The most effective exercise to build muscle is not really a workout. For me it is biking to beaches. I bike to a far away beach. Stopping is not an option because then I would be stuck in the middle of nowhere. I increased the distance or speed every time I went for a bike ride until I could bike 38 miles. In a few months I gained 30 pounds of muscle and that was biking one day a week.
To work the arms I would recommend kayaking or canoeing. You could run, bike or row using exercise machines but it is easier to force yourself to exceed your limits if you actually go from one place to another. For me the most effective way to build muscle is to travel under my own power from one place to another. The second best way is to use an exercise machine that tells me how far I would have went.
The most important thing is to improve every time or almost every time.
I believe the best work-out to build muscle is weight or resistance training. I personal do push-ups and work-out with dumb bells. To make a muscle grow you have build new muscle cells in that area of the body. Resistance training is making that muscle work to lift that weight so many times. And to lift it more times the muscle must get stronger or grow to handle the extra repititions or heavier weight you are lifting. You see a good weight work-out breaks down muscle tissue, and as you sleep that muscle builds muscle tissue. That way the muscle knows it will be ready for the next work-out. It is important to eat something light before bed so it will help the muscle rebuild. Does that make sense to you? I hope my answer was helpful.
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