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Build bigger arms with the ‘Work the Angles’ workout program

Discover the long and the short of building massive biceps and triceps in four weeks.

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Bicep Curl Dumbbell
Shutterstock
Bicep Curl Dumbbell
Shutterstock

If you think of building muscle as basically just sets and reps and weights, you’re not wrong.

But to fully activate every last muscle fiber and stimulate a muscle to grow, you have to make it contract at different lengths. That’s why it’s so important to train with a variety of exercises that work muscles from different joint angles. With this workout, you’ll play all the angles to build your arms in just four weeks.

How it works

You’ll begin with the one-arm cable biceps pose. While it may look like an exercise for, well, “poseurs,” understand that when the arm is raised to 90 degrees and the elbow is flexed, the biceps are put in their shortest position. When held for up to six seconds, this increases your nervous system’s activation of the biceps, leading to better contractions throughout the rest of the workout. 

The next exercise, the cable crossover triceps extension, accomplishes the same thing for the triceps. From there, you’ll work the biceps and triceps with moves that train them in their most stretched positions. Changing the length that the muscles must work at changes the tension in them and, ultimately, the amount of muscle fiber that gets worked. And while it’s harder to understand than “three sets of 10,” you arms will get the message: Get bigger!

Directions

Perform the workout once per week. Exercises that are paired (marked “A” and “B”) are alternated. So you’ll do one set of A, rest as prescribed, one set of B, rest, and repeat until all sets for the pair are completed.

Routine

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The 'Work the Angles' workout program

Advanced exercises for biceps and triceps

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 7

One-Arm Cable Biceps Pose

Equipment
D-Handle Attachment
Sets
2
Reps
8-10 (each arm)
Rest
30 sec.
Exercise 2 of 7

Cable Crossover Triceps Extension

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine
Sets
2
Reps
8-10
Rest
30 sec.
Exercise 3 of 7

Preacher Curl

Equipment
EZ-Bar
Sets
6
Reps
9, 7, 5, 9, 7, 5
Rest
60 sec.
Increase the weight each set for three sets. Then back off but use a heavier load than you did for your first set of nine reps, and continue increasing the weight.
Exercise 4 of 7

Incline Dumbbell Skull Crusher

Equipment
Bench
Sets
6
Reps
9, 7, 5, 9, 7, 5
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 5 of 7

Cable Triceps Kickback

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
10 sec.
Exercise 6 of 7

Overhead Triceps Extension

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
45 sec.
Exercise 7 of 7

Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
--
Reps
75 total
Rest
20 sec.
Do as few sets as possible.
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