Are you looking to build massive biceps and triceps quickly?
Have you been training your arm muscles separately and following the traditional body-part split routines with average results?
You’ve probably thought about training arms together but pondered whether its good or how to do it.
Well, you’ve landed on the right page!
In this blog, I will share my results after 20 years of training my clients (and myself) and show you WHY you should train your biceps and triceps in one workout session!
I will show you how to pack significant muscle and strength onto your biceps and triceps, along with which exercise combinations are the best for supercharging your growth!
So, if you’re ready to take your arm training to the next level, let’s start with the biceps and triceps on the same day!
Get ready! As the Gun Show is about to get serious!
If you want to increase your arm size and gain more strength, I recommend that you periodically train your biceps and triceps on the same day.
Both muscle groups are small compared to others, and having them opposing means you can train them efficiently and effectively. The muscle pump, blood flow and oxygenation of fibres have been proven to promote increased (and faster) muscle growth.
I couldn’t write this blog without showing you the biceps brachii anatomy. Doing so will empower you to both visualise and create a mind-muscle link.
I also couldn’t write this blog without showing you the tricep anatomy. Doing so will empower you to both visualise and create a mind-muscle link.
Your biceps and triceps work in tandem with each other most of the time.
When you perform a dumbbell curl, the bicep brachii will contract and shorten while the triceps will lengthen and relax.
Similarly, when you perform a tricep dip, the tricep muscles contract and shorten, whereas the biceps relax and lengthen.
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Below are the top four reasons why I believe you should start training biceps and triceps together:
1. Quicker to do: You can apply more intensity and save time by training both muscle groups in the same workout.
2. Balanced development: Training the biceps and triceps together can help ensure your muscle groups develop evenly and reduce the risk of imbalances.
3. Higher intensity: Targeting opposing muscle groups like the biceps and triceps in the same workout will increase the intensity and provide your muscles with an enhanced training stimulus.
4. Increased muscle growth: By challenging two different muscle groups in the same workout, you can promote muscle growth and hypertrophy in both the biceps and triceps, leading to larger, stronger arms.
I want you to get the biggest set of arms you can most safely and efficiently possible.
To do that, I will share with you the best way to train your arms. I will then share with you a few training plans on how to adopt these principles.
Compound Exercises: These exercises train multiple muscle groups and pack significant muscle size and strength. A combination of barbell curls, close-grip chin-ups, close-grip bench presses, and tricep extensions will stimulate the arms muscles and chest back.
Super Sets: Super sets involve training opposing muscle groups with no rest between the sets. For example, barbell curls are followed immediately by tricep extensions and then a 90-second break. You then repeat this for a total of 4 super sets. This is a super intense training technique and will pack on serious muscle and strength.
Rest pause training: Another super intense training technique, rest pause training involves picking a weight and target rep and then hitting this number with multiple 15-second pauses. So, for example, if you put 50 lbs on a barbell curl and then target 40 reps, you perform them in multiple mini-sets but only rest for 15 seconds each time you stop.
The biceps and triceps are small muscle groups used daily and when other muscle groups are trained.
You cant effectively work out the back and shoulders without the biceps and triceps – so they get a lot of indirect muscle stimulation.
I would recommend that you stick to the following
Bicep and Tricep Same Day Training Plan #1
Bicep and Tricep Same Day Training Plan #2
I am now going to share four awesome tips with you that will supercharge your arm training:
Start with compound exercises: Chin-ups, pull-ups, or dips are awesome compound movements that work the biceps and triceps. They will help activate both muscle groups and prepare them for the rest of the workout.
Alternate between biceps and triceps exercises: Feel free to do them in a superset style to increase the intensity or back-to-back but with a few minutes of rest between each. The latter keeps the muscles rested between sets and also allows them to lift heavier weights.
Use isolation exercises for muscle growth: Once you’ve completed your compound exercises, move on to isolation exercises focusing specifically on the biceps or triceps. These exercises allow for targeted muscle growth.
Focus on progressive overload: To see continued muscle growth, you must overload your muscles progressively. This can be achieved by increasing weight or reps. By doing so, you will command your muscles to grow.
I want you to take note of the five things below and aim to avoid them at all costs. They will hamper your gains and progress, and none of us wants that:
1. Overtraining: Don’t overdo it by training your biceps and triceps excessively. Your muscles need time to recover and grow. Training them every day can lead to injury and hinder progress. So limit them to no more than ten sets a week.
2. Neglecting other muscle groups: While biceps and triceps are important, don’t forget about other muscle groups in your upper body, such as your shoulders, chest, and back. Neglecting these muscles can lead to muscular imbalances and injuries. It’s also worth noting that the arms get trained during back and shoulder workouts. So don’t underestimate the growth potential from these workouts.
3. Poor form: Proper form is crucial to avoid injury and maximize muscle activation. Ensure you use proper form during exercises like bicep curls and tricep pushdowns. Make it a training mantra to ALWAYS warm up properly. No one wants an injury!
4. Not using compound exercises: Compound exercises like chin-ups, pull-ups, and dips are effective for training both biceps and triceps. Incorporating these exercises into your workout can help avoid overtraining and target multiple muscle groups.
4. Lack of variety: Repeating the same exercises can lead to a plateau in progress. Mix your workouts by incorporating different exercises, rep ranges, and weights to challenge your muscles and avoid boredom.
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You should train your biceps and triceps once weekly and with no more than ten sets of 10 reps.
The best compound exercises for the biceps and triceps are as follows:
Chin-ups/Pull-ups: These work the biceps and engage the triceps. They will also work the traps and upper back.
Dips: These are great for the triceps but also work the chest and shoulders to some extent.
Close-grip bench press: These work all the tricep heads, the front shoulders and the lats.
