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Fitness 360: Samantha Ann Leete, Training Program

Samantha trains to overcome her weaknesses. She doesn’t cherry-pick workouts for her strengths or make excuses for lagging muscle groups. Her most productive days in the gym are when she’s learning a new lift, working on muscle groups that need extra attention, and moving heavy weight. Her desire to build a better body and become a better athlete fuels her through every workout.

Samantha Ann Leete Fitness 360
Watch The Video – 13:58

Mixing It Up

Samantha likes to use multiple training strategies so she never gets bored. “I love incorporating supersets, giant sets, circuits, HIIT cardio, low-intensity cardio, dropsets, and negatives,” she says. “I also like to switch up my rep ranges, tempo, and exercises.” These constant changes help keep Samantha excited about her workouts and motivated for her future goals.

Although she uses different modalities to train various muscle groups, Samantha likes to keep her split fairly consistent. “I usually lift three or four days per week and do sprints or plyometrics once per week. For my upper body, I usually stick to a 10-12 rep range. For my lower body, I do 10-20 reps per exercise.”

Romanian Deadlift

Like most of us, Samantha has a tough relationship with cardio. “Sometimes it can be fun and I look forward to it, especially when I’ve had a stressful day and could use a cathartic sweat session.” She’ll squeeze in a cardio session during lunch at work, but if she’s in the gym, she prefers the arc trainer, the stepmill, or plyos.

Unlike some elite competitors, Samantha believes in rest days. “I just try to listen to my body,” she says. Sometimes a rest day means hitting a hard cardio session, sometimes it means going for a long, fun hike, and sometimes, rest just means rest. “Rest days can literally mean just chilling out and watching a movie,” she explains.

Samantha’s Training Split

Cardio

These are examples of cardio workouts that I might do during the week

Cardio workout #1
45 minute Arc Trainer

Cardio workout #2
Treadmill lunge intervals
3-minute incline lunge
3-minute incline run
3-minute incline walk
Repeat for 30 minutes

Cardio workout #3
Treadmill HIIT sprints
30 second incline sprint
30 second incline walk
Repeat for 20 minutes

Cardio workout #4
HIIT circuit
2-minute row
1-minute rope jump
100 mountain climbers
Rest 30-60 seconds
Repeat for 20 minutes


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ROOM TO GROW

Brandan Fokken doesn’t just practice being fit for a few months out of the year. He’s dedicated his entire life to fitness and is now reaping enormous benefits. Read his inspiring story!

FITTER FASTER

Sara’s once all-consuming fitness program left her running ragged and almost killed her enthusiasm for exercise. Learn how she revamped her routine and found a healthy medium.

HARD CORPS MUSCLE

Carl Roberts won our 2012 Military Transformation Challenge, and now he is a personal trainer, helping to propel his clients forward with their fitness.

About The Author

Cassie Smith is a writer/editor for Bodybuilding.com and former professor & college athlete. Find out more about her right here.

Glute Workout: 6 Ways To Build Your Perfect Booty

Pop onto FitBoard or the fitness board on Pinterest and you’ll soon learn that it’s all about the butt! Who doesn’t want a backside that turns heads? You can do cardio until you’re blue in the face, but you won’t build a great bum unless you do some weight training. Not sure which moves or techniques are best for building the perfect booty? We’ve got you covered.

India Paulino, Tabitha Klausen, Amanda Latona, and Sara Solomon: The lovely ladies of BSN want to help you build your best booty!

Here are five of the best glute training techniques and exercises you can do, including a complete workout from IFBB Bikini competitor India Paulino. Incorporate these techniques in your lower-body training regimen and you’ll be blown away by the results. A full set of glutes is in your future!

1 Squat!

“Old-fashioned bodyweight squats that go below parallel are a great way to start your leg workout.”

Of all the bum-friendly exercises to add to your workout routine, the squat should be numero uno. True, it’s the queen exercise of butt-building, but it’s also a great movement for athleticism, flexibility, and can even tax your cardiovascular system.

Tabitha Klausen, an IFBB Bikini competitor and proud owner of a great booty has some tips for squatting. “Old-fashioned bodyweight squats that go below parallel are a great way to start your leg workout,” she says. “They’re the perfect way to make sure you concentrate on using the right muscles throughout the workout.”

Before each leg workout, Tabitha does 4 sets of 25 reps of bodyweight squats. She focuses on squeezing the glute muscles to get them firing and ready for her heavier lifts ahead.

Tabitha recommends concentrating on form rather than weight. “Focus on feeling the form through all of your exercises rather than using the heaviest weight possible,” she says. “It’s important to feel that mind-muscle connection.”

