increasing your muscle mass. After all, your body can only build muscle at a certain pace and it needs time to recovery and develop muscle mass. Start with giving your body proper nutrition so that it has the nutrients it needs to build muscle. Then, add a muscle building workout plan to your regime. Lifting weights is the easy part, maintaining proper nutrition is much tougher.