Add Inches to Your Arms With The 5/20 Method

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Add Inches to Your Arms With The 5/20 MethodPeopleImages - Getty Images

If you’re looking to add inches to your arms, without spending hours in the gym, then switching out your regularly scheduled arm day for one of these sleeve stretching finishers is the way to go.

These quick-fire workouts utilise the ‘5/20 method’— four movements working from hard and heavy all of the way through to a high-rep burnout, without taking a rest. Although quick and efficient, this method still promises a vicious pump and serious gains, but you’re going to have to work for it — if your arms don’t feel like they’re on fire, you’re doing it wrong.

Pull the pin on one (or both) of these at the end of your next upper body workout to throw an anabolic hand grenade into your arm training.


Complete three rounds of the following circuit. Rest minimally between movements before taking 90-120 seconds rest between rounds.

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1.Chin-ups x 5

Grab a pull-up bar with your palms facing your body. Lift your feet off the floor and hang freely with straight arms (A). Pull yourself up by flexing your elbows and pinching your shoulders together. When your chin passes the bar, pause (B) Squeeze your biceps hard before lowering to the starting position.

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2. Dumbbell Curls x 10

Chin-ups dispatched, grab your bells and stand tall holding them at your sides (A). With minimal momentum, curl both dumbbells, turning your palms inwards, until your pinky fingers are near your shoulders (B). Squeeze here and lower under control.

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3. Hammer Curl x 15

After your final curl, keep the same dumbbell but switch to hammer curls to eek out another 15 reps (A). Curl both dumbbells upwards simultaneously, keeping your palms facing each other throughout (B). Lower both bells and immediately repeat. A little bit of help from your body on the way up as fatigue sets in isn’t the end of the world, but be sure to control the bells back down.

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4. Single Dumbbell Bicep Curl x 20

Finally, half the load by dropping one of your ‘bells. Grip the remaining 'bell with both hands, holding the outer ‘heads’ palms facing each other (A). With minimal momentum, curl the dumbbell upwards until it’s beneath your chin (B). Squeeze here and lower the weight under control, fighting it all of the way. Complete 20-controlled reps while holding back tears.


Complete three rounds of the following circuit. Rest minimally between movements before taking 90-120 seconds rest between rounds.

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1. Tricep Extensions x 5

Stand tall with a heavy barbell locked out overhead (A). Bend at the elbows, slowly lowering the bar towards the back of your head, while keeping your upper arms locked in place. Stop when you feel a deep stretch in your triceps (B) before pressing back up explosively. Repeat.

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2. Dips x 10

Jump up on two parallel bars with your palms facing inward and your arms straight (A). Use two boxes or the backs of two sturdy chairs if you’re at home. Slowly lower until your elbows are at right angles, ensuring they don’t flare outward (B). Drive yourself back up to the top and repeat.

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3. Close-grip Press-ups x 15

Drop into a plank position, with your core tight and hands almost touching, below your shoulders (A). Bend your elbows to bring your chest to the floor (B). Keep your elbows close to your body as you push back up explosively.

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4. Tricep Press Down x 20

Use a cable machine or loop a resistance band over a high anchor point. Grip the bottom half with both hands, tuck your elbows close to your body and position your forearms parallel to the ground (A). Push the band away, keeping your elbows and upper arms pinned, squeeze your triceps hard as you straighten out your arms (B). Slowly return to the beginning position and repeat.

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