Hello Weight Loss Challengers!  I hope that you are having an amazing day!  This week we will be talking about biceps and triceps, but first I want to talk a little bit about training volume.  Volume is typically considered the amount of training you do, so in our case, it’s sets and reps. Higher reps, such as 12-15 or more encourages muscular endurance, while a lower rep range of 8 to 12 typically encourages hypertrophy (muscle growth), and 6-8 reps is generally used to increase overall strength.  The important thing to remember is that you should always mix up your training. Perhaps you want to work a higher rep range for your workouts for a month, then move to hypertrophy (8-12 reps), and then focus on strength gains for a month (fewer than 8 reps). If you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t want to get bulky, so I’m keeping my rep range higher,” remember our discussion about the myth of getting huge muscles when using heavier weights.  Heavier weights will make you stronger and more defined, but you will not walk away with huge muscles. Unless you’re training and eating all the time and/or using growth enhancing drugs, you just won’t have the capacity to gain huge amounts of muscle mass. Don’t be afraid to go heavier with the weights when you’re ready for that. Just make sure that your form is spot on.

Okay, now on to our discussion about biceps and triceps.  Yes, we are working the arms this week, and we are going for supersets.  You will work one exercise followed immediately by the next exercise and then you’ll repeat the cycle for three sets with a one minute rest between each set.  Don’t be afraid to vary your hand grips as well. Varying your grip (wide, narrow, standard) will hit the muscles just a little differently, adding to your training response and making those arms look great!  Let’s get to it!

Superset 1:  

Biceps: Hammer Curl:  Stand with your torso upright and a dumbbell in each hand, held at arm’s length, with your palms facing your body.  Holding your upper arm and torso steady, curl the weight up toward your shoulder in a controlled motion. Hold the contraction for a second before lowering back to the starting position with control.  Repeat for 8 to 12 reps.

Triceps: Dips on a chair: Begin seated in a chair.  Place your hands on the front edge of the chair and, keeping your arms straight, slide your buttocks forward and off the chair.  This is your starting position. Keeping your back side close to the chair, lower your buttocks toward the floor by bending at the elbows.  Keep your elbows pointing directly behind you, not out to the sides, and press yourself back to the starting position by straightening your arms.  (Remember not to lock out your elbow joint at the top of the motion.) Repeat this exercise for 12 – 15 reps. To make this exercise more difficult straighten your legs; to make it slightly easier, keep your knees bent throughout the exercise.

Superset 2:

Biceps: Standard Curl:  Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length.  Rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward.  Keeping the torso and the upper arms steady, curl the weight toward your shoulder, contracting your bicep.  Hold the contraction for a moment and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position with control.  Repeat for 8 to 12 reps.

Triceps: Close Grip Pushups: Get into a high plank position with your hands close together.  Keeping your elbows in close to your body, lower your body toward the floor and then push up to bring yourself back to the starting position.  Complete as many reps as you are able. The key here is to keep your hands in a close grip position, and keep your elbows close to your sides as you lower and lift your body.  This position will effectively hit your triceps to help get rid of any jiggle back there. 🙂

Have fun with your arm training!  See you next week when we will talk about putting it all together for a full body workout you can complete two or three days per week going forward.