Arm assault

Arm assault

Thank you all for your sweet, supportive comments on my last post. It really did mean the world to me and I feel so lucky to have met such amazing people through this little blog. We can only sit back and wait to see what happens with the visa situation, but I feel that much better knowing that you guys are looking out for me.

Enough with the negativity. I started my holidays today – two whole weeks where I don’t have to think about work! I had originally planned to clean our entire apartment, but laziness overcame me and I only managed to do the bathroom. Oops, but I guess that’s what tomorrow is for.

The highlight of the day was that Rob and I got to work out together, for the first time since we went to New Zealand. He was supposed to be working but the rain put a stop to that (really, rain two days before Christmas?!), so my eating schedule was messed up and I had to have Vitargo as my pre-workout energy. My sneaky husband thought it would be a good idea to slip two scoops of Jack3d into my drink. I never usually take Jack3d, only on leg days when I’m not feeling very energetic. That stuff just makes my eyes feel like they’re going to burst out of my head – does that happen to anyone else?!

We trained biceps and triceps. At the moment my program has me supersetting my bis with my tris, which is fine but I never truly feel like my muscles are growing. Supersetting has more of a leaning effect on me, and I think I’ll always prefer to go really heavy when it comes to my arms. Whenever Rob and I lift together we always just create a random workout. We did four sets of each exercise, generally aiming for 8 to 12 reps:

Rope pushdown
Bodyweight dips (I’ve just started doing these so I feel like quite the badass!)
Close-grip Smith machine press
Overhead tricep extension
Machine pushdown
Bicep machine (warm-up – see note below!)
Dumbbell hammer curls
Preacher curls
Smith machine bodyweight curl
Cable curls with rope

It was definitely a bodybuilder-specific workout! We slightly sacrificed our form to lift heavier on some of the exercises, and shortened our range of motion. Our rest periods were just long enough to let the other person jump in, so generally around 30 seconds. Our focus was to keep the arms filled with blood (if you watch the full video below you’ll know what I’m talking about!).

We warmed up our biceps using the machine. We performed around 10 short and quick reps with one arm, then the other, and then both arms without stopping. That warmed the muscles up quickly and prepared them for what was coming next!

With traditional bicep curls you tend to pull the dumbbell up in front of you by activating a lot of your shoulders. So with our hammer curls we started with slightly bent elbows pulled back, and focused on lifting the dumbbell in a straight vertical line to really isolate the bicep. We followed a higher rep range: once you feel pain in your arms, that’s when the workout truly begins and you have to push through it!

Rob had been trying to get me to try these Smith machine curls for weeks and today I couldn’t avoid them. They are Brandon Curry’s signature bicep move, and he explains how to do them from 4:19-5:38 in the video below.

Make sure you keep your back out of it and feel all the burn in the biceps. Think of bringing the top of your head underneath the bar rather than bringing your chest to the bar. The lower you set the bar, the harder it is. If you’re doing them right they really burn! I think I will definitely add these to my normal arm routine. By the way, don’t be put off by Brandon’s huge size – his tips apply to all advanced lifters!

I always think I’m working hard during my workouts, but training with Rob is always exhausting. When I’m at failure, he makes me do an extra 2-3 reps – obviously by helping me to lift the weights. By the end of the workout I felt dizzy and absolutely drained. As we left the gym I went to check my phone but seriously couldn’t even lift my hand. Hopefully we can work out together a few more times before I go back to work!

This will be my last post before Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful day and enjoy lots of treats!

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