IFBB Pro Joe Palumbo's Recipe For Timeless Biceps And Back
A lot of people would have you believe that once you leave your 30s behind, it's all downhill. You can blame our society's obsession with professional sports like baseball, football, and basketball, where the stats tell a story of an early peak followed by a long, lingering decline—also known as the rest of your life. Sooner than you expect, the thinking goes, "great shape" will be a memory, but definitely not a reasonable goal.
Joe has been a devotee of bodybuilding since he first saw a picture of Arnold at age 11, so he has four decades of accumulated experience and wisdom spotting him every time he steps into the weight room. The result is a sensible, efficient four-day split built around proven exercises.
- Day 1: Chest and Triceps
- Day 2: Back, Biceps, and Abs
- Day 3: Legs (Quads and Hamstrings)
- Day 4: Shoulders and Calves
Keep reading if you believe this, because Officer Joe Palumbo is about to raid your pity party with the full force of the law. Palumbo is an IFBB pro competitor who also serves as a member of an elite SWAT Team in New York. He's got a physique that's harder than stone, complete with arms that any college bro would covet. And he's 52 years old.
True, Palumbo started training young, but he didn't earn his pro card until he won the Masters Nationals at the age of 41—the same year he was voted "Police Officer of the Year." This bodybuilder doesn't cut any corners or put up with any excuses.
How can Palumbo work a full-time job, eat properly, and train at an elite level? That's what's so great about bodybuilding: Everything is possible if you're driven and focused on your goals. "This sport has no age limit," Palumbo says. "Having the right training, nutrition, and supplement geared for a specific goal is the key."
Even someone as busy as Palumbo knows that a rushed workout only cheats the person performing it. Here's the philosophy he applies to the back thrash part of his "pull" day. "Before I train, I stretch out the muscles I plan on working so they are loose and ready for the stress I plan on putting on them. I start with a pull-down movement to stretch out the scapulas. Then I want to improve my thickness, so I move to rowing movements. Finally, I finish with hyperextensions for the lower back."
Nor do biceps receive any mercy. "When someone wants to see a muscle, the first thing to come to mind is the biceps," he says. "Obviously barbell curls are the most popular exercise, and I start with those. Preacher curls, or 'Scott' curls, named after the first Mr. Olympia Larry Scott, come next. Make sure you don't bounce the weight and you take time with the exercise. I like to isolate each arm with concentration curls. Finally, standing cable curls will do nicely to finish off the biceps, since they keep constant tension on the muscle."
Officer Palumbo also hits abs with three moves for good measure.
Palumbo's line of work dictates that he must be ready to perform at the highest level at the drop of a hat. He knows that consistent nutrition is crucial to his training and livelihood, so he lets nothing stop him from eating right. This is no small feat when eating 6-8 meals every day. "I plan ahead for such an unpredictable schedule," Palumbo says. "My meals and supplements are planned for the day the night before, and I always keep an extra stash of Infinite Labs protein for those unpredictable moments. The key is to plan ahead."
Aside from the undeniable value of having a shake ready in a pinch, Palumbo's lifetime of hard work makes him keenly aware how targeted supplementation can help support the things a younger man might overlook—like sleep. He utilizes both Infinite Labs' GABA and melatonin blend Cyclo Rem, and the ZMA product Pro Z, to take full advantage of his precious downtime. He also keeps an eye to his testosterone level to keep him feeling and looking his best.
"My supplement plan supports me at my age, my career, and my training," he says. "Anyone over the age of 35 needs their testosterone to function at a normal level, whether they admit it or not. Age is an important factor in considering which supplements to take to enhance every aspect of life—whether they are in the fitness industry, working a full-time job, or in my case, both."
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How is it BS? Why, are you expecting like a flying bicep curl or something?
This is actually a great workout (except I'd trade lying T-bars for standing T-bars...just preference). How you perform the movements is what determines how much you stimulate your muscle fibers and thus stimulate growth. All my movements are and always have been very basic.
I guess if you want to spend a whole day working on biceps, it's fine.
wow!! that is very brave of you to hide your id, lets see what you have accomplished, joe keeps on helping every one that needs it, and its free, check out his Q&A FORUM ON B.B.COM...
"Monday: arms - supersets
Tuesday: chest and back - supersets
Wedenesday: legs - i start with 15 minutes of cardio
Thursday: shoulders and then i target a few muscle groups which i feel is lagging
Sat and Sun : rest but itching to get back to gym"
rrepsold's workout on his "supplement plan" area on his profile...why three days in a row off?
Do you not think they get drug tested to be in the SWAT team you idiot? @Fitpacificisl is right! Did @AlexHallYEAH bother to read the article or just look at the pictures. He explains his reasons for taking what supps he does...
Not saying this guy is or is not and honestly dont care in the least... but.... You think they are drug tested for STEROIDS to be in SWAT? Like... really? lol
Lulz @ thinking he's natty, but who cares you still gotta work
I'm not here to pass judgement on anyone using steroids, nor am I here to say whether or not someone is using steroids. However, I'm sure many would agree with me that it speaks volumes to the nature of man today that ~98% of the time, the people metaphorically yelling "ROIDS!!" in the comments, or on a forum, are so far from the "natty ideal" that they haven't a snowballs chance in hell of determining where the line is. Yes, we can understand that all non-natty pros are juicing. No body needs you to point that out, and claiming that every person, including amateurs, who is in better shape then you HAS to be juicing, is irritating to everyone else who joins groups for camaraderie
Docjugral, you don't need to show your ignorance to the whole world by making comments like that. Just cause Joe is an ifbb pro doesn't mean he took roids to get there. If you visit his forum, you will learn that with proper nutrition and the right exercise you too can get there. Stop passing judgement and start learning. When you open your mind you open yourself to a better world. I have had the pleasure to meet Joe and you will never meet a more kind individual always willing to help. He knows his stuff and has more than helped me reach new heights in my training. All for FREE!
Just goes to show that you don't have to do the most complex, insane, over the top workout to get results! I think Joe is pretty well know for saying "Train Smart" and the proof is in the photos! Thanks Joe for all you do for our Juggernaut family and for being an AMAZING source of inspiration to us all!
I love that this guy has a real job and a family with kids and still is an IFBB Pro. It's a back and bicep article, not a full body workout program. I'd like to have his arms when I'm 50