Posted on 05 Feb 2015
6 min read
As an early 20s male, my single gym quest in life was the zenith of bigger arms.
I (and I assume most others my age) set out on an insatiable crusade to get a slightly bigger bicep peak enabling me to down pints while balancing the glass between my mouth and fore/upper arm.
Form an orderly queue ladies.
Yes, far from me to actually do some fucking research about how to build an all-round, jacked physique, it was arms, nothing but arms, that would lead to all the rewards that a slightly better physique than the next bloke in Moon Under Water commands.
With this in mind I would trawl the internet for literally 10 minutes in order to find the best arm muscle building programme.
Would it be Kai Greene’s ‘Tricep Trauma’, Roelly Winklaar’s ‘Der Armen Splägen’ or Gregg Valentino’s ‘Fuck Me My Arm Has Just Literally Exploded, What A Stupid Cunt I Am’.
No, in the end I settled for Rich Piana’s ‘8 Hour Arm Workout’ which boldly claimed to add an inch to your arms in 24 hours.
Naturally, I mean there’s a physique anyone can emulate with just 30 years of training and a chemical arsenal like North Korea.
But that didn’t matter, the premise was simple, clear and appealed to my then sense of increased vanity.
Indeed, who wouldn’t want to grow something by one inch in a day…
You need to be seriously committed/unemployed to even attempt this absurd workout as it lasts eight hours.
That’s right, eight.
A full working day.
I’ve heard along with sleep deprivation and water boarding, the mere suggestion than a Guantanamo inmate would be made to follow this patently ridiculous routine would be enough to have them revealing national secrets.
With that in mind you should take two full days off working out before doing this programme to let your body fully recuperate.
During prep, make sure that you’re getting 1.5g of protein per kilogram of body weight and plenty of complex carbs so you don’t fatigue mid way through D-Day.
You will also need to prepare 16 – yes 16! – protein shakes, as Rich Piana prescribes a shake after every mini-workout (more on this below).
These shakes should comprise protein, simple sugars and carbs to help refuel your muscles and replenish glycogen.
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you could always replace a few protein shakes with mini-meals to break the monotony.
It goes without saying that any meals will need to be prepared the night/morning before, particularly if you plan to do this at the gym.
They don’t take kindly to you unplugging the music system blaring out DMX and starting your hot plate up, I’ve heard.
In addition to the above, I can recommend taking creatine (if you’re not already) and chugging a few espressos throughout the day to keep your focus up.
On the morning of the workout Rich recommends a huge ‘monster’ breakfast, e.g. scrambled eggs, wholemeal toast, smoked salmon, porridge, plenty of water.
Then allow 1.5 hours for your food to digest.
If you’ve got a dumbbell and barbell set then I suggest you do this workout at home as 8 hours at the gym could be highly laborious / make you look like a complete cunt.
Also, the gym staff might start to question whether you’re actually trying to move in.
Before starting Rich Piana’s 8 Hour Arm Workout, don’t forget to measure your arms.
A good hack (because if I use the word hack more people listen): if you’re one of millions of UK youths that has had their arm permanently scarred by your BCG injection then use this as a good marker to measure your arm, that way you’ll be sure to be measuring the exact same part the at the end of your workout/next day.
If not then just draw a line on your arm in permanent marker or head down to your local tailor and hope they don’t think you’re taking the piss.
My starting size was 15.5 inches.
Keeping things highly simple, you’ll do a mini-workout every 30 minutes alternating Workout A and Workout B, completing 16 mini-workouts over the eight hour period.
After each mini-workout, down a protein shake.
|Single Arm Dumbbell Extension||4||15|
|Barbell Dumbbell Hammer Curls||4||15|
Thanks for sharing – much appreciated!
Aim to rest no more than one minute between each set and don’t start the day too heavy, this is a marathon not a sprint.
You’re going to be tearing muscle fibres progressively throughout the day so you don’t want to be failing on any set in the first 4-5 hours.
After you have completed the workout, Rich Piana prescribes a huge meal (I devoured a large pizza, chicken strips, milkshakes and a protein dessert) and two subsequent days off training to sleep (12-14 hours), relax and recover.
