Arm Training

Posted 03 January 2015 by Alex Stuart

5 Mass Building

Arm Workouts

5 Mass Building Arm Workouts


Workout 1

Close Grip Bench Press:  3 sets x 4-6 reps
Cable Rope Overhead Tricep Extension: 2 sets x 8-12 reps
Cable One Arm Tricep Extension: 2 sets x 15 reps with each arm
Barbell Curl:  3 sets x 4-6 reps
Alternating Dumbbell Curls:  2 sets x 8-12 reps
Straight Bar Cable Curls:  3 sets x 15 reps
Palm Down Barbell Wrist Curls over Bench: 5 sets x 25 reps

Workout 2

Bench Dips: 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Decline Close Grip Bench to Skull Crushers: 2 sets x 8-12 reps
One Arm Triceps Extension: 2 sets x 12 reps with each arm
Incline Dumbbell Curls:  3 sets x 6-8 reps
Barbell Curl Lying Against an Incline: 2 sets x 8-12 reps
Lying Cable Curl: 3 sets x 15 reps
Cable Wrist Curl: 5 sets x 50 reps

Workout 3

Close Grip EZ- Bar Curls: 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Cable Hammer Curls- Rope Attachment: 3 sets x 12 reps
Concentration Curls: 3 sets x15 reps with each arm
Machine Dips: 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Decline Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Kneeling Cable Concentration Triceps Extensions: 3 sets x 15 reps with each arm
Palms Up Barbell Wrist Curls over Bench: 5 sets x 25 reps

Workout 4

Close Grip Standing Barbell Curls: 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Cross Body Hammer Curls:  3 sets x 12 reps
Machine Preacher Curls: 2 sets x 15 reps
Decline EZ-Bar Triceps Extensions: 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Low Cable Triceps Extensions: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown: 3 sets x 15 reps
Plate Pinch: 5 sets x 50 reps

Workout 5

Barbell Curls: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
Close Grip Bench Press: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
Incline Dumbbell Curls: 2 sets x 8-12 reps
Lying Triceps Extensions: 2 sets x 8-12 reps
Machine Preacher Curls: 2 sets x 15-20 reps
Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdowns: 2 sets x 15-20 reps
Seated Palms Up Barbell Wrist Curls: 2 sets x 50 reps
Seated Palms Down Barbell Wrist Curls: 2 sets x 50 reps


Posted 24 June 2014 by Team Hercules

Dwayne Johnson Hercules

Arms Workout

Dwayne Johnson 'Hercules' Arms Workout



Tri set - 4 x 12 reps each

- Preacher curl with EZ curl bar

- Standing barbell curl with EZ bar

- Dumbbell curl


Tri Set - 4 x 12 reps each

- Rope push down

- Rope overhead tricep extensions

- Tricep dips to failure

Posted 01 March 2014 by Adam bisek

Arms Done Right: A Guide

To Proper Arm Training

arms done right scr2.jpg

Arms done right: A tutorial to proper arm training

Ah, the hallowed arm training day. Ask a child to flex their muscles and what do they do? Flex their guns! No matter what muscle group you favor, the bicep and tricep training combo holds a special place in most trainee's heart. The question is are you getting the most out of your endless bicep curls and tricep extensions? A quick primer on the anatomy and biomechanics of the muscles taking residence between the elbow and the shoulder will revolutionize your training regimen.

arms done right scr1.jpg


There are a great deal of muscles that govern arm movement, but for the sake of this article I will stick to the superficial muscles controlling major flexion and extension of the elbow. The triceps are just as the name implies, a group of three muscles split into lateral, medial, and long heads (see figure 1 below). The biceps, including the long and short heads, as well as the brachialis make up the major muscles of the front of the upper arm (see figure 2 below). While there are many other muscles, the aforementioned are the heavy hitters that most all trainees seek to build.


The angles and hand grips used will greatly affect what muscles of the arm is used. Both the biceps and brachialis flex the elbow and the biceps also plays the additional role of supinating (turning the palm up) the wrist. The short head of the biceps assists the deltoid in shoulder flexion (raising the shoulder) as well. On the other side of the humerus lies the triceps group which extend the elbow. The long head of the triceps is maximally activated when the arm is raised during extension exercises, such as an overhead dumbbell extension. In addition, the long head of the triceps assists in shoulder extension, as seen in a pullover movement. The medial head of the triceps is best recruited with a pronated grip (palms down) during pressdown exercises, and the lateral head is emphasized with a supinated grip (palms up) or neutral grip (hands facing).  With all these angles and grips in mind, why don't we get a program put together!

