The Most Badass Arms Workout Ever Created By Men’s Health | Men's Health Magazine Australia

The Most Badass Arms Workout Ever Created By Men’s Health

In the Golden Era of bodybuilding, training arms was the rage. It was called “arm” day. 

 

After all, what’s better than getting a massive, shirt-splitting arm pump? 

 

Arnold even used to say that getting a good pump is “better than coming” as he’d hit a legendary double biceps pose. I’m not sure what that said about his actual sex life, but I think you get my point.

 

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But something tragic happened around the turn of the century. 

“Functional training” became trendy and suddenly we were told that there was no time to waste one useless single-joint work for your biceps and triceps. Biceps curls and triceps pushdowns were suddenly replaced with Bosu squats and every possible corrective exercise you could get your hands on.

I’m here to tell you that not only is it okay to train your arms, but I feel it’s absolutely essential to maximise your performance and aesthetics. Here are the three main reasons to pump up your biceps and triceps like balloons.

Direct arm work is key to maximising arm growth.

I don’t care what anyone says – if you don’t directly work your biceps and triceps, your arms will never be as big as they can be.

That’s not to say that doing compound, multi-joint movements like rows, presses, pullups, and pushups won’t make your arms grow. They will and you should still do them! 

But your bigger chest, back, and shoulder muscles dominate these movements. Your arms really just assist, so it’s hard to max them out when so many other larger muscles are involved.

From a strength perspective, arm training also has a lot of merit. Ask any top powerlifter which muscle group is key to bench press performance, and they’ll probably name the triceps. 

That’s why every bench session should incorporate at least one triceps exercise after the heavy pressing work of the day. 

Plus, if you’re stuck on your pullup total, some serious forearms and biceps work might be just what you need to blast through that plateau. These exercises are called assistives for a reason, people!

Related: Why You’re Literally Wasting Money on Protein Supplements

Your arm muscles tend to shrink when cutting.

This is anecdotal, but many fitness experts I know concur with my assessment. 

The typical male gym rat spends the winter bulking and the summer shredding. Though some degree of muscle loss in a caloric deficit is to be expected (especially for advanced trainees), your arms and chest tend to be the areas where you’ll lose the most size and strength. 

Related: The Simple (And Safe) Move That Will Pump Up Your Shoulders

It makes sense because we don’t give our chest or arm muscles a lot of direct stimulus during everyday living, since we’re bipedal creatures, meaning we walk on two feet. 

This so happens to coincide with the fact that many guys cut out the direct arm work in favour of more total-body fat-loss training to maximise calorie burning when they cut. 

For these reasons, I actually increase my arm training during times when I’m leaning out. After all, the best way to prevent muscle loss is to do things that stimulate muscle growth. Trust me on this one!

It’s fun!

Let’s not forget about what going to the gym is all about: making you feel, perform, and look better. 

There’s just nothing like crushing your arms. It’s easy to recover from and safe to do. And it just lifts your spirit and skyrockets your swag.

The more you enjoy something, the more you’ll do it. So if you love training your arms, then keep doing it, damnit! 

Don’t be ashamed that you love it. Deep down every other guy does, too. If they say any differently, they’re just in denial (or they do yoga). 

Prepare to enter ARMageddon with my six-week arms specialisation program. Just don’t blame me when you start losing focus at work because you’re admiring your new gains in guns. 

Get to work, men!

HOW IT WORKS:

Perform this routine 2 to 3 times per week exactly as outlined below. 

Hit your other muscle groups 1 to 2 times per week with just 2 sets of 6 to 12 reps of a single exercise, stopping 1 to 2 reps short of failure on each set during this time frame.

Conventional training wisdom has you start with compound movements first and save the isolation moves for later. But our goal here is not performance—it’s to build as much muscle as possible in a short period of time. 

Related: The Chest Complex That Will Pound Your Pecs Over and Over 

Therefore, we will start with a strategic single-joint movement to enhance the mind-muscle connection and pre-fatigue the targeted body part. This will allow you to “feel” the muscle working more throughout your training session.

The Arms Specialisation Workout

Mobility Warmup: Perform a single-arm band biceps stretch for 2 to 3 minutes. Then do an elevated triceps stretch for 2 to 3 minutes.

1. CLOSE-GRIP CHINUP AND CLOSE-GRIP DUMBBELL FLOOR PRESS SUPERSET 

Perform as many reps as possible of the close-grip chinup, immediately followed by 6 to 8 reps of the close-grip dumbbell floor press.  Then rest for 1 minute. 

That’s 1 superset. Repeat the superset for the corresponding number of sets. 

Weeks 1 and 2: 3 sets
Weeks 3 and 4: 4 sets
Weeks 5 and 6: 5 sets

2. ZOTTMAN CURL AND ECCENTRIC OVERHEAD TRICEPS EXTENSION SUPERSET 

Perform 5 reps of the Zottman curl, lowering for 5 seconds on each rep. 

Immediately afterward, perform 5 reps of the eccentric overhead triceps extension, lowering for 5 seconds on each rep. Then rest for 1 minute. 

That’s 1 superset. Repeat the superset for the corresponding number of sets. 

Weeks 1 and 2: 3 sets
Weeks 3 and 4: 4 sets
Weeks 5 and 6: 5 sets

3. EZ-BAR CURL AND DECLINE SKULL CRUSHER SUPERSET

Perform 8 to 12 reps of the EZ-bar curl, immediately followed by 8 to 12 reps of the decline skull crusher. Rest 1 minute. 

Related: How Zac Efron Built The Best Body in Hollywood

That’s 1 superset. Repeat the superset for the corresponding number of sets. 

Weeks 1 and 2: 3 sets
Weeks 3 and 4: 4 sets
Weeks 5 and 6: 5 sets

4. ROPE HAMMER CURL AND ROPE TRICEPS PUSHDOWN SUPERSET

Perform 15 to 20 reps of the rope hammer curl, immediately followed by 15 to 20 reps of the rope triceps pushdown. Rest 1 minute.

That’s 1 superset. Repeat the superset for the corresponding number of sets.

Weeks 1 and 2: 3 sets
Weeks 3 and 4: 4 sets
Weeks 5 and 6: 5 sets

5. FLEXED-ARM CARRY COMPLEX AND PLANK WALKUP SUPERSET

Perform a flexed-arm carry for 20 seconds in each of the following positions: overhand, hammer, and underhand.

Related: Are Your Biceps As Big As The Average Guy’s?

Immediately afterward, perform as many reps as possible of the plank walkup in 60 seconds. Rest 1 minute.

That’s 1 superset. Repeat the superset for the corresponding number of sets.

Weeks 1 and 2: 2 sets
Weeks 3 and 4: 3 sets
Weeks 5 and 6: 4 sets

6. TALL KNEELING TRIPLE CRUSH

Perform as many reps as possible in 5 to 10 minutes, resting as needed.

Week 1: 5 minutes
Week 2: 6 minutes
Week 3: 7 minutes
Week 4: 8 minutes
Week 5: 9 minutes
Week 6: 10 minutes

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