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The Last Biceps and Triceps Workout You’ll Need to Build Big Arms

by Primeval Labs on January 06, 2020

Arm day is a staple of bodybuilding bro splits, and have its fair share of fervent supporters and ardent detractors.


The “supporters” of arm day are the quintessential gym bro, who loves to get in the gym and sling the iron around, leaving only when they can barely manage to lift their arms to wipe the sweat from their brow.


The “detractors” are those who think arm days serve no “functional” purpose and can only be effective for people using “special” sports supplements.


But, here’s the truth, arm workouts can and do build muscle for all types of lifters.


Today, we’re going to give a biceps and triceps workout to end all arm workouts.


It’s sure to push you to the limits, tax your mental and physical reserves, and leave you with one hell of an arm pump.


Let’s GO!

 

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Biceps and Triceps Workout Overview

Most biceps and triceps workouts consist of a few meager supersets of curls, kickbacks, and pushdowns.


That’s not this workout.


This workout is broken down into four distinct segments that attack your biceps and triceps with heavy weight and high volume as well as some metabolite work to hit every mechanism of hypertrophy.


The four phases of this biceps and triceps workout are:

  • Heavy Hitter
  • Crank Up the Volume
  • Rest-Pause Blocks
  • Burnout
  • Heavy Hitters

    All great workouts begin with a heavy compound exercise, and this biceps and triceps workout is no different.


    Heavy compound exercises allow you to use the greatest amount of weight, which helps induce more stress on the muscles.


    For your biceps, the heavy hitter will be a weighted chin up. The reason for using a supinated grip is that it recruits the biceps more than a traditional pull up that is performed with a pronated grip. Focus on pulling with your biceps with each rep, and slowly lowering yourself to the bottom during the eccentric portion of the movement.


    For your triceps, you’ll perform the close grip bench press. To avoid unwanted shoulder or elbow stress during the exercise, ensure that your hands are not placed too close together. Hands should be shoulder-width apart or just inside. Placing your hands too close together forces the shoulders into internal rotation which is disadvantageous to shoulder health and lifter performance on the bench press.


    Perform 3 sets of each exercise resting 2-3 minutes between sets.


    When you are able to perform 10 reps across all three sets of an exercise, add a small amount of weight (2.5-5 pounds).

    Crank Up the Volume

    There is a never-ending debate between which is better for muscle growth -- volume or intensity.


    The simple truth of the matter is that you need both. A sufficient amount of volume must be performed in order for your muscles to receive enough stimulus to grow. And, that volume (sets and reps) must be sufficiently challenging to your muscles. 


    In other words, performing hundreds of reps with a weight that is too light to fatigue your muscles will do jack squat for muscle growth.


    The first pair of exercises took care of intensity, and this pair of exercises (along with the others to come) will provide the volume needed to spur muscle growth.


    For the biceps, you’ll be performing alternating dumbbell curls, either seated or standing (your preference). As with all curls, do not allow the upper arms to drift forward or backward during the movement, and make sure to control the lowering of the weights, which keeps tension on the biceps. At the bottom of the curl, flex your triceps to fully lengthen and stretch the biceps, which allows for a stronger contraction on the next rep.


    For the triceps, you’ll perform skullcrushers (i.e. lying triceps extensions) using an EZ bar. If you do not have an EZ bar, you can use a pair of dumbbells held with a neutral (palms facing each other) grip.


    Perform 5 sets of 12-15 reps for both exercises resting 1.5-2 minutes between sets. When you can perform 15 reps across all 5 sets for an exercise, add a small amount of weight.

    Rest-Pause Blocks

    Rest-pause training is a technique praised for its ability to build size and strength.


    When using this training technique, you perform an exercise to within 1 rep of failure. After this first “set”, you rest 20-30 seconds, and then perform another “mini set” until you are just shy of failure.


    Traditional rest-pause training is performed for a prescribed number of sets.


    Rest-pause blocks utilize the rest-pause work: rest mini-set methodology.


    However, instead of performing a predetermined number of sets, you’ll perform as many reps as possible using the rest-pause technique within a defined time block.


    When you can perform 30 reps within the two-minute block, add a small amount of weight.


    For biceps, you’ll be performing EZ Bar cable curls. The added challenge of the cable machine is that it keeps constant tension on the biceps. Free weight exercises like the traditional dumbbell curl suffer from uneven resistance curves and place relatively little tension on the biceps at the top and bottom of the movement.


    For triceps, you’ll perform overhead tricep extensions using the cable column with rope attachment.

    Burnout

    The goal of burnout sets is simple -- complete 100 total reps with proper form as quickly as possible.


    You are also NOT allowed to rack the weight during this set.


    You may (and will likely need to) use the rest-pause technique to complete all 100 reps. If you can perform 100 reps without taking a break, you selected too light of a weight.


    Burnout sets are included here to create a maelstrom of metabolic stress, engorge your muscles with blood, and be an all-time pump-inducing finisher.


    Select a weight that you can perform each exercise for 20 reps before approaching failure.


    For biceps, you’ll perform hammer curls using a cable column with a rope attachment.


    For triceps, you’ll perform tricep pushdowns, again using a rope attachment connected to the cable column.


    Biceps and Triceps Workout

    Exercise

    Sets

    Reps

    Weighted Chin Up

    3

    8-10

    Close Grip Bench Press

    3

    8-10

    Alternating Dumbbell Curls

    5

    15

    EZ Bar Skullcrushers

    5

    15

    EZ Bar Cable Curls

    1

    2 minutes

    Rope Overhead Tricep Extensions

    1

    2 minutes

    Rope Hammer Curls

    1

    100

    Rope Pushdowns

    1

    100

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