6 Weeks to Swole: The Ultimate High-Frequency Arm Program

By Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle Building.

Blow up your arms with this 6 week high-frequency arm program!

The nuts and bolts of what you need to know. . .   
.

  • If you want to make a muscle grow – train it. If you want it to grow a lot in a short period of time – train it a lot.

  • The right mix of volume and intensity can facilitate very high frequency training, and the more you train a muscle without overworking your body’s capacity to recover, the more potential for growth there is.



 

Frequency Is Paramount

To maximize the development of any muscle in as short a time as possible, one must delicately balance the amount of volume and intensity subjected onto the muscle group itself, along with the body as a whole, to facilitate the recovery needed to allow for maximum growth.

In the case of the arms, since they are indirectly involved in nearly all upper body work in one way, or another, it’s possible to hit the arms roughly 4-5 times per week without overworking your capacity to recover – as long as the workload is strategically divided up.

The Training Split

Weeks 1, 3, and 5

Day 1 – Heavy Arm Work

Day 2 – Light Arm Work

Day 3 – Off

Day 4 – Back + Heavy Biceps

Day 5 – Biceps Pump

Day 6 – Heavy Triceps + Chest + Shoulders

Day 7 – Legs

Weeks 2, 4, and 6

Day 1 – Heavy Arm Work

Day 2 – Light Arm Work

Day 3 – Off

Day 4 – Heavy Triceps + Chest + Shoulders

Day 5 – Triceps Pump

Day 6 – Back + Heavy Biceps

Day 7 – Legs

Days 4, 5, and 6 alternate each week to ensure optimal development of both the biceps and the triceps over the course of the 6 weeks, though you could opt to prioritize either muscle group for all 6 weeks.

If you don’t have the luxury of training six days per week but you can get to the gym twice in one day, then you could perform the Day 2 workout 4-6 hours after the Day 1 workout, followed by a day off.

What You Need To Understand Before You Begin

Since the triceps are heavily involved in all pressing movements, it’s in your best interest to stick to isolation exercises when training the chest and shoulders to prevent overworking the triceps during this 6 week blast. Don’t worry about losing strength though, as there are enough presses and dips to maintain chest and shoulder strength.

chest isolation exercise

The same can be said for the back and biceps – aim to perform a higher volume of straight-arm pulldowns and pullovers to spare the biceps for their direct efforts, and maintain overall back strength by including either deadlifts, or rack pulls to stimulate the erectors and subject the body to greater systemic loading.

back isolation

The Program

Day 1

Perform 5 sets of 4-6 reps for each exercise included in the superset (ex. A1 + A2), resting as little as possible between sets, but not so little that you can’t perform the set for the amount of reps prescribed. If you can’t perform 4-6 reps with the same weight, you’re either not resting enough, or started with too much weight.

A1. Barbell Curl

A2. Close-Grip Decline Press

B1. Alternating Dumbbell Curl

B2. Dips

C1. Hammer Curl

C2. Top Half Bench Press

If you’ve never done a superset before here’s how to do them properly:

Day 2

Perform 12 sets of 8-10 reps for each exercise, resting as little as possible between sets, but not so little that you can’t perform the set for the amount of reps prescribed.

While there are 12 scheduled sets of 8-10 reps, the conditions under which you will perform the exercise should change every three sets.

For the first three sets you will perform 1 ¼ reps, performing the ¼ rep at the conclusion of the concentric range. For curls, this means performing a full range rep, and upon reaching end range, slightly lower the weight about ¼ of the range back down before raising it back up – this is one rep.

You can see 1 ¼ reps in action here:

For the second three sets (sets 4-6), perform 1 ¼ reps again, only this time performing the ¼ rep at the end of the eccentric range – basically on the opposite side of which you performed the ¼ for the first three sets.

For the third three sets (sets 7-9), perform as many partial reps as possible upon reaching full range failure in the 8-10 rep range, performing the partials at the end of the concentric range (the same range in which the ¼ reps were performed for the first three sets).

For the final three sets (sets 10-12), perform as many partial reps as possible upon reaching full range failure in the 8-10 rep range, only this time performing the partials at the end of the eccentric range (the same range in which the ¼ reps were performed for the second three sets).

A1. Machine Curl

A2. Cable Pressdown

Day 5 (for weeks 1, 3, and 5)

Perform 5 giant sets with 3 minutes of rest between them – resting as little as possible when moving from A1 to A5.

A1. Incline Dumbbell Curl, 8-10 reps

A2. Incline Hammer Curl (as many reps as possible using the same weight)

A3. Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curl (as many reps as possible using the same weight)

A4. Standing Hammer Curl (as many reps as possible using the same weight)

A5. Isometric Hold For As Long As Possible, With Arms Bent At 90 Degrees Using One Of The Dumbbells (drop one dumbbell, and using both hands, hold the other with the arms bent at 90 degrees)

(NOTE: Click here to download my all time favorite giant set protocol. It’s a complete 4-week muscle-building workout & diet used by over 10,186 fans of mine.)

Day 5 (for weeks 2, 4, and 6)

Perform 5 giant sets with 3 minutes of rest between them – resting as little as possible when moving from A1 to A5.

A1. Lying Triceps Extension, 8-10 reps

A2. Close-Grip Bench Press (as many reps as possible using the same bar and weight)

A3. Dips (as many reps as possible)

A4. Top Range Partial Dips (as many reps as possible)

A5. Isometric Dip Held For As Long As Possible, With Arms Bent At 90 Degrees (lower yourself to a 90 degree bend in the elbow and hold yourself there for as long as you can)

Days 4, and 6

Depending on which muscle is being prioritized that week, pick your favorite bicep or triceps exercise and perform 4 sets of 6-8 reps.

Day 7

  1. Lying Leg Curl, 5 x 4-6
  2. Squats, 5 x 4-6
  3. Leg Press, 4 x 6-8
  4. Standing (or seated) Calf Raises, 3 x 10-12

The goal with the leg day is to simply maintain strength, so that when you go back to a more traditional split you can pick up where you left off.

Conclusion

This concentrated loading cycle is sure to increase the diameter of your arms by the end of the next 6 weeks.

To allow for the full effect of such concentrated loading to take place, be sure to lower the amount of volume for your arms at the end of the 6 weeks, for at least a couple weeks.

Feel free to give this workout a shot if you plan on hitting the beach hard this summer and want to sport a bigger pair of guns!

Biceps at Sunrise

If you have any comments or questions regarding the program, feel free to leave your comments below!

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Comments

4 thoughts on “6 Weeks to Swole: The Ultimate High-Frequency Arm Program

  1. What is the top half bench press?

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  2. It’s like demanding growth with frequency but in a nice way by optimizing the training with a good mix of volume and intensity. Great program!

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  3. suns out guns out! Summer time essential. Trying the workout tonight in prep for flexing whilst drinking a beer by the pool.

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  4. This is a great article to build arms for sure. One of my favorite muscle groups to train. Just in time for summer. Thanks for sharing this Vince.

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