Gun Fever – The Weekly Arm Workout That Works

Ready to arm yourself? If you’re looking to add size and detail to your upper arms to complete that impressive upper-body aesthetic, this is the workout for you.

Mix it in once a week to your normal routine, and watch the gains roll in. This workout keeps the focus on tension and blood flow, so you can augment its effectiveness by keeping your rest periods low. And just remember – a 10-12 rep range does NOT mean “go light” – you’re still shooting for the heaviest weight you can lift in that range. Your last two reps of each set should be uncomfortable!

Biceps/Triceps Superset Work

6 Supersets: Barbell Curls x 8/French Triceps Press x 12

3 Supersets: Preacher Curl Machine x 15/Rope Pushdowns x 8 (go heavy)

Biceps Focus

Consecutively execute each exercise with no rest to form one tri-set. Perform three tri-sets total, resting only 60 seconds between each.

Incline DB Curls x 8. Twist the dumbbell on its ascent, so that the pinkie side of the weight is directed toward the outside of your shoulder at the top of the movement. Then reverse the path on the descent, finishing with your thumb down, as if holding a ladle.

Reverse-Grip EZ Bar Curls x 8

Hammer DB Curls x 15. Optional: If you have access to thick-bar dumbbells or Fat Gripz, use them here.

Triceps Focus

Consecutively execute each exercise with no rest to form one tri-set. Perform three tri-sets total, resting only 60 seconds between each.

Lying Skull Crushers x 12. Do not set the bar down, then:

Close-Grip Bench Press x 25 or burnout

Overhead Single Dumbbell Press x 8

WORKOUT FRIDAY: Upper-Body Push

Avoid the swarms at the gym who all flock to the bench press station on Mondays because it’s “Chest Day” – you’re smarter than that. You have “upper-body push” day, and it’s today.

Focusing on the movement, rather than the muscle groups, helps do two things – it helps you develop functional strength, and it also gives you a chance to hone in on the supporting cast of pushing movements: Your triceps, deltoids and core.

This workout is designed to build strength and endurance of strength by combining several rep ranges. Remember to adjust the weight accordingly for each set – your last two reps should be difficult, but not at the failure point. You want to be able to feel safe executing this one alone.

Upper-Body Push

Bench Press: 10-rep warmup, 5×5

4 Trisets: 10 Weighted Push-Ups (use a weight plate or vest), :30 planks, modified diamond push-ups to failure

3 Supersets: Incline DB Bench Press x 8, Standing DB Overhead Press x 10

2 Trisets: Plyometric Push-Ups x 5, Isometric push-up position hold :15, triceps rope pushdown x 12

2 Supersets: Lateral DB Flys x 15; Rear Delt Flys (machine or DB) x 15

WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: Skip Curls, Build Your Biceps

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Everyone wants impressive biceps — but are curls the best way to get them?

If there’s one image that’s synonymous with what novices think of when they think of weight lifting, it’s the figure of a python-armed bodybuilder curling a dumbbell. The biceps are the premier glamour muscle of the entire body — an eye-popping pair of upper arms is usually one of the first things people notice when they take in the sight of an in-shape person (who has a shirt on, anyway).

Functionally speaking, though, your biceps really don’t do much on their own. Outside of the gym, when was the last time you used only your upper arms to move or lift something? If it was heavy, you were recruiting your back muscles and forearms; if it was lighter, you probably didn’t need to use a curling motion in any form whatsoever. People joke about “12 oz. curls,” but seriously: Name another day-to-day movement that involves simply bending at the elbow to lift an object about a foot?

You can still build big, strong upper arms without donating a bunch of time to curls. Do you have to? Of course not. If you really enjoy wrecking your biceps once or twice a week, don’t let us stop you. But if you’d like to be a little more efficient, consider these alternatives that will not only tax your biceps, but do so functionally.

Pull Your Weight. Literally — just do pull-ups. Your grip and hand placement determine how you’re hitting your biceps on this classic movement, and it’s one of the most functional there is. Trying to build up your biceps peak? Close, reverse grip pull-ups will do the trick.

Want to simulate a reverse curl, to hit the whole biceps area and recruit your forearms, too? Standard-width overhand chins are the ticket. Even Hammer curls are bested by a neutral-grip pull-up.

The top reason people tend to avoid back movements like chin-ups and pull-ups is that, they argue, the back is doing all the work. Wrong. The larger muscles in the body will always tire well after the smaller ones, and there is no comparison between the orange-sized biceps and massive slabs of muscle the back makes up — in other words, your grip, forearms and biceps will all fail before your back does. The weak link in any chain is the first to break down — meaning that in doing pulling exercises to build your arms, your lats, traps, rear deltoids and rhomboids are all working as “backup” (sorry, we had to say it) as your biceps do the work. Once they’re tired, your back takes over fully, up to the point that your grip simply won’t allow it.

Bottom line: Curls will get you bigger biceps. Real, functional pulling movements will get you bigger, stronger biceps.

Workout of the Week: Arms Like a Bodybuilder

NUTRISHOP CDA is proud to be a sponsor of personal trainer and bodybuilder competitor Talon Sullens. Today, he shares with us this sample arms workout!

Dumbbell Curls: 5 sets, starting at 10 reps. Each set, add weight and two reps. Example: 20 pounds for 10 reps, 25 pounds for 12 reps, 30 pounds for 14 reps, and so on.

Skull Crushers: 4×12. Use the cambered bar and lie flat on a bench. Keep your elbows tucked in and don’t allow them to flare outward!

Preacher Curls: 4×8. Go all the way down and up until just before the tension releases off the biceps.

Cable Pushdowns: 5×10 negatives. Push the bar down like you normally would, elbows tight, but then slowly control the bar on the way up on the negative portion of the movement.

3 Supersets — 30 Dumbbell Hammer Curls/12 Regular Curls.

Tricep Cable Extensions: 3-stage drop set — 30, 20, 10. Yes, you’ll be using small weight at the end. Yes, it will still burn like crazy.

Workout of the Week: Crazy Pump Arms Workout

Add some size and “swole” to your arms with this rep-intensive workout. Download the .pdf here and take it to the gym with you!

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