Arm Workouts for Powerlifters: Maximize Your Strength

Written by the Boostcamp staff
Dec 13,2023|16 min| 2384

Power Up Your Arms: Workouts for Powerlifters

When it comes to powerlifting, arm training often takes a back seat, as that is a day reserved for bodybuilding workouts. However, it's important to note that your arms play a significant role in your overall performance in powerlifting. Strengthening your arms can help you improve your bench press, deadlifts, and even the control you have over the barbell during squats. Let’s debunk the misconception that powerlifters don't need to focus on arm training and explore the benefits of focusing on your arms. We will also go over some tips for strategizing your arm training routine, including specificity in exercises, technique, frequency of training sessions, and determining sets and reps. Additionally, we'll dive into some of the best bicep and tricep strengthening exercises for powerlifters and provide sample workouts with emphasis on arms. 

Are you ready to take your powerlifting game to the next level? Let's power up those arms!

The Significance of Arm Training for Powerlifting

Focused arm training prevents injuries and stabilizes muscles, and it also enhances overall powerlifting movements and contributes to a strong bench press and deadlift. Crucial for stability during heavy lifting, arm strength is essential for powerlifters in the long term, it is not just for bodybuilding goals. Incorporating bicep curls and high reps benefits the lifter's max deadlift and benching, duh!

Overcoming the Misconception: Powerlifters and Arm Training

Powerlifters benefit greatly from incorporating arm exercises into their training routines. Strong arms play a crucial role in maintaining constant tension during powerlifting movements, contributing to long-term success. This direct arm work complements the heavy lifting involved in powerlifting training and supports compound lifts. It's important to understand that arm training is not just for bodybuilders; it's beneficial for powerlifters too, aiding in overall strength and stability on those heavy lifts.

The Role of Arms in Powerlifting

The significance of arm strength in powerlifting cannot be overstated. Strengthening the triceps for the lock-out phase of the bench press is crucial, while improved bicep and forearm strength enhances grip control during exercises like squat and deadlift. Targeting specific muscle groups, such as the biceps and triceps, directly supports powerlifting movements, contributing to better stability and control of heavier loads. 

It is also important to recognize that you will not be hitting one rep maxes on your arm workouts, even as a powerlifter. Instead, maximize your training with high reps and smart bodybuilding techniques.

Unraveling the Benefits of Focused Arm Training

Developing strength specific to powerlifting movements, improving range of motion, and enhancing muscle groups involved in lifts are some benefits of focused arm training. Supplementary to powerlifting workouts, direct arm training supports powerlifters in achieving stronger, more stable lifts. Incorporating high reps of bicep curls and tricep toning exercises are not just for hypertrophy, and can lead to long-term benefits, contributing to big arms and improved performance in squat, benching, and deadlifts.

Strengthening the Lock-out of the Bench Press

Incorporating targeted tricep exercises enhances the strength and stability of the bench press lock-out, aiding in maintaining control of the bar. Strengthening the long head of the triceps is crucial for achieving a strong bench press lock-out, supporting powerlifters in improving the efficiency of the movement. Isolation exercises targeting the triceps contribute significantly to enhancing the bench press movement and overall performance.

Enhancing Grip Strength for Deadlifts

Strengthening grip control for deadlifts begins with targeted arm work, particularly forearm exercises. This enhances the powerlifter's ability to maintain bar grip and execute deadlift movements with precision. In a competition, you cannot use things like wrist straps to complete the lift, they have to stay in your gym bag. That being said, a good grip strength is absolutely crucial. By focusing on forearm strength, powerlifters can achieve better barbell control, setting the stage for improved performance in long term deadlifting endeavors. Incorporating high reps of bicep curls and other forearm exercises can lead to big arms and enhanced grip strength for deadlifts, and even the bench press.

Improving Overall Control of the Barbell

Enhancing barbell control and stability is vital in powerlifting. Targeted arm training, including exercises like hammer curls, contributes to better barbell control. Strengthening the biceps and triceps supports powerlifters in managing heavier loads, ultimately leading to improved stability during powerlifting movements. This enhanced arm strength plays a crucial role in achieving greater efficiency and control of the barbell, showcasing the significance of specific arm training for powerlifters.

Strategizing Your Arm Training: Tips for Powerlifters

Emphasizing specific arm workouts that complement powerlifting movements is crucial for powerlifters aiming for strong arms that are functional in their lifts. Incorporating arm exercises aligning with powerlifting movement patterns, focusing on technique and tailoring workouts, are vital for long term success. Implementing direct arm training to support stability and strength required for powerlifting, especially high reps of bicep curls, will maximize gains without compromising other key lifts.

Importance of Specificity in Arm Training

When tailoring arm workouts for powerlifters, it's crucial to ensure that the exercises align with the movement patterns of powerlifting. For example, if you are a bench press specialist, then perhaps consider doing close grip bench press for your arm days. It is a movement that can help overload the triceps, and is very close to the movement pattern of the regular bench press.

Technique Matters: Doing it Right

When focusing on arm workouts for powerlifters, correct execution is crucial. Emphasizing proper technique enhances workout effectiveness, providing optimal support for powerlifting exercises. Implementing correct arm training techniques is essential to maximize training benefits and support stability and strength during powerlifting movements. The right technique in direct arm training directly impacts the effectiveness of powerlifting workouts, contributing to long-term progress.

Balancing Frequency: How Often Should You Train?

Finding the right balance is crucial for arm training in powerlifting. Consistency is key, but allowing enough rest for muscle recovery is equally important. Listen to your body and adjust the frequency accordingly, ensuring progression without burnout. Align your training frequency with your overall powerlifting program.

