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6 tools and techniques this bodybuilding sensation is applying to his weekly arm workouts to refine his triceps and biceps.
Elssbiay does 12 sets each for triceps and biceps, and keeps most of his reps in the 10–12 range, going as high as 15 reps on the final sets for each muscle. He’s discovered that this moderate workload is best for his body. His also keeps his intensity at an average pace. When he pushes sets beyond failure, he typically does forced reps or dropsets.
The crucial thing for Ramy when working arms is to lock his elbow(s) in place from the first rep to the last. Cheating would allow him to hoist heavier weights, but it would also rob him of the control he wants to exert on his targeted muscles, and increase the odds of a strain or—worst yet—a tear.
3: Peak Contractions
To accentuate the shape of his muscles, Elssbiay places special focus on maximizing intra-rep tension. He tends to hold contractions for one or two seconds and flex as hard as possible. He also ends both his triceps and biceps work with exercises that allow him to accentuate this tension—rope pushdowns for tri’s, and rope curls for bi’s.
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A rope lets your arms move independently, and allows you to extend the movement by separating the ends as far as possible at contractions. Big Ramy believes these advantages will accentuate the shape of his arm muscles. The rope pushdowns focus mostly on the lateral (outside) head of his triceps. The rope curls are done primarily with a thumbs-up grip, but at contractions, he pulls the ropes apart with his palms up. In each rep, he places a special emphasis on his brachialis (palms-facing grip) as well as his outer biceps heads (narrow, palms-up grip).
Elssbiay warms up thoroughly before his first set for each body part and avoids certain exercises, like standing barbell curls, that have a greater propensity for cheating. He’s also aware that most triceps and biceps tendon tears occur when training chest or back, respectively, so he takes special care when working those body parts to use manageable weights in the 10–12-rep range, and always with proper form.
Just as Elssbiay does two types of pushdowns for triceps, he essentially does two kinds of hammer curls for biceps and brachialis. The second is the afore mentioned rope curl. The first is done with either dumbbells or a short parallel-grip bar. If he uses dumbbells, he performs them with alternating reps for his left and right arms, curling the working arm up toward the opposite shoulder. Big Ramy’s hammer-centric workouts emphasize his outer biceps and brachialis and bring out arm depth and separation, especially in the crucial rear double biceps shot.
Big Ramy's Arm Routine
Bar Pushdown, 4 sets, 10-12 reps
One-Arm-Dumbbell Extension, 4 sets, 10-12 reps
Rope Pushdown, 4 sets, 12-15 reps
Hammer Curl, 4 sets, 10-12 reps
Preacher Curl, 4 sets, 10-12 reps
Rope Curl, 4 sets, 12-15 reps