Push-ups: Push-ups are an excellent bodyweight exercise that works the triceps, chest, and shoulders and can be modified to target the biceps. This can be easily achieved by varying the hand spacing.
Overhead press: This exercise targets the shoulders and engages the triceps as a secondary muscle group.
You can use dumbbell bicep curls, cable bicep curls, seated dumbell curls, standing cable curls and seated concentration curls as a variation from the traditional bicep curl.
There are several tricep pushdown variations that you can include in your workout to keep your muscles guessing and to prevent boredom from doing the same exercise repeatedly.
Some popular tricep pushdown variations include the rope tricep pushdown, reverse grip tricep pushdown, V-bar tricep pushdown, and single-arm tricep pushdown.
These variations target the triceps from different angles and help to increase muscle activation, leading to improved muscle growth and strength.
Activating your arm muscles before a workout can help improve their performance and reduce the risk of injury. One effective way to activate your arm muscles is through dynamic stretching, which involves moving your limbs through a full range of motion.
Examples of dynamic stretches for the arms include arm circles, shoulder rolls, and arm swings. Another way to activate your arm muscles is through using lighter weights and performing high repetitions of arm exercises before moving on to heavier weights. This can help warm the muscles and prepare them for the workout.
Finally, resistance bands or bodyweight exercises such as push-ups or dips can activate your arm muscles.
Isolation exercises for arms target only one muscle group at a time.
Here are some examples of isolation exercises for arms:
Bicep curls: These can be done with dumbbells, barbells, or a cable machine. They target the biceps muscle in the front of the upper arm.
Tricep extensions: These can be done with dumbbells, barbells, or a cable machine. They target the triceps muscle in the back of the upper arm.
Hammer curls: These are a variation of bicep curls that target the brachialis muscle in the side of the upper arm.
Tricep kickbacks: These can be done with dumbbells or a cable machine. They target the triceps muscle in the back of the upper arm.
Concentration curls: These can be done with a dumbbell and a bench. They target the biceps muscle in the front of the upper arm and can be particularly effective for building peak biceps.
Overhead tricep extensions: These can be done with a dumbbell or a cable machine. They target the long head of the triceps muscle in the back of the upper arm.
The pre-exhaustion technique involves using an isolation exercise first and then moving to the compound exercise. This technique has been proven to increase muscle mass and strength.
For biceps, this would be cable bicep curls and then moving to close grip chin-ups.
For the triceps, this would be performing tricep extensions first and then moving to bodyweight or weighted dips.
Progressive overload increases the “work” you get the muscles to do from the previous workout. So for the biceps and triceps, it could be that you target a rep range of 10 reps, and each time you complete ten reps with strict form, you increase the weight.
Another example would be the reps. You may want to target ten reps but fail at six. For the next workout, you then target 10, but you make sure you perform seven reps.
High-intensity training is where you apply maximum workload on the muscle by limiting the rest periods between sets and/or performing the reps with a slower tempo to increase the time under tension. The main goal would be to push the muscles intensely so they have little choice but to grow stronger and bigger.
Here are some examples of arm superset workouts you can try:
Bicep curl and tricep pushdown superset: Start with a set of bicep curls using dumbbells or a barbell, followed immediately by a set of tricep pushdowns using a cable machine. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat for 3-4 sets.
Hammer curl and skull crushers superset: Begin with hammer curls, then immediately move into a set of skull crushers using a barbell or dumbbells. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat for 3-4 sets.
Preacher curl and overhead tricep extension superset: Use a preacher curl machine or bench to perform a set of preacher curls, then move directly into a set of overhead tricep extensions using a dumbbell or barbell. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat for 3-4 sets.
Remember to choose weights that challenge you but are still manageable for each set’s designated number of reps. Supersets can be a great way to save time while still getting an effective workout, but be sure to listen to your body and take breaks as needed.
Periodization training is a method of structuring a workout program that involves planned variations in volume, intensity, and exercise selection over time.
Periodization aims to prevent plateaus and optimize progress by continuously challenging the body differently. By adjusting the variables in a structured way, periodization training can help increase muscle hypertrophy in the arms by providing appropriate stimulus for growth, allowing for recovery and preventing overtraining.
This approach can be especially effective when combined with other principles of strength training, such as progressive overload and proper nutrition.
The arm pump is where the muscles are filled with blood due to the excessive work they have been made to do.
The feeling of an arm pump is temporary but does give a slight euphoric feeling. To get an arm pump, perform high rep sets with minimal rest.
So, for example, you could perform four sets of 25 reps with only 90 seconds of rest between. These will give you a mind-blowing pump.
One way to use resistance bands is to add them to your bicep curls or tricep extensions to increase resistance and make the exercise more challenging.
Another option is to use resistance bands for arm pull-apart, where you stand with your arms extended in front of you and pull the band apart, targeting both biceps and triceps. You can also use resistance bands for resistance band pushdowns, where you loop the band around an anchor and perform tricep pushdowns.
Resistance bands are versatile and can be used in various arm exercises to add resistance and increase the workout’s difficulty.
As a beginner, stick to the basics; Barbell curls, close grip chin ups, close grip bench press, tricep push downs and dips. Aim to get stronger by increasing the weight or number of reps EVERY workout, and watch your arms get huge!
I hope you now see how beneficial training your bi’s and tri’s together can be!
Once you add them to your workouts, you’ll never look back!
But the key is training them together correctly and always keeping the muscles guessing so they don’t adapt too quickly.
If you change your workouts, facilitating training them together, then use periodization where you only train them for six weeks and then switch back to your norm. This will maximize gains and stop the training from being boring.
(oh, and do keep in touch and check in with us regularly for more fantastic content. For a complete list of our previous blog posts, please go here)
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