Time to build big guns! Arm day workouts that blast and pump the biceps and triceps by cycling between training volume and training intensity.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Single Muscle Group
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration8 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout30-45 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

The blast and pump arm building approach cycles between two different workouts. During the first week you will focus on volume training. During the second week you will focus on training intensity. You can continue to cycle back and forth between these two workouts for as long as you continue to see good results.

Do not train to failure. Perform as many reps as possible for each set, stopping a set when you feel like you might not be able to complete another rep. On blast days, when you can perform 10 reps for 6 sets on a given exercise (a total of 60 reps), add weight the next time you perform this workout. On pump days, when you can reach the top end of the "rep range" for a given set, add weight.

For example, on pump days some rep ranges are listed as 6 to 10 reps. Continue to push yourself each workout until you reach 10 reps. When you are able to do so, add more weight then next time you perform this workout.

Week 1 - Blast Workout

You will be performing 2 exercises each for biceps and triceps, for a total of 24 sets. Rest no longer than 90 to 120 seconds between sets. Do NOT shorten rest periods lower than 90 seconds. You want to allow for some muscle recovery. The blast workout is all about training volume, not training intensity. This workout should take about one hour.

Week 2 - Pump Workout

You will be performing only 2 sets per exercise during this week, but they will be brutally tough. Limit rest between sets to 60 seconds, and a maximum of 2 minutes between each exercise. The first set for each exercise will involve slow negatives. For the second set, you will drop to a much lighter weight and perform a pump set of 20-25 reps.

For the first set, perform each rep with a normal, natural cadence, focusing on a tight squeeze and contraction. Lower each rep back to the  starting position over a 5 second period. During the pump set, use a natural rep speed cadence when both lifting and lowering the weight. Do NOT lower the weight over a 5 second period for the pump sets.

The pump workout should take you 35 to 45 minutes max. Resist the urge to add in more sets. You may require a spotter when jumping to the lighter weight pump sets.

Workout Notes

Do not perform this arm day workout more than once per week. You may split biceps and triceps up if need be, to fit them in with your current training split. This approach is not recommend for beginning trainees.

Week 1 - Blast Workout
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
EZ Bar Skullcrusher 6 10
Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension 6 10
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Standing Barbell Curl 6 10
Alternate Seated Dumbbell Curl 6 10
Week 2 - Pump Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Close Grip Bench Press 1 6-10
Close Grip Bench Press (Pump) 1 20-25
Cable Tricep Extension 1 6-10
Cable Tricep Extension (Pump) 1 20-25
One Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension 1 6-10
One Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension (Pump) 1 20-25
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Preacher Curl 1 6-10
EZ Bar Preacher Curl (Pump) 1 20-25
One Arm Cable Curl 1 6-10
One Arm Cable Curl (Pump) 1 20-25
Zottman Curl 1 6-10
Zottman Curl (Pump) 1 20-25
Posted on: Sat, 05/20/2017 - 16:25

Hi, Just done the blast workout today and it take me about 1hr like you said :-) On the pump day what sort of % should you drop down for the 20-25 rep exercises ?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 05/22/2017 - 09:46

Hi Simon,

I'd think 60-70% of your 1RM will do the trick.

Hope this helps!

Posted on: Sun, 05/14/2017 - 05:26

Hi, If I am doing a 4 or 5 day program can I add this on as a separate day ? So I might do Sun, Mon, Off, Weds, Thurs and then use Fri or Sat for this workout, blast one week followed by the pump the week after ?

Posted on: Sun, 02/21/2016 - 13:22

I have a question in the tricep blast workout, what is the difference between the skullcrusher and the two arm dumbbell over the head extensions? and can I substitute one of them for other exercise? and if I can do it which one do you recommend me?

Posted on: Tue, 10/21/2014 - 18:39

Hi mr.steve, my arms workout that comfortable with my muscle are like these = Tuesday = Bicep, Tricep, Forearm
1. Barbell curl : 5sets heavy low reps
2. Alternating dumbbell curls : ...
3. Preacher dumbbell curl : ...
4. Reverse dumbbell curl : regular drop sets
5. One arm dumbbell tricep extention : 4sets
6. Bar tricep pushdown : 4sets
7. Reverse tricep pushdown : regular drop sets
8. Wrist & finger curl, supersets
9. Uprightrow - failure
Thursday = Tricep, Bicep, Forearm
closegrip bench 5sets heavy low reps
1. Ezbar tricep extention, Ezbar reverse grip tricep extention : supersets
2. Dumbbell reverse tricep extention : drop sets
3. Kickbacks : drop sets
4. Ezbar 3 positions supersets
5. Incline dumbbell curls : 3sets
6. Hammer curls 3 positions supersets
7. Concentration curls : dropsets
8. Wrist curls : regular drop sets
9. Finger curls : regular drop sets

