An Arm Workout You’ll Feel Until Next Week

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The arm workout you will write home about. 

Let’s be honest. Everyone loves training arms. Some bros (to look like total badasses) might say that legs are their favorite muscle group to train but push them a little, and they will tell you arm workouts run a close second. And at this point, you will know the truth. 

We hate to break this to you, but there is no “alpha male without jacked muscles. A pair of ripped pythons can make you stand out. Jacked arms are symbolic of strength, look aesthetically appealing, and garner attention, whether in the workplace or on the street.

Although you might see people in your gym training their arms more than twice a week and flexing their guns at every chance they get (yes, even on leg days), but only a very few lifters have pythons that the Greek gods would approve. 

Mostly, the reason behind lagging arms development is not a lack of training equipment or intent but a dearth of correct training techniques. If your arm workouts only consist of a few bicep curls and tricep pushdowns, do not be surprised if your tiny wigs never grow into venomous pythons. 

Workout Principles For a Kickass Arm Workout

Arm workout

Arms are a relatively smaller muscle group. While you do not need as much intensity while training your guns as you would while training your lower body, do not use this as an excuse to show them mercy. Here are the principles you should be following during your arm workout:

1. Antagonistic Supersets

Lifters tend to train their favorite muscle group at the beginning of a workout. While some people train biceps at the beginning of their arm workout, others start with triceps. 

The problem with this technique is that by the time you get to training your weaker muscle group, you are fatigued, and do not have enough gas left in the tank to break new ground. 

Not only do antagonistic supersets lay the groundwork for biceps and triceps muscular balance, but they also are time efficient.  

2. Hypertrophy 

Tricep workout

Hypertrophy refers to an increase in muscular size achieved through exercise. To achieve hypertrophy, you should perform 12-15 reps per exercise and not rest more than 60-90 seconds between sets.

In this arm workout, you will not be stopping for rest between exercises while performing the antagonistic supersets. 

Remember: Do not lift a weight that is too light, as that will not allow you to see the same gain of definition.

3. Rest-Pause Sets

Most individuals usually perform 12-15 reps in a set. After a few training sessions, people get a good idea of how much weight they need to be lifting to hit failure by 12-15 reps. 

While there is nothing wrong with this technique, you need to remember that we are on a mission to remain sore until our next arm workout. We want to push our arms to their limit. 

Rest-pause sets give your ATP (adenosine triphosphate) reserves enough time to replenish so that you can perform an additional 5-10 reps without getting you out of hypertrophy. 

Muhammad Ali explained this the best when he said:

“I don’t count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count.”

4. There Are No Accessory Muscles in This Arm Workout 

Rest pause

Forearm training is an afterthought in most arm workouts, but this routine is unlike most regimens. Bodybuilding is a game of illusions. Muscular forearms and small joints (if you have them) can give an illusion of bigger arms. Stick with this arm workout for 12 weeks, and you might end up looking like The Hulk – at least in the arms department. 

5. Mind-Muscle Connection

Bodybuilding is not about lifting as heavy as you can or just going through the motions for the sake of it. If you want your biceps to look like mountain peaks and triceps to resemble horseshoes, you need to focus on contracting your muscles with every rep. 

The better your mind-muscle connection, the more muscle fibers you will be recruiting during your exercises. A higher degree of muscle activation also means that you lower the chances of injuries during your sets. 

You should not turn your rest periods between sets into dead time. Utilize that time to flex your muscles as hard as you can and hit your favorite poses. 

6. Shock Your Muscles Into Growing

Your muscles stop responding when they get used to your workouts. Contrary to popular opinion, you do not always need to perform new exercises to stimulate muscle growth. 

If you perform the arm workout laid out in this article for eight straight weeks (which you should), you could add variety to your workouts by switching the number of sets, reps, and advanced training techniques. Never perform the exact same workout for more than three weeks on a stretch.

With all said and done, here is a simple gauge to find out if your arm workout was a success: are you able to touch your right shoulder with your right hand? If yes, then you did not go hard enough. Keep taking this test between your sets to check how you are doing. 

