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Big Arms Without Direct Work

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Bodybuilding and Fitness Newsletter 3/6/2019

Is It Possible to Build Big Arms Without Training Them Directly?

Every lifter wants to build big arms because they are so important for your overall strength and because they look so darn cool. Some guys get SO enthusiastic about their arm training, though, that the rest of their physique suffers as a result.

But is there another way to huge guns, aside from bombing and blitzing them? Indeed, some old-school trainers will insist that direct arm work is mostly a waste of time and that you can get as big as possible with just major, compound movements.

So, is it really possible to build big arms without training them directly?

Both sides of this argument have their merits, so let’s find out what’s right for you.

Building Arms Without Direct Work

If you were to focus all of your training energies on the big compound movements like squats, bench presses, deadlifts, military presses, chin-ups, dips, and rows, do you think your arms would grow?

To break it down a bit more, if you were to take your chin-up performance from being able to do two chins with your body weight to knocking off 10 good reps with 100 pounds strapped around your waist, do you think your biceps would be bigger and stronger?

It’s hard to imagine anyone answering “no” to that question, and it’s an example that makes it easy to visualize the potential for compound moves to build your arms with little or no extra direct work for your biceps or triceps.

Now — take that chin-up example and think about benches, military presses, and dips instead. Do you think significant poundage and rep increases in those exercises would help you out in terms of triceps size? Hard to imagine that it wouldn’t, right?

No matter how you look at it, there is a strong case to be made for building arms through indirect, compound work.

The Need for Direct Arm Work

Even though compound movements work your arms hard, the potential problem is that those same movements SHOULD work your major muscle groups even harder. When you chin, your lats should do most of the work. When you bench or dip — depending on your form — your chest should be doing most of the work.

For many guys, this distribution of work means that, while their arms grow, their chests and backs get bigger faster. This can lead to muscular imbalances and can definitely contribute to an incomplete look if physique aesthetics are important to you. Even for diehard ironheads, sporting relatively weak biceps and triceps can limit the amount of weight they can use in the big exercises they love so much.

Even though compound moves will do wonders for you arm size, then, you will eventually need direct work to keep your arms in harmony with the rest of your body.

The bottom line when it comes to training arms is that they receive a lot of growth stimulation from major movements for other body parts, but that most of us need at least some direct arm work at least some of the time. A good general strategy is to focus most of your energy on the big exercises — squats, benches, chins — and then finish off your routines with direct arm work.

Your reward will be big, balanced arms that are part of a big, balanced physique.

Want Even More Information About Building Huge Arms?

If you want to learn ALL about how to build massive, ripped guns, be sure to check out Secrets to Huge Arms Fast.

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