I love supersets (i.e., working 2 muscle groups back to back with no rest) – it cuts down on time and (in my experience) produces the results I am looking for more quickly than sets that involve significant rest time. Of course, when lifting super heavy, rest is important for maintaining proper form — but with arms, I rarely lift “super heavy” because I’m looking to tone rather than add mass. I usually start with biceps and then move to triceps because my triceps are stronger than my biceps, but you can mix and match according to your own capabilities.
Part 1 – 3 supersets for biceps and triceps: 5-10-20 reps of barbell curls, dumbbell curls, and hammer curls, followed immediately by 5-10-20 reps of narrow grip barbell rows, kickbacks, and overhead extensions. Rest 30 sec – 1 min between supersets.
(1) 5 barbell curls @ 50lbs – this week, I used a neutral arm grip on the bar, but you can target different parts of the bicep by narrowing or widening your grip.
(2) 10 dumbbell curls @ 20lbs/arm – I started with palms facing out from my shoulders and brought the weight down to my outer hips to target the inner bicep.
(3) 20 Hammer Curls @ 10 lbs – With palms facing in, bring weights up and down in front of your body. (The weights should come all the way down to the hips, even though I didn’t catch a picture of the full range of motion. 🙂 )
(4) 5 narrow, underhanded grip barbell rows @ 50lbs. Bend at the waist and bring the weight into your stomach/ribcage. (Again – in my hurry to get to the ballet, I didn’t get a picture of the full range of motion, but here’s a shot of the right arm grip.)
(5) Tricep Kickbacks @20lbs/arm – Bend slightly, and bring weights from chest to a full extension behind your back.
(6) 20 Overhead Extensions @20 lbs – bring the weight overhead and lower to the center of your back, keeping the elbows as close to your face as possible.
Repeat the whole series 2 more times.
Part 2: Concentration Curls and Tricep Kickbacks/Dips
I like to throw in what I call “the kill-it” move — or one last move per muscle group once the muscles are already fatigued. We did 5 sets of concentration curls, kickbacks, and dips.
(1) Concentration Curls @22.5lbs/arm: Sitting on a bench, bring your below into the middle of your thigh and curl the weight up to your shoulder.
(2) Tricep Kickbacks: With one leg bent on the bench, bend at the waist and bring the weight from your shoulder to a full extension of your arm straight behind you.
(3) Dips: Placing hands on bench, lower your legs/butt until you almost hit the floor and push back up (keeping the elbow joint soft, not locked out.)
Part 3: We finished with a quick set of ab moves — crunches with a medicine ball, plank holds with feet on a medicine ball, and oblique twists.