It's true: big biceps, triceps, and shoulders look good on everybody. But you know what's even better? Strong biceps, triceps, and shoulders. That's what this workout is all about. I want you to look great, but I also want those muscle groups to be strong and function well.
Because shoulders and arms are relatively small muscle groups, you can work them together on the same day without overtaxing the nervous system.
This workout is designed to work each head of the delt and the biceps and triceps in under 45 minutes. The program is broken down into two distinct sections for your shoulders and arms. First, we'll tackle your shoulders with some heavy presses, two supersets, and a tough finisher. Then, you'll hammer your arms with one heavy superset and one lighter superset.
Steve Cook Smashes Arms And Shoulders
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Steve Cook's Pro Tips
Dumbbell Push Press
If you know your max for barbell or dumbbell push press, use 60, 65, 70, and then 70 percent of your max for each consecutive set. If you don't know your max, plug in whatever numbers you know into the 1RM claculator.
This isn't a strict press. Dip your knees about 3 inches, then explode upward. If you have a belt, I encourage you to wear it.
Keep your pinkies a little higher than your thumbs, and never lock your elbows out completely. Because this is a compound exercise, use good form, and give yourself at least two minutes of rest between sets.
Shoulder Superset 1: Dumbbell Lateral Raise/Bent-Over Reverse Cable Fly
When performing lateral raises, tilt your wrists in slightly and keep your pinkies faced out as you raise the weight. Try not to let the weight come to the front of your body. On those flyes, switch the top arm each set.
I like doing this superset closer to the front of my workout, because my middle and rear delts are my weakest areas. I like to work them when I have plenty of energy.
Shoulder Superset 2: Barbell Front Raise/upright Barbell Row
Use a wide grip on the upright row to hit your rear delts rather than the front delts. Rotate your shoulders forward, and bring the bar to mid-chest.
Try to keep the bar close to your body. On the front raise, use a reverse grip, and bring the bar to eye level.
If your shoulders aren't completely smoked by now, they're about to be. For this exercise, go down into a push-up, then stand up and move your arms like you would during a jumping jack. Instead of bringing your palms together, externally rotate your arms, and try to touch the back of your hands together. This little variation will add some serious spice to this finisher.
Don't rest between sets. Do one rep, and then go right into two reps. Keep moving until you get to 10 reps on that 10th set. Do it right, and you take care of your cardio for the day too!
Arm Superset 1: Ez-Bar Curl/Dumbbell Skullcrusher
Now the fun really begins. Before you start this superset, rest for about five minutes. Give your body a little time to reset before you start hammering your arms.
Your goal for this superset is to control the weight; don't let the weight control you. If you feel your lower back or front delts come into play while you're doing the EZ-bar curls, call your set good. I like to use dumbbells for the skullcrushers, because I know each triceps will get the same amount of work.
Arm Superset 2: Bench Dip/Seated Hammer Curl
Stay focused and finish strong here. If bench dips are way too easy for you, put a dumbbell in your lap like I do. Get down until your elbows are at 90 degrees. When you push up, flex your triceps, but try not to put tension on your elbow.
On both exercises, try to fail in the range of 8-10 reps. If you can make it to 10 reps, add some weight on the next set. Pushing yourself over time and knowing when to increase the load are essential to getting big and strong, so don't settle for anything less than your best on each set.