Arms Done Right Program

# Exercise Repititions Sets
1A Preacher  Biceps Curl (Short head of biceps) 8-15 3-4
1B Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension (Long head of triceps) 8-15 3-4
2A Incline Bench Dumbbell Biceps Curl (Long head of biceps) 10-15 3
2B Rope Triceps Extension (Lateral head of triceps) 10-15 3
3A Overhand Cambered Bar Biceps Curl (Brachialis) 12-15 3
3B Cable Triceps Pressdown (Medial head of triceps) 12-15 3

*A and B signify a superset, which means exercises will be done in back and forth fashion

Written By Adam Bisek

Posted 10 April 2013 by Pauline Nordin

Episode 3: More Arm Growing

Tips By Pauline Nordin

Episode 3: More arm growing tips by Pauline Nordin

Pauline Nordin Episode_ ep3_scr1.jpg

More Episodes:

Episode 2

Episode 1


Posted 15 March 2013 by Pauline Nordin

Video: Arm Growing Tips

By Pauline Nordin

Video: Reasons Your Arms Are Not Growing
- Arm Growing Tips By Pauline Nordin

More Episodes:

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4



Posted 05 September 2012 by Melih F. Cologlu ACPT

Prioritizing And Developing

Underdeveloped Arms

Lets face it, we all have our weak/lagging body parts that we would like to bring up. For most natural athletes, bringing up multiple body parts all at the same time is a hard task to tackle. However, an approach where you prioritize one weak area at a time through a 4-6 month bulking cycle can produce amazing results.

As most experts would suggest and recommend to make improvements in all body parts, you can still make gains in your stronger areas while you are making supercharged gains in your lagging bodypart (s) such as arms..

There are different ways and methods to prioritize training. In this article we are going to discuss how to bring up your lagging arms and turn them into powerful guns!

6 Rules to transforming those spaghetti arms!

  • 1 - Giving arms their own days (prioritizing)
  • 2 - Do not pair biceps and triceps with big body parts
  • 3 - Superset, superset, superset!!
  • 4 - High protein!
  • 5 - Supplementation
  • 6 - Isolating the muscle properly!

1 - Giving arms their own days.

If you really want to bring up a lagging body part, you have to give them their own day in order to maximize results. In this case, arms! While you are coming up with your training split where the arms have their own day, make sure to schedule a leg day following this arm day in order to allow some rest for the prioritized region.

2 - Do not pair biceps and triceps with big body parts.

We can go on all day long arguing about how after back training the biceps are warmed up so it’s good to train them or another point of view such as after training chest the biceps are still fresh and maybe warmed up from flye motions. But lets face it, for a true blasting arm workout, you cannot afford to lose that much energy after big body parts such as chest and back.. You can warm up your arms to work your arms, and not waste energy for the full-blown arm blast workout that is coming up!

3 - Superset - Superset - Superset.

So lets talk about supersetting biceps and triceps: As many of you may know, a traditional superset consists of a set of 2 different exercises of the same or different bodyparts with little or no rest in between.

Supersets have been used for decades by the most accomplished bodybuilders to maximize the blood flow to a given area, which will have long-term anabolic effects due to a steady supply of nutrients into the muscle cells.

Lets keep it simple, you can choose one of 2 ways to super set your arms:

Version A: 10 reps of a bicep exercise (superset with) 10 reps of a triceps exercise - and repeat this 3 rounds before moving onto the next round with a different pair of exercises.


Version B: 10 reps of bicep exercise (superset with) 10 reps of another bicep exercise - and repeat 2-3 rounds before moving onto a pair of triceps exercises to superset .

4 - High protein.

We have all heard to consume 1 to 1.5 or even up to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Depending on your weight, the intensity of your workouts and other factors this number will vary. However it is not uncommon for bodybuilders to raise their protein intake to a maximum during the workout day of the lagging body part and the next 2 days following, to ensure maximum amino acid supply for anabolic (muscle building) results.

