The saying "curls for the girls”—meaning, “curl more weight more often and you’ll develop huge guns that’ll turn heads when you’re strutting around poolside”—isn’t just irritating, it’s also misleading.

Yes, curling will help you build bigger biceps; but when the goal is to add size to your arms, you also need to focus on the triceps, which make up two-thirds of the mass of your upper arm.

The most common approach to building stellar arms is to rely on isolation—besieging them with direct, focused work. That’ll work for a while, but including more exercise variety can create new demands on the muscles to ensure growth remains continuous. Our workout has an iso move (band pressdown), but the other three are compound exercises—multijoint movements that hit numerous muscle groups.

Remember that the triceps’ main job is to help you push stuff. So when you’re training them, think about not just extending, but really pushing.