Suns Out, Guns Out: The Arm Workout for Tank Top Season

Okay bros, tank top season is fast approaching, and we all to build a powerful set of arms. Even if you don’t workout, you’ve probably knocked out some bicep curls a few times in your life, or fantasized about having massive guns – don’t lie.

Now, I could tell you that if you want to get jacked for summer, you should be focusing on the big movements: your squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, and chin-ups. That’s true, and I would those are the most important lifts we should be focusing on most of the time, but no one wants to hear about that. We’re here to build some awesome guns, and I’m going to show you how.

When prioritizing one body part, arms in our case, the goal should be to hammer that muscle 2-3 times per week – we’ll go with 3, and only stick with this for about 4-6 weeks. Don’t slack on your other body parts, but they won’t be your main focus; you’ll want to hit them just frequently enough to maintain them. Your arms will take a good beating, but this should get them to grow pretty well, plus you’ll feel awesome pumping up your arms multiple times per week.

Lastly, it’s important to train with a variety of weights and repetition ranges. Mixing up the tempo of your lifts, the time under tension, and the weight you use is a great way to hammer all the different types of muscle fibers in your arms and really get them growing. Also, pairing bicep and tricep exercises together is a great way to pump a ton of blood in there and get an amazing pump.

Ready? You’ll want to complete the following workout three times per week, with at least a day or two in between. On your other days, try to hit a few sets for every other body part, with a fairly heavy weight to keep those muscles from going anywhere. They won’t grow much, but then again, we’re just focusing on arms so it’s okay.

We are going to use supersets to keep this moving fast, cut down rest time, and greatly increase the pump you will get. So if it says A1 and A2, you would do A1, A2, rest, and repeat for the prescribed number of sets, before moving onto the B set.

A1. Barbell Curls                                                                              4 sets of 4-6 reps

A2. Close-Grip Bench Press                                                        4 sets of 4-6 reps

B1. Dumbbell Hammer Curls                                                     3 sets of 8-12 reps

B2. Skull Crushers                                                                          3 sets of 8-12 reps

C1. Preacher Curls                                                                          3 sets of 15-18

C2. Tricep Rope Pressdown                                                       3 sets of 15-18

Regardless of the exercise, every single repetition should be controlled. No swinging the weights or half reps – slow, controlled, and try to really squeeze the muscle as hard as you can.

If you really want a challenge, on your last set of each exercise, use a drop-set. This means completing your reps, lowering the weight 10-20%, doing as many more reps as you can, then lowering it again, for a total of 3-4 sets with no rest.

I’ve seen good results using this on myself and others I train at my gym – get after it, work hard, and enjoy your jacked arms. Just don’t forget to make sure your other body parts get some attention, at least a little bit during this phase. We want to look symmetrical and aesthetic; big arms are pointless if you have a tiny chest and chicken legs. Best of luck, bros.

Matt Dustin is a personal trainer and strength coach. You can check out his website at, and follow him on Twitter for more cool stuff.

[Image via ShutterStock]