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The workout program to get arms like Mark Wahlberg

Build your biceps and triceps three times as fast to get guns like your favorite action star.

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The workout program to get arms like Mark Wahlberg
Jeff Lipsky
The workout program to get arms like Mark Wahlberg
Jeff Lipsky

Mark Wahlberg started lifting weights in the ’80s. Back then, fitness seekers didn’t have the sophisticated information on training and nutrition that we have now (though they did have ALF—so, yeah, that’s something). As a result, they had to use their ingenuity to make gains. One of the things they discovered was that working a muscle more often made it grow faster, but hitting it too often caused a plateau.

This program offers a combination of frequency and volume that’s just right and harkens back to the kind of straight-up ’80s bodybuilding that gave Wahlberg the physique he’s still known for 30 years later.

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How it works

The biceps and triceps are small muscles, so they don’t require a lot of work to grow. Hitting them with fewer sets allows you to train them more often—in this program, three days a week. We’ve snuck some triceps work into the back workout, some biceps training into the chest day, and then a little of both muscles again in the shoulder workout. It’s more work than your arms will be used to, but spread out enough so that they can recover fully and come back stronger for each workout. By not doing too much on any one day, you stay fresh each workout and leave more time to work on your Rubik’s Cube.

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Directions

Perform each workout (Day I, II, III, and IV) once per week. Rest a day between the first two workouts and perform days III and IV on back-to-back days.

Exercises marked “A” and “B” are alternated. So you’ll do one set of A, rest as prescribed, then one set of B, rest again, and repeat until all sets are completed.

Routine

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Day I

Back and triceps

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 5

One-Arm Dumbbell Deadstop Row

Equipment
Bench
Sets
3
Reps
8-10 (each side)
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 2 of 5

Lat Pulldown

Equipment
Cable Machine
Sets
4
Reps
10-12
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 3 of 5

Rack Pull Exercise

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
90 sec.
Exercise 4 of 5

Rope Pushdown

Equipment
Cable Machine
Sets
3
Reps
15-20
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 5 of 5

Incline Lying Extension

Equipment
EZ-Bar
Sets
3
Reps
10-12
Rest
60 sec.

Day II

Chest and biceps

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 6 of 5

Incline Dumbbell Squeeze Press

Equipment
Bench
Sets
3
Reps
8-10
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 7 of 5

Machine Press

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
12-15
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 8 of 5

Pushup on Boxes

Equipment
Box
Sets
2
Reps
As many as possible
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 9 of 5

Dumbbell Flye

Equipment
Bench
Sets
2
Reps
15
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 10 of 5

Seated Barbell Curl

Equipment
EZ-Bar
Sets
3
Reps
10-12
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 11 of 5

Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
2
Reps
8-10
Rest
60 sec.

Day III

Legs and abs

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 12 of 5

Leg Curl

Equipment
Swiss Ball
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 13 of 5

Front Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-10
Rest
90 sec.
Exercise 14 of 5

Reverse Lunge

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10-15 (each leg)
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 15 of 5

Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
8-10
Rest
90 sec.
Exercise 16 of 5

Body Saw

Equipment
Sliding Discs
Sets
2
Reps
8-15
Rest
45 sec.
Exercise 17 of 5

One-Arm Farmer’s Walk

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
2
Reps
Walk for 30 seconds (each side)
Rest
45 sec.

Day IV

Shoulders and arms

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 18 of 5

Incline Reverse Flye

Equipment
Bench
Sets
3
Reps
20
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 19 of 5

Six-Way Shoulder Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 20 of 5

Bradford Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
2
Reps
8
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 21 of 5

Cross-Body Curl

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
8-10
Rest
45 sec.
Exercise 22 of 5

Bench Dip

Equipment
Bench
Sets
3
Reps
As many as possible
Rest
45 sec.
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