If you've seen other workouts by Jeremy Dutra, you know he's not one to stick to a rigid rep and set scheme. The EVL-sponsored athlete and IFBB pro is about to take you to school with a superset-heavy arm routine that will pump you up like no other.
Want guns like Dutra? Better take note of his workout philosophy:
- Train by feel, not with strict reps.
- Start light, ramp up to heavy weight.
- Do 3-4 working sets per exercise.
- Perform 8-10 reps per set.
For your warm-up, you'll do two banded exercises: the band biceps curl and the band overhead extension. The goal with resistance bands is to force blood into the muscle and squeeze hard on every contraction. That way, when you get to your working sets, the mind-muscle connection is already there.
"The pump should be there to start the workout—you don't get the pump in the workout," Dutra says. "Warm-ups will help you prevent injury, too."
Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curl: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
(Superset with V-Bar Push-Down)
"My philosophy is start light, build up to a working weight, do that working weight for 2 sets, and then drop the weight down," Dutra says.
That means the first set is really an extension of his warm-up for the first set. Get the pump and sweat going, and let your body know it's time to work. You'll see that he rotates his palms on his curls, but as he enters his working sets, he performs them with palms facing up the whole time. This helps keep tension on the biceps, even as the other arm is working.
V-Bar Push-Down: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
(Superset with Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curl)
Dutra notes that he doesn't have his workout written down or his phone with him—all he has is how he feels. Again, his first set is light. Make sure you're standing with your hips back to give yourself room to complete the full range of motion and that you control the weight throughout the movement.
"The contraction is important, but it's all about how you control the eccentric portion," he says.
It's not a complete rep if you're not entirely contracting your triceps at the bottom. Dutra does a couple of partial reps at the end of the working sets, too. Remember, it's all about feel!
Cable Straight-Bar Curl: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
(Superset with Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension)
Dutra explains that the more open your hand is on this exercise, the more you can emphasize the entire biceps and build thickness. He chooses cables frequently because of the constant tension they provide.
His set-up tips: Stand farther away from the tower and keep your elbow out in front of you, as if you were doing a preacher curl. Again, start light, and perform no fewer than 12 reps in that first set.
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
(Superset with Cable Straight-Bar Curl)
Lie back on a bench and start with the dumbbells directly overhead and your arms straight. Slowly lower your arms to about a 45-degree angle. Lower the dumbbells behind your head, hinging at the elbows. Keep your abs tight and the rest of your body rigid.
"If you're doing your workout while talking on your phone or having conversations, the intensity is not there," Dutra says. "You need to up that intensity if you want to break past plateaus. Welcome the pain—it's going to make you better."
Triceps Bar Hammer Curl: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
(Superset with Triceps Bar Close-Grip Bench Press)
Your next superset is the hammer curl and close-grip bench press, both done with a triceps bar (also called a football bar). This really targets the long head of the biceps. Keep your elbows fixed at your sides as you curl, squeeze, and hold for a second at the top. No fewer than 10 reps here!
If your gym doesn't have one of these bars, you can perform a regular neutral-grip hammer curl with dumbbells.
Triceps Bar Close-Grip Bench Press: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
(Superset with Triceps Bar Hammer Curl)
Dutra explains that if you come down past 90 degrees with your elbows, your chest is going to start to take over, when the goal here is to work the triceps. Be diligent about stopping at 90 degrees to keep the tension on the triceps, and squeeze them at the top of the movement.
Again, if you don't have this exact bar, substitute with the neutral-grip dumbbell bench press.
"When you want to put the weight down, think again," he says. "These will burn a lot."
Single-Arm Machine Preacher Curl: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
(Superset with Seated Machine Dip)
Superset number four is the machine preacher curl and the machine dip. Most people sit down at a preacher curl machine and perform the movement with both arms at the same time. Dutra shows you how to do the iso-lateral version and hit each arm separately.
Turn your body to your left so that you are facing perpendicular to the pad. Place your right arm on the pad and reach for the right handle. Complete a regular preacher curl, keeping your chest open and fully extending your arm. Dutra points to his working muscle with his left hand as he performs his working sets to help guide his brain and facilitate the mind-muscle connection. Repeat on the left side.
Another tip: Keep your palm open, rather than gripping the handle. When you take a full grip, your forearm is flexed and gets the brunt of the work rather than the biceps. As soon as the biceps starts to fail, you can self-spot if you need to.
Seated Machine Dip: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
(Superset with Single-Arm Machine Preacher Curl)
You'll notice that the handles will rotate on most dip machines, offering a wider or narrower grip option. The wider setting will activate more chest, while the narrow grip will blast your triceps mercilessly.
Keep your shoulders down, away from your ears, and push through your palms. You may feel that you need to go heavier on these, but if you slow the tempo, you'll be surprised at how much the intensity increases!
Standing Cable Curl: 2 sets of 50 reps
(Superset with Cable Rope Push-Down) The finisher here is going to be 100 reps in 2 sets! Grab an EZ-bar for the biceps curls, and if you have Fat Gripz, throw those on, too! Do as many reps as you can in the first set, and whatever doesn't get done, you have to finish in the second set—try to get at least 50 reps the first time around! Choose your weight wisely.
Cable Rope Push-Down: 2 sets of 50 reps
(Superset with Standing Cable Curl)
As soon as you finish your first set of curls, jump right into the rope push-downs and again, do as many as you can. No need to rush these—make sure your form is intact and be intentional with every rep.
"Remember: time under tension, control your eccentrics, and intensity," Dutra says. "It comes down to how far you're willing to push your mind."