Saturday > Arms, Abs
1. Closegrip bench 4x8, dropset on the last set
2. Preacher Curl 4x8, ...
3. Seated dumbbell tricep extention 5sets, ...
4. WideClose grip ezbar curl with 3 positions, supersets
5. Vandamme tricep 2variations supersets
6. Akhban's tricep extention > drop sets
7. Reverse ezbar curl, regular drop sets
8. Zottman curl
9. Rope pushdown, regular drop sets
10. Wrist curl, regular drop sets

Posted on: Sun, 03/30/2014 - 12:43

At first I am sorry about my mistakes in comment I am not from a English country.

My question about this workout is can we do Triceps and Biceps in different days. for example do Triceps with Shoulders. or we had to do Triceps and Biceps with each other???

Posted on: Fri, 02/14/2014 - 13:00

I am a 17 year old boy. Preparing for myself for the Marine Corps I want to do alot of arm workouts, because I already have a steady run. I have a pass to the rec and use the gym 3-4 times a week. I also drink a whey protien when I come back from the rec. I need some help with workouts and food I should eat more to help me gain as much and as fast as possible before I go off to boot camp.

Posted on: Thu, 01/30/2014 - 09:20

Set-1 but 6-10 rep. I don't understand? Please clear me.

Posted on: Fri, 02/01/2013 - 21:33

Hey steve, my form is horrible for close-grip bench, and i was just wondering what would be a great alternative tricep workout for this routine?

Posted on: Tue, 01/22/2013 - 03:20

if i'm trying to get shreded for a compition, do you think it would be wise to do these arm workouts twice per weeK at high rep ranges?

Posted on: Mon, 12/24/2012 - 04:00


Is it alright to work on arms twice a week? say 3 days break in between, just curious


Posted on: Fri, 11/16/2012 - 21:58

can i do it twice a week

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 11/30/2012 - 12:08

"Do not perform this arm day workout more than once per week. You may split biceps and triceps up if need be, to fit them in with your current training split."

Posted on: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 20:05

I want to increase my muscle mass, what workout do you recommend?

Posted on: Sat, 11/10/2012 - 21:45

Hey "Steve" been workinng out 12 years all natural.Started with 14"arms.now have 19 1/2
And now for some reason cannot get a pump.
I'm going to try ur arm pump workout wish me
Luck my man.

Posted on: Thu, 10/11/2012 - 12:07

Do I really need to wait 90 sec. Between ea. Set

beau lucas
Posted on: Sat, 09/15/2012 - 03:10

Hey everytime i take protein powder i hardly get much results. I wanna pack on about 10kg more of muscpe im 92kg now whats the best powder to buy . An which routine should i choose.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 09/21/2012 - 10:19

Hey Beau,

Any quality whey protein you choose will help you reach the amount of calories and desired amount of protein it takes to build muscle. Most important will be your overall diet - your overall caloric intake. To gain weight and build muscle efficiently, you'll need to eat more calories than you burn everyday. Additionally, you'll want to focus on progression on a good, proven workout routine. Here is a helpful muscle-bulding guide: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/muscle-building

Posted on: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 08:50

Hi Steve, i have been playing for over than 2 months now , i use 7 Kg dumbbell curls for biceps , is this workout good for me ? i mean i am almost intermediate ,
i want strength and size but strength is the most important , i dont want to pump up my biceps and be soft and weak

Posted on: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 18:38

Hi Steve,i was wondering can i take less rest time for week 1 lets say 40-50 secs i go early in the morning time is an issue before work also can i subsitute zottman curls with hamers,i normally do skull crushers and superset them with close grip press same weight would you recommend this or is it too much? lastly are there any replacements for close grip bench and skull crushers i plan to keep this workout for about 2 months i like to switch my exercises every week to get a different feel

Posted on: Mon, 07/23/2012 - 11:32

I will assume that this could work for chest, back, etc?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 07/26/2012 - 14:44


Posted on: Tue, 06/19/2012 - 21:31

hi how can i mix it on a 3 day work out program.



Posted on: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 09:29

Hi Steve, why shouldn't a beginner follow this routine. What is more appropraite for a biginner.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 09:31

A beginner is better served by building up overall strength first.

sudhir Ray
Posted on: Fri, 05/11/2012 - 03:53

Hi Steve,

I planning to start workout, but in my locality there no good gym even no better instructors are available. So if you dont mind, could you please guide me how to start my workouts and what would be my initial routine for daily workouts....I have mentioned my email address for your reference.

If possible could you please send a workout chart on my email address.