5 - Supplementation.

Creatine: Take the maximum recommended dose during the days of the lagging body part workouts.

Whey and casein protein: Also recommended to increase intake during lagging body parts. Whey protein being immediately following your workouts and casein protein pre bed for night-time recovery.

Nitric Oxide Supplements - .50 calibre by grenade is highly recommended: the N.O based supplements with the main ingredient arginine is designed to increase blood flow-circulation and results in helping more nutrients enter the muscle cells for proper recovery.

6 - Isolating the muscle.

In this case the range of motion is the key element. One of the most common mistakes during a lift is not fully extending or stretching the muscle. For example during a single arm dumbbell overhead extension, many trainees do not fully go down to stretch out the muscle. They are either using too much weight or just not even realizing that the exercise is not done to the full extend until you go down all the way. The elongation (negative) portion of a given exercise has a tremendous role in muscle growth so it must not be overlooked. If you are only focusing on contracting and skipping the elongation portion of the exercise, then you will only get half the progress out of that given exercise. So think full range of motion in your next workout.

Next time you are in the gym, think of the 6 factors above while bringing up the lagging body parts weather it’s your arm, legs or lats etc…

Posted 19 September 2012 by Rosie Chee, BExSpSc

Women: Building

Beautiful Shoulders

So you have the sexy abs and the fitness model booty, but you want the shoulders to make your waist seem even smaller, to give you that desirable hourglass shape. In order to do that, you must build up your shoulders, capping your lateral delts, having a nice round curve, front to back.

There are many muscles that originate or insert into the shoulder joint, and for well balanced shoulders each must be developed to some degree, but the most important muscle to concentrate on as far as AESTHETICS is the DELTOID, the most superficial of the muscles encompassing the shoulder. To build beautiful shoulders, you have to target each “section” or “head” of the multipennate deltoid muscle:

1. Anterior Deltoid - the area of the deltoid seen from the front;
2. Lateral Deltoid - also known as the “middle” deltoid; and
3. Posterior Deltoid - the area of the deltoid seen from the rear.

Training Exercises

Many exercises use all of the deltoid, although most often, focus on one area of it more specifically than the others.

Exercises for the posterior deltoid include, but are not limited to:  Behind-the-neck barbell military press (seated or standing), bent over dumbbell or low-pulley lateral raises (seated or standing), high-pulley lateral raises, and pec dec rear delt laterals.

Exercises for the anterior deltoid include, but are not limited to: Military barbell press (seated or standing), barbell or dumbbell shoulder press (seated or standing), Arnold dumbbell press (seated or standing), front dumbbell press (seated or standing), barbell or one-dumbbell front raises, dumbbell or low-pulley front raises (single arm or both arms at once), and dumbbell or low-pulley hammer raises (alternating, single arm, or both arms at once).

Exercises for the lateral deltoid include, but are not limited to: Dumbbell or low-pulley lateral raises (seated or standing; alternating, single arm, or both arms at once), and side-lying lateral raises, nautilus lateral raises.

Sample Training Programme for Shoulders

There are so many exercises that you can do for shoulders, so how do you go about selecting the best one and creating a programme that will target each muscle?

For a start, you do not have to be complicated or use a wide assortment of exercises - the “basic staples” are enough, but that is not to say you cannot do more.

The following session is very basic and what I started with a year ago when I began concentrating seriously on building up my shoulders. Doing this has worked extremely well for me in building up the muscle in my shoulders.

Shoulders (1 minute recovery between sets):

  1. Behind-the-neck Barbell Military Press: 4 sets of 8 - 15 reps (sometimes doing in a pyramid fashion re 15, 12, 18, 8 reps, etc., increasing weight in each consecutive set)
  2. BB Military Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps (sometimes doing in a pyramid fashion re 12, 18, 9, 8, etc., increasing weight in each consecutive set)
  3. Single-Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 4 sets of 12 - 15 reps.

