If you want large, cut arms fast, then you need an effective plan and proper nutrition. There are several arm workouts to get cut, but it will take some time. Not all exercises create the same results, so you'll want to focus your efforts on the most effective exercises for building bigger muscles.
Planning When to Lift
How often you lift can make a difference in creating larger muscles for better-defined arms. According to a review of studies published in Sports Medicine in November 2016, researchers found lifting major muscle groups twice per week was far superior for hypertrophy than only lifting once per week.
But the more sets and repetitions you can do each week, the better your results. Another review study published by the Journal of Sports Sciences in July 2016, found that there is a direct correlation between the size of your muscles and the number of sets you do each week.
The researchers found that each additional set resulted in muscle hypertrophy gain of 0.37 percent with a recommendation of at least 10 total sets per muscle group, per week, for maximal results. For example, you can do three to four sets of biceps curls three days a week for the best results.
This study also found that higher volume repetitions per set was most beneficial. In other words, doing three sets of 10 repetitions will result in more muscle gain than three sets of five repetitions. Of course, you will also need to take the total load into consideration when designing your arm workout to get cut.
For the purpose of building up your arms, this means you should aim for about three days of lifting where you focus on your biceps and triceps. You can work your arms at home or at your gym. Ultimately, you should pick a location and time to lift that best fits your schedule, one that will allow you to lift consistently.
Read more: How to Increase Arm and Chest Size Fast
Arm Workouts to Get Cut
There are several potential workouts and variations to choose from. To get cut arms, you'll want to focus on workouts that hit the major muscles in the arm.
Muscles to focus on include the muscles at the back of the upper arm, known as the triceps, and the muscles on the front of the upper arm, the biceps. You may want to consider adding exercises that target your shoulder muscles as well.
While resistance training will help build your arm muscles, don't forget cardio. Cardio may help you shed any extra fat so that those cut, lean muscles can really show through. Swimming is particularly helpful for your arms, as it includes both cardio help you burn fat and resistance from the water that will build your arm muscles.
So what are the best resistance moves for building larger arm muscles? The following are some workouts that will help you build larger, cut arm muscles:
1. Biceps Workout
According to a study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) published in August 2014, researchers found that the most effective curls for biceps strength and size are concentration curls. They concluded that concentration curls engaged and activated the biceps significantly more than the other seven exercises observed, including barbell curls, chin-ups and incline curls. However, you may want to include those exercises as well for a more well-rounded arm workout.
If you prefer to work out at home, you'll have to purchase dumbbells for this exercise. To complete the concentration curl, you need to:
- Pick a weight that you can lift about 10 to 12 times.
- Sit forward on a bench or chair, with your legs spread slightly. Place your right arm against your upper right thigh, and position your palm to face forward.
- Squeeze your biceps as your curl the weight up.
- Lower the weight, without swinging the arm.
- Repeat for a set of 10 to 12 repetitions.
- Repeat the same steps with the left arm.
- Repeat the sets two to three times each.
2. Triceps Workout
Though you may be tempted to just increase your biceps size, it is important to make sure you also work your triceps. Your triceps performs the opposite motions of your biceps. If you don't work to increase your triceps' size, your arm strength could be out of proportion which may increase injury risk from the imbalance.
Researchers at ACE ranked various triceps workouts for size and strength. They found that the most effective triceps exercise is what are known as triangle push-ups. Triangle push-ups have the added benefit that they work your arms and chest. The triangle push-up is also a great workout for your arms at home since you don't need any equipment:
- Get on your hands and knees on a mat.
- Place your hands together directly under the center of your chest.
- Position your hands so that the tips of your index fingers and thumbs come together, forming a triangle shape.
- Extend your feet out into a high plank, holding your hands in place.
- Lower your chest to just above your hands and then slowly rise back up.
- Repeat at least 10 times.
If you have trouble completing a push-up, you can always do the push-ups from your knees.
Other exercises that ACE recommends for the triceps include triceps kickbacks and triceps dips. Both of these will help to increase the strength and size in your triceps.
- Sports Medicine: "Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis"
- Journal of Sports Sciences: "Dose-Response Relationship Between Weekly Resistance Training Volume and Increases in Muscle Mass: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis"
- American Council on Exercise: "ACE Study Reveals Best Biceps Exercises"
- American Council on Exercise: "ACE-Sponsored Research: Best Triceps Exercises"