4 Rules Everyone Who Wants Bigger Arm Muscles Needs to Follow

Man doing exercises to get bigger arm muscles

Who doesn’t want strong arms? | iStock.com

You want bigger arms — who doesn’t? Having swollen pythons dangling out of your t-shirt certainly sends a message, much in the same way a peacock sends a message while fanning out its feathers. Muscular arms can make you confident, and of course, stronger. With proper training, you’ll be able to take down all on-comers like Sylvester Stallone in Over the Top.

And there are plenty of resources out there to help you build the arms you’ve always wanted. It requires some real commitment and discipline, spending significant amounts of time lifting and working out, in addition to fueling your body with the correct foods. This is why you don’t see everyone walking around with arms like The Rock — it’s not easy, and takes some effort.

But what you really need is a road map. If you have the drive and the discipline, the trick is to channel it into effective and efficient regimens, both for your diet and for exercise. You can find blueprints for both in short order — but there are some overarching principles you’ll need to keep in mind as well as some rules you’ll need to follow if you’re serious about building muscle.

It all starts with some very general rules for building muscle, which you’ll want to review. But in terms of building up your arms specifically, make sure you cover the following.

1. Target peripheral muscle groups

Man doing sit ups

Target the right muscles. | iStock.com

You want bigger arms. That’s your goal. That doesn’t mean that you get to ignore the rest of your body, however.

Think of your body as a machine — a machine that only runs with a high level of efficiency when every part is well-oiled and in proper working order. That means you need to take care of the whole thing and focus on whole-body workouts. Your arms will swell if you put in the time and effort, but you’ll need to make sure you’re exercising peripheral muscle groups as well, including your shoulders, back, core, and yes, even your legs. Adding mass to one part of your body requires that the other parts can compensate and handle the additional strain, and you don’t want to end up looking asymmetrical.

2. Don’t forget rest days

man relaxing on his couch

Resting is just as important as working out. | iStock.com

You need to let your muscles rest, recoup, and recover. The actual process of building muscle, at least from a physiological stance, happens roughly 24 to 48 hours after a workout — so put your time in at the gym, and then give your body time to recover. In the meantime, focus on other muscle groups, as previously mentioned. And make sure you’re getting your body the required vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to build muscle. You’re not going to see your biceps swell with only Milky Ways and Pepsi to draw from.

3. Mix it up


Don’t continuously do the same workouts. | iStock.com

Nailing down your routine will take some practice, but once you get it dialed-in, you should be set for a while. The next problem you’re likely to encounter is when you plateau — when simply adding more reps, sets, or weight isn’t really getting you results or helping you hit goals. That’s a part of the process, and some of it has to do with muscle memory. It means you need to change things up a bit.

In addition to, or instead of, your central lifts and exercises, start throwing some different things into the mix. Try kettlebells, or jump on a few machines. Or, simply try different variations of lifts you’re already doing with barbells and dumbbells. The trick is to surprise your body and force it to adapt.

4. Stay disciplined

checking time

You must stay consistent with your workouts to see true results. | iStock.com

This is the most important and central component to any successful fitness bid. A sense of discipline is the glue that holds everything together. If you keep wavering in one form or another — be it skipping workouts, skimping on reps and sets, or eating things you shouldn’t — you’re not going to see your goals come to fruition. It’s just not going to happen.

Discipline isn’t easily developed, and it will take some serious effort. But if you want to hit the marks you’ve set for yourself, it’s absolutely integral.