This workout is deceptive because it creates much more tension in your muscles than standard weight training, yet it feels easier. The method works like this: lower the weight as quickly as possible using an eccentric contraction; stop the motion suddenly, then do the exercise slowly and under control. For example, when doing high speed eccentric curls, begin with the arm flexed, lower the weight quickly, but stop the movement abruptly before reaching full extension, then curl the weight slowly and under control until you reach the starting position. Do the other exercises similarly.
This arm workout uses supersets to give the target muscle group plenty of rest between sets. A biceps exercise is paired with a triceps exercise. Do three sets of 10 of the first pair of exercises. Progress from the biceps to triceps exercise without rest; rest one to two minutes between sets and rest three minutes before moving to the next pair of exercises.
Dumbbell Incline Curls
EZ Bar Lying Triceps Extensions
EZ Bar Preacher Curls
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions
One-Arm Preacher Dumbbell Curls
Weighted Bench Dips
High Cable Pulley Curls
V-Bar Cable Pushdowns
Alternate seated dumbbell incline curls: Sit or lie on the incline bench with feet placed shoulder-width apart. Grasp the dumbbells using a supine grip (palms up). Begin with the arms flexed, lower your right arm as quickly as possible, stopping suddenly before reaching full extension; curl the weight slowly, under control until you reach the starting position. Repeat with the other arm.
EZ Bar Lying Triceps Extensions Lie on a bench, grasping an EZ bar using a pronated grip, hands six to 12 inches apart. Push the weight above your chest until your arms are extended (starting position). Keeping your elbows in a fixed position, lower the weight quickly, stopping it abruptly halfway through the range of motion; push the weight slowly and under control back to the starting position. Use a spotter for this exercise.
EZ Bar Preacher Curls: Using a supinated grip to hold the weight, place your elbows on the preacher stand and fully flex your elbows (starting position). Lower the weight rapidly, but stop before reaching full elbow extension; curl the bar slowly and under control to the starting position.
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: Lie on a bench, grasping the dumbbells with a neutral grip; push the weights above your chest until your arms are extended (starting position). Keeping your elbows in a fixed position, lower the weights quickly toward your shoulders but stop abruptly halfway through the range of motion; then push the weights slowly and under control back to the starting position. Use a spotter for this exercise.
One-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curls: Do this exercise one arm at a time (10 reps right arm, 10 reps left arm). Using a supinated grip to hold the weight, place your elbow on the preacher stand and fully flex your elbow (starting position). Lower the weight rapidly, but stop before reaching full elbow extension; curl the dumbbell slowly and under control to the starting position.
Weighted Bench Dips: Place two flat benches parallel to each other spaced three to four feet apart (depending on your leg length). Have a spotter put a weight on your lap. Place your hands on the edge of one of the benches shoulder-width apart and your feet on the other bench. Face toward the ceiling with your elbows and legs fully extended. Lower yourself rapidly by bending your elbows but stop abruptly before going all the way down, then push up until you reach the starting position.
High Cable Pulley Curls: Using the low cable position on the dual pulley machine, stand with the handle in your right hand and your upper arm parallel to the ground. Curl the weight until your hand goes above your head (starting position). Lower the weight rapidly to the middle of the range of motion, stop abruptly and then curl the weight slowly and under control to the starting position. Do the entire set with your right arm and then repeat immediately with the left arm.
V-Bar Cable Pushdowns: Stand a cable pulley. Grasp the bar with hands approximately four to six inches apart with palms facing your body. Fully extend your arms with your elbows held closely at your side (starting position). With elbows locked to your side, allow your hands to be pulled up rapidly, but stop abruptly before your hands reach your chest; then firmly push the weight back to the starting position slowly and under control. If your elbows move during this exercise, you’re cheating.
Photos by Per Bernal