Arms Training – When it comes to arm training, optimal muscle growth doesn’t depend on how many days you train them but rather how much volume you train over a given period. Determining arm training frequency depends on the number of sets you perform.
You can prepare the arms between 2-6 times a week. The more you train your arms, the less you should do each day. For example, if you train arms twice a week, do 2-3 exercises per session for 3-4 sets. If you’re training arms six days a week, do one exercise per muscle group daily, doing only two sets per workout. Also, could you read our 3 Best Adjustable Dumbbells?
Table of Contents
Is Your Arm Workout Effective?
Put, exercises, sets, reps, training frequency, and weight are all tools we can use and manipulate to induce specific loads. For example, effective arm workouts included maximizing the biceps and triceps muscle pumping, residual pain afterwards (DOMs), and overall growth.
There’s no hard and fast definition of practical training; it’s important to remember that more reps and sets aren’t always the answer to arm growth, and neither is heavy lifting. Instead, the key to arm growth is balancing the total training load and recovery. Too much training volume and slight recovery can stunt growth, as can too little training load.
What Muscles Does The Arm Consist?
The arm comprises numerous muscle groups. However, the three main muscle clusters that most people refer to are the triceps, biceps and forearms.
The triceps consists of three muscle heads. Different movements target each head of the muscle, so it’s essential to understand how other exercises and angles can emphasize developing a particle in front of the triceps muscle.
The biceps, like the triceps, have multiple muscle heads that target through various exercises and movements. The bicep consists of the long head and the short head. Like an optimal tricep workout, a solid bicep training program should include moves that target both the long and short heads of the biceps.
The forearm consists of 20 muscles divided into flexor and extensor compartments, subdividing into superficial and deep containers. In short, the forearms can be exercised through flexion and extension, grappling movements, and simply holding loads, and are often engaged in other activities ( rows, curls, pull-ups, deadlifts, etc.).
How Hard Should You Train Your Arms?
Arm hypertrophy depends on several factors, and strain, while one of them is not always indicative of an effective stimulus for arm growth. The following are some factors to consider when training your arms to determine if your training produces optimal hypertrophy in your biceps, triceps, and forearms.
Total training volume is critical, with most recommendations suggesting 12-16 work sets per week for intermediate lifters. For some strength lifters who do a lot of pressing, as little as 6-8 sets per week may be enough since the triceps are also responsible for this movement.
The load for training the triceps can be in the ranges of light (20-30), medium (10-20) and heavy reps (5-10). However, it recommends that a mix of these three areas be used during a training program, starting with the more strenuous exercises when doing multiple reps in a day.
However, the primary focus should be on maximizing the range of motion when training the triceps.
Often people sacrifice deep muscle strength and high muscle tension for fast, partial reps of motion. It can be due to using too much weight or simply not understanding the movement technique.
Nonetheless, a full range of motion with full elbow extension and an intense isometric contraction at the end of the movement effectively increases tricep growth. If you don’t feel local muscle fatigue, you’re probably going too fast.
Recommendations suggest 12-20 work sets per week for advanced strength athletes. However, performing just 6-8 sets per week may be enough even for some lifters who pull a lot, as the biceps are also responsible for this movement.
The load used to train the biceps can vary, except for heavyweight (less than eight reps), as this can increase the risk of injury. Therefore, it recommends using a mix of moderate (8-15) and higher repetitions (20-30) in a training program.
Like tricep training, the key to maximizing muscle growth in bicep training is optimizing the range of motion and the tension placed on the muscle. Often people sacrifice deep muscle strength and high muscle tension for fast reps with partial range of motion. Therefore, muscular fatigue must take place in the biceps. If you don’t feel local muscle fatigue, you’re probably going too fast, too heavy, or not using your entire range of motion.
Five Essential Considerations When Training Your Arms
Weekly Training Volume
As previously mentioned, following training volume guidelines is critical to the effectiveness of your workouts. Training too little leads to poor growth, as does exercise too often (since your arms can’t rebuild and recover). By the time you’re reading this, you’re not happy with your arm growth, so start by determining your total training volume per week (workout sets per week) and adjust your plan as needed.
Rest is essential for muscle growth. Somewhere along the way, people said to themselves, “MORE IS BETTER”.
Make sure you maximize your recovery and stay within your optimal weekly training volume (weekly training sets). Read on if you’re getting the training volume correctly and not seeing any growth.
Full Range Of Movement
Look at any gym, and see people doing curls and triceps push-ups. Despite the popularity of arms training, many gym-goers fail to fill out their shirt sleeves or have lean, sculpted arms. One cause of this is the lack of full range of motion training.
Performing movements such as curls and triceps pushdowns (as well as any other exercise) to the full range of motion creates a deep muscular stretch in the muscle that stimulates high loading.
It is this stress that is responsible for muscle growth. If you don’t perform the movements to a full range of motion, you can often minimize your ability to maximize growth. And remember, using less weight to allow for a more excellent range of motion is critical, don’t lift heavy!
Voltage Is Key
Tension is the key to muscle growth. Performing movements with varying speed, lack of control, and minimal ability to feel the contraction and extension of the arms. Under load it can limit the overall load on the muscles.
When performing movements, choose to do them in slow, controlled movements and focus on feeling the stretch and contraction of the muscle under load throughout the range of motion.
Vary Movements To Maximize Growth
As discussed above, understanding the anatomy of the triceps, biceps, and forearms is vital to exercise selection. Performing the same movements and angles can lead to overuse injuries and limited growth. Be sure to read the sections and links.
More significant, more muscular arms aren’t as easy as doing more sets with heavier weights. Understanding the factors behind muscle growth and how they relate to an individual approach to arm training is vital for all strength athletes, regardless of their level. Use the information above to arm yourself with the best knowledge to effectively tackle arm training and optimize growth.