by Matt Kroc T-Nation
Tags: Arm Training Bodybuilding
Here’s what you need to know…
- Matt Kroc used this program to take his arms over the 21-inch barrier after switching from powerlifting to bodybuilding.
- The program is very straightforward: 5 sets of 20 reps for five biceps exercises and five triceps exercises, which equals one thousand reps total.
- For best results, strictly adhere to the prescribed sets, reps, and rest periods.
- This will be the most challenging arm workout you’ve ever done and your biceps and triceps will be begging for mercy by the end of it.
Two Inches of Arm Growth
When I switched from powerlifting to bodybuilding, I had to do something about my arms. I already had a thick chest and back, but my biceps and triceps were lagging far behind. To fix things, I came up with this program that, admittedly, uses insane volume.
But it worked. I succeeded in adding over two inches to my arms, taking them over the 21-inch barrier. This program is perfect for anyone that’s always had difficulty prodding their arms into additional growth.
We’re going to use extreme volume, so it’s not meant to be performed every single week. That would very likely result in overtraining in most individuals. I had the most success performing this program every other week initially and later performing it once every three or four weeks.
The emphasis here is on completing all of the prescribed reps and sets in the allotted timeframes. It’s okay to lighten the weights as you get further into the training session and begin to fatigue. In fact, I’m certain you’ll need to decrease the weights as you get deeper into the workout, especially the first few times you perform it. Make no mistake, this will be the most challenging arm session you’ve ever done. Your biceps and triceps will be begging for mercy.
The program is very straightforward, 5 sets of 20 reps for five biceps exercises and five triceps exercises, which of course equals one thousand reps total. You’ll rotate back and forth between biceps and triceps movements. This will give the muscle groups a bit of a rest and allow you to complete the entire session.
The exercises and the order in which they’re performed have been carefully selected to hit all areas of both the biceps and triceps while also accounting for the increasing fatigue as you progress through the workout. While I strongly recommend sticking with the exercises I’ve selected, it’s okay to rotate some of them out and replace them with your personal favorites as long as the intent of the selected exercise remains the same.
For example, it’d be okay to exchange a variation of a hammer curl or reverse curl for either of those exercises as they both target the same areas of the biceps. However, substituting a preacher curl for a hammer or a reverse curl wouldn’t work as you’d be effectively eliminating the involvement of the brachioradialis, which is the reason for including those movements in the first place.
The 1000-Rep Arm Training Workout
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
A EZ Bar Curl 5 20 2-3 min.
Perform a few warm up sets first.
B Straight Bar Pushdown 5 20 2-3 min.
Perform a few warm up sets first. Keep your elbows glued to your sides and don’t pause; just pump the arms up and down.
C Cable Curl 5 20 2-3 min.
Use an EZ-curl style handle and attach it to the lower cable.
D Overhead Cable Extension 5 20 2-3 min.
Use a rope handle attached to the high pulley. Grasp the handles and face away from the machine. Bend over at the waist and starting with the handles behind your head, extend your arms straight out in front of you.
E Dumbbell Hammer Curl 5 20 2-3 min.
Keep your elbows at your sides and curl the dumbbells towards your shoulders. Do both arms at the same time.
F Lying Extensions With Chain 5 20 2-3 min.
Lie flat on your back and perform a skull-crusher type movement with chains attached to an EZ curl bar, D-handles, or the grenade-type handles if you have them. These can be performed with straight weight if you don’t have access to chains.
G Seated Barbell Curl 5 20 2-3 min.
Use a straight barbell for these. Sit on a bench and curl the weight from the tops of your thighs towards your shoulders. Touch your thighs at the bottom of the movement, but don’t rest the weight on them.
H Dumbbell Kickback 5 20 1-2 min.
Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend over at the waist, and extend both dumbbells at the same time. Keep your upper arms parallel to the floor and pause the reps briefly at the top with full extension while flexing the triceps.
I EZ-Bar Reverse Curl 5 20 2-3 min.
Keep your form strict here and limit the amount of body swing.
J Bench Dip 5 20 1-2 min.
Bodyweight is all you should need by the time you get here. Use two benches of the same height.
- Perform this program every 14 to 28 days to rapidly increase arm size while avoiding overuse.
- Strictly adhere to the prescribed sets, reps, and rest periods to reap the maximum benefit of the program.
- It’s okay to decrease the amount of weight used as fatigue sets in, but keep it at a level that’s still challenging.
- Rotate back and forth between biceps and triceps movements to give each muscle group a short break as you progress through the workout.
- Follow the selected exercises or use substitutes that target the muscles in the exact same way to ensure you’re hitting all areas of the target muscles for complete arm development.
- Perform your normal arm workout during the weeks you’re not killing yourself with this program.