Workout #9: Bicep/Tricep Supersets

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.

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(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.

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(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.  🙂 )

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(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.

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(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.

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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.

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(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.

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(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.)

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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.

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