By Chris Wilson, Head Strength Coach
One of the most talked about subjects in the gym for all beginner lifters is arm training.
If you’re more of a beginner lifter and are frustrated with super slow arm growth, keep reading. This routine could yield some pretty nice results in a relatively short period of time.
Does this story sound familiar to you?
I want my arms to be big! I train them at least twice a week. My biceps seem to have a nice peak but my arms are only 16 1/2 ” on a good day! I do preacher curls, dumbbell curls, barbell curls and cable curls. They just don’t seem to grow! I’ll do whatever it takes! ~D. Scott
I hear a sort of hysterical panic from this poor fellow and I’m fully aware that having big arms is important to a lot of guys.
The good news is I can help you my skinny armed friend.
I noticed that while you named several biceps exercises you didn’t mention a single triceps exercise. You can do biceps movements until your blue in the face, but unless you do triceps work as well (or even more so), your arms will always be embarrassingly small!
Here is a triceps workout that will complement the ratio of work you are doing for your biceps. I call it the “atomic” triceps workout.
This is a ‘shock’ workout combining two exercises within the same set. The exercise of choice is the Bent Arm Barbell Pullover and Triceps Press (E-Z-curl bar),
Do the bent arm barbell pullover and triceps press in the following manner:
An adjustable decline bench is set at a 30-degree angle, with a barbell on the floor directly at the lower end of it. The barbell is loaded to 40% of his 10-rep maximum in the supine close-grip triceps extension.
While lying in a declined position on the bench reach back and grab the bar (ref: supine close-grip triceps press) with the arms bent.
Now pull the bar in a semi-circle to the upper pectoral region, and with a brief pause, contract the triceps and extend the forearms up to lockout in strict form, lower the bar to the chest by elbow flexion, and return it back to the floor. This is the completion of the first rep with fourteen more to go in this first set.
So to be clear, the bar travels from the floor with bent elbows in a semi-circle motion, hovers over the upper chest area briefly while the arms fully extend, lower the bar to the chest and then return the bar safely to the floor bringing it just over the face.
For the second set, the bar is loaded to 60% of a 10-rep maximum and 8 reps were performed. Then there is a third set of 8 reps, a fourth set of 6 reps, then a fifth set for a triple and finally a sixth set where a limit single rep is performed. Rest 3-5 minutes between sets one through five.
Upon completion of the sixth set, a ten-minute rest is taken while you massage the triceps and save your energy for the heavy work to follow.
The bar is then loaded to 1 ¼ times the weight that was used for single rep on the sixth set. Hypothetically if 100-pounds were performed for a single rep then the bar was loaded to 125-pounds.
The bar is then pulled to the upper chest region, pressed to full extension over the chest.
Now instead of lowering the bar all the way down to the chest as was previously done, the bar is only lowered six to eight inches, then driven back to lock-out. This is repeated for eight reps.
No more bent arm pullovers and semi-circular motion, it’s time for partial rep pressing.
The bar is next loaded with 25% more weight (using the hypothetical example above, the bar is now 150-pounds). You will perform seven to ten sets of 6 reps in the measured movement (six to eight inches).
Close-grip triceps presses are the order of the day. Your triceps will be crying in no time.
There you go…an effective triceps routine to add to all of your biceps training for bigger, more impressive arms.
You know what they say, “If you only go through life once, you might as well have big arms!” And dude, relax! Your arms will grow.