Juicy Arm Training: Your New Year’s Resolution
If your list of 2023 New Year’s Resolutions starts with a set of toned, sleeve-busting arms, then don’t miss this program! It’s a quick and simple progressive addition to your training that requires just two dumbbells and a dream.
Ryan Tomanocy is a CSCS, certified CrossFit Level 1 trainer, and USA Weightlifting sports performance coach. Romanian deadlifts have been a staple of his training since his collegiate rowing career at Ithaca College. Read this blog to add in some extra arm training to build your bis and tris.
It’s Your Year for Thick Guns
Cutoff holiday sweater season is in full swing. It’s dark most of the time. Comfort foods abound. Instagram is overflowing with ski and snowboard fail videos. And hammering a dry scoop of preworkout before jumping right into 225# bench presses suddenly feels dangerous now that it’s a balmy 30° in the gym.
Winter is in full swing and 2023 is here! What are your plans for those New Year’s resolutions?
This is the time of year I always recommend folks think about getting back to the basics with training, revisiting core movements and taking care of lagging body parts. Every year in December I throw my clients into a GPP & Foundations phase of training to firm up their fitness foundations for bigger future gains.
This includes training segments for lagging body parts, addressing imbalances, and building armor. One of the crowd faves is the 8 Week Juicy Arms Protocol!
The hallmark of an athlete is having arms that look sculpted by an artist — round biceps and horseshoe-shaped triceps gives your physique that polished look. When tank top season comes around, are you sporting skinny/flabby little chicken wings? Or thick and shredded guns that are the envy of all your friends?
Try out the Juicy Arms Protocol if this is your year for serious arm gains.
Basic Programming for Juicy Arms
- 3 days per week, 5-10 minutes
- You’ll hit each segment BOTH before and after training.
- Focus on getting a good squeeze/contraction at the top and a stretch at the bottom.
- Keep rest and transitions to a minimum.
- When I started the program I used 25# dumbbells and by week 8 I was repping 40s.
- Make sure to measure your arms at the beginning and end!
A note on equipment: All days can be done with the same set of DBs so you can put a set (or cinder blocks, gallon jugs, or whatever) next to your couch or desk and be ready to smash the ‘ol pythons. Cinder blocks from Lowes or Home Depot weigh around 30# a piece and cost less than $2 each. No excuses. You could also get creative and use a band, light barbell, soup cans, or whatever you have available that you can grip.
WEEK #1: It Begins.
FIRST, measure your arms with tailor’s tape, make note of the date and size, and snap a quick starting pic to compare to at the end. You can buy a tape measure on Amazon for $4. (Trust me, it’s worth it to see your progress.)
Perform the below sets before and after your normal training. The A1, A2, and A3 indicate a superset so you’ll do set one of bicep curls, then set one of tricep extensions, then set one of hammer curls consecutively. Then repeat the same order for sets two and three.
A1. 3x8e (each arm) Standing Alternating Bicep Curls
A2. 3×8 Lying Tricep Extensions
A3. 3x8e Standing Alternating Hammer Curls
WEEK #2: Different Exercises, still 3×8.
A1. 3×8 Standing Hammer Curls
A2. 3x8e Standing Single Arm Tricep Extensions
A3. 3x8e Standing Single Arm Concentration Curls
WEEK #3: Different Exercises, now 4×8 each!
A1. 4x8e Standing Single Arm Zottman Curls
A2. 4×8 Seated Bench Dips
A3. 4×8 Seated Hammer Curls
WEEK #4: Same Exercises as Week #1. Now 4×8!
We’re halfway! Keep working! Remember that dream? The one where YOUR ARMS got a nod from the gods? Channel that motivation and finish the second half of the protocol STRONG.
WEEK #5: Week #2 Exercises, 4×9!
WEEK #6: Week #3 Exercises, 4×10!
WEEK #7: Week #1 Exercises, 4×11!
WEEK #8: Week #2 Exercises, 4×12!
Once you’ve finished this final week, snag your tape measure, take that “end” picture and smile!
Juicy Arm Workout Reminders
Remember to keep the same movements and arrangement for the entire cycle. The only variation comes from the increase in reps (and maybe weight) over the course of the 8 weeks. This is called progressive overload.
If you want more, find a slightly heavier set of dumbbells and start the program over again!
I perform a variation of this program every December and January (sometimes I apply it to my calf training too). In 2017 I trained for a fitness photoshoot and sculpted a very respectable set of arms.
Share this with anyone who wants (or needs) better arm training! Even if you don’t have “the arm gene”, it doesn’t take much more than some focused effort to fill out those sleeves and look like an athlete.
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