As with everything, you do not just stay with the same session forever, and after a while, over the months, I added to this basic session to increase intensity (i.e. increase weight or decrease recovery time between sets, including supersets, etc.) AND volume (i.e. adding more sets per exercise, etc.), adapting it re injuries (since there have been quite a few affecting my shoulders in the last few months) or as I progress and find what works better and better in developing and maintaining my shoulder mass.

You can see what my CURRENT shoulder sessions looks like in the “example week of training for me” section of my Interview with - Workout Routine: Rosie Chee.

It takes time, but if you stick at it consistently, always improving and “building” on the session you did the week before, whether it be as small as increasing the weight lifted for only a single set on one exercises, then you WILL build up your shoulders to enhance your figure.


Delavier, F. (2006). Strength training anatomy (2nd ed.). France: Human Kinetics.

Marieb, E. N. (2004). Human anatomy and physiology (6th ed.). San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Photo Credit: Tony Mitchell, Dan Ray

Written by Rosie Chee, BExSpSc


Posted 16 April 2012 by Brad Borland, MA, CSCS

How To Build Big

Horseshoe Triceps!

Who in the heck wants big triceps? If observations of efforts in gyms all across America are any indication, then no one wants them! By taking a quick glance at most trainer’s programs, the triceps get little or no attention while the biceps steal the spotlight. “Make a muscle!” I hear across the gym floor and inevitably I see a shirt sleeve roll up and someone is trying to flex their biceps peak while their triceps lies underneath ignored, underused, and underappreciated. What is a bodybuilder to do?

As you may have heard many times, the triceps makes up most of the upper arm mass – if trained correctly. The triceps – tri meaning three heads - should be trained and developed just as intensely and methodically as the biceps. Impressive arm development is just that – biceps AND triceps. As the antagonistic counterpart to the biceps, the triceps actually will indirectly aid in the development and strength of the biceps creating greater blood flow and nutrient uptake in the upper arm area. Your goal should be to hit the triceps from all angles utilizing many movements and the right amount of volume so you too can own some impressive and complete “guns” lock, stock, and barrel. Well built, shirt-busting, horseshoe-shaped triceps will make any arm look balanced, proportionate and huge.

High and low reps, compound and isolation movements, volume adjustments, and angel selection should all be considered when structuring a sound program. With the right tools, know-how, and intensity anyone can move their tricep development to a higher level. So quit curling for just a few minutes and read on about the untold story of bigger arms!

Quick Anatomy Lesson

The Triceps Brachii has three heads which connect the humerus and scapula to the ulna (in the forearm). The Lateral, Medial, and Long heads make up the triceps.
The head that is most responsible for the horseshoe shape is the Lateral head which is located on the outward facing side of the humerus. The Medial head is located towards the midline of the body and the Long head (the largest of the three) is located along the bottom side of the humerus.

Extending the elbow (straightening the arm) is the primary function of the triceps. The Long head has a secondary function: it assists the Latissimus Dorsi in adduction of the arm (bringing the arm down toward the body).

Horseshoe Triceps Action!

Now that you know a little about anatomy and function, let’s delve into what makes outstanding triceps. The movements and routines presented are designed to get the most out of each trip to the gym. Remember to always use good form and not to use too much weight to compromise your safety.

Cable pressdowns:

Cable pressdowns: No triceps program would be complete without the tried and true cable pressdown. Preformed with a straight bar, v-bar, or rope attachment, pressdowns are invaluable to achieving that coveted “squeeze” contraction when performed correctly. Stand in front of an upright cable apparatus with a shoulder width stance. Grasp your chosen attachment with a firm grip and your elbows by your side. With your elbows stationary, press the bar or rope down toward your upper thighs and straighten your arms out to fully contract the triceps. Under control, return to the top position (make sure to get a full range of motion), making sure your elbows remain by your side. It is also important to keep proper posture during the movement by avoiding hunching over with your back. Maintain a straight and firm posture with the entire body.

A trick you may want to try is to imagine pressing the weight in an arch toward the wall behind you instead of straight down. This will ensure you will not use too much weight. Also, try different grip attachments. The straight bar tends to stress the larger inner long head while any movement with your thumbs pointing up as in rope extensions will work more of the outer head giving the horseshoe look.

