If Abel Albonetti says this is the meanest workout he's ever done, you'd better be prepared for a serious smackdown. A MuscleTech-sponsored athlete and Team Bodybuilding.com member, Albonetti is known for his hardcore workouts, and this arm blast doesn't disappoint.

During a workout that had Albonetti himself groaning in pain during filming, you'll be supersetting biceps exercises with triceps exercises in a way that quickly exhausts your arms. That's too bad, because it's going to be a very long workout.

All right, campers, cinch up your shorts and let's get to it.

Abel Albonetti Meanest Mean-Ass Arm Workout Yet
Seated dumbbell biceps curl
4 sets, 8-10 reps
1 set, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 reps (alternating reps per arm with other arm in isometric hold)
+ 6 more exercises


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Technique Tips

Seated Dumbbell Curl and Skullcrusher

Albonetti starts you off with 4 straight sets of dumbbell curls. Take each rep slow and easy with lots of good, long negatives. During the concentric portion of the lift, rotate your pinkies all the way in to get full rotation at the top of the exercise.

Seated Dumbbell Curl and Skullcrusher

For the fifth and final set, drop the weight by half. As you do eight reps with one arm, keep the other arm in an isometric hold. Switch arms and repeat. Immediately do 7 more reps with one arm, keeping the other in an isometric hold, then switch arms and do 7 more. Continue decreasing the number of reps by 1 until only 1 remains. Do that rep with each arm to finish.

Follow the same rep plan for the skullcrushers. Hold the stretch at the bottom of the rep, keeping tension on your triceps.

Preacher Curl and Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension

When you do the preacher curls, make sure you're not going all the way up and losing tension. Keep that bar constantly moving so your muscles are contracted the whole time. When you're doing the triceps extension, tuck in your elbows. Don't flare them out. Go all the way down to stretch out your triceps. As with the preacher curls, don't pause at the top. Keep going to maintain tension on your biceps and triceps the whole time.

On the last set, Albonetti tosses in a double dropset—for both exercises. Go to failure on these. You might not be able to do as many reps as you did at first, but push for at least 6 reps.

Incline Dumbbell Curl and Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension

Go all the way down on the incline curls for a good biceps stretch. At the bottom, flex your triceps to stretch your biceps to the max. After you complete the twelfth rep of the fourth set, lower your arms all the way one more time and hold 30 seconds for a good stretch. Drop the weight by about 10 pounds, rep to failure, and lower the dumbbells for another 30-second stretch. Reduce the weight another 10 pounds, rep to failure, and repeat.

Incline Dumbbell Curl and Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension

On the overhead extensions, let the rope go all the way back to fully stretch your triceps. After the twelfth rep in the fourth set, repeat the dropsets exactly as you did for the incline curls.          

According to Albonetti, if you can do 10 reps or more before failing in either of these final sets, add more weight the next time.

Barbell Curl 21s and Triceps Push-down 21s

Do the first seven barbell curls while standing up, moving the bar up from your thighs to parallel to your waist, then immediately sit down for the next seven curls. When you're sitting, you won't be able to lower the bar past your thighs. Once you've done seven of these reps, stand up again and do the last seven reps as full reps, moving the bar from your chest to your thighs for a total of 21 reps.

Stand for all the triceps push-downs. For the first seven reps, start with the rope at your waist and push down to your thighs. For the next seven, start with the rope at your shoulders and push down to your waist. For the final seven reps, do complete reps, moving the rope from your shoulders to your thighs for another total of 21 reps. On the rope push-downs, flare the rope ends as much as possible.

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Hammer Curl and Cable Single-Arm Triceps Extension

Alternate your arms on the hammer curls to go as heavy as possible. When you're doing the triceps extensions, as the cable goes across your body, squeeze your triceps for a full contraction. At the bottom, squeeze your arm muscles for about half a second.

Hammer Curl and Cable Single-Arm Triceps Extension

Standing Biceps Cable Curl and Triceps Push-down

What better way to finish Albonetti's mean-ass workout than to strap on a pair of BFR straps? You'll achieve a huge pump and engorge your arms with nutrients and blood.

Position the BFR bands high up on your biceps. Wrap them with a tightness of 6-7 out of 10. Keep them in place for all 5 sets. As you do these BFR sets, rest 45 seconds between sets to create that extreme pump.

Albonetti recommends doing this workout once every two weeks. There's too much volume—and it's just too damn tough—to do it every week.

About the Author

Hobart Swan

Hobart Swan

Hobart Swan formerly wrote and edited for Bodybuilding.com. He also worked as a producer of health content for CBS Radio, and as a health-content specialist at Healthwise, the nation’s...

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