Two dumbbells, 30 minutes and six exercises to add mass to your arms

Pump incoming…

A man performing concentration curls with dumbbells in the gym
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The weather’s getting warmer and we all know what that means…suns out, guns out! But are you struggling to add inches to your upper pins? This workout can help. It may only take 30 minutes, but don’t let that fool you. It’s not always about how long you spend training, but the intensity of your workout, and this one will push you. Just grab a pair of dumbbells and get ready for operation arms. 

This is a hypertrophy workout from fitness trainer James Stirling that uses high reps to help you build muscle and targets both your biceps and triceps, so that you have well-developed and even-looking arms. But, to turn up the heat we've turned this into a circuit, so not only will it cut down on your workout time, but increase your muscle stimulus – get ready for a serious pump.

You’ve got six exercises to work through in total. As we previously mentioned, there’s a lot of reps to work through for each exercise (10-15), so make sure you opt for a medium-weight dumbbell and focus on that ‘mind-muscle connection’, not trying to shift as much weight as possible. As it's a circuit, aim to keep your rest minimal, no longer than a minute (but do rest if you need to). Once you’ve completed one round, rest for 90-120 seconds, then repeat three more times. Here’s your workout:

  • Bicep curl
  • Hammer curl
  • Drag curl
  • Tricep press
  • Overhead press
  • Skull crushers

Fancy more workouts like this one? Here’s a similar five-move dumbbell workout, but this one gives your back some attention too. Need something you can quickly smash out in 15 minutes? This three-move workout from HYROX Master Trainer, Jake Dearden, is what you need. Don’t be fooled by the minimal moves though, your arms will be burning afterwards. Also, don’t forget to have your protein shake after your workout to help your muscles repair. 

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.