2 Go “Wide And High”

Puzzled about how to grow your glutes without also building massive quads? Amanda Latona delivers the “wide and high” answer. “When doing any glute-focused exercise, like squats, take a wide step forward to take the weight away from your quads. Or, if you’re doing step-ups, add more elevation. Both adjustments will add more focus on the glutes specifically.”

If you’re really looking for a challenge, Amanda also recommends lunging by stepping down from an elevated platform. This increases your range of motion, which will result in greater glute muscle fiber activation and growth.

3 Build a Glute Bridge

One problem Dr. Sara Solomon sees regularly is women who are using a regimen that neglects to correct muscular imbalances. “It’s critical to follow a workout that focuses on correcting your muscle imbalances so you can avoid running into injuries,” she explains. “Most of us spend the majority of our day sitting, which further causes the glute muscles to weaken and makes us rely more heavily on our quads and hamstrings to power through our exercises.”

One of Sara’s favorite exercises to correct this imbalance is the glute bridge. To perform this one, sit on the ground with your upper back against a bench, your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Squeeze your glutes as you raise your pelvis high enough off the floor to create a straight line between your knees, hips, and shoulders.

“It’s critical to follow a workout that focuses on your muscle imbalances so you can avoid running into injuries.”

Focus on using only your glute muscles to do the work. If you need a bigger challenge, put a weight plate or loaded barbell on your hips for extra resistance.

4 Try Single-Leg Squats

Because this exercise puts your body in an unbalanced position, you’ll have to recruit often-untapped muscle fibers in order to maintain balance. This added challenge will get even the most stubborn glutes to grow.

Single-leg squats are often overlooked, but they’re one of the most challenging and most effective lower-body movements around. Many people won’t be able to do one right off the bat. Hold a weight in front of you for counterbalance, grab a wall for help, or put a thin plate under your heel.

Whatever you do, squat down as low as you can.

5 Do Split Squats

The split squat is an excellent butt-building move. When you do it, think about pushing up from the bent-knee position through the heel instead of through the ball or toes of your foot. By shifting your weight to your heel, your center of balance will instantly move slightly backward and will better activate your glutes.

To make split squats even more difficult and thus put more stress on your booty muscles, put a barbell across your back. A barbell works better than dumbbells because your body position is optimized for glute muscle recruitment.

6 Follow India Paulino’s Glute Workout!

The 2013 Bikini International winner knows exactly what it takes to earn the top spot on stage. For India Paulino, that means working her glutes three times per week! “I was always very skinny,” India says, “so I had to work hard to build my glutes.” India’s glute workouts are fast-paced, intense, and effective!

Here’s an example glute-building session:

Glute Training
Watch The Video – 06:18

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Fitness 360: Tabitha Klausen, Model Trains

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Fitness 360: Dr. Sara Solomon, Fitter Faster

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About The Author

I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.

Grind To Grow: Try Your Squats And Presses With Kettlebells!

I’ll never forget the first time I squatted with a pair of 32-kg kettlebells on my chest. It felt like an elephant was sitting on me. The pressure in my gut was immense, and I could barely breathe. Afterward, my abs were almost immediately sore. I was shocked, because as a competitive weightlifter I could front squat, butt-to-ankles, more than 400 pounds. But these two 70-pound balls of iron made me feel like I was fighting for my life!

I quickly learned that kettlebells are unjustly overlooked as strength equipment; they are often only favored as endurance tools for high-rep ballistic movements like swings and snatches. They’re equally adept and providing muscular overload on slow, heavy lifts like squats and presses.

Why? It’s simple: Your body knows that to get stronger, as well as to continue burning fat, it must adapt. Heavy kettlebells give it a challenge that is uniquely difficult to overcome. Because of their odd shape, kettlebells actually make the body do more work than traditional implements such as barbells and dumbbells. Sub them out even just for a couple of movements you already do, and you may be surprised at the benefits you receive.

The Toughest Squat You’ve Never Done

The reason the double-kettlebell front squat is so much more challenging than its barbell cousin is due to leverage. Consider the rack position: With a barbell, the load rests near the top of the spine, across the collarbone and the front of the deltoids, just below the head. In this arrangement, the barbell becomes virtually one with the lifter, making it easier to move the external resistance. This allows you to move much more weight.

With a kettlebell, it’s almost the opposite. In the rack, the weight rests low, against the outside of the forearms, with the elbows pointed down rather than out. The bells try to pull your body forward and off-balance, which forces your entire midsection to reflexively contract in order to keep you from folding in half.

If you’ve been lifting—or just reading about lifting—for a few years, you’ve probably heard this same argument used as a reason to do barbell front squats rather than barbell back squats. But the truth is that the simple substitution of two kettlebells—or even just one—for a barbell means your midsection will take even more of a beating. And this has benefits beyond building core strength.

