Alternate Dumbbell Curls

by Jason Stallworth

October 2, 2015

Are you struggling to build massive arms? You train them hard, and you’re consistent in the gym, but they’re just not growing.

I’ve got a solution that just might work for you: doing supersets for bis and tris

In this post, I’m going to give you 3 workouts you can do that will take your arm growth to the next level.

So get ready to walk out of the gym jacked and pumped, and then go home and find your ‘s-medium’ sleeve busting shirt! 

Why Supersets are Superior for Arms 

Now, you may be thinking one or more of the following…

  • Dude, what’s so great about supersets for arms?
  • Aren’t supersets for trying to get lean? I wanna build MASSIVE ARMS!
  • Shouldn’t I focus solely on biceps or triceps instead of doing them together? Like, I’ll use all my energy for the first part of the superset…won’t I be cheating the other part of my arms?

The answer to these questions is ‘NO!’ – except for the first one, and I’m going to answer that below.

When you’re doing supersets for bis and tris, you’re not just doing supersets. Rather, you’re working the agonist and antagonist muscles together. Biceps and triceps. 

Training agonist and antagonist muscles together ensure balance amongst these muscles. For arms, it ensures a balanced-looking physique. You don’t want to have big biceps only to have weak and puny little triceps. 

Let me address the one problem you may be thinking about, and that’s spending all your energy on the first exercise and not having full capacity for the second. But that’s not something to worry about with arms and I’ll explain below…

  • For example, you start with biceps curls, you may be worried that you won’t have the strength to do the superset exercise, let’s say rope pressdowns.
  • Training arms really doesn’t take a lot out of you.
  • Exercises for biceps and triceps are nothing compared to compound exercises like squats or deadlifts.

In fact, you may be surprised how much stronger you become training like this. I often follow this same concept by training my chest and back together. It sounds crazy, but I’ve actually become stronger training this way. 

*If you’d like to read more about supersetting agonist and antagonist muscles, I have a full program on this post: Lean and Strong Workout Program Using Agonist and Antagonist Supersets

What Are Supersets?

For the newbies, let’s cover ‘what are supersets?’ 

Simply put, you’ll do a set of one exercise then immediately go to another exercise. That makes up one superset. Pretty simple, right?

Arm Workouts with Supersets

supersets for bis and tris

Ready for the good stuff? Let’s get to the actual workouts! 

Here are a few notes about these arm workouts…

  • You’ll always do an exercise for triceps first – tris make up the ‘bulk’ (no pun intended) of your arm mass, so it makes sense to start with that muscle.t
  • Try to set the superset exercises close, if possible, as this will reduce the amount of time between those exercises. You don’t have to rush to the next part of your superset, but don’t rest too long (no more than 15 seconds). 
  • Rest about 45 seconds between each superset.

Workout 1: Bodybuilder Arms

The first arm workout is designed to give you the look of a bodybuilder. How exactly do you do that??

By hitting your arms from different angles. You’ll notice below that each exercise for both biceps and triceps are different. This type of arm workout will give you better shape and symmetry. 

Exercise Sets x Reps
Rope Pressdowns 3 x 10
Preacher Curls 3 x 10
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extensions 3 x 10
EZ Bar Curls 3 x 10
Single Cable Pressdowns 3 x 12
Incline Dumbbell Hammer Curls 3 x 12

Workout 2: Huge Arms for Hardgainers

Are you a hardgainer? Or is your goal to build more size and overall mass? The this arm workout is for you.

What’s so different about an arm workout for hardgainers? Not all exercises here will be directly targeting arms. You’ll be starting supersetting pull and push compound exercises (think ‘back and chest’). 

These specific exercises will be the foundation of building muscle mass. From there, you’ll move on to more exercises that target your biceps and triceps. 

**Do this workout on a Friday, or as your last workout of the week. This will also be the 2nd time you do some back and chest work! And feel free to throw in another back and chest superset before going to arms! 

In fact, here’s a back and chest workout you can try: Back and Chest Routine

Exercise Sets x Reps
Reverse Grip Barbell Rows 4 x 6
Close Grip Bench Press 4 x 6
Cable Pressdowns 3 x 8
Barbell Curls 3 x 8
Weighted Dips 3 x 10
Dumbbell Hammer Curls 3 x 10

Workout 3: Ripped Arms

Who’s ready to get ripped and shredded arms? You are bro! And this arm workout is all about striations, veins popping out, and definition! 

This is going to be a tough arm workout, especially since you’re supersetting bis and tris. What makes it so hard?

You’re going to be pumping out some major reps! Also, at the end of the workout, you’ll be doing some drop sets. This is going to make your arm workout that much more intense! 

**For more techniques to increase training intensity, read my post: 7 Weight Training Techniques to Increase Intensity

Exercise Sets x Reps
Reverse Overhead Rope Extensions 4 x 12
EZ Bar Curls 4 x 12
Skull Crushers 3 x 12*
Alternate Dumbbell Curls 3 x 12*
Single Cable Pressdowns 3 x 12*
Single-Arm Preacher Curls 3 x 12*

*Drop set on final (3rd) set: This means doing a set then immediately reducing the weight by about 30% and doing another set

Why Training Arms-Only Sucks

why training arms only sucks

I’m not a huge fan of dedicating an entire workout to just biceps and triceps. If you have an ‘Arm Day’ I would encourage you to put at least one heavy compound exercise at the beginning of the workout, then train arms.

Actually, I have an entire post on this showing you what to do instead of just training arms: 3 ​​Reasons Why Training Arms Only is a Waste of Time

Make Your Arms Grow, Bro

Building massive arms isn’t rocket science. In fact, you should spend the least amount of your time in the gym on arms.

Because much of your arm mass will be built from training back and chest (assuming you’re training those muscles hard and heavy). 

All that said, there are 4 things to remember for the best results in building massive arms:

  • Good form is going to be your #1 key for building massive arms
  • Focus on contracting your biceps and triceps throughout each rep
  • Use different techniques to increase workout intensity, like the supersets listed here, and throw in some drop sets
  • Don’t lift heavier than you can. In other words, train your arms, not your ego.

 I hope this helps you…now go hit the gym!

Train with Passion,

Jason

GET JACKED AND HUGE!

Use My Special Discount Count Code to Get Superhuman!

Use Code: MASSGAINS75

*copy that code, click the image below, and paste the code at checkout!