The Only Arm Day Workout You’ll Ever Need

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Arm day. Mention this gun-centered workout and you’ll likely get one of two responses.

Response #1: “HAHAHAHA! You have an arm day? That’s so bro split of you… Bro!”

Response #2: “Yes! Welcome to the gun show! Let’s do this up right!”

While arm days are a staple of bodybuilding bro splits, they are often scoffed at by the “elite,” I know better than that lifter. You know the type. He owns every Mark Rippetoe book, sticks to frequency training because muscle protein synthesis is the only training variable that could ever possibly matter, yet his three lift total is still lingering below a level that the average hardcore “bodybuilding bro” has reached.

Oops, I just said that. Mostly because it’s true.

Look, I’ve been in this game 31 years. This is long enough to learn one thing… Programs aren’t as important as a lifter’s head and heart. If you have the drive to destroy the iron and build massive amounts of strength and muscle, you’ll do just that.

Triceps ExtensionsOptimal might be optimal, but it’s never as productive as an intense desire to succeed.

I’ve trained with dozens of successful natural bodybuilding competitors. You know what I’ve found? Most of them have a three lift total equal to, or even better than most natural powerlifters who are at, or around, the same body weight.

Crunch! That kick in the testicles hurt, didn’t it? But it reveals a truth. Do you want the truth? I hope so. Here it is…

Drive trumps everything.

With that established, if you’re driven and still like arm days, this workout is for you. It’s not the best workout in the history of bodybuilding. The term “best” is always relative. But if you’re looking for a go to program, this arm day session is the only one you’ll ever need.

Arm Day Workout

Here is a run down of the program.

  • Big Hitter
  • Volume Beat Down
  • Brutal Block Training
  • Burnout

Big Hitters

Close Grip Bench Press. Here we start off with a big hitter to challenge the triceps. This compound movement will heavily tax the biggest muscle group of the arms… Your tricepticons.

Perform 3 sets. Using the same weight for each set, push to try and nail 12 reps per set. When you can achieve this goal, add 5 pounds to the bar the next time you perform this movement.

Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown. A compound movement that mimics the chin up, reverse grip lat pull downs are a great way to kick off your bicep gains. As you pull the weight down, concentrate on placing tension on the biceps during both the concentric and eccentric portion of the movement.

Perform 3 sets. Use the same weight for each set. Add a small amount of weight when you are able to knock out 12 reps for all of the sets.

Volume Beat Down

Lying Triceps Extensions. This variation is a little bit different than skullcrushers. Instead of lowering an EZ bar to your nose, bring the bar back and down to about the middle point of the top of the skull.

From here, rotate the arms and extend the weight. The long head of the triceps are designed to both rotate the arms and extend. We want to challenge them by hammering both functions.

Perform 5 sets of 15 reps and add weight when possible.

Dumbbell Curls. Perform these either standing or seated. Alternate between arms. Add weight when you can knock out 15 reps on all 5 sets.

Block Training

Block training is performed using a rest-pause style. Perform as many reps as possible during a two minute window. Rest as needed. Add weight when it makes sense.

For cable triceps extensions you can use a rope attachment, EZ bar attachment, or a straight bar. For preacher curls stick to an EZ bar attachment if possible.

Burnout Set

The goal here is to complete 100 total reps without setting the weight down. Consider this your pump-inducing finisher. Make sure to use a weight that is light enough to allow you to survive this set.

Maintain a good, solid pace and don’t rush the reps too quickly. Feel the burn!

Triceps and Biceps
Arm Day Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
 Close Grip Bench Press  3  10
 Reverse Grip Lat Pull Down  3  10
 Lying Triceps Extensions  5  15
 Dumbbell Curls  5  15
 Cable Triceps Extensions  1  2 minutes
 EZ Bar Preacher Curls  1  2 minutes
 Dumbbell Skullcrushers  1  100
 Hammer Curls  1  100
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Name: Steve Shaw

Bio: I don’t believe in magic training systems or rep ranges. My philosophy is simple: remain consistent, use the best possible exercises, focus upon progression and enter the gym looking to maximize each set. When you maximize each set, you maximize progress. Easy, obvious, insanely effective.