Training

Build Bigger Arms With This PT’s Go-To Arm Workout

Sun’s out, guns out. Good weather is the only reason we need to try out a new arm workout. Only problem is, we’re still waiting for the sun. Oh well, turns out this workout is good all year round.

Myprotein PT Sean Butt has put together an all-weather arm workout to give you a run for your money. And it’s perfect for everyone, no matter your experience level. Sean has provided adjustments designed to make the workout more difficult for more experienced gym-goers.

Tempo

Tempo training refers to the movement speed of an exercise. It’s usually split into four numbers.

The first number refers to the upwards (concentric) movement, the second number the pause at the top of the movement, the third number the downwards (eccentric) movement, and the fourth number the pause at the bottom.

So for example, biceps curls with the tempo instruction 4010 would have a first movement of four seconds, no pause at the top, one second to complete the downward movement and no pause at the bottom before beginning another rep.

Seated biceps curls

The aim of this exercise is to isolate your biceps by pushing your elbows back and allowing full flexion and extension of the arm. Imagine you are trying to squeeze the juice from two oranges in your armpits.

Instructions (beginner)

  • Set up a bench or chair so to allow full extension of the arm.
  • Pick up dumbbells and let them sit at your sides while you’re in a seated position.
  • Push your elbows back slightly, engaging your biceps, and drive your arms up with your palms facing forwards. Ensure you hit a full range of motion without pushing your elbows forwards.

Reps/sets: 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps

Weight: 60% of your 1RM

Tempo: 2010

Instructions (advanced)

  • Set a multi-positional bench to 30 degrees and follow the instructions above.
  • Change tempo to 4040, ensuring full range of motion and no swinging.

Diamond press-ups

This bodyweight exercise puts focus on the triceps.

Instructions (beginner)

  • Place your hands and knees on the floor.
  • Using your index fingers and thumbs, create a diamond shape with your hands.
  • Keeping your knees on the floor in a push-up position, lower your chest towards the floor, driving your elbows back to ensure focus is on your triceps.

Reps/sets: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps

Weight: Body weight

Tempo: 2010

Instruction (advanced)

  • Follow the instructions above but in a full push-up position, not from your knees.
  • Change the tempo to 4010. You can also combine with the seated biceps curls to make a superset.

Triceps presses

A great exercise for targeting all three heads of the triceps.

Instructions (beginner)

  • Stand facing a cable machine with the attachment bar in an overhand grip. Adjust the rope/bar so it is at chest height.
  • Your main focus is form and repetitions, so select a weight around 50% of your 1RM.
  • Brace your abs, tuck your elbows in at your side. (As with seated biceps curls, imagine you are trying to squeeze the juice from two oranges in your armpits.)
  • Push down until your elbows are fully extended while trying to keep your back as straight as possible.
  • Return to the beginning of the movement and repeat.

Reps/sets: 4-5 sets of 12-15 reps

Tempo: 4010

Instructions (advanced)

  • Follow the instructions above but increase the weight to 70% of your 1RM and change the tempo to 4020.

Dumbbell curls

Instructions (beginner)

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and holding one dumbbell in each hand.
  • Allow your arms to relax down by your side with your palms facing forward.
  • Bring the dumbbells up with a bend at the elbow. (Again, remember the oranges advice.)
  • Control the movement to the top, and then lower the dumbbell as you exhale, keeping your elbows tight and your arms close to your ribcage.

Reps/sets: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Weight: Use a weight you feel comfortable holding at the required tempo

Tempo: 3010

Instructions (advanced)

  • Follow the instructions above but switch grip between each rep. Ie palms facing forward for one rep, hammer curl for one, etc.
  • Use 60% of your 1RM and change the tempo to 4020.

Box dips

This exercise can be done using a chair — make sure it is supported at the back so it does not topple over.

Instructions (beginner)

  • Sit on the edge of the box/chair with your hands at the edge and your fingers pointing towards your toes.
  • Extend your legs to around hip-width apart, feet flat on the floor.
  • Descend until your elbows are between 45 and 90 degrees, and push yourself back up until your arms are almost straight. Do not lock your elbows.
  • Repeat.

Reps/sets: 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Weight: Body weight

Tempo: 2010

Instructions (advanced)

  • Sit between two benches, legs extended and your heels on the other bench.
  • Place a weight on your lap.
  • Use a tempo of 4010.

Triceps extensions

This exercise is great for isolating the triceps.

Instructions (beginner)

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or sit on a bench/chair.
  • Hold the dumbbell in a cupped position.
  • Lift the dumbbell directly over your head, making sure not to move your head.
  • Engage your core, relax your shoulders and lower the weight down behind the head.
  • Once you hit 90 degrees, bring the dumbbell back up without locking your elbows.
  • Repeat.

Reps/sets: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Weight: Use a weight you feel comfortable holding at the required tempo

Tempo: 2010

Instructions (advanced)

  • Increase the weight to 60% of your 1RM.
  • Change the tempo to 4020.

Wrist curls

While forearms are worked in many exercises, they’re rarely targeted specifically. This exercise helps build forearm and grip strength.

Instructions (beginner)

  • Kneel behind a bench or flat surface.
  • Rest your forearms on the bench/surface, with your palms facing up.
  • Keep your wrists in a neutral position.
  • With a dumbbell in each hand, allow the dumbbells to extend downwards, keeping control of the movement, then bring them back to neutral.

Reps/sets: 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Weight: Use a weight you feel comfortable holding at the required tempo

Tempo: 2020

Instructions (advanced)

  • Increase the weight to 60% of your 1RM.
  • Change the tempo to 4020.

Take home message

There you have it — an arm workout to put you really through your paces. It’s not easy, but it sure is a good workout.

Follow @sbfitcoach for more fitness related advice and workouts.

 



Myprotein

Myprotein

Writer and expert


Summer SALE | Up to 70% off | Use code: SUMMER Shop Now