arm workout hack

This week on Advanced Training Techniques, James Grage talks about something a little bit different – what do you do when you’re just not feeling like working out? Here is his biceps/triceps workout hack:

Today is my biceps/triceps day, so I’m gonna show you what I do – what my little workout hack is – when I’m not feeling like going through a full workout. What’s a full workout? Generally, that would be three to four exercises with about 10 reps per set. So that’s anywhere from 90-120 reps per body part (three to four exercises for biceps and three to four exercises for triceps).

What we’re gonna do today is one exercise for biceps and one exercise for triceps, but this is a 100-rep challenge! Now, I’m kind of giving it away here, but I don’t want you guys to sandbag this because when I’ve had other people follow this workout, I tricked them. Matter of fact, I had someone do this recently and they said, “What are we going to do?” I told them, “I want you to grab a weight that you can do for 20 reps on curls.”

So he went over and he grabbed a 30-lb. dumbbell cause he figured he could do 20 reps. Then I told him, “Now you’re going to do at least 40 reps.” If you can do more than 40 reps, keep going. Usually though, when you pick a weight that you think you can do for 20 lbs., when you get to 40, that’s an accomplishment. So what I’m telling you is, now that you know we’re going to go to 100 reps and the first set we’re gonna do is 40 reps, don’t pick a really light weight. Pick a weight that you would normally use to go to 20, and we’re gonna squeeze out 20 more. Then we’re gonna do the exact same thing for triceps.

So all together, we’re going to do standing bicep curls with dumbbells and then we’re going to do an overhead triceps extension with a dumbbell as well. Here’s the general premise: 40 reps in the first set, and then you have to hit 100 reps in no more than four sets. If you can do it in three sets, your weight is too light. For me, I usually end up doing 40 reps, then 30 reps, then 20 reps and I finish with 10 reps. Try to keep the rest in between sets to about 30 seconds.

Now, just because we’re cranking out a lot of reps, doesn’t mean you can forget about your form. Make sure to turn your pinkies up to get a good squeeze on every curl. I usually start with double bicep curls, and then as I get tired, I’ll drop down to singles.

When I get to 20 reps, the lactic acid is burning. This is the point where I would normally set these dumbbells down and say, “That’s good.” But we’re gonna keep going. This is a test to see how much grit you have. Most people stop when the lactic acid starts to kick in and they don’t want to do anymore reps. But just because you don’t want to, doesn’t mean you physically can’t. How mentally strong are you? Can you push past that burn?

Now, we’re going to superset the exercises, so as soon as you complete the bicep curls, go right into those overhead triceps extensions. We’re gonna do the exact same thing – pick a weight that you think you could normally do 20 reps with. You’re normally gonna be stronger than you realize with triceps extensions. When you pick the dumbbell up off the rack you’ll probably say, “Oh man, that feels heavy,” but as soon as you get it over your head, you realize it’s manageable, so don’t go too light.

Some of you might ask, “How are you going to build muscle with that many reps?” Don’t worry about that. You aren’t doing this all the time. This is just occasionally when you’re feeling funky or you don’t feel like you have that much mojo. All you have to do is tell yourself, “I’m just gonna go out there and do one exercise and that’s it.” Having said that, don’t sandbag it. Make sure you’re really going out there and challenging yourself.

So that’s my biceps/triceps workout hack! This workout only takes about 15 minutes, and you’re able to knock out 100 reps on biceps and 100 reps on triceps. When I don’t want to go into the gym, I don’t want to think about it, I don’t have the mental energy and I just want to knock out a quick workout, but still know I’ll be sore the next day, this is what I do. Try the workout, and if you put intensity into it, I guarantee you’ll feel it.

All readers are advised to consult their physician before beginning any exercise and nutrition program. BPI Sports and the contributors do not accept any responsibility for injury sustained as a result of following the advice or suggestions contained within the content.

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