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How To Gain Muscle on Scrawny Arms

Everybody wants to have a pair of big, chiselled arms but building arms takes a little more hard work than just going into the gym, doing a couple of dumb bell curls while flexing in the mirror.  One of the big issues for today’s aspiring bodybuilding generation is the variety of gimmicks out there to build muscle.  They have all kinds of articles telling them to confuse the muscle and change up what they’re doing in order to grow.  Every month there’s a different regiment that these articles say will help in promoting more muscle growth.

how to gain muscle on arms

The problem with this is that these people don’t understand why they are doing these exercises and they may not even be doing these exercises correctly.  By the time they are finished with the 4-6 week regiment on one way to build this muscle they’re confused because they have not really gained much muscle and they’re wondering how they can continue to gain more muscle for the next 4-6 weeks.

The reason why it’s important to keep things simple is because you must become good at simple things in order to master them.  When you start out with a bunch of exercise programs and muscle confusing workout regiments this complicates things because people get confused with hearing multiple ways on how to gain muscle on the arms.

We could all learn something from the guys incarcerated in the penitentiary.  They’re forced to use the same equipment day in and day out.  And they tend to eat the same food day in and day out for years.  A lot of these guys have some of the biggest arms out there.  It’s not from anything new, it’s from basic training and intense workouts.


So I want to tell you the best way to build real muscle on scrawny arms.

The arms are made up mostly of the tricep which have 3 different heads – the lateral, medial and long head.  The lateral head is the outer side of the arm which gives you that nice flare when facing the front.  The medial head is the back of the tricep.  The long head of the tricep is largest part which is closest to the body.

The other part of the arm is the bicep which is comprised of two parts, the outer and inner head.  A lot of people come and ask me how to build big arms.  The answer is simple – train hard and eat to feed the muscle.


The correct way to approach gaining muscle on your arms is by lifting with basic movements.  Usually barbells are the best way to increase strength.  For instance if you’re going to do a standing bicep curl, grabbing a barbell over a dumb bell is the best way to stimulate growth.  The reason why is because barbells put more tension, pressure as well as more resistance on the fore arms and the biceps collectively.  This results in an increase in bicep strength and when you get stronger at something, the body compensates by growing.

With triceps, it is the same philosophy.  Basic barbells should be used over dumb bells and cable movements for strength as well as size.  This is not to say that dumb bells, cables and machines cannot increase strength, or size but pales in comparison to the rate and amount of muscle you can gain from barbell training.


So when approaching the idea of how to gain muscle on scrawny arms always think basic first and it’s never about how many sets you do, what new gimmicks are out there or will you have to confuse the muscle in order for it to respond.  The only thing you should be worried about is making sure you eat enough protein, and lifting with basic movements that puts enough intensity and resistance on the muscle to challenge you.  Otherwise why not just train at the local park and forget the weight room altogether.  At least you’ll be required to lift your own body weight, which is heavier than most weights people tend to pick up.

Curtis Fisher is a personal trainer, diet consultant and body builder.  You can find more fitness and diet tips at his blog Diet What Nots | Training, Eating, Science.


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