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This Intense Arms Workout With Weights Will Fill Your Sleeves Fast

EZ-bar biceps curl
(Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / Michael Edwards)

One of the keys to developing bigger arms in less time is to work the target muscles as hard as you can, then back off to give them enough time to recover and grow. It’s the theory used in our arms workout plan and superset arms workout, and this workout follows suit but turns the intensity up a notch – not only by putting your biceps and triceps under a lot of muscular tension, but also by tapping into both fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibres to prompt a greater post-workout growth response. That’s why both of the two tri-sets in this workout – the first targeting your biceps, the second your triceps – use three different rep ranges for each of the three moves, with very little rest in between.

It starts with a six-rep compound move to fire up your central nervous system to activate more fibres, then there’s a 12-rep isolation lift to work the muscles closer to fatigue. The final 25-rep move will force muscle fibres that don’t usually get worked during straight sets to kick into action. The result: a big muscular pump and more damage to the muscles, creating the ideal conditions for adding more size.

How To Do This Intense Arms Workout

Do this arms-building workout twice a week for a month, for a total of eight times over the next four weeks. Leave at least three days between sessions.

The moves are paired into two tri-sets: the first three moves are all biceps-focused, while the second three all work the triceps. You’ll complete three sets of the biceps-focused tri-set, sticking to the reps, tempo and rest periods indicated, then do the same for the triceps tri-set.

In each tri-set the moves get easier, so the A move is the hardest and C the least arduous. Consequently, the reps increase from six to 12 to 25 so you can tap in to as many muscle fibres as possible, because the more fibres you fatigue the greater your growth potential.

Maintain perfect form for each move, focusing on moving your muscles through a full range of motion and keeping each rep smooth and controlled to maximise muscle activation.

1A Chin-up

Chin-up

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Reps 6 Tempo 3010 Rest 10sec

Grasp a chin-up bar with an underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. With your core braced and chest up, pull your chin until it’s higher than the bar. Lower under control to a dead hang.

1B EZ-bar biceps curl

EZ-bar biceps curl

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Reps 12 Tempo 2110 Rest 10sec

Hold an EZ-bar with an underhand grip, arms straight and elbows tucked in to your sides. Keeping your chest up, curl the bar up then lower back to the start under control.

1C Cable rope curl

Cable rope curl

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Reps 25 Tempo 2110 Rest 90sec

Hold a rope cable handle with a palms-facing grip, elbows tucked in to your sides. Keeping your chest up, curl your hands up, turning your wrists so they reach the top with palms facing you. Lower back to the start under control.

2A Triceps dip

Triceps dip

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Reps 6 Tempo 3010 Rest 10sec

Grip parallel bars with your chest up and body tensed. Slowly lower yourself by bending your elbows, then press back up powerfully without locking your elbows at the top.

2B EZ-bar triceps extension

EZ-bar triceps extension

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Reps 12 Tempo 2110 Rest 10sec

Stand tall holding an EZ-bar above your head with an overhand grip, arms straight. Keeping your elbows fixed in place, slowly lower the bar behind your head, then press it back up powerfully.

2C Cable rope press-down

Cable rope press-down

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Reps 25 Tempo 2110 Rest 90sec

Stand tall holding a rope cable handle with a palms-facing grip. Keeping your elbows tucked in to your sides, press your hands down so they go either side of your thighs. Slowly return to the start.

Joe Warner worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach, from 2008 to 2013, then returned as editor of Men’s Fitness UK from 2016 to 2019.