Sudhir Ray

Posted on: Thu, 05/03/2012 - 00:47

Hey, i was wondering if anyone knows which is better to do within the sets. Go down in weight after a set, stay the same weight for all 3 sets, or go up in weight after each set.

Posted on: Wed, 04/25/2012 - 13:41

Being an older man who has worked out for 30 yrs this sounds like a good workout plan. After 5 major surgeries since a motorcycle accident this could be the w/o I've been looking for....something different. I've been use to having 18-20 in arms but have fallen off dramatically in the past 2 yrs. as we all know the guns is what most men are proud of and when you lose that edge..haha...makes ya feel kinda small. Motivation is a key factor in muscle gain and I just needed a new routine to help me get the motivation back. By the way I'm 58 and I'm looking forward to trying this routine. Thanks

Posted on: Sun, 04/22/2012 - 17:02

Should I do this workout after doing a good chest workout?

leopard boots
Posted on: Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:52

Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace,
when i read this article i thought i could also create comment due to this sensible post.

Posted on: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 10:52

What does pump mean? What should a pump look like?

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2012 - 21:01


Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2012 - 20:59

how long will it be till iget my 6-pack

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2012 - 17:19

Hey Steve,

I started this workout last night and feel it today, great workout. I have one question. Should I perform all of the biceps exercises and then move onto the triceps? Or is it ok to rotate exercises? I completed 6 skullcrusher sets, rested two minutes, then started on bicep curls. Once I finished the curls I again rested two minutes and then started on the second triceps exercise. Is this method recommended?


Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2012 - 11:21

Is this a good workout
Chest bies tries
Shoulders back
Chest bies tries
Shoulders back
Chest bies tries

That goes from mon-fri

Eric Brubaker
Posted on: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:36

No you're not hitting legs at all

Posted on: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 09:16


It seems a great workout, thanks for sharing it! At the moment I am doing a German Volume Training, do you think I could incorporate this any day of the week? Thanks a lot in advance for your response!

Posted on: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 17:46

Hi Steve, what kind of weight should I use doing these exercise, should I go up in weight, drop it or stick to the same weight throughout?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 12/15/2011 - 14:25

Same weight for each set.

On blast days, when you can perform 10 reps for 6 sets on a given exercise (a total of 60 reps), add weight the next time you perform this workout. On pump days, when you can reach the top end of the "rep range" for a given set, add weight.

For example, on pump days some rep ranges are listed as 6 to 10 reps. Continue to push yourself each workout until you reach 10 reps. When you are able to do so, add more weight then next time you perform this workout.

Posted on: Wed, 11/23/2011 - 05:45

hey steve,
i have been following your work out from past 3three months and i find quit improving........since i am a beginner and i have followed all your tips...step by step....this week i am doing pump work out.....so we have same exercise with pump...i am a bit confuse about......weight on pump and on regular same exercise...its that on pump we have to reduce weight by 50%...?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 11/23/2011 - 13:36

Pump sets you will have to reduce the weight as needed.

sumit soni
Posted on: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 03:07

this is realy wrk thanx

it realy pump ur arms

Posted on: Fri, 11/04/2011 - 04:55


Thank you for your workout plan above.

I have been working out on the above plan for last 2 month but now I need to change this plan so what will be the next exercise plan I can follow ..

Thank you


Posted on: Wed, 11/02/2011 - 05:22

Hi Steve,

By mistake I did only Bicep Blast workout for two continious weeks and didn't do Tricep at-all.

Will it be OK to start fresh ?


Bicep and Tricep Blast workout on next week
Bicep and Tricep Pump workout in next to next week

And continue for further succession weeks?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 11/10/2011 - 14:17

Absolutely. Start over and best of luck!

Posted on: Tue, 09/20/2011 - 03:19

Can I do this twice a week 2 become bigger?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 09/30/2011 - 17:05

Hi Louie,

No, that's not the way muscle building works. More is not better.

Posted on: Thu, 09/15/2011 - 04:52

Hi Steve,

You say the Week 1 routine should take about an hour but it takes me about 1hr 15m which really cuts things fine for getting to work on time!
I'm lowering the weight to about 5 seconds (I think) should I do it slightly quicker to reduce the time or drop a set or some reps as about 1hr is the maximum time I have.
Another option, if it will still show results, is rather than cycle the 2 weeks I could do the quicker pump routine every week.
Any thoughts?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 09/15/2011 - 09:29

Hi Murat,

I do not recommend slow negative reps in combination with a high volume arm day.

Posted on: Thu, 09/08/2011 - 14:39

Hi Steve,
how do I incorporate this workout with other body parts? I have used your '10 weeks muscle building program' with very good results but my arms are lagging. how can I focus on just increasing my arm size while keeping other things same? how do I layout my overall weekly workout plan while adding this arm routine to my workout.