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Arm Day: 3 Perfect Arm Workouts for Everyone

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Page through a health and fitness magazine or fire off a search-engine keyword combo like “toned arms” or “bigger biceps” and you’ll see fitness models and athletes showing off their guns. Guys, you probably want bigger arms. Ladies, you’re probably looking for a way to tighten and tone. Or maybe you want both!So, how do you train your arms to get results that you can see in the mirror? Lift heavy? Do a ton of reps? Train like a bodybuilder? Fortunately, there’s more than one way to train your arms.

Here’s proof. In the past eight years, former First Lady Michelle Obama championed causes to improve health and fitness, and her tight and toned arms have received a lot of attention, too. (Google it; she even showed off her arms on Oprah.) For guys, somebody frequently in the spotlight who has some serious guns is actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. And if you’re a UFC fan, you already know Gleison Tibau has a fierce physique with big arms that have helped him rack up a 41–11–0 record.

Now, guess what? Every single one of them used a different workout to train their arms. Bodyweight exercises, weights, and machine exercises can all help you strengthen and sculpt your biceps and triceps. Check out these three workouts to train your arms:

Bodyweight Arms Workout

It’s true. You can train your arms without using weights. Bodyweight exercises done right can help you tighten, tone, and build stronger arms. Give this arms workout a try:

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest between sets

Diamond push-ups

3

As many reps as possible

60 to 90 seconds

Bench dips

3

10–15

60 to 90 seconds

Chin-ups

3

As many reps as possible

60 to 90 seconds

Resistance-band curls

3

10–15

60 to 90 seconds

Inverted row

3

10–15

60 to 90 seconds


If you’re not strong enough to do traditional diamond push-ups yet, start by doing them on the wall at an angle.

Can’t do chin-ups yet? Jump up to the bar and pull yourself up to the top of the rep. Hold the position as long as possible and slowly straighten your arms.

Don’t have resistance bands? You can even use two jugs of milk or pillowcases with heavy items inside.

There’s more than one way to train your arms using bodyweight exercises.

Arms Training with Barbells and Dumbbells

Want to build bigger arms with barbells and dumbbells? Train your arms with these key exercises to maximize results. Pick a weight you can handle and complete 8 to 12 reps for each exercise using good form. (Note: If you’re using momentum to lift a weight or can’t do at least 8 reps, pick a lighter weight.)


Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest between sets

Standing alternate dumbbell curls

3

8–12

60 to 90 seconds

Barbell preacher curls

3

8–12

60 to 90 seconds

Standing barbell curls

3

8–12

60 to 90 seconds

Dumbbell triceps overhead extension

3

8–12

60 to 90 seconds

Lying close-grip barbell triceps extension

3

8–12

60 to 90 seconds

Close-grip bench press

3

8–12

60 to 90 seconds

 

Machine Arms Workout

If you want to add some variety to training your arms with bodyweight exercises or barbells and dumbbells, you can use a variety of different machines in the gym to train your arms. And if you’re new to lifting, training with machines can be a good place to start to help you build strength and become comfortable in the weight room, before moving on to barbells and dumbbells.

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest between sets

Standing cable biceps curls

3

8–12

60 to 90 seconds

Seated machine preacher curls

3

8–12

60 to 90 seconds

Cable rope hammer curls

3

8–12

60 to 90 seconds

Cable triceps pushdown

3

8–12

60 to 90 seconds

Cable rope triceps extension

3

8–12

60 to 90 seconds

Triceps dip machine

3

8–12

60 to 90 seconds

 

Want to train your arms to look better and become stronger? You’ll find everything you need at a UFC GYM location in your area.

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