In a perfect world, the easiest way to get 20” arms is to start with 19” arms and get a decent pump. But for most average gym goers this isn’t a realistic starting point. Most well-trained men are in the 16-17” arm category which means we have our work cut out for us. If you are new to strength training, this might not be ideal for you today, but in the near future after hammering the linear progression on Bedrock, 20 inch arms will be right in your crosshairs. 

With that said, let me re-frame the question – how do I get bigger and more muscular arms?

There are 3 keys to any good arm routine – volume, frequency, and exercise arrangement. 

For the following program, I am going to tweak all three variables to ramp up your arm size and build a set of pythons that would make Hulk Hogan scream, “Oh ya!”. 

This program is done 3 days a week independent of your other training sessions. That means continue following your current training program like Jacked Street, Field Strong, Grindstone, Johnnie WOD or HAMR. Remember, we are executing this arm routine away from your regular training sessions. Let me repeat that part, we are executing this routine AWAY from your regular training. 

I usually train at 6 AM so this arm workout would start around noon and end around 4 PM. If you train later in the day at 5 PM, start the program in the morning and be done around noon. 

This program can be done on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday or a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday cadence. 

I just want roughly 48 hours between sessions – give or take a few hours isn’t going to kill you. 

The overview of the program will include a 5-hour block where we hit arm work at top of each hour. Each block is meant to be super sett’d so you should be able to blast through these sets in less than 15 minutes. All blocks will be done with the same set of dumbbells so you can put a set of dumbbells (or cinder blocks) next to your couch or desk and be ready to smash some arms at the top of each hour. 

When I started the program, I used 40 pound dumbbells and by the end of the off-season I was using 55 pound dumbbells. You can start with 20s or 25s but it really depends on what you have access to. Let you in on a little secret that cinder blocks weigh ~30 pounds a piece and less than 2 bucks a piece at Home Depot. 

If you are stuck at home in Quarantine and binge-watching Netflix, just put it on pause at the top of every hour and hit your sets, then go back to your regularly scheduled program. 

The program is going to cycle over 5 weeks. The first week is laid out down below with sets of 8. The second week you add a rep for sets of 9. The third week you add another rep for sets of 10. The fourth week you add yet another rep for sets of 11 and the fifth and final week you add one more rep for sets of 12. 

Block 1 @ 0:00 – 0:15 mins
3 sets x 8 reps – Alternating Bicep Curls
3 sets x 8 reps – Lying Triceps Extensions
3 sets x 8 reps – Alternating Hammer Curls

Block 2 @ 1:00 – 1:15 mins
3 sets x 8 reps – Hammer Curls
3 sets x 8 reps – Triceps Kick Backs
3 sets x 8 reps – Standing Concentration Curls

Block 3 @ 2:00 – 2:15 min
3 sets x 8 reps – Alternating Bicep Curls
3 sets x 8 reps – Seated Bench Dips
3 sets x 8 reps – Seated Hammer Curls

Block 4 @ 3:00 – 3:15 mins
3 sets x 8 reps – Standing Bicep Curls
3 sets x 8 reps – Standing One Arm Triceps Extensions
3 sets x 8 reps – Hammer Curls

Block 5 @ 4:00 – 4:15 mins
3 sets x 8 reps – Alternating Bicep Curls
3 sets x 8 reps – Lying Triceps Extensions
3 sets x 8 reps – Alternating Hammer Curls

Remember, to keep the same movements and arrangement for the complete cycle of 5 weeks. The only variation is coming from the increase in reps over the course of the 5 weeks. 

Once you have finished the 5-week program, pull out the tape measure and smile as you observe the progress you have made. 

If you are still not satisfied and want more…then find a slightly heavier set of dumbbells and start the program over again for another 5 weeks of sleeve burst, arm poppin’ training. 

A little background on where this program came from, in my second year in the NFL I wanted to look the part on Sundays whether it be standing on the sidelines or on the field playing for the Eagles. My goal was to look like I was supposed to be there and seeing as the only thing that was exposed to the elements were my arms and neck, I figured I had better train those hard. 

During the off-season, I put a set of dumbbells next to my bed, another set in the kitchen and final set in the back of my 1992 Ford Bronco. When I woke up in the morning, I would hit my 9 sets first thing. Then head downstairs to the kitchen for breakfast where I had eggs, meat, puffed rice cereal and another set of dumbbells waiting for me with another 9 sets. I would leave shortly thereafter to workout or go grocery shopping. All I had to do was pop the tailgate on my Bronco and crush my 9 sets. 

Before bed each night, I would slay my 9 sets and lay my head on the pillow knowing I had done the work that day to reach my goal of a set of muscular, thick arms stacked with a permanent bicep vein.