To start with, you’ll become a better squatter. Because the spine is protected due to the increased reflexive core activation from the rack, lifters can usually squat deeper with kettlebells than they would with a barbell. The difference here is one you’ll likely feel on your backside for days after the first time you try it, so consider yourself warned.

Kettlebell Exercises
Watch The Video – 0:44

Grind To Grow

The increased stability demands upon your core musculature during the front squat are also present in other slow kettlebell lifts—or “grinds,” as they’re often called. Look at the double kettlebell military press, for example: The increased demands placed upon your core mean your body has to work harder to stabilize your joints so your prime movers—the lats and delts, in the case of the press—can do their work.

The upshot, as with the front squat, is that you’ll need less weight to make all types of muscles work more efficiently—particularly the crucial stabilizer muscles around the shoulder and other joints. Efficiency, in this case, means they’ll do what they’re supposed to when they’re supposed to do it. To pick one painful example for many lifters, a strong rotator cuff stabilizes your shoulder joint so you can safely bench press. A weak or injured one, on the other hand, keeps you from benching heavy, or from doing it at all.

Double Kettlebell Military Press

I’m also of the opinion that one of the causes of what are commonly called workout “plateaus” are actually stabilizer muscles that are weak or don’t work properly. Faced with a heavy load that might damage the joint, your body intuitively protects itself by shutting down the nerve force to the bigger muscles—the prime movers—that traditionally do the work.

You may have heard similar logic used to tell you why you should train with free weights rather than with machines. Yes, it’s true: Core and joint stabilizer activation happen to a certain extent with any training tool, but both are more intense with a kettlebell, due to the increased muscular activation from the offset handle. Consider them the freest of free weights.

You Only Need One

“Resist the urge to let your stronger side set the pace. Train both sides to be relatively even with each other.”

Want to know what’s even tougher than a double-kettlebell grind? The same movement loaded unilaterally. Working one side of your body at a time, as with a single-kettlebell military press, requires your body to make all the muscles on the side opposite of the load—and especially the core musculature—contract to keep you from being pulled over sideways.

Another interesting result from training with a single-kettlebell is that you can even-out strength imbalances from side-to-side. Often, side-to-side imbalances are responsible for holding back your progress on traditional bilateral exercises like the barbell squat, deadlift, and military press. Many people find a single-kettlebell front squat to be much more challenging on the core than a double front squat. The same thing holds true for the military press.

If you find you have a strength imbalance, resist the urge to let your stronger side set the pace. Train both sides to be relatively even with each other, both in the number of reps and the amount of weight you put over your head. You may feel like you’re holding back at first, but don’t be surprised if your big barbell lifts get stronger as a result.

Grind to Burn

Strength is a worthy goal on its own, and it’s more than enough reason to try kettlebell squats and presses. But getting stronger is also essential for burning fat and getting leaner over the long term.

Think of it as a cycle. The increased muscle activation and range of motion you experience from doing deep, difficult squats and overhead presses demand that more muscles work harder than they would otherwise. When you work harder, you burn more calories. And since training the core, especially in an integrated manner while standing, makes the body stronger, you’ll be able to lift heavier and work even harder in the future—which burns even more calories. And so on …

The downside, if there is one, is that kettlebell grinds are known to leave bruises—on your ego. I think you’ll be just as surprised as I was at just how hard they make you work. But stick with them, and you’ll also be surprised by the fruits of your labor: A stronger midsection, a more powerful and defined body, and more strength you can put to good use.


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Calum Von Moger’s Armed And Ready Workout

I’m not interested in looking like today’s bodybuilders. I prefer the classic physiques of guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dave Draper, and Franco Columbu. They had incredible symmetry, great proportions, and amazing overall development. Those are guys I want to look like—but maybe just a little bit better.

In this workout, I’m going to hit arms with an old-school approach to help you build a set of Golden Age guns, from tall biceps peaks to dense, horseshoe triceps. We’re going to put on mass and carve out shape. Our goal isn’t just size. We’re going to build size, aesthetics, proportion, and balance.

I thrive on pushing myself to that next level—breaking past plateaus and goals I’ve set and adding on the reps. If I have it in me, I’ll keep going. You’re not going to grow if you don’t push yourself to the next level. If you want to see results, you have to kick up your training.

Integrate this workout into your program once or twice each week to keep your arms growing.

Calum von Moger’s “Armed And Ready” Workout
Watch The Video – 13:43

This workout is a simple, six-exercise breakdown: three exercises for your biceps and three exercises for your triceps. Start out with higher reps of 12-15 to warm the muscles up, and then taper your reps to the muscle-building range of 6-12 reps for 4-5 sets. Heavy weight and ample volume will ensure a killer pump.

