To build bigger arms you need to do more than crank out countless dumbbell curls or cable press-downs. Doing the same moves over and over again means your muscles adapt to this training stimulus and stop growing. To keep them growing you must work your biceps and triceps from a variety of angles and using multiple rep ranges – which is exactly what this six-move superset session does, starting with two tough compound moves and finishing with an intense isolation superset blitz.
How to do the workout
This is a six-move session made up of three supersets. Do all reps of move 1A, sticking to the sets, reps and rest shown, then do all reps of 1B. Then do moves 2A and 2B as a superset, and the same again for moves 3A and 3B, and you’ll work every part of your arms effectively.
Warm up thoroughly, starting with some shoulder, elbow and wrist movements, followed by some light overhead presses and underhand lat pull-downs, interspersed with more mobility work in the rest periods between warm-up sets. Gradually increase the weight of each warm-up set while reducing the reps until you’re fully ready to go.
1A Triceps dip
Sets 5 Reps 5-10 Rest 30sec
Why The best bodyweight move for bigger triceps, plus it works your shoulders and chest.
How Grip parallel bars with your arms straight and legs crossed. With your chest up and core braced, bend your elbows to lower yourself as far as you can. Press back up to return to the start.
Sets 5 Reps 5-10 Rest 60sec
Why The best bodyweight move for bigger arms, and one that also works your entire upper back.
How Hang from a bar with a shoulder-width underhand grip. Engage your abs and glutes and, keeping your chest up, pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar. Pause in this position, then slowly lower yourself back to the start.
This second superset has been designed to work your biceps and triceps from a different angle and through a slightly different range of motion to stimulate different parts of these muscles and recruit more muscle fibres. Keep your reps slow and controlled to really feel the muscles working and make each set more effective.
2A Incline dumbbell biceps curl
Sets 3 Reps 12 Rest 30sec
Why Starting with your arms behind your torso increases the range of motion
How Lie back on a incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand and arms straight. Keeping your elbows in position, curl the weights up to shoulder height and squeeze your biceps. Slowly lower back to the start.
2B Incline EZ-bar skullcrusher
Sets 3 Reps 12 Rest 60sec
Why Using an incline bench changes the angle of attack on your triceps.
How Lie back on an incline bench, holding an EZ-bar in both hands with a shoulder-width overhand grip. Keeping your elbows pointing straight up, lower the bar towards the top of your head, then straighten your arms to return the bar to the start position.
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This final superset is made up of higher-rep sets to fatigue the triceps and biceps safely. If you can’t complete all 15 reps, do as many as you can, then reduce the weight and continue until you complete the set. Keep reps slow and controlled.
3A Cable rope overhead extension
Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 30sec
Why It works your triceps through a full range of motion, and the cable forces your muscles to work hard in both the lifting and lowering phases.
How Stand tall, holding a double-rope handle attached to the low pulley of a cable machine. Turn to face away, bringing your hands up to your head. Keeping your elbows still and pointing up, press the handles up and forwards to straighten your arms. Flex your triceps at the top, then return to the start.
3B Cable bar biceps curl
Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 60sec
Why It works your biceps hard on the way up and down.
How Stand tall in front of a cable machine, holding a bar handle attached to the lower pulley with palms facing. Keeping your elbows fixed to your sides, curl your hands up to shoulder height. Squeeze your biceps at the top, then lower until your arms are fully straight.
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Joe Warner is a highly experienced journalist and editor who began working in fitness media in 2008. He has featured on the cover of Men’s Fitness UK twice and has co-authored Amazon best-sellers including 12-Week Body Plan. He was the editor of Men’s Fitness UK magazine between 2016 and 2019, when that title shared a website with Coach.