Having a set of big arms is usually high on the priority list of any bodybuilder. That’s because having jacked arms is an important factor when it comes to achieving an aesthetic physique.
The “beach body” muscles are what creates an incredible aesthetic physique and are comprised of the abs, chest, and arms.
Besides being a crucial component to your overall look at the beach, your arms are what really stands out when wearing a t-shirt or in everyday clothes.
Since you’re not prancing around everyday life with your shirt off (well, most of us aren’t), your arms receive the most attention on a day-to-day basis if you are wearing a short sleeve shirt and showing off the guns!
This is predominantly why so many guys really focus on arm training and developing a set of large biceps.
Many fitness experts argue that too much of an emphasis is placed on the arm muscles, but there is no denying that you can’t have an aesthetically pleasing physique without some big guns.
A guy in the gym who doesn’t want to have large and impressive looking arms doesn’t exist. Big biceps are the ultimate sign of an alpha male physique!
The problem is that most people don’t realize that many muscle groups make up your arm, and if you want really impressive looking arms, you have to train them all from a variety of different angles.
Let’s first break down the arm muscles in detail and follow that with an incredible training routine to develop each component of your arms, giving you a jacked set of pipes!
Breakdown of Muscles in the Arm
Obviously, the two major components to your arm muscles are the biceps and triceps, but there are more details we have to break down in order to build jacked pipes.
Your biceps actually have 2 major components. The biggest portion of your biceps is known as the biceps brachii, while you also have another section referred to as the biceps brachialis, which lies under the biceps brachii.
It is crucial that you work your arm muscles to develop both components of your biceps. Check out this picture of the bicep anatomy to get a better idea:
Many bodybuilders don’t put much emphasis on their triceps when training to get big arms, but the triceps actually compose more than 50% of your arm’s mass and will help to fill out your sleeves much more effectively than bicep exercises alone.
Small and inferior triceps means that the bicep muscles will look disproportionate to the rest of your arm and you will have much smaller looking arms. Check out this picture showing the anatomy of the triceps muscles in relation to the biceps:
Last but not least, your forearm muscles are also a crucial component of your arms, and many guys overlook training them.
Having inferior looking forearms is going to hinder your arms a great deal, and you want to make sure you’re working them hard at least twice a week. This will also make your arms appear bigger and more impressive. One of the easiest ways to have larger and more impressive looking arms is to get ripped and vascular forearms.
As you can see by this forearm anatomy picture, there are a lot of smaller groups that comprise the forearm.
The Foundation to Arm Training
Many people don’t realize that there are two major components to working your arms for maximum stimulation of muscle fibers.
The combination of hitting your biceps and triceps indirectly with heavy compound exercises and direct arm training seems to be the most effective combination. This methodology has been used by fitness models and bodybuilders since the 1970s.
Many guys perform isolation exercises such as bicep curls and triceps presses without emphasizing arm development through compound movements. The fact is that the compound exercises are going to be the more effective mass builders because they will be placing more overload on your arm muscles and working them from different angles.
Once again, compound exercises that work the arms indirectly are MORE EFFECTIVE at building the individual arm muscles than isolation exercises. Let’s check out the list of the best compound movements for jacked pipes.
Best Compound Movements for Jacked Amrs
1. Weighted underhand pull-ups
Weighted pull-ups are one of the best exercises for building jacked biceps. By using a weight belt and placing your hands “underhand,” you will break down more muscle fibers than when performing traditional bicep curls. The added overload and compound movement will help you build huge arms in a hurry.
2. Reverse grip barbell row
By placing your hands on the barbell row “underhand,” you will really nail both muscles of your biceps. This was one of Arnold’s favorite bicep finishers for blasting his biceps and getting an incredible pump in his biceps.
3. Close grip seated row
This is another back exercise that puts a huge emphasis on the biceps. This exercise, when done correctly, should give you a tremendous biceps pump and help you get huge guns. The fact that you are working your large rhomboid back muscles during this exercise will also elicit a more hormonal response.
4. Underhand lateral pull-down
Much like the underhand pull-ups, the underhand lateral pull down will put a huge emphasis on your biceps while also blasting your upper lats. This elicits a huge hormonal response and drills your biceps from a different angle. The more angles you can work your biceps in the better. This shocks them and forces them to grow.
5. Weighted dips
Weighted dips are one of the best exercises for building mass in your triceps. Weighted dips are one of the best compound exercises for developing mass in the outer head of your triceps and giving you those impressive horseshoe-shaped triceps.
6. Close grip bench press
Placing your hands inside shoulder width apart on the bench press will put more emphasis on your triceps and less emphasis on the chest. This is ideal for building mass in your triceps because it is a compound exercise and will help you build mass. The added benefit to this exercise is you will elicit more of a hormonal response than traditional triceps work because you are also working your chest muscles.
Best Isolation Exercises for Jacked Arms
Besides doing the compound exercises that work your arm muscles, you should still do isolation exercises to build your arm muscles efficiently. These exercises will allow you to really pinpoint sections of your muscles and will complement your arm building compound exercises.
You can perform these isolation arm exercises at maximum intensity up to two times per week. Since your biceps and triceps are not major muscle groups, they will not require as much rest time between workouts.
1. Alternating palms-up dumbbell curl
Standing up straight and holding a pair of dumbbells at your side, curl them up slow and controlled with your palms facing up. You should keep your palms up during the entire movement so that you emphasize the long head on your biceps.
The key is not resting at the top or bottom of the movement and maximizing your time under tension.
2. EZ bar curl (inside grip)
The inside grip on the EZ bar really blasts the main head of the biceps and helps to build thickness and mass, giving you impressive looking arms. Simply grab an EZ bar with a slight curve and hold the bar on the inside grip with your hands inside shoulder width apart.
3. Cable rope triceps press-down
Rope triceps press downs are a great way to work the outer head of your triceps muscles and get that impressive looking horseshoe.
To take this exercise to the next level make sure you rotate your hands out at the very end of the movement to drill the outer section of the triceps.
4. Dumbbell overhead triceps extension
This is an awesome triceps exercise because it allows you to go put a lot of overload on the triceps without stressing much else. Some guys experience some elbow pain when first doing this exercise, but you should adapt very quickly. This is one of the best mass building triceps exercises.
5. Standing barbell curl
This is the classic barbell curl and allows you to put the maximum amount of weight on your biceps. It’s OK to move your back a little on this exercise as long as you are not straining the lower back muscles as you contract your biceps towards the top of the movement.
This is known as a “cheat curl” and was used by Arnold back in his prime to build 20 plus inch biceps!