If building bigger arms is your fitness goal, you don’t have to spend a full extra day in the gym every week dedicated solely to pumping out curls. If you follow this plan, all you need is one exercise a day.
In the latest video from Athlean-X, Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. breaks down his 22-day exercise plan for bigger arms, consisting of short daily workouts which alternate between targeting the biceps and triceps for six days. These exercises are then repeated, with additional difficulty, throughout the second and third weeks, dog citalopram with one rest day at the end of each week.
Cavaliere says that this program can be a standalone series aimed just at your arms, or that it can be done alongside your other workout program. Just make sure to remove biceps and triceps dedicated exercise from that setup to do this.
Start by measuring the circumference of your arm for reference to give you a starting point. That’s all he asks you to do on Day 1. Then, start with the program.
Day 1: Dumbbell Incline Waiter Curl
“We’re not swinging the dumbbell out in front of the body, which can invite the shoulder to do some of the work,” says Cavaliere. “We’re bringing it straight up, keeping the top of the dumbbell flat… The contraction on the biceps and tension we usually feel in the midrange is being applied at the top end of every repetition here.”
Perform this for 4 sets of 9 reps. When you come back to repeat this move in the second week, add 3 pulses to the upper end of each rep to create greater tension. Then in the third week, perform the same number of sets and reps, this time with 6 pulses on each rep.
Day 2: Bench Dip
This move enables you to hit the medial, lateral and long heads of the triceps muscle for a high quality contraction. Cavaliere stresses the importance of form here; hands should be placed facing outwards on the bench, not forward, so as to avoid internal rotation of the shoulder. Perform the dips for 4 sets to failure in the first week, then add 3 pulses to each rep a week later, and 6 pulses in the final week.
“It may look like a small movement, but when done properly and consistently, and done well, they deliver big results,” he says.
Day 3: Alternating Cross-Body Hammer Curl
This exercise hits the brachialis, or elbow flexor, which often gets overlooked on arm day. “If you’re not working this enough, I can guarantee it’s one of the reasons your arms aren’t filling your shirt sleeves right now,” says Cavaliere, prescribing 4 sets of 12 on each side in the first week. The sets and reps stay the same in Week 2, but are done 5 pounds heavier (rest/pause fashion is allowed), and then an additional 5 pounds heavier in Week 3.
Day 4: Thumbs Up Dumbbell Bench Press
“Not only are you keeping the elbows tight to target the triceps, but as you push the dumbbells up you’re following them with your thumbs,” says Cavaliere. “You’re encouraging full lockout and stability of the elbow, which is going to do a great job of recruiting the medial head.”
Do 4 sets of 12 in the first week, then add 5 pounds in the second and another 5 pounds in the third. Alternatively, if you have access to a gym, you can switch out this move for the triceps pushdown.
Day 5: Cheat Curl
“This is a great way to create eccentric overload,” says Cavaliere. “We allow ourselves a little bit of momentum… then really focus on what’s happening on the way down.” When lowering the weight, he recommends doing it to a count of 3, for 4 sets to failure. The following week, bring that up to 4 seconds per rep, and 5 seconds per rep in the third week.
Day 6: PJR Pullover
Similar to a dumbbell pullover, this slowed-down move creates eccentric overload on the triceps. In this instance, you’re allowed to recruit some other muscles to bring the weight to the top of the movement, as it’s all about engaging the triceps for a slow, controlled descent. As with the cheat curl, start with a 3-second count in the first week, 4 seconds in the second, and 5 seconds in the third.
Then, on day 22, after following the program for 3 weeks, it’ll be time to measure your arms once again and see the progress you’ve made. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve made even an inch of size gains,” says Cavaliere.
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