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Arm Days

Mr. Arms himself

I like to think that I handle being wrong pretty well. In fact, I might go so far as to say that I will be the first to admit when I am wrong. So I am not afraid to say that in the past I was wrong about how to train arms.

I used to fall into the category of trainers that say you don’t need to train them. If you’re doing your big compound pressing and pulling movements the arms will get plenty of work. Or so the theory goes. It’s true that your arms get worked and will grow to a decent level from that work. But who just wants to be decent?

I’m now of the opinion that direct arm work is an absolute NECESSITY, and not just to attract hot babes from across the room every time you lift your fork to your mouth. No, in fact it does serve a number of purposes, such as injury prevention (ever see a bicep tendon rupture during a deadlift? Not cool) and increasing strength.

Think about a bench or a row. They aren’t just chest and back movements. Weak triceps or biceps could be holding you back from increasing weight and, therefore, growth.

Having said all of this, however, I do not, under most circumstances, support a traditional “arm day.” It just doesn’t accomplish much in terms of fat loss, muscle building and overall smart time management. Unless you compete on a stage in bodybuilding there is no need to waste your time with it. But you can, and should, still work your arms. I believe that frequency is of utmost importance when it comes to arm training so 3 times a week is not unheard of in my programs.

Let’s pretend for a second that a guy comes to me and says he has 8 weeks until his high school reunion. All he cares about is having massive arms to impress Lucy Ricardo, who has recently been divorced, his old crush. Let’s say that he currently lifts the classic three times a week of Monday, Wednesday and Friday (Monday chest/back, Wednesday legs and Friday shoulders/arms). I would recommend, instead, something like this:


  • Shoulder Press variation (whatever sets and reps)
  • Deadlift Variation (whatever sets and reps)
  • Shoulder accessory (whatever sets and reps)
  • Deadlift accessory back emphasis (whatever sets and reps)
  • Preacher reverse curl -superset with- preacher curl 2×12 each rest 60 seconds
  • JM Press -superset with- overhead cable extensions 2×12 each rest 60 seconds


  • Bench Variation (whatever sets and reps)
  • Squat Variation (whatever sets and reps)
  • Bench Accessory (whatever sets and reps)
  • Squat Accessory (whatever sets and reps)
  • Barbell Curls – 5×8 superset with:
  • Rolling DB Tricep Ext. – 5×10


  • Deadlift Variation (whatever sets and reps)
  • Vertical Pull Variation (whatever sets and rep)
  • Horizontal Pull Variation (whatever sets and reps)
  • Press Variation – his choice of shoulder or bench (whatever sets and reps)
  • GIANT SET: Reverse Grip Bench press, Cross Body Hammer Curls, Standing French Press, Incline DB Curls, Rope Pushdowns, EZ Bar Curls – x6 reps of each exercise, no rest between exercises. Rest 60-90 seconds between each giant set. Perform 4 rounds

There it is. His arms get worked 3 days per week. They get worked heavy and maximize the pump, giving him big and strong arms. This may be an extreme example but 3 days per week of training for arms (at a lower volume usually) is still a fine way to go.  You may notice that he deadlifts twice a week. I think most people should deadlift more. It’s awesome.

Feel free to give something like this a try for 6 weeks or so and watch you go from having arms to having GUNZ!!!! Or at least they will get bigger, whether or not that turns you into a bro is optional.

{ 1 comment to read ... please submit second! }

  1. ha ha! i wantz gunz for ze ladeez!!

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