8 Week Arm Workout From Hell

As Big Ramy would say, “the winter is here.”

If you have lagging arms, the “bulking season” is a great time to work on them. Carve them while they are under wraps, and come out brandishing your polished guns when the sun is out. 

1. Superset

(a) Standing Bicep Cable Curl: 3 sets 12-15 reps, no rest

Standing bicep cable curl

Steps:

  1. Adjust the pulley to the lowest setting. 
  2. Attach a straight bar to the pulley. 
  3. Grab the bar with a supinated (palms facing up) grip and stand upright with a shoulder-width stance.
  4. While keeping your elbows pinned to your sides, curl the bar toward your chest.
  5. Hold and contract your pythons at the top for a couple of seconds.
  6. Return to the starting position with a slow and controlled motion. 
  7. Repeat for recommended reps. 

(b) Straight Bar Tricep Pushdown: 3 sets 12-15 reps, 30-60 second rest

Tricep Pushdown arm workout

Steps: 

  1. Attach a straight bar to a cable stack as high as possible.
  2. Stand with an upright torso in a shoulder-width stance.
  3. Grasp the straight bar with a pronated grip (palms facing down) and lean forward slightly by hinging at the hips.
  4. Initiate the movement by extending your elbows and flexing the triceps.
  5. Pull the handle down until your elbows are almost locked out.
  6. Squeeze the life out of your triceps at the bottom of the movement.
  7. Return to the starting position with a controlled motion. 
  8. Repeat for repetitions.
  • Rest-Pause: 10 seconds 8-10 reps

Every exercise in this workout routine (except forearm lifts) includes a rest-pause set. Meaning – after performing 12-15 reps of an exercise, rest for 10 seconds, and then perform 8-10 more repetitions of the same movement with the same weight before moving onto the next lift. 

2. Superset 

(a) EZ Bar Skullcrusher: 3 sets 12-15 reps, no rest

This is no accident. You will be alternating between biceps and triceps as the first exercise of your supersets. This technique will ensure that you are training both muscle groups with the same intensity.

Steps:

  1. Choose your desired weight and sit on the edge of a flat bench with the EZ bar on your lap. 
  2. Lay back while lifting the bar to your chest.
  3. Once in position, press the bar until your arms are fully extended and perpendicular to the floor. 
  4. While keeping your elbows pinned in position, lower the weight towards your forehead by lowering your forearms. 
  5. Once you are a few inches away from your forehead, reverse the movement by extending your elbows while flexing the triceps to lock out the weight.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

(b) Zottman Curl: 3 sets 12-15 reps, 30-60 second rest

Steps:

  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides with your palms facing each other.
  2. Curl the weights up to your shoulders, keeping your upper arms still and turning your hands so your palms face up as you lift.
  3. Pause at the top of the movement and slowly rotate your grip so your palms are facing downwards. 
  4. Lower the dumbbells slowly back to the starting position using the overhand grip.
  5. When the dumbbells are close to your thighs, turn your hands so that your palms are in the starting position facing one another.
  • Rest-Pause: 10 seconds 8-10 reps

3. Superset 

(a) Barbell 21s: 3 sets 12-15 reps, no rest

Steps:

  1. Stand upright with a shoulder-width stance.
  2. Grab a barbell and hold it in front of your thighs. 
  3. While keeping your elbows pinned to your sides, curl the barbell to the halfway point (up to your belly button).
  4. Return to the starting position and complete seven repetitions with this range of motion. 
  5. Without pausing, curl the same weight all the way to the top, then lower the weight to the halfway point and back up again. Perform this for 7 reps.
  6. Finally, perform 7 reps of full barbell curls from the bottom to the top.

