Dymatize athlete and certified personal trainer Mike Hildebrandt loves the idea of supersets. In this workout, he'll show you how to hit your biceps and triceps from different angles and increase reps to maximize development. You'll be pumping blood into your arms at a furious pace that Mike says may swell your arms by 1-2 inches by the end of the workout!
The goal here is not to move heavy weights; you'll use lighter weights than normal. But by going light, you'll hit Mike's target rep ranges and bring out fine detail in your arms.
The whole workout should take 30-45 minutes: short enough that you can add it to the end of your normal workout or use it when you're crunched for time. You'll be working your triceps while your biceps are resting, and vice versa. This efficient approach will allow you to burn calories and achieve the best possible results in the shortest amount of time.
Okay, ladies and gentlemen, prepare to ignite your arms.
Mike Hildebrandt's Superset Arm Workout
Mike recommends doing this workout 1-2 times a week—twice a week if you're focused on building big arms. If you do it twice a week, give yourself at least two days' rest in between for full recovery.
Mike's Technique Keys
Hildebrandt does this exercise while wearing an arm blaster, which limits the backward travel of the elbows and enables you to better isolate your biceps. "So many people find themselves swinging when they do a traditional biceps curl," Mike says. "The arm blaster requires strict form."
This exercise completes the first superset. Keep your elbows tight—no flaring—and get the most out of this movement by focusing on getting a good stretch at the bottom and a strong contraction at the top.
Incline Dumbbell Curl
This is one of Mike's favorites. Lying back on an incline produces an unusually good biceps stretch when he lowers the dumbbells and lets his shoulders relax. Because of the greater stretch, he suggests backing off slightly on the weight.
Dumbbell Triceps Kick-Back
"With any arm movement," Mike says, "it can be easy to get carried away and move too much weight without getting a full contraction. Pick a weight you can control so that you can achieve a strong contraction at the top." As you reach the bottom position, flex your biceps to make sure you're giving your triceps a good stretch. Head back up again for another rep.
These curls are an awesome way to isolate your biceps, especially the peak. The movement is similar to a preacher curl, only harder. Pick a lighter weight so you can go through the full range of motion for maximum results.
Overhead Barbell Triceps Extension
On this long-head move, make sure you get a good stretch at the bottom and a good squeeze at the top. Notice that Mike has you doing 4 sets of 14 reps instead of 10 reps. You'll be glad you went a little light on this one—it's a burner!
Lying Rope Hammer Curl
Bring some real thickness to your arms with this move, which targets the brachialis, a muscle that lies underneath the biceps brachii. Start with a slight bend in your elbows; going to full extension can put more stress on your biceps tendon and elbow joint.
Reverse-Grip Triceps Extension
With this exercise, Mike changes the grip to change the focus on the medial head of the triceps, so it nicely complements the other triceps moves. It's all just part of Mike's master plan to maximize development in all three heads of the triceps.