Building bulky upper arms takes work, and while it’s true to say that film stars have it easier when it comes to smashing out hard training sessions thanks to the PTs and private gyms they can use, when it comes down to it, a workout like the one below is very hard no matter who you are.
So we have nothing but respect for Liam Hemsworth, who worked with ex-SEAL Logan Hood to prepare for The Hunger Games and tackled sessions like the brutal arms workout below.
How To Do This Workout
The workout consists of five exercises and is done in a reverse ladder format, where you start with 10 reps of each move, then do nine, then eight, and so on. The amount of rest is up to you – the aim is to complete the entire ladder as fast as you can, so take as few breaks as possible. Do you think Liam was taking a break? Do you think ANY Hemsworth has ever taken a break during a workout? No chance. Not even Luke.
The suggested warm-up is 10 minutes on the rowing machine, but given you’ll be wielding weights at pace we’d suggest running through at least one round of each move using light weights or no weight at all, just to get the relevant muscles moving before starting in earnest.
Reverse Ladder Arms Workout
Lie back on a flat bench and take hold of a barbell with an overhand grip with your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart. Lift the bar out of the rack and lower it to your chest, then press it back up.
Stand holding a bar on your upper chest in an overhand grip with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Press the bar directly overhead, then lower under control.
Lie back on a flat bench holding dumbbells above your chest with your palms facing each other, arms almost extended but with a slight bend in your elbows. Lower the dumbbells out to the sides, then bring them back to meet directly above your chest.
Lie back on a flat bench holding one heavy weight in both hands above your chest. Slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head, then lift it back up. Keep a slight bend in your elbows throughout.
On a set of dip bars, lift yourself so your arms are extended. Bend your elbows to lower until your upper arms are parallel to the ground, then push back up.
From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.
- Nick Harris-Fry Senior writer
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