Quick hit: For maximum contraction without a lot of weight try reverse grip pressdowns with a cambered (EZ) bar. You will have to use slightly less weight, but the contraction is a killer! Grasp the bar as if you were going to do EZ bar curls (thumbs higher than your pinkies) and press down as if performing a regular cable pressdown.

Lying, seated, and standing French presses

Lying, seated, and standing French presses: The granddaddy of triceps moves is the lying French press (or more famously known as nosebreakers or skullcrushers). Simply lie on a flat bench with either a straight bar or EZ bar and extend the weight directly over your upper body with your arms locked. Angle your arms at the shoulder joint back slightly toward your head while maintaining the locked elbows. This will place constant tension on your triceps. To start the movement, bend only at the elbows and lower the bar toward the top of your head while maintaining that angle in your upper arms at all times. Stop the bar an inch or so above your head and then reverse the motion bringing the bar to the angled position once again straightening your arms.

For seated and standing French presses, stand or sit with the weight directly overhead and lower it under control for a deep stretch. Be sure to keep your elbows somewhat pointing up – it is fine if the elbows jet out to the sides slightly, just make sure they don’t angle laterally too much. Once in the bottom position, reverse the motion and extend your arms overhead once again.

Quick hit: For a little variety in your skullcrushing efforts try performing the same movement on a decline or incline bench. Be sure to perform the movement the same as described above, however you may find yourself using slightly less weight on the decline bench and you will be able to use a little more weight on the incline bench. Keep switching angles for each workout for variety and to keep the muscle guessing for more triceps development.

Dumbbell and cable overhead extensions:

Dumbbell and cable overhead extensions: Similar to the overhead French press, dumbbell and cable overhead extensions will treat the triceps to a deep growth-inducing stretch. Using a dumbbell or rope attachment may prove more comfortable for your elbows as they position the wrists and forearms in a more natural angle. For two-arm dumbbell extensions grasp a single dumbbell keeping both hands flat against the inside of the plates. With the weight directly overhead lower the weight behind your head feeling a deep stretch in your triceps and then return to the starting position.

You may also perform this movement single-arm with a lighter dumbbell. However, for the single-armed version, you will lower the dumbbell laterally instead of straight back. The elbow will be pointing outward and the dumbbell will travel behind your head for a deep stretch.

For overhead rope extensions, utilize similar form as described above. Grasp a rope attachment from a low pulley station and perform the movement in a rhythmic pattern making sure you use an appropriate amount of weight to complete the prescribed number of reps in a safe manner.

For a little variety rope extension can also be performed horizontally by pulling from a pulley apparatus that is set about shoulder level and positioning your upper body parallel with the floor and in a slight lunge stance. Pulling the rope from behind your head, extend the cable perpendicular to the apparatus and squeeze the triceps.

Quick hit: Many trainers in the gym tend to set the cable apparatus pulley much too low for overhead rope extensions – this can sometimes create difficulty in getting into the correct position. A tip is to set the cable pulley about waist level to make it easier to get into that desired position. This will make it much less stressful on your back, shoulder, and other joints when starting and ending the movement.


Dips: Dips are an invaluable tool in the pursuit of bigger triceps. Not only are they effective in packing on the mass, they are also allow you to use a higher amount of resistance due to being a compound, multi-joint movement.

There are two types of dips being referred to for this article. The first is the parallel dip. You may see many trainers in the gym utilize this move for chest development; however, it can be just as effective for triceps. Simply grasp the parallel bars that are about shoulder width with your arms straight - your body should be as perpendicular to the floor as possible. With your legs pointing somewhat straight below you, lower yourself while keeping your body as upright as possible and your elbows by your sides. This upright position will ensure the stress is placed on the triceps – if you lean too far forward and/or allow your arms to flare out to the sides, the stress is shifted to the chest. Lower yourself where you are comfortable and avoiding any shoulder pain. A good rule of thumb is to form a 90 degree angle in the elbow joint.

Be sure you can perform parallel dips for the desired reps and range of motion before utilizing a weight belt. Too many trainers try to lift too much weight and compromise their form and risk injury.

Another form of dips is the bench dip. This is performed with two benches side by side. Sit sideways on one bench grasping the edge of the bench on either side of your hips. Place your feet on the other bench with just your heels touching and legs straight. Lift yourself off of the bench you are sitting on and drop your butt below the bench getting a 90 degree or so angle in your elbows. Extend back up to the top position straightening your arms and flexing your triceps then repeat.

