George Peterson & Justin Miller’s Unstoppable Arm Workout Guide | In Memoriam

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Late George Peterson undergoes an intense arm workout with his coach, Justin Miller. 

It was a sad day in bodybuilding on October 6, 2021. That was the day we received the news that IFBB pro bodybuilding star George Peterson had passed away at 37 years old, just days before competing at 2021 Olympia.

George Peterson was a New York native making a mark in bodybuilding. Peterson competed in the IFBB Pro Classic Physique and Men’s 212 division. In the Classic Physique category, Peterson placed third at the 2017 Tampa Pro, third at the 2018 Olympia, and was the 2019 Arnold Classic Physique contest winner. When Peterson moved to the Men’s 212 division in 2020, he won the 2020 Tampa Pro and received third at the 2020 Olympia.

George Peterson had an incredible career and personality. He was beloved by his family, friends, and fans–many described his demeanor as humble and positive. Generation Iron was lucky enough to film an arm workout with George Peterson a few months before his passing. However, to respect Peterson and his family, friends, and bodybuilding, we didn’t release footage of the workout as they grieved.

Now one year later, we’re making his exclusive Generation Iron workout public to commemorate the anniversary of George Peterson’s death – and celebrate the life he lived. This article will cover George Peterson’s rigorous arm workout.

Triceps Row Pull Downs

To start this arm workout, Justin Miller (Peterson’s coach) gave Generation Iron director Vlad Yudin some pointers on the first movement in George Peterson’s arm workout, tricep row pull down. Miller said to think of external rotations, keep your elbows tight, and bring them out and chest up. They did this to contract their rear delts simultaneously with their triceps–Miller also had Yudin and Peterson squeeze and hold the extension at the bottom to contract the rear delt. He also noted them to keep their hands apart through the extension up and down.

The tricep row pull downs targets all three of the triceps heads–long head, medial head, and lateral head. In addition, the rope attachment allows for increased extension, which involves the rear deltoid.

Barbell Scott Curls 

The next movement in Geroge Peterson’s workout was the Barbell Scott curls, aka preacher curl. The barbell allows you to lift heavier weights than dumbbells. And the downward slope of the arm pad enables you to bring your biceps through a greater range of motion than a standard barbell curl. Furthermore, the angled padding focuses on the negative portion of the lift, which is where a lot of muscle growth occurs.

According to Justin Miller, the number of reps you should do depends on multiple factors. Miller stated:

“TECHNICALLY, THE SCIENCE, I MEAN, WILL TELL YOU, YOU KNOW, BETWEEN 8 AND 10 REPS IS, IS GOOD MUSCLE BUILDING OR 8 TO 12 REPS IS GOOD HYPERTROPHY RANGE. BUT I PROBABLY OPERATE A LITTLE HIGHER.”

He reasons that if you can still do more reps after 10, why not do 12?

Miller also suggests squeezing the muscle on the barbell Scott curls at the top of the curl before lowering the weight back down. Miller said to increase the intensity of the movements, count 2 seconds when bringing the weight up and 3 seconds on the way down.

George Peterson bodybuilder
Image via Instagram @georgep_dabull

Skull Crushers 

George Peterson then moved to target his triceps again via skull crushers. The skull crushers are a staple in any good triceps workout. It allows for an increased range of motion and heavy weight. Justin Miller suggested using lighter weights for this movement. To get a fuller tricep extension, Miller said to bring the barbell down past your head. He also noted not to extend the barbell fully, keeping the tension on the triceps. Peterson’s grip is slightly closer together than shoulder-width apart.

Hammer Curls

Next on Peterson’s arm workout was hammer curls. Hammer curls are done with a neutral grip (palms facing each other). This grip is easier on your wrists, lets you use heavier weight, and targets your forearms more than standard dumbbell curls.

Up to this point, they’ve been alternating triceps and biceps workouts. But Miller says that they mix it up. For example, sometimes, they alternate each muscle group and do all the triceps exercises before moving on to the biceps.

Vlad Yudin asked Miller if it was okay to bend his back and use a bit of momentum when performing curls or if it was better to stay stable. And Miller said it depends on the person. For example, he doesn’t recommend it for people with back issues. Moreover, Miller said that there are a lot of factors, and it depends if the athlete is in the off-season or pre-contest. But overall, he thinks less movement is better.

You’ll notice in the workout Peterson and Yudin are bringing the dumbbells inward each rep. Miller said that’s to work the brachialis and brachioradialis. In addition, he said to squeeze the dumbbell each rep for a good mind-muscle connection.

Parallel Bar Dips 

To boost the intensity of the workout, they moved to a higher rep movement, parallel bar dips. This is a calisthenics exercise requiring you to support your entire body weight.

In this exercise, Miller had Peterson do various holds and partial reps at random intervals. Miller joked to Yudin:

“HOLD LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. YOU’RE HOLDING YOURSELF ON A CLIFF. YOU’RE GOING TO FALL A 1,000 FEET TO YOUR DEATH IF YOU DON’T HOLD ON.”

Seated Dumbbell Bicep Curls

The final exercise in Peterson’s workout was seated dumbbell bicep curls. As the name suggests, this exercise is performed with dumbbells seated. You’ll use a supinated grip (palms facing up). Compared to the hammer curl, the dumbbell bicep curl will target more of your short head.

George Peterson’s Back Workout

  • Triceps Row Pull Downs: 5 sets x 15-30 reps (final set until failure)
  • Barbell Scott Curls: 3 sets x 12-15 reps
  • Skull Crushers: 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Hammer Curls: 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Parallel Bar Dips: 1 set x 30-50 reps, 2 sets x 15-20 reps
  • Seated Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 3 sets x 12-15 reps

The workout George Peterson’s coach Justin Miller put him through was a high-volume arm workout targeting Peterson’s biceps and triceps. Peterson started with triceps row pull downs, alternating between biceps and triceps exercises before finishing the training with seated dumbbell curls. Justin Miller gave good pointers, including treating tricep row pull down similar to external rotations–keep your elbows tight, extend and hold the rope at the bottom, and squeeze your rear delts.

George Peterson’s arm workout was performed with lots of sets and reps, with each exercise requiring at least 12 reps and some requiring up to 50. And triceps row pulldown had five sets.

Generation Iron enjoyed working with George Peterson to film this workout. He was a talented bodybuilder, and bodybuilding will miss him dearly.

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