Great Arms in Under 30 Minutes

Today is Wednesday, otherwise known as hump day, which often becomes an extremely hectic day as the work put off from earlier in the week is nearing its Friday deadline. This leaves little time for the gym which can lead to a short, inefficient workout that does more harm than good.

When I have little time to spare and little patience for wasting time I perform short, quick 15-25 minute resistance workouts. Arms are a product of hard work and long dedication in the gym; genetics don’t just provide you with big arms.

Now, I’m not a fan of body part split workouts popularized by many magazines and publications, but building defined triceps(ladies) and or bulging biceps (fellas) can really complete a good physique. Thankfully, this doesn’t require much additional time. Resistance workouts should be focused around multi-joint lifts and movements and not body parts; however, if you are looking to add some icing on top of the cake perform the workout I am about to show you once per week for the next six weeks.

This workout will consist of multiple supersets, which means the exercises will be performed back to back ideally with minimal rest. The arms will challenged through different angles and a multitude of rep ranges to recruit the maximum number of muscle fibers. Ideally, this workout should be performed at the end of a workout and preferentially on the last workout of the week so it does not interfere with your other workouts.


Superset Numero Uno

Heavy Compound Lifts: The heavy weight will recruit the fast twitch muscle fibers which have the largest capacity for growth.

Rest: Keep at Minimum, the point of the workout is workout density. Maximal work in minimal time, keep em’ under 1 minute!

1a. 4×5  Weighted Chin Up: Perform chin ups (full range of motion) with additional weight if needed for 4 sets of 5 repetitions.

1b. 4×5  Reverse Grip Barbell Floor Press: In a power rack unrack the barbell with a reverse grip. Tuck the elbows and descend into a bench press until the elbows touch the floor. Explode the weight back up and repeat for 4 sets of 5 repetitions

Perform all sets back to back and move to the second superset

Superset Numero Dos

Moderate Rep Compound Movements: These movements are still multi-joint exercises, but more thoroughly isolate the arm muscles. These will recruit mostly fast twitch muscle fibers but also some moderate-slow twitch muscle fibers.

Rest: Keep at Minimum, the point of the workout is workout density. Maximal work in minimal time, keep em’ under 30 seconds!

2a. 3×8-10 Barbell Curls: Pick a heavy weight and perform straight bar curls. It’s okay to use a little body movement, but make sure you get full extension of the elbow and full flexion at the top of the curl.

2b. 3×8-10 Dips: If needed add weight to a dip belt and perform parallel bar dips to at least 90 degrees to get full triceps recruitment. Don’t half ass these, but if they both your shoulders try a double dumbbell triceps extension.

Perform all sets back to back and move to the third superset

Superset numero tres

Isolation higher rep (aka the pump) work: These movements will torch the rest of the arm musculature leaving your arms on fire and providing unique isolation work. Be careful with the isolation work as repetitive arm isolation can lead to forearm and elbow issues, but can play an integral role in building the arms you want.

Rest: What Rest? This is isolation work, go from one exercise directly to the next without rest!

3a. 2×20 (per arm)Fat Gripz Hammer Curl: Pick up a pair of Fat Gripz, or check them out here or wrap dumbbell grips with a towel. With a neutral Grip perform standing hammer curls for 20 reps on each arm, DO NOT SWING, make the muscle do the work.

3b. 2×20 Overhead Triceps Rope Extension: On a cable machine pick a moderate weight, face away from the machine and extend the arms overhead. This exercise will give the triceps a huge stretch as well as a powerful contraction. Use the rope attachment if available.

 Concluding Notes

A great set of arms is impressive to anyone as guys are looking to get huge biceps while girls are looking for toned and tight triceps. Workouts should be based around big compound lifts for maximal results, but adding in temporary periods of body part focus can stimulate new growth leading to a better physique. Add in this routine on an off-day or a day late in your training week to stimulate new growth and give your muscles a quick, unique challenge.

Comment Below and Share me!

Copyright 2012 by Eric R Bach.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be duplicated or distributed without written consent from the author.

About Eric Bach Performance

Eric Bach is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Precision Nutrition Level 1 (PN1) with a degree in Kinesiology Concentrated in Human Performance and Emphasizing Sports Performance from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. A former collegiate Strength Coach Eric now resides in Denver, Colorado. Eric coaches clients at Forza Fitness and Performance Center and trains everyone from weekend warriors and post rehabilitation patients to professional athletes. Eric developed his passion for fitness through a competitive sports career which included competitive Olympic lifting, Football, Track and Field, and Powerlifting. Eric is a self proclaimed fitness nerd who enjoys reading, eating, deadlifting, and living a healthy and fullfilling life while helping others dominant their lives in and out of the gym. Eric can be contacted at for all consultations and questions

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