Paul Dillet has bigger arms than you.
That’s okay though. In his prime Paul Dillet had bigger arms than anyone. Just how big? Well, we’ll let the legendary Canadian bodybuilder give his nonchalant answer. “The biggest my arms got were 24 inches,” Dillet said. “It was a legitimate 24 inches, too, not a made-up 24.” Yes, that’s bigger than your arms, so put away the tape measure. Luckily, Dillet is in a giving mood and he’s more than willing to share his secrets and the workouts that helped give him some of the biggest and freakiest arms in bodybuilding history.
Not surprisingly, Dillet focused on basic movements early in his career. He started off doing triceps on one day and then would fit in biceps another day. It worked, but Dillet’s preferred method – and the one he switched to later and got optimum results – was dedicating one day to arms and doing biceps and triceps on the same day. Dillet had his reasons and wasn’t afraid to admit that a couple might have been purely cosmetic. “It was an ego thing,” Dillet said, laughing. “You just want to see your arms pumped to the max. To do that, you work them on the same day.”
Behind the mind-blowing pump Dillet would get in his swelling arms, a mind-blowing boost of confidence would come his way when he finished his workout and saw his massive arms engorged with blood in the mirror. “Seeing that pump was a good rush for the head. It was really effective,” Dillet said.
There’s no doubting that. Its effectiveness allowed for Dillet to garner a pair of the most balanced arms in professional bodybuilding. His arms always stood out, but his triceps didn’t outshine his biceps. Both were proportionate, both were balanced and both were strong points. Dillet chalked it all up to working both on the same day.
That’s your first piece of advice from the man affectionately know as “Freakenstein,” and, really, who wants to ignore advice on arms from someone with a nickname like that.
The next piece has to do with exercise selection. One thing is certain – Dillet didn’t get his massive arms by sticking to “toning” movements. No, he relied on the tried and true mass builders to become a mass monster, regularly using upwards of 225 pounds for 12 reps on barbell curls. “I loved barbell curls and I loved skullcrushers for triceps,” Dillet said. “I just found those, along with exercises like one-arm dumbbell curls were the bread and butter for putting size on my arms.” It’s not fancy and it’s not earth shattering, but if it works for Dillet, then you best realize it’s going to work for your arms. “For arms, nothing beats basic movements, and that’s coming from the guy with some of the biggest arms,” Dillet said.
So, there’s tip number two: stick to big, compound movements for the arms if you want them to grow. That was the backbone of Dillet’s workout and it should be with yours as well. Of course, the rest of the workout featured key accessory movements like preacher curls and rope pressdowns, but don’t expect the big guns without the big movements.
That brings us to Dillet’s final point – weight selection. Dillet wasn’t sloppy with his form, using a moderate weight for 4-5 sets of 10-12 reps. It allowed him to stay strict during his movements and the workload allowed for the best results. Of course, Dillet’s moderate weight might be twice yours, but the premise and idea behind it are what is key. “I was always a high-rep guy using moderate weight. It was nothing less than 10 reps,” Dillet said.
Here’s the hard truth – your arms won’t ever be as big as Dillet’s. But follow this plan and you’ll be a whole lot closer than you were before.
Paul Dillet’s Recommended Arm Workout:
Rhyme and Reason Dillet suggests starting with a tricep movement and then hitting a bicep movement next, alternating back and forth until workout is complete.
All exercises are 4-5 sets (after a proper warm-up) and 10-12 repetitions
- Cable Tricep Extension
- The Rhyme: This exercise warms up the joints for the mass-builders that follow
- Barbell Curl
- The Reason: The king of bicep movements according to Dillet
- The Rhyme: Dillet’s bread and butter for triceps
- Preacher Curl
- The Reason: A great exercise to pump up the biceps
- The Rhyme: A great finisher with a lot of different options. Dillet advises using everything from a straight bar to a V-bar to a rope.
- Concentration Curl
- The Reason: A great bicep finisher. To get the most out of it, use the reverse side of a preacher curl. It keeps your arm locked and makes the movement even stricter.
Dillet’s final piece of advice is to keep the weight moderate. Now, this isn’t an excuse to go to light and breeze your way through the workout, but Dillet has his reasons for the suggestion. He has two massive slabs of muscle that say he might be onto something. “I used moderate weight, but that word is relative to your strength level,” Dillet said. “Some guys go in there to annihilate their body. I want to grow but I didn’t want to annihilate it. Nobody was bigger than I was and there’s still nobody bigger, so I must have been doing something right.”