Quick hit: A good way to really torch those tris once your strength has significantly improved on bench dips is to add a few plates to your lap. Once you have reached failure, have your workout partner take one plate off, then continue your set. Depending on how many plates you have to remove, continue this stripping method until you are doing your last set with just your bodyweight.

Close-grip bench press:

Close-grip bench press: Last but certainly not least is another compound favorite – the close-grip bench press. Again, since this is a multi-joint movement, more resistance is able to be placed on the triceps so be careful not to let your ego take over and lift too much weight or be unsafe in your technique. Lie back on a flat bench as if you were about to perform a bench press and grasp the bar with a shoulder-width grip (any closer may put stress on your wrists). Unrack the bar and lower the bar with your elbows close to your sides – this will ensure that most of the stress will be placed on the triceps and not the chest. Either you can touch the bar to your chest or an inch above it then return to the extended position. Flex your triceps hard at the top focusing on their contraction. Repeat making sure your elbows are not flaring out to the sides – keep them close to your body.

Quick hit: To put a new angle on an old favorite, try doing close-grip bench presses on a decline bench. This is somewhat similar to doing a pressdown with a freeweight and will allow for a greater load on the bar. Performing these on a decline will also take a little stress off of the shoulder joints. Be sure to adhere to the same technique and safety concerns as described above.

Giant-Sized Horseshoe Schedules

Overall Triceps Mass
Lying French press 3 x 10-15
Two-arm or one-arm dumbbell overhead extension 3 x 10-15
Rope cable pressdown 3 x 10-15

Inner (Long Head) Focus
Straight bar pressdowns 3 x 10-15
Close-grip bench press 3 x 8-12
Lying French press (straight bar) 3 x 10-15
Outer (Lateral Head) Focus
Rope cable pressdowns 3 x 10-15
Parallel dips 3 x 8-12
V-bar pressdown 3 x 10-15

Multi-Joint Only (Elbow Friendly)
Decline close-grip bench press 3 x 8-12
Parallel dips 3 x 8-12
Bench dips 3 x 10-20 (if using weight, use stripping method)

Cable Only
V-bar pressdown 3 x 10-15
Overhead rope extension 3 x 10-15
Reverse cable pressdown 3 x 10-15

Strength and Power
Flat or decline close-grip bench press 5 x 4-8
Weighted parallel dips 5 x 4 x 4-8
Bench dips with weight (optional) 2 x 5-10

By: Brad Borland, M.A., CSCS:

Posted 11 December 2011 by Brad Borland, M.A., CSCS

How To Guide On:

Building Immense Forearms

Many do not consider forearm training as a high priority item. Huge upper arms, a barrel chest, and thick quads are what most are after in any given gym – but what about the details? Sweating the small stuff is what completes a physique from head to toe. Hamstrings, calves, rear deltoids, and forearms are among those details that, when developed properly, can make all the difference toward a well-balanced and proportioned body. It’s these details that can win or lose a bodybuilding contest or just make you the admiration of others. Think of it, what are massive upper arms without a pair of well-built forearms to go with them? Not only will they compliment your look, you will also develop strength and function to facilitate other lifts and subsequently help you pack on mass in other areas such as back, shoulders, and biceps.
Now, forearms do get some stimulation from other lifts such as curls, rows, and pull-ups/pulldowns, but in order for one to fully reach their forearm potential (especially if it happens to be a weak point) they must add in some specialized training to their program. This is not to say that a movement or two should just be thrown into the end of an arm day haphazardly performed with minimal intensity. Forearm training deserves every bit of focus and discipline as a set of squats or bench presses. A well thought-out plan of action including proper volume, intensity, and the use of a variety of angles is the best way to ensure maximum development is achieved.

Quick Anatomy Lesson

The forearm is surprisingly a complex group of small muscle groups with several functions. The Brachialis and Brachioradialis both contribute to elbow flexion and aid the forearm while curling, which are worked during many curl motions. The Pronator Teres aids the forearm in pronation as well as elbow flexion. The flexors (Palmaris Longus, Flexor Carpi Radialis, and Flexor Carpi Ulnaris) curl the palm in while the extensors (Extensor Carpi Ulnaris and Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis) flex the palm out. A comprehensive resistance program should include movements for all areas of the forearm in order for complete development.

