Everyone wants big arms, but so many fail to build an impressive set despite days, weeks, and even months of toiling away in the gym. Bigger arms are always on the agenda – you never hear anyone say that their arms are too big, do you?
What if all you need is a little push – an end-of-workout blast that can push your arm development to the next level? What if you just need some brutal finishers to kick your arms’ butts into high gear and start growing again? Below are 5 arm finishers you can apply to both triceps and biceps to perform in concert with each other or on their own after your regular arm routine is done.
1. Set A Time
Your regular arm training session is done and you want to do just a little more but you don’t have all day. One good way to blow up your arms in little time is to set a time limit and pump as much blood into that area as possible. Increasing blood volume in this manner may be a shock to your arms if you normally perform sets with traditional rest periods.
Here's How: You can either perform these solo or with a partner. If you’re flying solo then choose a moderate to light weight on either a barbell curl for biceps or lying triceps extensions for triceps. Set a timer or watch the clock for a period of 5 minutes. Perform as many reps as possible with good form. After that set, rest in seconds for as many reps as you completed (if you got 12 reps, rest 12 seconds).
Keep performing sets and resting the requisite amount until your time is up. If you are with a training partner your rest time will be when they are performing their reps.
2. 100 Rep Goal
If time isn’t a factor, maybe a total number of reps could be your goal. Again, blood volume is on tap for this finishing technique and since you already performed heavier lifts in the low to moderate rep ranges, your arms will get a completely new and welcoming jolt from some volume work.
Here’s How: Much like the timed technique mentioned above, the 100 rep goal is just that – a set number of reps to achieve either solo or with a partner. For these you will perform the same way as the timed version, but instead of a set period of time, you will attempt to achieve 100 total reps.
Perform as many reps as possible and rest the same amount of seconds as the reps your performed. Or, if you are training with a partner, your rest will be when they are performing reps. Stop when 100 reps are met.
3. Bodyweight Superset
Traditional barbell and dumbbell training for arms are great tools in your arsenal to increase your sleeve size, but don’t neglect good ole fashioned bodyweight training. If you're implementing pull-ups, push-ups, and dips into your normal programs, your arms can benefit too. Using bodyweight supersets to put the final kibosh on your arms is the perfect intense finisher.
Here's How: You can perform this superset either on the floor with a fixed bar or with a TRX Trainer. Once your regular routine is completed, perform a superset of inverted rack curls and diamond triceps push-ups. If you decide to use a TRX Trainer, go with TRX curls and TRX triceps extensions. Superset these two moves without rest for a total of 3 to 5 sets going to failure for each one.
4. 3-Way Mechanical Complex
Mechanical advantage is something you probably practice without knowing it. It simply refers to positioning yourself in a way that takes advantage of an angle to make the exercise easier. For example, the decline bench press has an advantage over the incline bench press due to the fact that most can lift heavier on the decline version. Let’s see how you can use this as a finisher.
Here's How: For an exercise such as dumbbell curls you will start with the toughest angle first and then continue on to easier angles so you can eek out more reps. Start with incline bench curls followed by seated curls and then finish with standing cheat curls without rest. Each new angle will allow you to get a few more reps.
For triceps start with lying, straight arm extensions (the weight is pressed out parallel with the floor) then bring the weight up and perform traditional lying extensions and then finish with close-grip bench presses without rest. Do 3 to 5 sets.
5. Super Slow Isolation
If you’re the average trainer and perform your reps at a moderate pace – lifting the weight under control, squeezing at the top and then lowering the weight under control – then you can definitely benefit from some uber-isolated, super slow movements to shock your muscles to no end. This will take some serious focus.
Here's How: Choose an exercise that is very strict and doesn’t allow for a much “body English” such as a one-arm dumbbell curl on a preacher bench or a one-arm reverse-grip triceps cable pressdown.
Choose a light weight and set yourself up for strict, textbook form. Lower the weight under control for a count of 10 seconds. Stop at the bottom for a count of 1 then lift the weight for another count of 10 squeezing at the top for a count of 1. That is one rep. Go for at least 5 reps each set and shoot for 3 sets.