3 Biggest Arm Training Mistakes

3 Biggest Arm Training Mistakes

This article is not for everyone.

If your goal is to improve your arm size, have a read.

If it is not, I would pass on this one.

This article is from Dan Trink, who has had a lot of success when it comes to building arm size.


Rick Kaselj, MS


There you are. It’s late August and there are only a couple of days to go until fashion week. You slip on the latest European designer suit during your fitting and discover it fits like a glove, except, the sleeves are just too darn tight.

You sprint out of there, get to the gym, and tell your trainer, “I need to lose an inch and a half on my arms in the next week or I’m screwed!”

If you are part of the .00000000001% of people who’ve had this experience, this article is not for you.

However, if you are one of the thousands of guys out there looking for a pair of massive, thick, veiny arms that’ll look impressive even in your baggiest t-shirt, then read on my soon-to-be-sleeve-stretching friend because I am going to reveal the three biggest mistakes you’re probably making in your arm training routine and what you can do to fix them.

MISTAKE 1: You’re Not Specializing

If you want to develop bigger arms, a heavier squat, or a better mile time, you need to be willing to put the brakes on the other aspects of your training and focus on the task at hand. This is the true secret to maximizing a specialization phase; you need to increase the volume of what it is you are looking to improve (in this case, bigger arms) and reduce the volume on everything else. The thought of training arms 3 times per week and every other body part only once a week may make you feel more queasy than a 7-year-old girl with a stomach virus in a room full of cadavers. But don’t panic, you won’t lose much on your other body parts as you set forth on your quest to build a massive set of pipes.

MISTAKE 2: Too Much Isolation

I’m not going to go all ‘functional trainer’ on you and say that you can build bigger biceps by only going with squats and deadlifts. You certainly need your fair share of curls, pressdowns, and skull crushers. However, utilizing compound movements allows you to use a greater total load per rep than isolation movements alone. Think about it, if you are a 180-pound guy banging out chin-ups, you using your biceps (along with other muscles) to lift 180 pounds. When’s the last time you did a biceps curl with a buck eighty?

Then there’s the bonus of creating a more optimal hormonal environment for growth when utilizing the big lifts. So resist the urge to make concentration curls the “A1” movement in your program.

MISTAKE 3: Not Enough Variety

We already learned from mistake one that throwing in a couple of sets of preacher curls at the end of the workout will not put you on the road to serious guns. But neither will be banging out the same movements, for the same number of reps and sets, three times per week. Both the exercise selection and the volume per workout have to be varied for you to maximize growth potential. Devise a plan where you are altering your sets and reps on a weekly or per-workout basis and make sure you are breaking out every arm exercise variation in the book for the next 4 weeks.


Hopefully, I just saved you a bit of time by putting you in the fast lane on the road to massive arms. Just don’t blame me if this advice destroys your modeling career.

Of course, choosing the right exercises, knowing exactly how to alter volume from week to week, and developing the most optimal arm training specialization program may be more than you want to tackle on your own. No worries. Dan has removed all the guesswork in his latest 4 week’s arm training specialization program. You can check it out here.

Dan Trink, CSCS