For this arm workout, we will showcase to you a set of exercises, made to target the two most commonly known antagonists (opposite muscle groups)- The biceps and the triceps.
The workout is designed for advanced athletes, who have already had a solid period of time, during which they have gained muscle mass.
This combination of biceps and triceps exercises is made specifically for the shredding phase. During the cutting period, the goals of the workout are more oriented towards retaining and shaping the previously gained muscle mass, rather than increasing it in size.
Training the antagonists consecutively will lead to massive blood flushing in the working musculature and the feeling of pump will be significant. Such blood flow will also provide the working musculature with more nutrients, benefiting the final goal- Retaining as much muscle mass as possible.
Due to the fact failure is not reached and the workout is in a rather significant state of flow, the working musculature will not get excessively exhausted and will get toned and shaped.
As we mentioned, the main priority of this antagonist-combined workout is to retain the previously gained muscle mass.
That is due to the fact that during a cutting phase (shredding), the body burns both fat and muscle tissue, to compensate for the deficit of energy.
To avoid muscle loss and get it down to minimum, while also shaping up the musculature the workout prioritizes moderate intensity, low rest times and higher repetitions.
Such an approach to training allows you to literally carve your muscle into detail, leading to more visible separations, fibers and vascularity, as well as an overall better feeling of tightness of the musculature.
|Dumbbell curls||5||15,12,12,10,10 –
First 2 are working sets
|Barbell preacher curls||2||10|
|Bench triceps dips||4||12|
|Overhead rope extension||3||12|
- Choose an appropriate pair of dumbbells for the given number of repetitions
- Grab the dumbbells and stand stably with your feet at shoulder width and back straight
- Look forward and curl the dumbbells
- As you are curling up, rotate (supinate) the wrist and keep your upper arm static- Only the forearms are moving
- Once you are at the top, keep the biceps fully contracted, holding the contraction briefly
- Let the dumbbells go down slowly and fully
Barbell preacher curls
- Load a barbell with a weight that is appropriate for the repetitions given
- Sit on the preacher and place your arms stably on the pad- Armpits should be tightly stuck to the edge of the pad
- Let the barbell go down slowly and completely, stretching the biceps
- Curl up explosively, contracting the biceps
- Hold the contraction briefly up top, then let the bar go down again, stretching the biceps
Cable standing curls
- Choose an appropriate weight on the cable machine, grab the pulleys and stand in the middle of the machine
- Place feet stably, at about shoulder width and keep your back straight
- Look forward, and while keeping the upper arms parallel to the ground, curl the cables, contracting the biceps
- Hold the contraction briefly and fully then let the cables go down, stretching the biceps
Bench triceps dips
- Set up two benches and sit on the side of one of them
- Lift your legs up on the opposite bench and lift yourself up on your arms
- Looking up, let your body go down slowly
- Push up explosively, contracting the triceps with a careful elbow lockout
Overhead rope extension
- Attach the rope on the lower cable and grab it with an overhand grip
- Turn around, getting the rope behind your head
- Place feet stably at around shoulder width, keep your back straight and look forward
- Keeping the elbows close to your head (not flared) and at a 90-degree angle, push the rope up, contracting the triceps
- Hold the contraction briefly, then let the rope down
As the goal here is to remain in a state of flow, where extreme intensity levels are not reached, we aim to increase the density of the workout. That is to say, that we will be moving MORE TOTAL WEIGHT for LESS time. And while that doesn’t mean lifting heavier, we will be focusing on more repetitions with lighter weight with less rest times between sets and exercises.
To start off, it is recommended that you implement sub-minute rests in-between sets and up to a minute between exercises.
Start at 50 seconds of rest between sets and 60 seconds of rest between exercises. As you go through each workout, get the rests down to 30 seconds of rest between sets and 30-40 seconds between exercises.
Due to the fact this workout will significantly activate your cardio-vascular system, compared to the traditional muscle-building workout, where rest times are as long as 2-3 minutes, it would be adequate to solve the so-called intra workout ‘thirst issues’. To do that, simply load 500-700 ml of water during the last hour prior to your workout.
Doing this, you will need little to none water during the workout, and your mouth certainly won’t feel like Sahara! If anything, you will need a couple of small sips every now and then, but that clenching thirst will not be present.
Carb Loading and Protein Intake
Many people think that fat loss (shredding) requires you to go on a low-carb or even a ketogenic diet.
And while it is most adequate to cut carbs to create a caloric deficit, required for weight loss, it is certainly a bad idea to go extremely low on them.
That is mainly because your workouts will require you to consume carbohydrates, as their end product is muscle and liver glycogen, which, quite obviously is the main source of energy for your workouts.
Keep the protein intake at about 1 gram per lb. of bodyweight and create the caloric deficit at the expense of fats and carbohydrates. Consume the bigger part of your carbohydrates, with a lower amount of protein, prior to your workout and a lesser part of your carbs, with a higher protein intake after the workout.
Such an approach to nutrition will allow you to have enough energy for your workout and just enough carbs to recover the energetic reserves after your workout. The following meals can contain little to none carbs and high protein, as protein will aid in optimal muscle recovery.
Iso-tension after each workout and on rest days will help you bring out more detail to your musculature, as well as improvements in the mind-to-muscle connection.
Ultimately, a better mind-muscle connection will result in you, having way better workouts, where each contraction of the working musculature is more prominent.
This combined workout, targeting the 2 most commonly known antagonists, the biceps and the triceps, will allow you to retain and shape up the muscle mass in your arms, during the fat loss, shredding period.
The workout prioritizes moderate intensity, high volume and high density, which will ultimately allow for insane arm pumps, more nutrients delivered to the working musculature and a development, that is rather detailed.
If integrated well within your training scheme, this workout will give you prominent muscle details and separations and will generally improve the visual look of the musculature, rather than get it exhausted.
The workouts must be supported by an appropriate nutrition plan, that includes a solid amount of carbohydrates, which will be the main fuel during each workout.
Rest times are kept low to favor the density of the workout and water loading is done during the final hour prior to each training session, to help you deal with the intra workout thirst, which is normal in a workout that has low rest times between sets and exercises.