Just make sure you eat like you’re Henry VIII celebrating another new wife, eat until you can’t eat anything else.
This is a long fucking time to be working out so here’s a couple of tips to help you through the arduous day:
Group environments will certainly aid motivation and stop people from pussying out half way through.
Many people will train better in a group when egos start to kick in.
It’ll also help with the tedium.
If you’re trying this alone then make sure you’ve got plenty to watch on TV.
If you like cricket then one day of a test match will see you through, or a couple of football matches.
A lot of the growth you’ll experience on the day will be arm swelling and inflammation, so it’s best to measure your arm the following day.
For me, the resulting size was 16 inches, representing a total gain 0.5 inches.
Not bad, not bad at all.
The fact that I could barely lift a glass of water the next day was irrelevant to the gains.
The age old broscience adage of shocking your muscles into growth still seems to ring true, and this programme is about as shocking as it gets.
Think Prince Andrew being accused of soliciting steamy underage sex (to which he completely denies and various other statements such as ‘allegedly’ which make this sound non-libellous).
I’m not as vain as I once was, and now that I (thankfully) don’t take my bodybuilding advice from Flex magazine, I’ve found far more effective/less time consuming ways of stimulating arm growth than this batshit crazy programme.
Notably, not doing arm exercises, and hitting heavy bench press, military press, barbell rows, clean and jerks, pull ups, close grip bench and dips.
I rarely ever curl or crush anymore and my arms have never been bigger or stronger.
That said, I fully recommend for anyone looking to break the normal arm inertia to give Rich Piana’s 8 Hour Arm Workout a go.
Not only is it muscle building, but character building.
Big slabs of character.
What do you think of the Rich Piana 8 Hour Arm Workout?
Is it worth a try?
Or would you rather spend a day licking curdled sweat from Iggy Pop’s dimpled ballbag?
Do you put value on anything this walking erection has to say?
Or do you respect his views on bodybuilding about as much as his views on the FTSE 100 or Middle East Peace Process?
Whatever your views, hit me up with a comment below!
I heard about Rich’s 8 hour arm workout awhile ago, but have never seen the lay out before, nice!
Like the concept of working with friends to prevent pussying out half way 🙂
Give it a go Mike, I did it on my own which was psychologically draining.
Much like Dante’s Inferno, I went through 7 stages of hell before reaching Nirvana (post workout meal).
Eight hours??? Wow, it sounds very hard.
You’re right, this is not only is it muscle building, but character building.
“Add An Inch To Your Arms In 24 Hours”
WTF is this? Men’s Health? FUCK OFF.
Just a bit of a laugh really Vladimur.
You’re right – very ‘bro’.
How frequently could this workout be done?
I wouldn’t do this more than once or twice a year – or at all.
As mentioned I think there are much ‘easier’ ways to build big arms.
I just did this workout a couple days ago and had a half inch growth.
I think it was worth it.
I did it by myself at the gym and was mentally drained at the end of the day.
You’re a tougher man than me… impressive stuff!
How did the food work?
Did you just drink protein shakes or manage to take some food as well?
How old are you?
How about 16 shakes – did you take 1 scoop per shake or 1/2 scoops?
I just wonder if it works without shakes!!
If you generally consume 1-2 shakes per day then suddenly hitting 16 will not be beneficial – your body will simply not be able to absorb that much protein.
If you try this workout at the gym then you probably will have to take shakes as cooking/fridge facilities will not be available.
My advice would be to take several different flavours of protein or you’ll literally dread every shake after about 4 or 5.
As we always say on GymTalk – shakes are only there to boost protein intake.
I personally tried to get as much of the c. 320g of protein recommended from whole foods – chicken, beef, eggs, milk etc.
Not only did this make me feel better but also provided me with added energy and nutrients from the other foods I consumed and limited my sugar intake.
Hope this helps.
So I need to do Workout A & B in 8 hours?
Like rep it and rep it all day in 8 hours?
Should I take a shake after I am done with workout A & B, then start again and when I’m finished take a shake, and then start again?
Yes – so, for example, you will do Workout A at 9am, then again at 10am, 11am etc.
Workout B at 09.30am, 10.30am etc.
