Stop the curls, get super arms


SUMMER is coming and we all want to be in the best shape possible. This week, our resident fitness guru drops a few pearls of wisdom on acquiring those “24 python” arms. Read on as Salman Kassam once again guest-blogs for The Peoples Hub, teaching us the tricks and pitfalls of how to pack muscle on those pipe cleaners we call arms.

SO WHAT arm size is respectable for the “Average Joe”?

How big do they need to be to be noticed?

The conventional answer is 15-16 inches. If your arms are that big, people will consider you strong, and most likely will recognize you as having a desirable physique.  Anything larger than this, you will struggle to achieve without chemical assistance.

So, here are a few rules to help you on your way:


The easiest way to get bigger arms is to get YOU bigger, so big bang exercises like deadlifts, squats, dips and others are powerful tools, and a ticket to massiveness!

To get your muscles to grow, you need to induce growth hormone (GH).  The larger, or more muscles involved in a movement, the greater the hormonal response that will be produced, and the more growth.

The hormone response from a bicep contraction will lead to only a small release of GH release. Change this for a compound movement such as a deadlift and you will see immediately how much bigger the growth hormone release is, because you are using 20 different muscles, including your biceps.

If you were to swop everyone of your bicep curls for a compound, mass building exercise, you’ll see changes not just in your arms, but all over.


FACT: The only guys in the gym doing bicep curls are those that have small arms.

If your arms are less than 15 inches in size and you’re doing direct arm work, then your arms will probably stay under 15 inches.

You need to do exercises that use your biceps whilst involving other muscles, maximising GH.

The best exercise for this is pull-ups (above).  If you can’t do a couple of sets of 10 full range chins and dips, there is no real benefit to direct arm training.  If you substituted every bicep curl for a pull up you’d not only have a great pair of arms, but also a strong and healthy back.


Stripping a layer of fat off your arms is the best thing you can possibly do to make your arms look bigger!  Being leaner makes your biceps look immense.

Compare Hulk Hogan’s arms to that of a Young Arnie and look at the difference.  Both are the same measurement but their body fat percentages differ by around 8%!


This is especially useful if you are a short or tall guy, as you can create the illusion of bigger arms without actually having them!

What people actually see is arms that look bigger because they’re no longer covered up by a thick layer of fat.


Use a weight you can control, not a weight that controls you.  

Nobody cares except ‘you’ what weight you are lifting in the gym, so keep your ego in check.  All day everyday, I see Fitness Fanatics heaving massive weights with pencil thin arms.  You want to ensure that you feel a burn in your arms and not in the joint, this is why many people get tendonitis after lifting.  Your body should not move, nor should any other joint, a good test of this is to either perform your usual weight standing against a wall or sitting down helping you keep your body still.

All momentum should be removed from the movement; swinging the weight around does nothing but… frankly, makes you look foolish!

It’ll also activate the wrong muscles, detracting from your arm growth.

Sal sig imageWanna grow some arms? Why not pop in at our gym too and say “Hi!”

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me on +44 20 8166 5110 or email me at

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Words by : @improveMyfitnes