Highly Effective Biceps/Triceps Workout Sets
Everyone loves the arm day in the gym! It has been a phenomenon since the days of Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and so on! For guys, it’s almost a right of passage into being considered a man in the gym. When you first curl 50lbs dumbbells, skull crush an EZ Curl bar with 45lbs plates on each side, it’s like you finally hit gym puberty! Unfortunately, with everyone always worried about how much they can push or pull with their arms, most have lost site on how to develop great looking, strong arms.
The focus needs to be on how you want to sculpt the arms, not how big you want them. The size will come, but will they look how you want them to? In order to get great roundness in the biceps is to concentrate on specific range of motions for each movement. An example is the rounded barbell curl; imagine if you took an elliptical machine and stood in vertical. Now, visualize how the pedals of the elliptical move. In a vertical position, the pedals would move slightly away from you, then come in extremely close to you, with the knee joint never locking out or going to pull extension. This is the exact range of motion used in the rounded barbell curl; as you curl the bar will slightly cast away from the body, and as you lower the bar, it will drag straight down your body from the collar bone until it reaches the waist line (waist line is the perfect finish point for the rep in order to prevent the elbows from full extension). Also, by never reaching full extension, the biceps are working and under contraction through the entire set and the risk of elbow flare-ups is drastically reduced. This same motion would apply to the rounded triceps cable extensions. When we train our clients, all biceps movements are of that specific range of motion in order to never let the elbows lock out and keep the biceps under a workload through the entire set.
For Triceps, we absolutely want a full extension because that is the contraction range for the triceps. However, we still try to avoid any elbow issues, so we do manipulate certain exercises. The skull crusher is a great example of this. When we do this movement, we use a “monkey grip”, which means your thumbs will be out with your fingers. This helps lock the wrist into a neutral position through the entire range of motion. Form there, elbows stay tight to the body and the bar is lowered to the chin. Once the bar reaches your chin, you immediately drag the bar as close to you as possible to the back of your head. The motion is then reversed and as soon as the bar is lining up to the chin, in a swoosh-like motion the bar is extended up to the finished position. This movement pattern will execute hitting all three heads of the triceps as well as targeting the entire length of the triceps. Remember, the biggest asset to having bigger arms is having very well developed triceps.
My years of working with great minds in fitness world and implementing our philosophies with our clients have generated some of the best arms in Hollywood! Below is a taste of what the best workout is for great biceps and triceps!
Doug Hall’s Arm Routine:
Skull Crushers w/overhead drag: 5 sets X 10 reps
Rounded Barbell Curls: 5 sets x 10 reps
Rocking Dumbbell Curls: 5 sets x 10 reps (2 drop sets)
1-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extensions: 5 sets x 15 Reps
Hammer Curls: 5 sets x 15 reps
Close-Grip Bench Press (1/4 range of motion): 5 sets x 10 reps
Incline Bench Dumbbell Curls: 5 sets x 10 reps
Straight Bar, Rounded Cable Extensions: 5 sets x 10 reps-both directions