Triceps and Biceps Workout – High Reps for 20 Sets

So, I’ve decided to start ‘blogging’ my workouts, so you can see how I train, what I train and when. Today is 22nd February 2014.

After the operation on my stomach at the end of 2011, getting back into shape became somewhat of a long ordeal. I couldn’t lift more than a 1kg weight for the twelve months following surgery, not that I didn’t want to, but I just did not have the strength or the ability.

I lost my balance on a daily basis. I could not bend to touch my knees. I could not walk more than the length of living room. To ease myself back in to weights, I first started working out in my home gym/garage – basically just a barbell and a set of adjustable dumbbells, and I bought a set of resistance bands from Amazon which was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had.

Those bands are amazing for cardio, and all types of muscle resistance work. I recommend having a set in your cupboard for ‘emergencies’; you know, the times you can’t get to the gym and you really want to hit a muscle group – big rubber bands are the answer!

I re-joined a gym in January 2013. Then later in the year, I joined a bigger gym as my strength had improved a lot and the ‘micro-gym’ I was training in just did not have enough heavy dumbbells.

I Made a Huge Rookie Mistake :: I Should Have Focused on My Core Strength!

Towards the end of 2013, I visited my doctor who told me that where I’d had so much surgery on my abdomen, the muscle had weakened and had kind of ‘stretched’. This then, would explain the pains I had been getting and the odd sensations after training.

The answer? No more heavy weights!!!!

Devastating news to say the least. Ok, I’d gained almost all my size back, but I was far from looking in condition, which should have only taken me a few more months.


I got a little depressed. I lost control of my diet. I missed workouts. I left out the cardio.

The result? 280 pounds, gross bodyweight with 25% body-fat. Ok, at six foot three, I carry it ‘ok’ as an average guy, but all my life I have been a gym rat and nutrition freak.

Not good.

What’s My New Plan for 2014?

It’s all about high heart rate, with as much resistance as my body can handle. I know my body now, so I know how far I can push myself with out fear of injury.

Well, I made a plan on 31st December 2013 to shed at least 28 pound by March 22nd this year. Thus far, I’ve lost only 6 pounds.

It’s not much, you might think. But, am I upset?

No. Why?

Because I’ve dropped over 2 inches off my waist and I’ve kept my shoulder size. Bearing in mind that when you diet hard, messing around with calories, low carb, high fat diets, you run the risk of losing muscle mass. Mine has always been a huge loss from my shoulders, so I am really happy because I’m in better shape now.

I will keep you posted.

Today’s Triceps and Bicep Workout

Triceps first.

Exercise 1 – Rope push downs. Consisting of 2 warm up sets, then 4 sets of 15 reps. Last set was three drop sets.

Exercise 2 – Seated single dumbbell over head press using both arms. 1 warm up set, followed by 3 sets of 12 reps.

Exercise 3 – Lying cable triceps extensions. 4 Sets of 15 reps, superset with 3 sets of triceps pushdowns for 10 reps (or until failure).

Exercise 4 – Single arm standing cable extensions. 4 sets to failure (12 to 15 reps). Last set 3 drop-sets, for a total 20 reps. I do this without the handle, holding on to the cable connection at the end. I don’t twist my wrist or elbows, and I stand upright. The end of the movement is slightly behind me. This works the very top of your triceps where it ties in with the deltoid.

Then, biceps.

Biceps are my least favorite body part to train. I suffer greatly with tendonitis in my forearms and need to really be careful not to ‘flare’ them up.

Exercise 1 – Standing cable curls. 2 Warm up sets. Followed by 3 sets of 15 – 20 reps. Last set is drop set for more like 25 reps. This burns!

Exercise 2 – Seated dumbbell curls. 1 Warm up set. Followed by 2 sets of 12 reps, supinated movement.

Exercise 3 – Lying dumbbell curls, on an incline bench. 3 sets. Last 2 sets are drop sets. On the last drop – hammer curl up, supinate wrist and curl down to negative. These are my new favorite biceps exercise, they hit every part of the muscle belly, from the top to the very bottom as the dumbbell just hangs there at the end of the eccentric movement.

Yesterday, tendonitis was playing up, so I quit it there. Normally, I would finish off with standing, single cable curls – the top cable pulley, and do single arm cable curls ending behind my head. This really gets a contraction at the peak of the muscle, but its all about the angles – you have to get them right to get the optimal bicep workout with this exercise.

Finisher: Fat Burning Exercise

I usually add 15 to 20 minutes of fat burning to the end of my workouts. Fat burning exercises are now always HIIT formatted, and todays exercise was the prowler sled.

Started off by stretching my calves and Achilles, then one warm up run.

I do as many runs as I can, pyramiding the weight up to a maximum load of 45 – 50kg. Then I pyramid back down to 20 kg, or even 10kg if I want to add in a few more maximum run pushes. Total sled pushes are anywhere between ten to fifteen 20 meter tracks, up and back, so its 40 meters in total.

Tomorrow — Heart work, stretching and more HIIT work!

About Andy James

Andy's background was in engineering, qualifying as a surveyor at aged twenty. He also had a very early interest in interest in weight training, fitness and nutrition, and started lifting weights at just 16. Now having over thirty five years experience in bodybuilding, resistance training and cardiovascular health, Andy shares his vast knowledge with you on this site hoping that you can take away a minimum of one small idea and put it to use in your own fitness regime and make a huge difference to to it. You can follow him on Twitter, catch up with him on Facebook and also on Google +1. Feel free to leave Andy a comment or question and look up his Facebook page.

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