The Best Arms Workout With Weights

Cable biceps curl exercise
(Image credit: Photograph: Glen Burrows; Model: Olly Foster)

The pursuit of bigger arms requires you to train smart to provide the stimulus they need to grow quickly. But that doesn’t mean going heavy. In fact, focusing on good-quality reps with a full range of motion is more effective for getting a pump and fatiguing more muscle fibres, both of which will mean faster results. This six-move superset session begins with two moves that get the blood pumping, progresses to two tough bodyweight exercises, then ends with some high-rep sets to shock your muscles into growth. Once you’ve mastered this session, graduate to our four-week arms workout plan.

How To Do This Arms Workout With Weights

This session is 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. Repeat until you’ve completed all the sets, then move on to the next superset. This way you’ll work your biceps and triceps harder and smarter.

Warm up

Warm up with some shoulder, elbow and wrist movements, followed by some light sets of incline dumbbell curls and incline EZ-bar triceps extensions. Gradually increase the weight for each warm-up set while reducing the reps until the next weight increase is your work-set weight.

Superset 1

1A Incline dumbbell biceps curl

Incline dumbbell biceps curl

(Image credit: Photograph: Glen Burrows; Model: Olly Foster)

Sets 4 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 your arms straight. Keeping your elbows in position, curl the weights up to shoulder height and squeeze your biceps. Slowly lower back to the start.

1B Incline EZ-bar triceps extension

Incline EZ-bar triceps extension

(Image credit: Photograph: Glen Burrows; Model: Olly Foster)

Sets 4 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 to the start position.

Superset 2

The first superset will have fully warmed up your muscles and filled them with blood. Now’s the time to hit your biceps and triceps as hard as possible while they’re still fresh with the toughest bodyweight superset there is. Keep your reps slow and controlled to really feel the muscles working and make each set more effective.

2A Chin-up


(Image credit: Photograph: Glen Burrows; Model: Olly Foster)

Sets 4 Reps 6-10 Rest 60sec

Why A tough but rewarding bodyweight move that targets your upper back as well as your biceps.

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, then slowly lower back to the start.

2B Triceps dip

Triceps dip

(Image credit: Photograph: Glen Burrows; Model: Olly Foster)

Sets 4 Reps 6-10 Rest 60sec

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.

Superset 3

This final superset is made up of high-rep sets to fully fatigue your arms in the safest way possible. 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.

3A Cable bar biceps curl

Cable machine biceps curl

(Image credit: Photograph: Glen Burrows; Model: Olly Foster)

Sets 4 Reps 15 Rest 0sec

Why It works your biceps harder when lifting and lowering the weight.

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, flexing your triceps at the bottom.

3B Cable rope overhead extension

Cable rope overhead extension

(Image credit: Photograph: Glen Burrows; Model: Olly Foster)

Sets 5 Reps 15 Rest 60sec

Why It works your triceps through a full range of motion.

How Stand tall, holding a double-rope handle attached to the low pulley of a cable machine with your hands behind your head. Keeping your elbows pointing up, press up and forwards to straighten your arms. Flex your triceps at the top, then return to the start.

Joe Warner
Former editor of Men’s Fitness UK

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.