Do the work and have a good plan—the secrets to building anything in life. I’ll give you the plan if you supply the work. My off-season arm routine is designed to strengthen the triceps (for pressing 400-pound logs overhead) and the biceps (for pulling a 230,000-pound train).

Start with a triceps pressing movement, focusing on using the tri’s to execute the movement rather than the lats, shoulders, or chest. Heavy weights are mandatory to place a substantial amount of tension on the triceps and make them strong. Next, do an extension movement to isolate the triceps and stimulate every last muscle fiber for growth.

Then, we ignite the arms with pain-tolerance training, using barbells and ropes. Keep your form tight on barbell curls, with constant tension on the arms and no resting at the top or bottom.

Derek Pounstone’s Arm Routine

Exercise Sets Reps
Floor Press or Close-Grip Bench Press 3 5-10
Incline French Press or Triceps Pushdown 3 8-15
Barbell Curl* 2 50+
Hammer Curl 3 12-20
Lying Rope Arm-over-arms or Sled Arm-over-arms 3 to failure


All sets listed are working sets and do not include warmup sets.

*Perform at least 50 reps, with a goal to reach 100.