How I Got Big Arms with Calisthenics (My Secret)

Posted on March 01 2019

How I Got Big Arms with Calisthenics (My Secret)

So recently, I’ve gotten a lot of personal messages and comments all asking the same question: "What do you do for your arms?” or “How did you get them to look like that?". The truth is I don't really work out my arms. If you see me at the gym, you'll rarely catch me doing bicep curls or tricep-pushdowns or any type of isolation exercise that targets arms only.

    You also might’ve heard that I do compound exercises, and that is in fact true. If you don't know what a compound exercise is; it is just a multi-joint movement or exercise. For example, the bench press is not only working out your chest, but you're also working out your shoulders and triceps. The same exact thing with calisthenics and the push-up. It's a compound movement. But before I get too deep, I’m going to make it easy for you and give you the best exercise that I use to work different parts of my arms, so let's get into it!


What I do to work my triceps and grow them is a pushing exercise. That pushing exercise is usually going to be a horizontal movement as well as dips. The horizontal movement like I said; say for example I'm doing pseudo-plank push-ups. Doing that works out the chest and when you push-up; you’re activating that tricep.

Let’s continue to another pushing exercise I mentioned, the dip. The dip, much like the horizontal pushing movement is going to work out my chest and my triceps. However, this time it will primarily be my triceps. We all love dips. Everybody does it, or at least I hope you do!


Now let's move on to the other part of the arm, the bicep. A lot of people want to know how to get a nice, round looking bicep. Genetics do play a part in the shape but that doesn't mean you can't make them grow. So what I do for biceps personally are chin ups. A lot of people might think that chin-ups are an isolation exercise. The truth is chin ups is a compound exercise. You know why? Because not only are you working out your biceps, of course when you go up into the chin up but you're also activating your back muscles and you're working on those back gains. That’s why I LOVE this exercise, you're working out your biceps and your back at the same time!
One thing I do to make it even harder is assisted one arm chin ups or if I'm feeling really strong, I'll just go ahead and add some weight using a chain belt and do weighted chin ups. If you want to challenge yourself but you’re having a hard time doing it, I have a tutorial on
How To: One Arm Pullup/Chinup. Check it out, and leave a comment if it works for you! I love hearing feedback from you guys.


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  • WILLIAM ZEWE: June 24, 2019

    Hi Austin, thanks for this in-depth article. I am kind of on the fence, I don’t know whether to choose Calisthenics or weight lifting. I have been reading about calisthenics and I wish I can start doing calisthenics. But I am overweight an I can’t see myself doing a pull-up or handstand.

    I was reading about benefits of callisthenics when you are overweight and I came across an article at and they recommend doing only full body exercises like push ups when you are overweight.

    Do you think that doing full body exercises alone can help me progress to the point where I will be able to pull ups and hand stands without any issues? Your help is very much appreciated :)

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  • Ethaniel GrahamKomi Adade: March 08, 2019

    Why is my left bicep and forearm smaller than my right i have been doing push-ups and zotman curls but it’s not working.And how do I go about fixing that.

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