What are you training today? If you have biceps and triceps on the docket, you've come to the right place. This workout is not for the faint of heart, and your guns had better have some pump action in order to handle the assault.
Your ambition to be the proud owner of some seriously big arms is about to become a reality—using trisets. For those new to the iron game, you perform trisets by doing three exercises in a row without rest. If done properly, trisets are a great way to increase intensity, save time, and pump the muscle with as much blood as possible. Keep it up, and you'll leave the gym knowing your hard work will eventually lead to permanent gains.
Each of the trisets in this program involves a barbell exercise, a dumbbell exercise, and a cable exercise. You'll utilize each piece of equipment to stress your muscles in particular ways. You'll use the barbell in order lift as much weight as possible, the dumbbells to force your arms to work individually, and the cables to isolate the targeted muscle and force you to work with a fixed motion.
You can do all three exercises in each triset in close proximity. That way, you'll have less rest while you transition from one movement to the next. You'll do an entire biceps triset, rest 90 seconds, and then move to the triceps triset. You'll alternate between these two trisets 2-3 times.
This workout will take you no longer than 25 minutes, but you will feel it long after you finish the last rep. So, sip your pre-workout of choice, warm up, and mentally prepare yourself for the insane pump you're about to experience.
You can also use the EZ-bar if you prefer, but make sure you squeeze the bar with everything you have to activate every muscle fiber possible throughout the set. Take your time lowering the weight after each rep; don't just let it fall. Once the weight is lowered, immediately perform the next rep with as much power as you can. Once you complete 8 reps, drop the barbell and pick up your dumbbells.
Alternating Dumbbell Curl
Doing this exercise one arm at a time forces you to focus on each individual biceps. Unilateral training will help your physique appear balanced and will help prevent one arm from getting stronger than the other. Once again, take your time through the eccentric (lowering) portion of the movement.
On the way up, fully supinate your wrists so your pinky faces your shoulder. Don't swing the weight. Make the biceps do the all work on its own.
Cable Hammer Curl
Cable training keeps constant tension on the working muscle, leaving no fiber untouched. When you begin the lift, don't let your elbows flare out or come forward. Keep those upper arms locked in place. Once the rope is fully curled, separate the ends of the rope and pause for a second before lowering the weight. When the weight is fully lowered and your biceps are stretched, pause for a second before performing the next rep.
Because you've already exhausted your biceps doing the first two exercises, you'll likely have to use less weight than you normally do. There's never been a cable-hammer-curl lifting competition, so put your focus on the quality of the reps, not the amount of weight you're lifting.
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If there isn't a bench available, you can always do these on the floor; other than limiting your range of motion, it won't make too much difference. When you're performing each rep, keep your upper arms vertical at all times.
If you lift and lower your upper arms, your shoulders—not your triceps—get more of the action. If you want to make the reps a little tougher, lower the weight past your head.
You can perform this with both arms at the same time if you need to save time, but taking a few extra minutes to focus on each arm separately will help you in the long run. Keep your core braced; don't swing. Pause for a second at the top and bottom of each rep.
Cable Overhead Triceps Extension
This exercise will help you get a deep stretch and contraction in all three heads of the triceps. Separate the rope when your triceps are overhead and fully contracted. On the way down, don't try to force a deeper stretch than your arms will allow. Your arms should move through this movement without any pain.
Implementing The Triple-Threat Arms Assault
Alternating between a biceps and triceps triset gives each muscle group time to rest while the other is working. Organizing the workout this way also allows you to train each muscle with more intensity, which should result in bigger and stronger arms.
Beginners should do two rounds of this workout; that means you will have performed each triset twice before you're finished. If you feel confident in your abilities and have been in the gym for a year or more, you can try for 3 rounds.
I suggest you do this program once per week. However, if your arms are a weakness, and you need to hit them a little harder to spark new growth, implement this workout twice per week. If you do, space the workouts at least three days apart.