Written by Joey Argento
Let’s face it, arm day is either this glorified day in which we, as fitness enthusiasts, get to pump massive amounts of blood into our forearms, triceps and biceps or it’s this dreaded session which involves an endless amount of boring curls and extensions. For newbies or beginners, arm day is like a gift from above because it does not involve the big four intimidating compound movements (bench, squat, military press and deadlift). For the most part, your biceps and triceps are the easiest muscles to develop a mind muscle connection with thus making it way easier to get that highly coveted “pump” that most bodybuilders thrive for.
It is when a bodybuilder transitions from beginner to intermediate lifter that s/he starts to get bored with their arm workouts. I found myself in the same situation and felt as if my arm sessions were just an overdone and almost stale group of exercises, almost like one massive cliché.
There are so many exercises and methods to include into your arm training that will assure that your arm workouts never grow old. There is much more to an arm workout than just an endless amount of dumbbell curls and tricep extensions. Work outside of your comfort zone and utilize as many unorthodox exercises and methods such as drop sets, supersets, blood flow restrictive training, German volume training and methods such as the 21 and 28 method.
Don’t “TRI” and get “BI” with boring hour long arm workouts. Below are three uniquely different arm programs that will make you go from bored to swole in no time!
Arm Workout #1: Opposites Attract
|Cable curl/ V bar pushdown||5||12-15||0|
|Bicep emphasis chin up/ bar dip||4||Max||30|
|Cable preacher curl/ incline bench rope skull crusher||4||12||0|
|Reverse (EZ curl bar) curl/cable tricep extension||4||12||0|
|Db twist curl (one drop set)/ cable hammer curl||4||12||30-45|
|Barbell skull crusher/ dumbbell skull crusher||4||12||30-45|
Note: The slashes / represent supersets. Complete both exercises in rapid succession.
While your biceps are working your triceps are stretching/resting and visa versa. This is why there is sometimes no rest. This workout will squeeze the most volume into your workouts in the shortest amount of time for a ridiculous pump.
Arm Workout #2: Individual Annihilation
|Ez curl bar (close grip curl)||8-12||4||0||SUPERSET|
|Wide grip BB curl||8-12||4||30-45|
|BB reverse curl||12-15||4||30-45|
|Unilateral (single arm) preacher curl||10-12||4||30-45||1-2 second contraction at the top|
|Rope hammer curl||10-12||4||0||SUPERSET|
|Lying flat cable hammer curl||12-15||4||30-45|
|Run the rack (finisher)||As many reps as possible with every single weight.||1-2||0||Start at the heaviest weight, go to max. continue moving down in weight with no rest in between (dumbbell rack)|
|Exercise (TRICEPS)||Reps||Sets||Rest (seconds)||Tips|
|BB close grip bench press||8-12||4||45||Keep your elbows as tight as you can by your sides|
|Close grip push up||8-12||4||0||SUPERSET|
|Overhead seated Db extension||12||4||0||SUPERSET|
|Incline bench skull crusher||10-15||4||30|
|Rope pushdown||12-15||4||0||Squeeze your triceps for 1-2 seconds at the bottom of each rep|
|Dumbbell skull crusher||10||4||30||Lighter weight, slower reps|
|Cable kick backs||12||3||No rest between each arm|
This workout utilizes supersets to increase volume on the individual muscle. Separating biceps and triceps assures that you will be struggling to sip on your protein shake the following day. It also allows your mind to focus on each individual muscle thus increasing your mind muscle connection.
Arm Workout #3: Time Restricted Volume
If you thought these workouts were high volume, then think again. This third and final program has the same amount of high volume as the previous workouts, the only difference is that this one utilizes another variable to increase the intensity: Time restriction. Time restriction will force you to shorten your rest periods which will decrease your overall workout time all while keeping the intensity and volume at an all-time high.
This workout is designed to get you in and out of the gym in 1hr and 30 minutes sharp. It is broken down into two 45 minute brackets. One for your biceps and one for your triceps. Each superset will be restricted within a ten minute period of time meaning that you will have to pace yourself (generally 30 second break). This 10 minute interval also includes putting away current equipment and setting up the following equipment for the next group of exercises so be vigilant with your stopwatch!
Unlike most workouts, this one is most efficient and the least time consuming when done with a partner so call up your friends!
|Exercises (BICEPS)||Sets||Reps||Rest approx. (sec)||Time restriction (min)|
|Bicep chin up/close grip curl/wide grip curl *(TRI SET)||4||8-12||30||10|
|Seated Db hammer curl/ cable rope hammer curl.||4||8-15||30||10|
|Preacher curl/strict supinated Db curl||4||10-15||30||10|
|Cable curl/ reverse cable curl||4||12-15||30||10|
|**Bicep FINISHER: 100rep Bb curl||/||100||/||5|
Bicep finisher: This finisher is usually done with a partner. Partner A will complete ten reps then he will pass it to partner B and vice versa until 100 reps are completed. The Bb is never dropped to the floor within the 5 min interval.
|Time restriction (min)|
|Tricep Dip/ V bar pushdown||4||Max||30||10|
|Db overhead tricep extension/ Cable overhead tricep extension||4||10-15||30||10|
|Bb overhead tricep extension/ decline bench cable extension||4||12-15||30||10|
|Bodyweight skull crusher/diamond push up/ Db tricep kickback *(TRI SET)||4||Max||30||10|
|**Finisher: Tricep isolation preacher machine||/||100||/||5|
Finisher: Complete this finisher with the same method as the previous bicep finisher (10 pass, 10 pass, 10 pass method etc.) until 100 reps are achieved.