(b) Dumbbell Kickback: 3 sets 12-15 reps, 30-60 second rest

Steps:

  1. Position yourself on the left side of a flat bench with your right knee and right hand resting on the bench.
  2. Using a neutral grip, pick up the dumbbell with your left hand. Keep your back straight and look forward.
  3. Tuck your left upper arm close to your torso and bend at the elbow, forming a 90-degree angle with your upper arm and forearm. This is the starting position.
  4. Moving only at the elbow, raise the dumbbell behind you until your arm is fully extended.
  5. Pause, and then lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat this movement for desired reps before switching sides.
  • Rest-Pause: 10 seconds 8-10 reps

4. Superset

(a) Single-Arm Overhead Extension: 3 sets 12-15 reps, no rest

Arm workout

Steps:

  1. Stand upright in a shoulder-width stance.
  2. Grab a dumbbell with one hand and position it behind your head with the elbow flexed to 90-degrees.
  3. Place your other hand on your side or abdomen for stability.
  4. Press the dumbbell upward until your arm is fully extended. 
  5. Pause and contract your tricep at the top of the movement. 
  6. Repeat for recommended reps before switching sides.

(b) Dumbbell Hammer Preacher Curl: 3 sets 12-15 reps, 30-60 second rest

Steps:

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and sit on a preacher bench.
  2. Keeping your elbows flexed and your palms facing each other (neutral or hammer grip), place the backs of your upper arms flat on the pad.
  3. Lower the dumbbells in a slow and controlled motion until your arms are fully extended. 
  4. Curl the dumbbells back to the starting position explosively.
  5. Pause and contract your pythons at the top of the movement. 
  6. Repeat for reps. 
  • Rest-Pause: 10 seconds 8-10 reps

5. Superset 

(a) Supinated Grip Pull-Up: 3 sets 12-15 reps, no rest

Bicep pullup

Steps:

  1. Grab the pull-up bar with your hands roughly shoulder-width apart and your palms facing towards you.
  2. Bring your shoulder blades down and contract your lats and biceps to pull up until your chin rises above the bar.
  3. Pause at the top and squeeze your biceps.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

(b) Diamond Push-Up (weighted): 3 sets 12-15 reps, 30-60 second rest

Diamond pushup

Steps:

  1. Get on all fours with your hands together under your chest.
  2. Position your index fingers and thumbs so that they are touching, forming a diamond shape.
  3. Extend your arms so that your body is elevated and in a straight line.
  4. Lower your chest towards your hands while ensuring you do not flare your elbows out to the sides.
  5. Stop when your chest is a few inches away from the floor. 
  6. Return to the starting position explosively. 
  7. If the bodyweight version of this exercise feels too easy, feel free to add resistance by getting someone to place a weight plate on your upper back. 
  • Rest-Pause: 10 seconds 8-10 reps

6. Triset

(a) Pull-Up Bar Hang (Dead Hang): 3 sets failure, no rest

Dead hang

Steps:

  1. Use a step or bench so you can easily reach the bar. You shouldn’t jump into a dead hang. 
  2. Grab the overhead bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip.
  3. Hang on to the bar while keeping your arms straight. 
  4. Hang for as long as you can.

(b) Farmer’s Walk: 3 sets 30 seconds, no rest

Arm workout

Steps:

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. While standing tall, keeping your shoulders, back, and core tight, walk at an even pace for 30 seconds.

(c) Behind Back Cable Wrist Curl: 3 sets failure, 30-60 second rest

behind back cable wrist curl

Steps:

  1. Attach a straight bar to a low pulley. 
  2. While facing away from the pulley, squat down, and grab the bar with a pronated grip. 
  3. Squat back up and stand with a shoulder-width grip.
  4. While keeping your arm straight, slowly open your hands and let the bar slide from inside your palms to the tip of your fingers.
  5. Return to the starting position by clenching your fists so that the bar is raised into your palms.
  6. Curl your wrists and hold for a count of two.
  7. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions. 

Conclusion

Disclaimer: It is absolutely normal for your arms to cramp up during the day after you perform this brutal arm workout. Get accustomed to the pain, and it will not be long before you put on an inch on your arms. Good luck!

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