Steel-Forged Forearms!

Now that you know a little about anatomy and function, let’s delve into what makes outstanding forearms. The movements and routines presented are designed to get the most out of each trip to the gym. Remember to always use good form and not to use too much weight to compromise your safety.

Wrist curls: The basic wrist curl (working more of the flexors) can be performed either with a barbell, cable, or a pair of dumbbells. The advantage of utilizing dumbbells is when a trainer has limited rotation of the forearms and finds it difficult to use a straight bar. Simply grab the weight at about shoulder width and either lay your forearms across a bench or on your thighs where our hands can extend down toward the floor. Begin by stretching out your forearms and letting the weight lower toward the floor while keeping a firm grip on the bar. Reverse the motion and return to the top for a strong contraction. This will be a short range of motion so try to avoid bouncing or jerking the weight during the movement as injury may occur.

Quick hit: For those who find that placing your forearms over a bench or your knees is a bit too uncomfortable, try behind-the-back wrist curls. Stand while holding a barbell with an overhand grip behind your thighs. With your forearms against your glutes for support, using only your hands, curl the barbell up for a contraction. Performing the movement this way can sometimes alleviate the pain some may have in the stretch position of a traditional wrist curl.

Reverse wrist curls: Much like the wrist curl, the reverse wrist curl is performed in a similar fashion only with your palms facing down working your extensors. Hold a barbell, cable handle or a set of dumbbells over a bench or your thighs with your palms facing the floor, let the weight stretch your extensors then reverse the motion for a contraction to the top. Remember to control the movement and avoid swinging the weight.

Quick hit: For an intense rep try holding each contraction for a few seconds at the top. You will not have to use much weight at all, but the burn will be worth it!

Hammer curls: Normally reserved for a biceps workout, hammer curls are a great addition to a complete forearm program. Working the Brachialis and Brachioradialis along with the Biceps, hammer curls will also help develop peak in the Biceps. Simply hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides with your thumbs facing forward. Without supinating the forearm, curl the weight up toward your shoulder – this should look like a hammering motion. Return to your side and repeat.

Quick hit: Another way to perform (and some find it more effective) is cross-body hammer curls. Perform the movement as described above, but instead of curling by your side you will curl the dumbbell across your upper body toward your opposite shoulder. Alternate each arm.

Reverse curls: Another great alternative to hammer curls are reverse barbell curls. Perform a barbell curl as you would during a biceps workout, but reverse your grip on the bar at about shoulder width. Be sure to keep strict form and choose a moderate weight.

Quick hit: For the ultimate in isolated forearm training try performing reverse curls on a preacher bench. This will not only prevent any cheating of the movement, it will also ensure isolation of the muscles being trained. Again, choose a moderate weight as these can be very difficult to perform with a significant amount of weight.

Grip Work: There are many ways to improve your grip for strength and mass in the forearms. Exercise grips, the absence of using straps on certain back movements, and gripping weight plates are just a few techniques to utilize for better forearm development. One effective and convenient technique to utilize is to firmly grip the bar at the end of all wrist curl sets. For example, after each set of wrist curls curl up the weight in the contracted position and squeeze the bar for five to ten seconds. This will be difficult after your normal set, but will improve grip strength and add intensity to your forearm program!

Forearm Schedules

Beginner Forearm Program
Wrist curls: 3 x 10-15
Reverse wrist curls: 3 x 10-15

Intermediate Forearm Program
Reverse curls: 3 x 10-15
Behind-the-back wrist curls: 3 x 10-15
Hammer curls (optional): 3 x 10-15

Advanced Forearm Superset Program
Superset: Wrist curls 3 x 10-15/Reverse wrist curls 3 x 10-15
Superset: Preacher bench reverse curls 3 x 10-15/Cross-body hammer curls 3 x 10-15
* Squeeze bar for five to ten seconds after each set

Wrist-Friendly Forearm Program
Dumbbell wrist curls: 3 x 10-15
Reverse dumbbell wrist curls: 3 x 10-15
Hammer curls: 3 x 10-15

