Have your arms not grown in seemingly forever? Day in and day out, I see the same guys doing the same arm routine.
And guess what, their arms are still pretty tiny.
It’s odd how so many gym goers keep doing the same thing over and over despite progress being nonexistent.
These guys spend too much time doing too many sets and getting little to no results.
When training your arms, sometimes less is more. Remember, the biceps and triceps are some of the smallest muscle groups in the body and don’t require a lot of work to grow.
Pounding them into oblivion several times a week will not give you the results you are after.
I would suggest doing this routine once a week, on its own day; go hard and intense, then watch your arms grow. Then switch it up with another arm workout for massive arms.
You will be focusing on just the right amount of volume and quality reps with good form.
What About Warm-Ups?
Warm-ups are just that, warm-ups; they should not be too taxing. Start off with 2-3 warm-ups sets of 10-15 repetitions for the first biceps and triceps exercises. After that, you will move on to your working sets.
Once you have sufficiently warmed up, there is no need to do warm-ups for each following exercise.
How Many Sets and Reps Should I Do?
For this program, you will be working in a higher rep range. Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps per exercise. When you can get 11 reps on each set, increase the weight at your next workout.
No matter what body part you are training, you should always aim for progression. Far too many lifters add unneeded extra sets, hoping that more sets equal more growth.
When in reality, all they need to do is just add more weight and continue to focus on progression.
How long are the rest periods between exercises and sets?
Rest a minimum of 60 seconds between supersets.
If you need a little extra time to recover, take it. Remember though, this is supposed to be a fast-paced, intense workout.
Once you get into this routine, you will get a better idea of how much time you as an individual need to recover between sets.
How Do I Perform the Exercises?
Below is a brief description of the exercises to get you started. Most of you will be familiar with these exercises.
- How to perform tricep pushdowns: Attach a V bar to a high pulley. Next, grab the bar with an overhand grip, making sure your thumbs are slightly higher than your pinky fingers. Keeping your elbows tight at your sides, push the bar down until your arms are straight. Pause before slowly returning to the start position.
- How to perform decline skull crusher: Position yourself in the decline bench and place the barbell on your thighs. You will grab the bar with an overhand grip, keeping your hands approximately 8-12 inches apart. Lie back on the bench as you extend your arms straight up to the ceiling. Make sure to keep your elbows bent slightly, and slowly touch the bar to your forehead before pressing the bar back to the start position.
- How to perform close grip bench press: Grasp the bar with an overhand grip placing your hands 8-12 inches apart. Unrack the weight and keep your elbows tucked at your sides. Slowly lower the bar to your chest before pushing the bar forcefully back to the start position.
- How to perform seated overhead dumbbell extension: Position yourself in the seated position on an upright bench. Extend the dumbbells behind the top of your head, with the dumbells oriented vertically. Flex your elbows and the lower the weight behind your head until your arms are bent 90 degrees. Extend the elbows and flex your triceps to press the dumbbells back to the starting position.
- How to perform standing barbell curls: Grab the bar with an underhand grip. Place your hands just outside of your thighs and keep your elbows tucked at the sides. Curl the barbell slowly without swinging your body, squeeze at the top, and then slowly lower to the start position.
- How to perform standing hammer curls: Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, with your palms facing your body. Keep your elbows tight at your sides and curl each dumbbell up. Squeeze and hold at the top of the movement before returning to the start position. You can alternate each arm or do them together.
- How to perform cable curls: Grab a straight bar cable attachment with an underhand grip. Place your hands just outside of your thighs and keep your elbows tucked at the sides. Curl the cable slowly up to your chest without swinging your body, squeeze at the top and then slowly lower to the start position.
- How to perform reverse-grip EZ bar curls: Hold an EZ bar with an overhand grip at about shoulder width. Keeping your upper arms against your sides, curl the bar towards your chest until arms are fully contracted. Slowly lower the weight back to starting position.
Perform this arm workout in a superset fashion (A→B) to increase intensity and blood flow to the muscles. Supersets are great for arms training since the biceps antagonize the triceps. Once you’ve completed three sets of the first superset exercises, move onto the second superset and so forth.
|Triceps Pushdowns (A1)||3||8-12|
|Decline Skullcrushers (A2)||3||8-12|
|Close Grip Bench Press (A3)||3||8-12|
|Seated Overhead DB Extension (A4)||3||8-12|
|Standing Barbell Curl (B1)||3||8-12|
|Standing DB Hammer Curl (B2)||3||8-12|
|Cable Curl (B3)||3||8-12|
|Reverse-Grip EZ Bar Curl (B4)||3||8-12|
Note: Don’t add more sets. Make the sets you do count! New trainees tend to focus on the biceps and often forget about the triceps. The triceps are a larger muscle than the bicep. Thus, by focusing on the triceps you can actually make your biceps look bigger!
- If you don’t feel comfortable with the V handle for press-downs, try a different attachment. You could try the straight bar or the rope.
- As you continue to improve and go heavier, it may be benefitial to have a spotter to hand you the bar on the decline skull crusher.
- Try changing your grip on the barbell curl. You could alternate one week to a closer grip and another with a wider grip.
- Take a clinically-dosed pre-workout supplement 30 minutes before training to maximize pumps, endurance, and blood flow.
If you try this workout we would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment in the section below.arms, biceps, muscle growth, superset, triceps
About the author
Elliot Reimers, CNC, M.S. Candidate