Tall guys can get more muscular arms through weightlifting. By training with heavy weights at around 80% of 1RM, even skinny guys will experience hypertrophy or muscle growth.
Tall guys have to train like everybody else. Exercises like curl and French press will build the biceps and triceps, which are the primary muscles in the upper arm.
Tall and thin guys who haven’t trained before will experience quick muscle gains in the beginning. Guys with weightlifting experience will have to increase the training volume over time to keep the growth going.
Let’s dive into how it’s done!
The Fastest Way to Grow Long Arms Bigger
If you are tall, you probably also have longer arms than your shorter friends. Luckily, you can grow your arms just like your friends, if you follow a few simple principles:
- Add 500-1000 calories to your diet to be in constant surplus. Without a calorie surplus, you lack the building blocks for building your arms. Skinny guys often grow slowly, not because of their training, but because of their caloric deficit.
- Train heavier than you think. Muscle growth happens most effectively when you train with weights that weigh around 80% of what you can lift once. This is heavy, so break the habit of picking up the same weights every time you hit the gym.
- Do the best arm exercises for mass; like biceps curl, pull-ups, chin-ups, dips, and french press. Don’t waste time in the gym. Be super focused on your choice of exercises. Mix in some compound exercises with the isolated arm exercises to grow proportionally.
If you are able to follow these 3 pieces of advice over 3 months with 3 workouts per week, you can grow your arms 3 inches in circumference.
Okay, a lot of 3s there. It’s true though—maybe not with the exact circumference, but the point is valid; consistency is key. Stick to your workouts, eat a lot, and do the right exercises.
Is it Harder to Gain Muscle with Long Arms?
The immediate answer is yes, but the true answer is no. Confused? Let’s think about proportions and how muscle size is perceived.
A shorter guy with short arms who does the same amount of exercise as you (who are taller) will get more muscular-looking arms than you.
This is due to the fact that his shorter arms will be perceived as wider and thicker much sooner than your long arms will. Therefore, he will look buff with thicker arms than you, even though you work out the same way.
Although, he won’t be gaining more muscle in practice. You will most likely gain as much muscle (in terms of weight added) as he will. The difference is the area that muscle is spread out over.
A longer arm needs more mass before it increases in circumference. This is the reason why you need to put on more mass before your limbs start to look thick and strong.
This might sound like a bad thing at first, but longer limbs are a better foundation for building a beautiful and athletic body.
When you gain momentum and start to gain muscle mass, you will see how well that muscle is placed and carried on your thin frame.
Some of the top bodybuilders in the world are tall guys that managed to slab on extreme amounts of muscle to look how they do.
If you follow the same principles as these professional bodybuilders, you are headed in the right direction.
So, is it really harder to gain muscle with longer arms? Visually, yes. Literally, no. So go out and eat something, hit the gym, and do the right exercises. And you’ll soon be flexing in the mirror, admiring the arm gains, you’ve managed to get.
So, what do you do when you enter the gym?
Best Exercises for Building Bigger Arms as a Tall Guy
There are certain exercises that target the biceps and triceps muscles better than others. The optimal mix is a combination of isolation exercises and compound exercises.
As a general rule, the triceps (backside) of the arm makes up two-thirds of the arm’s circumference. That’s why it’s important to focus a lot on triceps exercises if big arms are what you want.
An excessive focus on biceps is very common—especially for guys just starting out with weight training. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting the most important muscle group for gaining width on the upper arm; the triceps.
3 Isolation Exercises for Bigger Arms
Isolation exercises are exercises that isolate the muscle at work, so they are stressed as much as possible without help from surrounding muscle groups.
The biceps curl is a classic arm exercise, where you stand with a dumbbell in each hand at your hips, straight arms, and chest held high. Now, the exercise is to bend your arms at the elbow, turn your wrists outwards, and raise each dumbbell to the shoulder in an alternating or simultaneous rhythm. Do 12 reps on each arm and repeat this set 3-4 times.
This is a biceps exercise with a slightly different targeting than the curl. The exercise is very similar to the curl—the only difference is the angling of the weights/hands. Instead of twisting your wrists outwards, you let the weights hang in their natural position at your waist. Lift the weights to your shoulders 12 times for each arm and perform 3-4 sets.
Find a cable system that allows you to do a downward push with ropes or handles. The main idea is to stand close to the weights, select a heavy one and then extend your arms until their are straight, then bring them back up. Do 10 reps for 3 sets.
Compound Exercises for Bigger Arms
A compound exercise incorporates multiple muscle groups and trains a larger set of muscles at the same time. The targeting of the arms is not as intense, but these exercises are crucial for a healthy and functioning body.
Find a wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted bar that can hold your entire bodyweight. Jump/step up and grab hold of the bar in an underhand grip. This means that your palms are facing backward with your thumbs pointing outward.
With your hands shoulder-width apart, you raise yourself up to the bar by pulling with your biceps and back muscles.
If you need assistance for this exercise, you can use elastic bands under your feet/knees that are tied to the bar, you’re holding. Do 10 repetitions and 3 sets in total.
Same exercise as chin-ups, but with a different grip. Instead of having the thumbs point outwards, you grab hold of the bar a bit wider from the front with palms facing forward. Pull yourself up 10 times and for 3 sets. Use elastic band, if you can’t perform the exercise without it.
Lie on your back on a bench with a barbell over your face (be careful). With straight arms, you lower the barbell backward and down behind your head. Bring the weight back up over your face to finish one repetition. Do 10-12 reps for 3-4 sets in total.
This one is tough, and you might need to start with just the negative/concentric phase of the exercise. This means that you step up, hang, and lower yourself again.
Find a dip rack and grab the handles. Push yourself up in a floating position, crunch a little bit, then lower yourself down until your arms are at a 90 degrees angle. Push yourself/step up, and repeat 10 times for 3 sets.
With these exercises and a calorie-rich diet, you are well on your way to building bigger arms—no matter how skinny they are today.
I went from having the thinnest arms you can imagine. Today, my arms are probably my strongest muscle group on the whole body.
Arms are fun to train, and young boys tend to overdo it. A last tip is to do your complete workout first before you exhaust the arms completely with isolated movements.
This way, you have energy and strength in your arms to do other exercises like deadlift, bench press, and shoulder press—before turning to the arms specifically.