One small shake after every workout (every 30mins) but supplement the shakes for some real food from time to time would be my advice.
Hope this helps.
How much of that 0.5 inch did you keep?
Because the day after it would still be inflammation – what was the size after 1 week or month?
Hi M Snuckle.
Very difficult to comment on this of course since arm size will vary based on workout load and diet in the proceeding weeks/months.
I certainly didn’t feel like my arms got smaller so perhaps some of that 0.5 inch was maintained.
But as I also said, I find heavy compound lifts have a much better effect on not just triceps/biceps but just general arm and forearm size.
Are the exercises in each group done as a superset – Skull Crusher quickly followed by barbell curl – or do you alternate with a 1 minute rest, or do you do the full 4 sets of one then do the 4 sets of the other?
Also, how much protein was contained in each shake?
And lastly, can you give a starting weight that you went with?
What’s your normal barbell curl but what did you use for this “Craziness”?
This can help give me a clear point of reference on where to start.
I did 4 sets triceps, then 4 sets biceps, 1 min rest in between.
You definitely need it.
Aim for no more than 20g per shake or you simply won’t be able to process it all – and substitute shakes for whole food on some occasions, it definitely helps with the psychological side of things.
Normally I’d skull crush/curl with 15kg each side of an Ez bar, for this programme I started with 10kg and found that was sufficient to be not failing in the earlier hours, by the end, that was taking me to failure in the latter sets.
Hope this helps.
Plan on trying this on the weekend I plan to alternate between shakes and mini meals.
How many scoops did you take per shake?
My scoop contains about 100g of powder.
I didn’t know they did scoops that big!
Aim for just 10-15g of protein per shake, your body simply won’t be able to process any more than that.
The body will process protein according to need.
If you take in more than you require for muscle building purposes than it will store the excess as fat (after converting it) but there is no set limit on what you need.
It varies depending on gender, age, size, weight, digestion system, training intensity…
So I don’t know where you read this 10-15 gram rule… but I can assure you it is flat out incorrect.
The rule of thumb is eat 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.
Now if you weight 240lbs and you can only absorb 10-15 grams of protein per shake or meal, you would have to eat about 20 meals/shakes just to get in your requirements.
Once again the body digests according to need and not to any hard and fast rule of so many grams at one time.
Yes I know I am responding to an old post but people are STILL responding to the thread so I thought I would point this out just to make sure people aren’t being misled.
Reilly you can’t assume more than 15-25g of protein per hour.
So thats why 🙂
Don’t be too aggressive its not in Richie’s spirit 🙂
Did you do the skull crushers back to back?
Or skull crusher, rest one min, ez bar curl, rest one min, and so forth.
Then you rest and eat/drink the remaining of the half hour?
And if you used 10kg each side for ez curl how much does your ez curl bar weigh?
What weight did you for the hammer curls compared to your normal?
Thanks for this.
Hi Papa P.
No, do your 3-4 sets of crushers then 3-4 sets of curls.
Unfortunately there is a lot of waiting around to do during this day so make sure you’ve got some entertainment, sport or box sets are a good tip if you’re at home, just don’t get too enthralled and miss a set.
I honestly don’t know the weight of an ez bar, since I’m not trying to hit a 1rm it’s more about feel.
As for hammer curls, I’d usually use 12-14kg for a set of 15 reps but I started on 10kg and aimed for more controlled reps concentrating on the negative phase.
Hope this helps.
After you finish the 8 stes for that mini workout and then drink your shake do you just chill till it is 30 min?
Like if you started at 9am and then you do your sets and drink your shake at 9:20, do you just relax till 9:30 or can you fire up the next mini workout?
I’m going for it this Saturday.
I have to thank you for this nice layout and the tips, this is something I’ve wanted to try for a while.
Doing a similar workout, but for legs right now.
Will get back with results.
I love your arms Richie.
You are sooo sexy I miss you.
You are a stud and I want to be you my lover.
Daniel Roman, La, Cali.
I’ve done this workout.
Took time off work for this and holy god after the 3rd hour you lose your pump and it becomes so boring.
You also feel like the worst gym goer ever when someone asks how many more sets you have on that and you reply 4 more hours.