In this arm workout guide, we are going to give you a biceps and triceps workout, made for the off-season, or the so-called muscle building period. This workout is designed for intermediate and advanced athletes, who already have a decent foundation of muscle mass and are looking to put on more size onto their frame.
Due to the fact this is a muscle building workout, the workout is mainly structured around free-weight movements, and some isolated movements.
The workout is intense, but it doesn’t reach the limits of intensity, making it a moderate to high intensity workout.
The main goal of this structured arm training plan is to complete heavy movements in the 6+ repetition range. It is recommended that each set leaves you 1-2 repetitions in reserve and failure is reached only as given in the exercise table below.
The workout offers a variety of repetitions, ranging from 6 until failure to 12 clean repetitions, before failure. Such an approach allows for both types of hypertrophy to occur, leading to a well-rounded development of the arm musculature.
Strength gains will be an accompanying part of the progress yielded by this workout, but won’t be a main priority, as the workout is more oriented towards hypertrophy development (muscle mass growth).
First 2 are warm up sets
|Incline bench dumbbell curls
|10,10,8,6 last set until failure
|Close grip barbell bench press
|Lever triceps dips
|Rope triceps extensions
- Load the barbell with a weight that is appropriate for the given number of repetitions- Failure must not be reached
- Grab the barbell at shoulder width or slightly wider and stand up straight with your feet placed at shoulder width, stably
- Keep your body straight and look forward
- Curl the barbell up, keeping your upper arm static
- Hold the full bicep contraction briefly, then slowly let the barbell down, fully
Incline Bench Dumbbell Curls
- Pre-set a bench to a 45-degree angle
- Pick an appropriate pair of dumbbells and lie down on the bench comfortably, keeping the dumbbells by your sides
- Keeping your upper arms static, curl the dumbbells up, supinating your wrists
- Hold the full biceps contraction up top briefly, then let the dumbbells go down slowly
Close Grip Barbell Bench Press
- Load the barbell with an appropriate weight and lie down on the bench comfortably, placing your feet stably on the ground and resting your head to avoid excessive neck tension
- Grab the barbell with a close grip, narrower than shoulder width
- Un-rack the barbell, then let it go down slowly, to the lower portion of your chest, without letting it rest completely at the bottom
- Push the barbell up explosively, contracting the triceps with a careful elbow lockout up top
Lever Triceps Dips
- Sit down on the lever machine, tucking your legs under the pads
- Grab the handles with an overhand grip and keep your body straight
- Push down with a moderate pace, contracting your triceps at the bottom with a careful elbow lockout (too quick of a lockout may damage the tendons and joints)
- Go back up slowly, keeping the tension on the triceps
Rope Triceps Extensions
- Attach the rope onto the upper cable and stand in front of it
- Grab the rope with an overhand grip and stand stably on your feet, placing them at about shoulder width
- Keeping your back straight, push the rope down, while keeping your upper arm static
- Contract the triceps fully at the bottom and hold the contraction briefly
- Return to the original position slowly
Due to the fact that this is a muscle building workout, the rest times between sets and exercises are supposed to be slightly longer. This will allow for each set to be completed with a significant amount of weight and with optimally recovered muscle energy reserves.
It is recommended that your rest times between sets and exercises are up to 90-100 seconds (the heavier the set, the longer the rest).
It is also important that you integrate the workout well, within the rest of your training schedule. The arm workout should be done not more than twice a week and is mostly suitable for a 3-day split, where you train 3 days on and 1 day off.
This will ultimately allow you to hit your arms right when they are at the point of hyper-recovery, around the 72nd to 96th hour after a workout.
This approach will lead to optimal increases of mass and strength, as missing the hyper-recovery window will lead to suboptimal gains and even plateau.
The workout may be structured well, but if it isn’t supported with an appropriate nutrition plan, you might just burn your musculature out.
Make sure to consume a solid amount of carbohydrates during the hours prior to each workout. The carbohydrates will fill up your glycogen reserves and what this means is that you can complete longer and more intense workout, as muscle glycogen is the main source of energy, during heavy workouts.
Ultimately, you are looking to also recover these energetic reserves after a workout, by consuming a moderate amount of carbs in your post-workout meal, with, of course, a bigger portion of proteins as well.
Generally, you’re looking to consume more carbs and less protein before a workout and more protein with less carbs after a workout.
Carbs for fuel (energy), protein for recovery of the damaged muscle tissues.
This arm workout, designed specifically for intermediate and advanced athletes, allows you to target the biceps and triceps with heavy, free-weight exercises.
The intensity here is moderate to high and we have contrasting repetitions- Both high, up to 12 and low, down to 6 until failure. This approach allows for overall development, as it results in both sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar hypertrophy, as well as accompanying increases in strength gains.
Weights must be appropriately picked for the repetitions given and failure should be reached only as written in the exercises table.
The workout must be supported with a proper nutrition plan, which will ultimately allow you to stack on muscle glycogen, which you’re going to use as fuel for your workouts and of course, plenty of protein, which will allow you to recover after the workout.
Ultimately, you’re looking to integrate this workout in a 3-day training split, which will allow you to train your arms twice a week, every 72 to 96 hours, during the hyper-recovery window.