What constitutes an effective arm workout?
Sometimes analyzing common mistakes of what you should NOT do is the best to determine what you SHOULD do.
If I was to list the major mistakes people make when training arms
1. Not training them at all-Just doing compound movements aren’t enough. Zero reason not to train your arms directly
2. Thinking arm training isn’t “functional”-stupidest idea imaginable. Your arms are how you manipulate your environment your entire life.
3. Trying to train “heavy”-arms are meant for repetitive endurance tasks. Moderate to high reps is most effective.
4. Using momentum-check your ego. If you can’t feel the muscle working, your training is bullshit and ineffective.
5. Not using a full ROM-if there’s one muscle NOT to do partial ROM w/, it’s biceps and triceps. Always use a complete ROM.
6. Not training all grip positions w/ biceps-train pronated, neutral, and supinate grip positions=forearms, hammer, and bicep curls.
7. Not training the long head of the triceps-you MUST do overhead pressing and extension work for maximal triceps development.
8. Not training for a pump-arm training should maximize blood flow/blood volume. This is the most sustainable long-term approach.
9. Trying to pain through joint pain-arm training shouldn’t kill your elbows or wrists. If it does, clean up technique or risk tendonitis.
10. Jerking the weight around and screaming-you look like a buffoon and your hip thrust reps aren’t doing shit. Stop deluding yourself.
So what constitutes an effective arm workout?
The Optimal Arms Workout
-All movements are done as supersets
A. Pronated DB Curls-Do these smooth and controlled. Arm training is all about tempo, never momentum. This does NOT need to be heavy. Your goal is blood flow and innervation
3 sets x 15-20 reps
B. Triceps kneeling rope push down-doing these from a kneeling position takes all body momentum out of it and better isolates the triceps. Start light and then work up in weight. Take each set to positive failure. Your elbows should volumize with blood after this first superset
3 set x 15,12,10 reps
C. Incline DB Hammer curls-Set an incline bench to about 60 degrees. This will stretch out the bicep and create an intense contraction. Do not rush these curls, curl all the way to shoulder, and back down, maintain tension the entire time
4 sets x 8-12 reps
D. Lying Barbell skullcusher-I never have anyone do these heavy, as they can absolutely wreck your elbows. You can use the straight bar or an EZ curl bar. It can takes some experimenting to find your groove on these, so play around with the technique. You want your elbows to point straight towards the ceiling, and you lower the bar to the forehead or behind the head
4 sets x 15-20 reps
E. Standing EZ-Bar drag curl-Do these the right way, curl all the way up underneath the chin, and then slow down the negative, keeping the bar close to the body. Weight doesnt matter, this all about eccentric tension.
3 sets x 8-12 reps
D. DB seated French press-A great movement for the long head of the tricep. Full stretch out the lats on the bottom, and then come up about 90% of the way to lockout, then back down again. You may surprise yourself with how much weight you can use on these. Go up in weight each set
3 sets x 12-10-8 reps
And you are done! Train hard, and enjoy the pump!