Watch the video of Dany Garcia demonstrating this upper body workout and the arm exercises she does to get competition ready.

Works: Biceps

  • Stand holding a high-cable pulley handle with your left hand in line with your shoulder, your arm extended; keep your right hand on hip.
  • Curl your left hand inward until your pinkie is directly over your shoulder.
  • Extend your arm back out to start without hyperextending your elbow.
  • Perform two nonstop sets, first with 15 and then 12 reps.

Tip: Don’t “overcurl”! When your elbow stops, you’re at full contraction.


Works: Biceps

  • Stand close to the rear of incline bench with feet slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Place left arm over top of bench, holding dumbbell at chin height with arm bent.
  • Lower the weight slowly until your arm is extended.
  • Slowly curl dumbbell back to chin level.
  • Perform two sets of 12 repetitions and then 10 reps with each arm.


Works: Triceps

  • Sit on a 90-degree bench, and hold a kettlebell overhead, handle facing down.
  • Slowly lower the kettlebell handle to the back of your neck while keeping your elbows tucked close to your head.
  • Extend your arms upward to full exten-sion, flexing your triceps at the top.
  • Do two sets of 12 reps.

Tip: Concentrate on pushing both arms at the same time.


Works: Biceps, core

seated barbell curl
  • Sit on a bench and hold a barbell just under your chin with your elbows tucked at your sides.
  • Slowly lower the barbell until your arms are at 90 degrees and the bar is about two inches from your thighs.
  • Slowly curl the barbell up to your chin, but make sure to stay contracted at the top.
  • Do three sets of 12, 10, and 8, increasing weight as you lower the reps each set.

Tip: Keep your elbows tight to your sides, and avoid resting at top.


Works: Inner chest, triceps

  • Lie faceup on a flat bench with your knees bent, your feet resting on the bench.
  • Hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand over chest, your arms extended and palms facing inward.
  • Slowly lower dumbbells just below sides of your chest at your rib cage.
  • Keeping palms inward, drive the dumbbells upward until your arms are extended.
  • Do two sets of 15 and then 12 reps.


Works: Triceps, core

  • Place your feet on a platform or the flat side of a Bosu ball with your upper-body weight resting on your forearms, your elbows shoulder-width apart.
  • Keeping your body in a straight line from shoulders to toes, push off the “meaty” part of your palms and press up your until arms are extended.
  • Slowly lower back to start with your forearms on the floor.
  • Do two sets of 12 slow reps.


Works: Biceps, back, core

Behind the Scenes with Dany Garcia
  • Grasp a straight pullup bar with a reverse grip (palms facing you).
  • Let your body hang, keeping your knees bent 90 degrees and both your arms extended, without locking your elbows.
  • Perform a pullup until your chin clears the top of the bar.
  • Keeping your biceps isometrically engaged, hold that position for 10 seconds.
  • Slowly lower your body back to start without hyperextending your arms.
  • Do two sets of 10 and then 8 controlled reps.

Tip: Continue breathing evenly at the top when holding the movement.

When she’s not busy managing her own talent and media management company; striking multimillion-dollar TV, film, and sports-entertainment deals; or taking care of her 13-year-old daughter, Garcia is hard at work prepping for her other job as a professional physique competitor. Here’s how she manages to get it all done.

Iron Maiden
“You’re either born a bodybuilder or not. Growing up I ran track in high school and rowed varsity crew in college, but I’ve always loved lifting weights. I saw a flyer for Ms. Olympia when I was 13 and was immediately wowed.”

Quick Study
“In 2011, I hired George Farah [a well-known trainer for fitness competitors] to work with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and decided to try doing a competition myself. It was nerve-racking but also incredibly rewarding. That year I competed at nationals and took seventh. I took the next year off because things were so crazy with work but realized how much I missed it. My husband [strength and conditioning coach Dave Rienzi] encouraged me to try again. I placed third in the North Americans in 2013 and qualified for my pro card this year!”

True to Herself
“I’ve restructured my day to manage my work/life balance. From about 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. I’m working out, doing my cardio, and planning for the day. The rest of the time I’m managing my business and raising my daughter, Simone. I always tell other working moms to do a self-audit and determine what honestly is important to them and makes them happy. That gives you a road map, and you can start to build a routine from there.”

“Rock”-Solid Advice
“Dwayne really helped me with some advice in the last few weeks of my contest prep. He reminded me that all I needed to have success was within my own two hands. I was responsible for training. I controlled what I put in my mouth. All I needed was my own ability. I also realized that great achievements can be found when you relax and get into the flow of things, rather than trying to grind through them.”

Three Words That Define Her
“Intense. Optimistic. Strong!” — Nicole Adamo