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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Get Huge Arms in no Time with this Workout

Many athletes and strength coaches question the effectiveness of arm training. For quite some time, arm training has been completely frowned upon. Yes, you should focus more strongly on pillar development—i.e, your hips, core and shoulders—and your arms should not take up the majority of your training. That said, I believe that there is a place for direct biceps and triceps training in a well-rounded athletic development program.



Weekly gym-based training time with our athletes comes at a premium, so it's important to train the arms in an effective and efficient way. Compared to the big foundational compound movements like the Squat, Press and Hip Hinge, the arms play a minor role in overall athletic development and sport-specific skill enhancement. The arms usually receive ample amounts of strength training stimulus from the big movements. But athletes often lack a metabolic stress-based training stimulus—a.k.a. the pump effect.

Below is a brief description of the exercises to get you started. Most of you will be familiar with these exercises.

TRICEPS

Tricep Pushdowns (v bar or rope)- Attach a v bar to a high pulley. Next, grab the bar with an overhand grip, making sure your thumbs are slightly higher than your pinky fingers. Keeping your elbows tight at your sides, push the bar down until your arms are straight. Pause before slowly returning to the start position.
Decline Skull Crusher- Position yourself in the decline bench and place the barbell on your thighs. You will grab the bar with an overhand grip, keeping your hands approximately 8-12 inches apart. Lie back on the bench as you extend your arms straight up to the ceiling. Make sure to keep the elbows bent slightly, slowly touch the bar to your forehead before pressing the bar back to the start position.
Close Grip Bench Press- Grasp the bar with an overhand grip again placing your hands 8-12 inches apart. Unrack the weight and keep your elbows tucked at your sides, ‘slowly’ lower the bar to the low chest before pushing the bar forcefully back to the start position.
Seated Overhead DB Extension- Position yourself in the seated position on an upright bench. Extend dumbbells behind the top of your head, with the dumbells oriented vertically. Flex your elbows and the lower the weight behind your head until your arms are bent 90 degrees. Extend the elbows and flex your triceps to press the dumbbells back to the starting position.

BICEPS

Standing Barbell Curls- Grab the bar with an underhand grip. Place your hands just outside of your thighs and keep your elbows tucked at the sides. Curl the barbell slowly without swinging your body, squeeze at the top and then slowly lower to the start position.
Standing Hammer Curls- Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, your palms should face your body. Keep your elbows tight at your sides and curl each dumbbell up, you can alternate each arm or do them together. Squeeze and hold at the top of the movement before returning to the start position.
Cable Curls- Grab a straight bar cable attachment with an underhand grip. Place your hands just outside of your thighs and keep your elbows tucked at the sides. Curl the cable slowly up to your chest without swinging your body, squeeze at the top and then slowly lower to the start position.
Reverse-Grip EZ Bar Curls- Hold an EZ bar with an overhand/pronated grip at about shoulder width. Keeping your upper arms against your sides, curl the bar towards your chest until arms are fully contracted. Slowly lower the weight back to starting position.

THE WORKOUT

Perform these in a superset fashion (A→B) to increase intensity and blood flow to the muscles. Thus, supersets are great for arm training since the biceps antagonize the triceps. Once you’ve completed three sets of the first superset exercises, move onto the second superset and so forth.

TRICEPS

Exercise                                              Sets    Rep Goal
 Triceps Pushdowns (A1)                     3         8-12
 Decline Skullcrushers (A2)                 3         8-12
 Close Grip Bench Press (A3)               3         8-12
 Seated Overhead DB Extension (A4)  3        8-12

BICEPS

Exercise                                             Sets             Rep  Goal
 Standing Barbell Curl (B1)               3                   8-12
 Standing DB Hammer Curl (B2)      3                   8-12
 Cable Curl (B3)                                  3                   8-12
 Reverse-Grip EZ Bar Curl (B4)          3                  8-12
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