Stuff Those Sleeves: Bigger Arms in 60 Days

stuffthosesleeves

A few years back I authored a post entitled “Bringing up the Back”. In it I templated a program that would help you add slabs of muscle to your back by focusing on this all-important area for a period of twelve weeks.

To date, that is one of my most visited posts on this site. Loads of people have had great success, and a lot of fun, by taking on that challenge. Since then I’ve been asked numerous times to release a similar post targeting the ever coveted arm measurement.

This is that post…you’re welcome.

Training the Arms

First things first, understand that beefing up your arms has a lot more to do with making the triceps grow than it does with focusing on the biceps with direct work like curls. The triceps make up two thirds of the upper arm, and respond better to heavy, compound movements that are skewed towards those particular muscle. This is exactly what I look for when it’s time to add mass.

This program will focus on a few very simple movements that are tried and true mass builders for the upper arm. You’ll note that there aren’t any curling movements included, but you can feel free to add them in as I describe in The Greyskull LP: Second Edition if you absolutely feel the need. I prefer to keep it simple, so this program will emphasize the big boys. Trust me, you’ll have more than enough progress if you focus on hammering the movements that I describe.

Let’s take a look at the core movements now.

The Close Grip Bench Press

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Just like your momma’s old bench press, except your grip is a pressing grip. Put your index fingers on the line where the knurling meets the smooth part of the bar as shown. Don’t try these with your hands touching in the middle of the bar and then whine to me, “JP, these hurt my wrists”. Attention to detail people.

The Steep Incline Close Grip Bench Press

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Set up an adjustable incline bench inside of a power rack. Set the bench to the highest setting before you’re completely upright (though upright will work if you don’t have an adjustable bench available). Set the pins so that the bar can rest on them at the level that represents the bottom of the movement for you.

Take a pressing grip on the bar. For most this will be where the knurling meets the smooth part of the bar (index fingers on the line). Press the bar from the bottom position to lockout at the top, and return it to the pins. Maintain your tension (no relaxing) at the bottom of the movement, and repeat.

The Weighted Close Grip Pushup

cgwpushup

Put your feet up on a box or something that has your whole body parallel to the ground as shown. Have someone place a 45lb plate on your back and knock out close grip (thumbs touching) pushups. If you’re unable to do these with a 45, use a lighter plate. If you’re unable to do them with a plate at all, simply do the same movement with your bodyweight only.

The Close Grip Weighted Chin

CGWChin

This one is pretty self explanatory. Take a grip on the bar that is closer than normal. Some will be able to do these with their hands actually touching each other (my preferred grip), and that is ok. Remember, all the way down, and all the way up until the throat touches the bar.

Just like the absence of curls, you’ll notice that there are no dips or weighted dips included in this program. This is by design because I see too many people trying these that have no business doing them yet.

By this I mean that unless you can knock out 50 reps of elevated Close Grip Pushups with a 45lb weight plate on your back, you should not be doing dips yet. Argue me if you like, but remember that you’re reading my advice on my website in an article that will be viewed by many for years to come that are seeking said advice. This is because of the dangerous rumor that’s out there that says JP knows what the fuck he’s talking about.

With those things out of the way, let’s look at the program.

Stuff Those Sleeves

Now I set this up to run over top of the default Greyskull LP base program for the Squat and Deadlift.

Assuming a traditional Monday, Wednesday, Friday split, it would look something like this.

Week One:

Monday:

Close Grip Bench Press- 2 x 5, 1 x 5+
Weighted (or not) Close Grip Pushup- 2 x Max Reps w/ 2 minutes rest in between sets
Squat- 2 x 5, 1 x 5+

Wednesday:

Steep Incline Close Grip Bench Press- 1 x 6-8, 1 x 8-12
Close Grip Weighted Chin- 2 x 6-8
Deadlift- 5+

Friday:

Close Grip Bench Press- 2 x 5, 1 x 5+
Weighted (or not) Close Grip Pushup- 2 x Max Reps w/ 2 minutes rest in between sets
Squat- 2 x 5, 1 x 5+

Week Two:

Monday:

Steep Incline Close Grip Bench Press- 1 x 6-8, 1 x 8-12
Weighted (or not) Close Grip Pushup- 2 x Max Reps w/ 2 minutes rest in between sets
Squat- 2 x 5, 1 x 5+

Wednesday:

Close Grip Bench Press- 2 x 5, 1 x 5+
Close Grip Weighted Chin- 2 x 6-8
Deadlift- 5+

Friday:

Steep Incline Close Grip Bench Press- 1 x 6-8, 1 x 8-12
Weighted (or not) Close Grip Pushup- 2 x Max Reps w/ 2 minutes rest in between sets
Squat- 2 x 5, 1 x 5+

After that, Week three would repeat week one, etc.

Eight weeks of that, progressing on the lifts and the other movements, and you’ll take those arms up a notch for sure.

Note:

It is important to understand that you must be eating for growth for growth to occur. If you’re unsure how to set up your diet effectively to do this, I highly recommend that you check out “SWOLE: The Greyskull Growth Principles- Second Edition”. This will shed light on the easy to use methods that I employ to help my clients build effective diets for mass gain.

The old rule of thumb is that it takes 10lbs of mass gain to add an inch to the arms, so do not neglect this component and tell me that the tape isn’t moving.

Get after it!

Post your comments and/or questions here.

And if you insist, I’ll post up phase two to this program at a later date once you’ve had some time to build a strong base with this (I highly discourage internet training intellectualism and want you to actually DO the work). Part two is a doozie, and I’m more than willing to bet that it includes movements that you are not doing now.

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One Response

  1. Brian

    This is awesome. What kind of strength levels would you recommend on Chins before adding curls in? Just curious. I would love to see one of these series, like bringing up the back, on calves. Hands down my weakest looking body part.

    January 3, 2015 at 3:24 pm

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