Workout Routines

The 30-Minute Workout to Build Bigger Arms

Use every mechanism available and you'll be splitting your sleeves in no time.

Muscular Man
MichaelSvoboda / Getty
MichaelSvoboda / Getty
Duration 30 min
Exercises 6
Equipment Yes

Hey guys, we have a confession to make: We really don’t know why muscles grow they way they do—in fact, no one does. The best that science has done thus far is to show us a number of training and nutrition approaches that are “associated” with muscle growth. It’s a constantly evolving field, and that’s how we’re able to develop new and different—and increasingly effective—workouts each month.

This arm workout, however, is more of a "best of." You’ll find a mashup of several of the most reliable muscle-building strategies, fused together into one surprisingly simple workout with a specific focus on building your arms like never before.

How It Works

The main way we know to build muscle is by lifting heavy weights, but we assume you’ve done enough of that already; and if your arms are still skinny, you need to try another method.

One of these is focusing on the eccentric (lowering) portion of a rep, which causes more damage to the muscle (a necessary component of making it grow) and is associated with greater rebuilding of that muscle. Another is isometric holds—stopping at the hardest point in a rep’s range of motion. Finally, there’s volume: Lots of sets and reps have been shown to exhaust the muscles like nothing else and force them to grow. Hey, we can’t explain exactly why it works, but at least we know it does.


Complete the workout once per week, resting at least a day before and after any other upper-body training. Perform the pairs (marked “A” and “B”) as supersets: You’ll do one set of A, then a set of B, rest, then repeat until all the prescribed sets are done. Perform exercises 3 and 4 as conventional straight sets.

The 30-Minute Arm Workout

Exercise 1A

Preacher Curl You'll need: EZ-Bar How to
Preacher Curl  thumbnail
4 sets
10-12 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 1B

Close-Grip Bench Press You'll need: Bench How to
Close-grip Bench Press thumbnail
4 sets
20 reps
2 min. rest

Exercise 2A

Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl thumbnail
4 sets
5 reps/5-second hold reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 2B

Lying Triceps Extension You'll need: Dumbbells How to
 Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension thumbnail
4 sets
12 reps
2 min. rest

Exercise 3

Barbell Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Curl thumbnail
1 sets
100 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 4

Band Pushdown You'll need: Elastic Band How to
Band Pushdown  thumbnail
1 sets
150 reps
As little as possible rest