Determining Sets & Reps: Quality over Quantity

When incorporating NLP terms, it's essential to focus on the quality of reps over high volume. This approach lessens the risk of tendinitis and ensures long-term arm health. Gradually increasing weight while maintaining good form is crucial for powerlifters, as is prioritizing constant tension in the targeted muscle groups during arm exercises. Consider incorporating higher reps and heavier loads to maximize the impact of your arm workouts.

Diving Into the Best Arm Exercises for Powerlifters

Incorporating compound lifts like bench press can significantly boost overall arm strength, complementing powerlifting movements. It's crucial to include isolation exercises such as tricep exercises for specific arm work and explore accessory exercises like tate press to supplement arm training. Utilize movements that engage the long head of the triceps for comprehensive arm work, and engage in direct arm training to complement powerlifting movements.

Bicep Strengthening Exercises to Consider

When it comes to bicep strengthening exercises for powerlifters, consider incorporating a variety of effective movements. Barbell curls are great for building bicep strength, while hammer curls engage both the biceps and forearm muscles. Dumbbell curls provide a full range of motion for targeted bicep work, and including forearm exercises can further support bicep strength training. By focusing on heavier loads and specific workouts, powerlifters can effectively strengthen their biceps for long-term success.

Tricep Toning Exercises for Powerlifters

Engage in targeted tricep exercises like close grip bench press for enhanced tricep strength. Include tricep extensions to specifically work on arms and benefit powerlifting movements. Implement barbell tricep exercises for improved tricep strength and powerlifting performance. Direct arm work is essential for powerlifters to develop and enhance tricep strength.

Sample Powerlifting Workouts with Emphasis on Arms

Unravel effective powerlifting workouts with a focus on arm strength. Customize training programs to prioritize arm development, for comprehensive strength. Incorporate heavy lifting routines and specific exercises like bicep curls and high reps for long term arm gains. Integrate arm-focused sessions within your powerlifting regimen to achieve big arms and maximize strength. Power up your arms for max lifting potential.

Bicep-Focused Powerlifting Workout

Maximizing bicep strength is essential for powerlifters. Incorporate heavy bicep curls for powerlifting strength training. Design powerlifting workouts emphasizing bicep muscle groups and arm exercises to promote bicep development. Engage in powerlifting movements that work the biceps comprehensively, prioritizing direct arm training for long term bicep strength.

Tricep-Focused Powerlifting Workout

Enhancing arm strength in powerlifting involves incorporating tricep exercises like tricep extensions for targeted muscle development. Powerlifting workouts can be designed to emphasize the tricep muscle groups, engaging them in specific movements for comprehensive arm work. Including powerlifting movements that actively engage the triceps is essential for overall arm strength. Direct arm training for tricep development remains a key priority for powerlifters aiming for stronger and more robust arms.

Making the Most of Your Arm Training: Key Takeaways

Prioritizing arm training can significantly enhance powerlifting performance by complementing core powerlifting movements. Customizing arm training to individual needs and weaknesses can lead to long-term improvements in overall powerlifting capabilities. Engaging in specific arm strength exercises tailored for powerlifting can result in big arms, ultimately contributing to improved performance. It's essential to emphasize the importance of targeted arm training for successful powerlifting endeavors.

Why Prioritizing Arm Training Can Make a Difference

Prioritizing arm training in powerlifting is crucial for stability, control, and enhanced performance. Strong arms support heavier loads and competition movements, contributing to a well-rounded workout routine. Emphasizing the significance of arm strength can lead to improved powerlifting performance in the long term. Incorporating bicep curls and specific exercises for big arms maximizes the lifter's potential during benching and squats.

How to Incorporate Arm Training in Your Routine Efficiently

Enhance powerlifting gains by efficiently incorporating arm training. Build overall strength focusing on tricep and bicep exercises to support powerlifting movements. Incorporate isolation exercises for specific muscle groups and long-term benefits. Strengthen arms to improve bench press and other powerlifting movements. Maximize results with high reps and bicep curls, essential for big arms and improved performance.

Are You Ready to Power Up Your Arms?

Ready to level up your powerlifting game? Strengthening your arms is key. Discover the top arm exercises for powerlifters, and understand how arm strength contributes to powerful movements. By incorporating heavy lifting and compound exercises into your routine, you can power up your arms and improve your overall performance.


When it comes to incorporating some new exercises into your workouts, you would want to find a program that caters to your needs and guides you in the right direction. If you are looking to stay on track and continue with linear progression, then finding a good workout program is the key. Where do you look for a good workout program? Check out the Boostcamp App for some great programs. 

Boostcamp is home to over 50 FREE workout programs that consist of strength, hypertrophy, or functional fitness, or both. However, with Boostcamp, you don’t have to just follow a pre-written program, you also can create your own program as well, and track your progress to make sure you are on the right track. That being said, when you are looking to incorporate some arm training to further your powerlifting progress, then check out Boostcamp.

Also, be sure to follow Boostcamp on Instagram and subscribe on YouTube!


To sum it up, arm training plays a crucial role in powerlifting, contrary to popular belief. Focused arm training can greatly benefit powerlifters by improving lock-out strength in bench presses, enhancing grip strength for deadlifts, and overall control of the barbell. When strategizing your arm training, prioritize specificity, technique, and balance frequency. Quality over quantity is key when determining sets and reps. Incorporating exercises that target the biceps and triceps is essential for effective arm training for powerlifters.

By prioritizing arm training, you can experience significant improvements in your powerlifting performance. So, are you ready to power up your arms? Let's dive in and take your powerlifting game to the next level!

Images courtesy of Instagram (@chloelikestolift)