Written by Brad Borland, M.A., CSCS

Posted 03 October 2011 by Dre Farnell

Compound Setting: For

Rock Hard Back & Biceps

Use Compound Setting to Build Rock Hard Muscle
- Back and Biceps)

One of the most effective ways to stimulate the growth of rock hard muscle in any part of the body is to totally fatigue that muscle group. It is not enough to simply fatigue a muscle group but the key to growth is the ability to utilize as many different stimuli as possible in order to achieve this goal. If it only took one or two exercises per workout session to spark growth then training the back and biceps would be simple. In that scenario you would grow thick sweeping lats and arms with peaks reminiscent of the ski slopes in Aspen with three sets of one armed Bent over Rows, lat pulls, alternating bicep curls and preacher curls for the biceps. The fact of the matter is that muscle needs to be stimulated from many angles and in many ways to optimize growth. Compound setting enables you to fit in as many exercises for a single body part as you can in each exercise bout.

Many people utilize super sets to maximize the amount of body parts that they can train during a workout session. As you may already know super setting is the pairing up 2 exercises or more that work opposing muscle groups. Compound setting is pairing two or more exercises that target the same muscle groups. Compound setting is founded on similar principals to super setting. The difference lies in the muscles targeted in the second exercise. The second exercise should target the same muscle group. What this does is to further recruit muscle fibers that may not get recruited from different angles. Compounding the muscle fiber recruitment in a given area will further fatigue that area causing more damage and later on more physiological changes (Growth). Compound setting also allows for you to accomplish more exercises for a certain body part in a shorter period of time.

Due to the fact that compound setting adds to the length of each particular set the muscle group will be totally decimated after only 4-6 sets. This type of training will increase your muscular endurance as well. Each muscle in your body has a certain composition of either (Type 1(muscular endurance) or type 2b (power & strength) muscle fibers. Compound setting with a moderate to heavy weight targets both fiber types, thoroughly fatiguing the muscle. This also promotes maximal muscle growth and stokes your metabolism.

When choosing weights to begin compound setting, choose weights that you consider to be only moderately intense until you are familiar with compound setting. Pick a weight that you know you can usually manage for 3 sets of 12 but not 3 sets of 15. While compound setting you may only be able to complete 8-10 reps by the 3rd set. Try to use the same poundage through the entire workout. For instance, let’s take a look at the back.

First choose exercises that complement each other. For example it would be good to use two exercises that work completely different parts of the back. I will choose Lat pulls and cable reverse flies. Lat pulls will target the lats and bi’s the reverse flies will target the rhomboids and rear delts. Complete one set of lat pulls and immediately without rest complete a set of the reverse flies. The completion of both exercise sets equals 1full compound set. Rest for 30-90seconds and repeat 3 more times. Choose up to two more pairs of exercises for the back taking care to choose different areas of the back with each exercise. That will amount to 24 sets in total. Because of how the workout is structured you should complete this routine in less than 40-45 minutes. You can then do the same thing to the biceps in the next 10-15 mins. You should only use 2 compound sets (4exercises for 4 sets), as they are totally pre-fatigued. A great combo to hit is seated incline dumbbell curls and standing cable curls. If you find that you cannot finish a set please stop for a couple of seconds and complete the number that you have allotted. If you can stand the fire that will ignite in both your back and biceps and remain true to the short breaks you will feel a pump like no other workout! Build your better body with compounding one set at a time.

Compound Set Workouts

Beginners Compound Set Sample routine Back and Bi Day:


Hyper Extensions 4 sets X 10 reps X lbs ?
Bent Over Rows 4 sets X 10 reps X lbs?

Finish both exercises together, rest only 30 - 90 secs and move to the next set… try your best not to drop weight each set. Complete all 4 sets and move to the next set.

Seated Row 4 sets X 10 reps X lbs?
Dumbbell Pullovers 4 sets X 10 reps X lbs?

Burnout set to be done right after the last bicep set… 25 pull-ups


Hammer Curls 4 sets X10 sets Xlbs?.
Reverse Curls 4 sets X10sets Xlbs?
30 secs between sets

Written By Dre Farnell


The Complete Muscle Building E-Book