Workout #21: New Arm Workout

In my latest bicep/tricep superset workout, I tried a new tempo for reps that proved way more difficult than my normal 1-1 tempo.  Each move below has a tempo count – including a third count for the number of seconds to hold at the top/bottom of the movement.  Since the legs got the day off, we finished with HIIT sprints.

We did:

  • 5 rounds of 10 plate circles @ 45lbs, 10 plate pushes @ 25lbs, 10 hammer curl to tricep kickback @ 15lbs, 10 skull crushers @40lbs, 10 bicep curls @40lbs.
  • 5 rounds of 10 cable tricep pulldowns, 10 leaning lateral raises (right side), 10 rope pulldowns, 10 leaning lateral raises (left side)
  • 5 rounds of 10 cable bicep curls, 10 twisting chops (right side), 10 rope bicep curls, 10 twisting chops (left side)
  • 5 rounds of 10 of cable “pushouts”
  • 5 rounds of 10/arm concentration curls, 10 tricep pushups
  • SPRINTS: 10X 1 min at 11mph, 1 min at 4mph, followed by 3X30 sec at 11.5mph, 30 sec at 4 mph.  (These suck so bad they required a lot of stretching and an outfit change. 😉 )

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For cable moves, I tend to keep the weight pretty light – 7.5 lbs to 15 lbs, depending on the move – and focus instead on range of motion and isometric holds.

Combo Circuit (5 rounds of 10 plate circles @ 45lbs, 10 plate pushes @ 25lbs, 10 hammer curl to tricep kickback @ 15lbs, 10 skull crushers @40lbs, 10 bicep curls @40lbs):

(1) Plate Circles (5 second tempo): Start with the plate at chest level, bring the plate to the left side of your head, continue bringing it around until the plate is behind you with both elbows raised, then extend to the right side of your head before returning to the start position.  Repeat for 5 reps to the left, then switch and perform 5 reps to the right.

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(2) Plate Presses (3-1-3): Hold the plate at chest level, and press out straight in front of you, taking 3 counts to reach a fully extended position (you can hold for a beat in the middle for an extra challenge).  Hold for one second, then take 3 seconds to return to the start position.

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(3) Hammer Curl to Tricep Kickback (2-2-1-2-2): Hold the weights with palms facing in.  Curl up for two counts, down for two counts, then bend at the knees.  Hold the weights at rib level with palms facing in and press back for two counts and bring the weights back to your ribs.  Stand and repeat for 10 reps.

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(4) Skull Crusher (3-1-2): Lay on a bench.  Holding the bar shoulder width apart with palms facing forward, take 3 counts to lower the bar toward your head, trying to keep your elbows parallel and close to your head.  Hold for one count, then take 2 counts to raise the weight back up to the starting position.

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(5) Bicep Curls (3-1-2): Hold a barbell with your elbows in close to your body and take 3 counts to raise the weight up toward your shoulders (to add an extra challenge, hold for 1 count in the middle).  Take 2 counts to lower the weight.

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Cable Circuit:

  • 5 rounds of 10 cable tricep pulldowns, 10 leaning lateral raises (right side), 10 rope pulldowns, 10 leaning lateral raises (left side)
  • 5 rounds of 10 cable bicep curls, 10 twisting chops (right side), 10 rope bicep curls, 10 twisting chops (left side)
  • 5 rounds of 10 of cable “pushouts”

(1) Tricep Pulldowns (with v-bar and rope extensions) (5-1-3):  With both attachments, the move is the same.  Starting with the bar close to your body at rib height, take 5 counts to lower the weight near your hips, until your arms are straight.  (For an extra challenge, hold the weight in the center for a count before lowering all the way down.)  Hold for a count, then take 3 counts to return to the starting position.

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(2) Leaning Lateral Raises (3-1-2): Hold on to the cable machine with one arm and lean to the side.  Hold a 12.5 lb weight in your free hand, with your arm extended down near your thigh, then raise the weight to the side for 3 counts until it reaches shoulder height.  Hold for one count, then lower and repeat.  Perform all sets on the right side during v-bar pulldowns, and all sets for the left side during rope pulldowns.

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(3) Bicep Curls with Straight Bar and Rope Attachments (3-1-2): Perform a normal bicep curl with the straight bar and rope attachments, taking 3 counts to raise the attachment to your shoulders, hold for 1 count, then lower to the starting position for 2 counts.

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(4) Twisting Chops (not pictured): Bend down into a squat and grab the cable attachment with your outside hand (let’s say the right hand to start). Your hand should be across your body resting on your opposite hip.  Twist with both feet to the right while raising the cable up and across your body, finishing with your body facing right and your right arm raised into a full extension.

(5) Pushouts (2 variations): We did pushouts two ways – one variation involves holding the attachment with your outside hand at waist level and pushing out until your arm is fully extended.  The second variation (harder) involves the same motion, but you keep the elbow of your outside arm glued in close to the body while extending out to the side.  Experiment with both and see which works best for you.

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“Kill It” Circuit: I always like to finish with one last move for each body part when I am super tired – the “kill it” move.  I’ve found that pushing myself to do one last something when my muscles are fatigued helps me push past my (self-perceived) limits.  

(1) Concentration Curls (2-1-2): With your elbow pressed into your mid-thigh, take 2 counts to lower the weight (holding for 1 count in the middle).  Take two counts to raise the weight back to the starting position.

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(2) Tricep Pushup: I won’t lie – these were nearly impossible at the end of this workout.  Start with your hands together under your chest, making a triangle with your index fingers and thumbs.  Holding your elbows in close to your body, lower into a pushup. Keep your elbows glued to your side as you raise to the starting position.

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