Arms Day – Strength and Mass

Arms Day - Strength and Mass

In this article, we will show you a typical split workout (doesn’t involve supersets) for the biceps, triceps and forearms. The main goal of this workout is gaining mass and strength in the arms department, meaning that you will be gaining pulling and pushing strength, along with the increase in effective weight (muscle mass).

The workout’s volume is in accordance to the size of the muscle groups involved.

This arm day workout would be appropriate and applicable for intermediate and advanced fitness enthusiasts.

We should mention that due to its high volume, the workout should not be done more than twice a week (every 3-4 days) and is a nice addition for a 4-day split (3 days on, 1 off).

Which muscle group to start off with?

If you have not gone through our article on “Priority principle” we will brief you shortly- Prioritize your weak spots. If your biceps are lacking, place them first in your arms workout and blast them with weights and volume.

In this particular workout, we start off with the biceps, then we move on to the triceps and finish off with a couple of exercises that prioritize the forearms.

ExerciseNumber of SetsNumber of RepetitionsMuscle Groups Involved
Barbell bicep curl5Warm up- 15,12
Working- 10, 8, 8
Primarily biceps, secondarily forearms
Dumbbell preacher curls38-10Primarily biceps, secondarily forearms
Close grip bench press58-10Primarily triceps, secondarily chest and front shoulders.
Pulley rope triceps extension410Triceps
Reverse grip barbell curl212Forearms, biceps
Dumbbell hammer curl212Forearms, biceps

Notes

Rest times in between sets and exercises are no longer than 2 minutes. Take as long as you need to recover and be ready for the next set/exercise, but keep the blood flowing and avoid long rests.

This workout should take about an hour to complete.

Cheat principle

More advanced athletes can use the cheat principle to help themselves get beyond failure for the first barbell bicep exercise.

Barbell bicep curl

Barbell bicep curl

The workout starts with the most basic barbell bicep exercise, which is done in 5 sets, with the first two being done with lower weights and higher reps to get the biceps warmed up for the 3 working sets afterwards.

Execution

  • Grab the barbell with the arms being at shoulder width
  • Keep your body straight and the arms extended all the way down
  • Curl up, until the biceps is fully contracted
  • Hold the contraction for a split second
  • Let the weight down slowly, stretching the biceps

Dumbbell preacher curl

dumbbell preacher curlThis second bicep exercise emphasizes on the outer head of the bicep, which is responsible for its “peaky” look.

Execution

  • Sit down and place your arm on the preacher, holding the dumbbell- Make sure your armpit is tightly placed against the edge of the pad
  • Let the dumbbell all the way down, stretching your bicep
  • Curl the dumbbell up, contracting the bicep- Once you reach full contraction, hold it for a second and let the weight down again

Close grip barbell bench press

Close grip barbell bench press

This compound movement allows you to use significant weights, due to the fact the synergistic muscle groups working here are the chest, shoulders and triceps, with the triceps being primarily involved.

Execution

  • Load the bar
  • Lay down and grab the bar with your arms being at shoulder width
  • Un-rack the bar and keep the triceps tensed
  • Let the barbell down, so that it reaches the line at the very bottom of your chest musculature

Pulley rope triceps extension

pulley rope triceps extension

This is your second and last triceps exercise, which will focus more on contraction, rather than heavy weights- Make sure you use light weights and achieve optimal muscle contraction.

Execution

  • Grab the rope with an overhand grip
  • Turn around and step with one of your legs forward for balance, as illustrated
  • Keep the upper portion of the arm static
  • Extend your arm, contracting the triceps
  • Let the weight down, then proceed to the next rep

Reverse barbell curl

reverse barbell curlThese last two exercises will emphasize on the forearm musculature, which is often a lacking body part for many trainees.

Execution

  • Stand up with your body straight
  • Grab the barbell with an overhand, reverse grip
  • Make sure your arms are completely extended at the bottom of the movement
  • Curl up, keeping the tension on the forearms
  • Slowly let the barbell down
  • Proceed to the next rep

Dumbbell hammer curl

Dumbbell hammer curl standing

Execution

  • Stand up with the dumbbells by your side (sides of the dumbbells pointing forward as illustrated)
  • Keep the upper arm static
  • Curl the weight up, without supinating your wrist
  • Hold the contraction briefly
  • Extend your arm all the way down

Make sure to use appropriate weights and proper execution for each exercise. Cheating is only considered safe for the first bicep exercise, after reaching failure (e.g. 8 strict repetitions until failure, followed by 2-3 more repetitions beyond failure, using inertial movements to support the weight)

Check- Cheating principle

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