The 22 Inch "Bread N' Butter" Arm Workout With Cory Mathews

Who doesn’t love a solid arm day workout? We sure do here at Muscle & Strength.

That’s why when we recently traveled down to Texas, we met up with IFBB pro and Team Ronnie Coleman Signature Series athlete Cory Mathews to chase an arm pump at the original Metroflex Gym.

Cory, a member of Metroflex’s inner circle and Ronnie Coleman's former prodigy, knows a thing or two about effective training.

Needless to say, his arm workout is no joke and incorporates some high and heavy volume to attack both the bicep and tricep.

For Cory’s arm day, he starts off by annihilating his biceps before moving on to his tricep exercises.

A lot goes into Cory’s bodybuilding strategy as he has to factor in his age and prior injuries when performing muscle-specific programs.

Regardless, the man knows what he's doing as is evident by his massive arm pump towards the end of his workout.

Exercise 1: Alternating Dumbbell Curls

Cory likes to start off his arm routine with something light to get warmed up and to increase blood flow to the muscle. Cory states if you’re older like he is, you really have to focus on your warm ups, even if that means spending a little more time doing so.

Whether you perform the dumbbell curls standing up or sitting down is your choice. Cory performs them standing up in this workout.

Related Video: Ronnie Coleman & Cory Mathews Kill Back & Biceps

Cory remembers training with Ronnie back in the day. Ronnie, being the competitive guy he was, would force himself and his training partners to do 30-35 reps on certain exercises. However, for this workout, Cory sticks to the preferred 10-15 rep range for this exercise.

Exercise 2: Concentration Curls

Next up for Cory’s arm day is concentration curls. This exercise is great for isolating the bicep and focusing on both stretching and contracting the muscle.

Prior to his bodybuilding career, Cory developed weak bicep tendons from going super heavy on particular bicep exercises. The bicep muscle group is a smaller muscle group and while Cory could move 100lb dumbbells, the stress eventually took its toll.

The excessive amount of weight began to tear Cory’s bicep tendon. The pain resulted in him being unable to hold his baby daughter at the time. This experience led to Cory training smarter and now he focuses on stressing the bicep in more joint and tendon friendly ways.

Exercise 3: EZ Bar Curl

For Cory’s final bicep exercise of the workout he performs EZ bar curls. Cory mentions that you can perform the exercise with either a barbell or EZ bar. The movement, regardless of bar type, is a staple in Cory’s arm workout.

This exercise allows you to train the bicep’s with slightly more intensity than you could with dumbbells, making it the perfect exercise for adding width to the bicep.

The real key to building big biceps, as Cory mentions, is having a variety of exercises that you can go to at any time.

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Exercise 4: Rope Pushdown

After wrapping up the bicep portion of his workout, Cory moves on to the cable machine to do a few tricep pushdown variations. The first variation he performs is the rope pushdown.

When doing rope pushdowns, Cory likes to come down all the way to get a full extension. He then flexes the muscle at the bottom of the exercise before moving back to the starting position.

Exercise 5: Reverse Grip Pushdown

Once Cory is done with the rope attachment, he trades it in for a straight bar to perform reverse grip pushdowns.

While the Metroflex crew is there, it can get competitive with sets reaching the 50 rep mark! However, as a normal training protocol, Cory likes to keep his reps on pushdown movements to 15-20 reps.

Related Video: Ronnie Coleman & Cory Mathews Brutal Leg Workout

Cory also emphasizes making those 15 reps a hard 15 reps. For him, he puts the pin on the 110lb weight stack. That weight, while it may not be heavy for others, is just heavy enough for Cory to make the rep count challenging.

Exercise 6: Machine Dips

Cory wraps up his arm day workout with machine dips on the tricep pressdown machine. Similar to the EZ bar curls for biceps, the machine dip is a great movement for adding mass on the tricep.

The machine allows you to pile on some weight to attach the tricep with some solid intensity. The pressing movement is also a great complimentary movement to the two extension movements.

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2 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 03/21/2017 - 22:29
Kyle

How many sets for each lift, and how many reps for each lift?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 03/22/2017 - 09:12
JoshEngland

Hi Kyle,

He doesn't really say, does he?

I'd say a safe bet would be 3-4 sets, 10-15 reps per exercise, since Cory does prefer a more hypertrophy style of training. Give it a shot and let us know what you think!