Question: How do I make my arms really grow? — @MEIERED

Answer: It took me a long time to learn how to train arms for the best gains. I used to be in the camp that said you don’t need curls and pushdowns — compound movements are enough. (Big mistake.) Then I thought the answer was progressive overload, adding weight to your lifts every week. But that led to elbow pain. After much trial and error with many clients, I’ve settled on the following methods, which build the bi’s and tri’s safely and swiftly.

SEE ALSO: 6 Moves to Work Your Arms to Exhaustion

GET A PUMP: The arms respond well to volume, so train them in the 8- to 15-rep range, and sometimes with as many as 20 reps. When you go heavy on an exercise like curls, you just start cheating, and that takes tension off the target muscles.

KEEP IT SIMPLE: EZ-bar curls, curls, and varieties of dumbbell curls are all you need for biceps. For your triceps, think big movements like dips, close-grip bench presses, and pushups most of the time, finishing them off with cable extensions and skull crushers.

TRAIN THEM ON LEG DAY: Because the biceps are small muscles, they respond better to frequency than punishing loads. Train them two to three times a week. Increased training frequency really adds up.


Whatever curl variety you choose, pick a moderate weight you could do 15 reps with.

ASK ADAM: Want your question answered by Adam Bornstein? Tweet @Bornfitness and @muscle_fitness with the hashtag #bornfit