Guys, lets face it. Even before the shirt comes of, your arms are exposed for everyone to stare at. If you wanna build huge arms, you need the arm-blasting routine worthy of a man of steel. The "Superman Arms" routine is just that. No B.S, no nonsense, and no sissy exercises. Just hardcore, old school movements designed to pack on mass in a hurry.
Having cannonball biceps and thick, striated triceps makes for an impressive visual effect. If you've been frustrated with the results you've been getting, give this workout a try and tell me what you think! With summer rolling around the corner, it's time to roll those sleeves up and let those guns hang out!
This workout takes us back to the basics with no machines, and no cables. If you have relied on machines in the past to work arms, it's time to switch it up! Variety in a workout routine is the key to continual gains. Cables or machines are great for building mass, but for the sake of this workout we will not be using them. From this point on, it's just barbells and dumbbells. For those of you who train in a real "bare-bones" style gym with little fancy equipment, this routine is right up your alley!
First of all, set aside an entire day to do this workout. Some people train our arms with other body parts. This prevents them from working with maximum weights and maximum intensity. Even though supersets save time (so you're in and out of the gym in a jiffy), they can be draining on energy levels. So if you've never worked with supersets, go SLOW and gradually increase your level of intensity.
The Superman Arm routine is based on the agonist-antagonist relationship between the biceps and the triceps. When the biceps (agonist muscle) are trained, the triceps (antagonist muscle) act as stabilizers. When the triceps are trained, they become the agonist, while the biceps play the role of the antagonist. Super-setting like this forces blood into the entire arm region and creates that awesome pump. If you do it right, your arms might feel like they're going to explode!
By now you're probably wondering what this cannons-of-steel workout involves. Let's take a look at the exercises. Bear in mind that these work for ME specifically and this workout is meant to serve only as a guide. Nothing is set in stone. If a particular movement does not seem to work for you feel free to improvise and substitute with your favorite lifts.
There are six total exercises compressed into three supersets. Perform each superset three times to give you a total of nine supersets. Between each exercise, rest no longer than 60 seconds. If you wish to kick the intensity up a notch, reduce your rest time to 30 seconds or less.
EXERCISE 1 Standing Dumbbell Curls + Dips - Triceps Version
Contrary to popular belief that the barbell curl is the most effective biceps mass builder, dumbbell curls are just as effective as packing on size. I prefer the standing version as opposed to sitting on a bench because it allows for you to perform one or two cheat reps at the end of each set. Cheat reps, when used wisely, are great for sparking new growth because they allow you to get the weight up and emphasize the negative portion of each rep. It's the negative portion of a rep that does the most damage to a muscle fiber. So word to the wise, if you're gonna cheat, slow down the negative! When the poundage on the weights start to increase, consider strapping on a lifting belt to improve your stability, especially if you plan on incorporating cheat reps, since they put stress on your lower back.
I like to start out with free weight dips because they work the chest and shoulders as well. Because it is a compound movement, my triceps are not isolated and so it allows my elbows to safely warm up and prepare for the more "isolation" movements to come. I try not to lock out at the top during each set to keep constant tension on the triceps. Also, don't lean forward like you would if you were doing chest dips. Not leaning forward keeps most of the tension the triceps.
EXERCISE 2 Concentration Curls + Skull Crushers
A lot of people think concentration curls belong at the end of a biceps workout. I am going against that notion by placing them second. They zero in on the biceps more than standing dumbbell curls do and create a burn like no other. You can perform these either sitting or standing.
In the standing version you would hold the dumbbell on one hand and place the other on your thigh. Lean over but be sure to keep your back straight and bend your knees to take the stress of your lower back. If you follow your arm's natural range of motion, you would curl the dumbbell toward your body. Again, I prefer the standing concentration curl because you can cheat for your last few reps, using your body's momentum to lift the weight up and then emphasizing the negative portion of the rep.
Holding an EZ Bar with a close grip, lie on a bench and hold the bar straight up. Then, bend your elbows and bring the bar down until it's slightly above your forehead (hence the name skull crushers.. if you do them wrong!) and then drive the weight back up. Skull crushers have the wonderful tendency to stress the elbow joints more than other movements (e.g. pushdowns). Hence I would also recommend not locking out at the top of each movement, to keep the focus on the tri's and away from those elbows as much as possible.
EXERCISE 3 Hammer Curls + Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extention
Hammer Curls develop the brachials, which is the muscle in between the biceps and triceps. They also work the forearms. Fully developed brachials is the key to maximizing the size of your arms. I prefer keeping the dumbbells close to my chest as I curl because it activates my brachials better. If you really want to go crazy on these, you can throw in a drop set (or two!) to really blast your arms until you can't budge the weight at all!
Sitting on a bench with back support, hold ONE dumbbell with two hands, bring it over your head. Lower the dumbbell until your elbows make about a 90-degree angle, and then drive the weight back up. Again, avoid locking out at the top to keep constant tension on the triceps. This exercise creates a deep burn in the upper triceps!
There it is folks, an old school routine to spark new growth. As always, improvise if one of these exercises doesn't work for you. Give this hardcore, back-to-the-basics workout a try and you might one day possess superhuman guns!