I like to add mass with compound movements and carve with isolation exercises. Start with the compound moves—they’re the best way to work on the mass and the size of your arms—and finish with isolation exercises for detail, cuts, and that added pop.

Calum’s Pro Tips

Barbell Curl

I didn’t have a gym membership until I was 18 or 19 years old. All we had was a barbell, some weights, and some dumbbells. All I knew were barbell curls. Today, they’re still one of my favorite exercises.

I think barbell curls are a great exercise to start an arms workout because you have to employ coordination and balance. There’s no isolation and no machine to rely on, which helps you develop core and overall strength.

“I think barbell curls are a great exercise to start an arms workout because you have to employ coordination and balance.”

Preacher Curl

Concentrate on good form—elbows tight to the pad, no swinging, no momentum&Mdash;and a great stretch on the preacher curl. At the top of this isolation exercise, remember to squeeze your biceps as hard as possible for the ultimate pump.

Stay focused. Just going through the motion won’t get you the physiques of classic bodybuilding champs. Build your mind-muscle connection. Doing so will give you more control and a lasting pump you can feel.

Don’t be afraid to play around with your grip to help hit your biceps from different angles.

Concentration Curls

I like to finish my biceps with the concentration curl. It’s a great isolation exercise that will stretch your biceps and help build high peaks. I like to do them while standing for the added resistance.

When it comes to the concentration curl, contract with as much force as possible, but remember to control the eccentric (lowering) part of the movement. You never want to swing down or simply drop the dumbbell.

French Press (EZ-Bar Skullcrusher)

Keep your elbows as close to your body as possible, and keep them fixed once you get the weight up. I like to bring the bar to my forehead to get a bigger stretch out of my triceps. Explode on the way up and stay controlled on the way down.

French Press

Don’t always feel like you have to stick to a specific number of sets and reps. You may use any workout template as a guideline, but once in a while you have to break the rules and go beyond your “assigned number.” Challenge yourself and grow!

Seated Triceps Press

To really hammer the long head of your triceps, you need to get your arms over your head. Maintain control as you lower the dumbbell behind your head, go down as far as you can to get a really good stretch, and extend all the way at the top. You want the last few reps on your final set to leave you completely gassed.

Dip

Dips are a great finishing exercise. Your triceps are already fatigued, and dips give them that extra, final push. Increase the intensity as needed by increasing the rep count and limiting your rest period.

Attack as many reps as you possibly can, no matter how tired you are.

Dip

Calum’s Golden Rule

Not sure if you’re training arms hard enough? Take this test: At the end of your workout, try and touch your shoulders. If your biceps are so pumped up you can’t reach them, you’ve done your job well. If you easily get a hand on each deltoid, you need to keep pushing.

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Train With Dana Linn Bailey Contest: Winning Back Workout

Sam Wells is one lucky girl. The aspiring women’s physique competitor not only met the first-ever women’s physique Olympia winner, Dana Linn Bailey, she trained with her too. Sam won MHP’s 2013 “Train With Dana” contest, and her prize was spending the day at City Athletic Club in Las Vegas trading reps with her idol.

“When I got the call that I had won, I honestly didn’t know what to do—I just ran around the house crying like a total spaz,” recalls Sam. The day after DLB won the Olympia, Sam was there to meet her. Among flashing cameras and surprise visits from other notable Olympia athletes, such as Kai Greene, the two women got right down to business by crushing a back workout. “Getting to do what I love to do most alongside the person I most look up to was a remarkable experience,” says Sam.

Train With Dana
Watch The Video – 11:09

Although she was depleted and tired from the day before, DLB challenged Sam to do her best. “The thing about Dana is that she is so inspiring,” says Sam. “She makes you feel like you can do it too. There are some people who are discouraging and have a cocky attitude. She’s not like that at all. She’s really uplifting, inspiring, and motivating.”

“I was speechless the whole day—I just tried to take it all in. This day changed my life.”

Follow the workout these two inspiring ladies did together!

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Your Perfect Body: Visualize, Then Actualize!

What motivates you during a workout? Not before—not “Oh, my god, I’m so excited to go to the gym right now.” I’m talking about when you’re standing just outside of the power rack. You’re about to get under a bar stacked with 45s that could staple you to the ground in less than a second. What do you think of?

Suddenly all the rules change. That little scare your doctor gave you about what could happen if you don’t exercise isn’t enough to make it happen. It’s no match for the big scare of being crushed by hundreds of pounds if you don’t crush it first. You need something more powerful and direct to turn your flame into a raging fire.

Look at a video of pretty much any record-setting squat or bench press, and you’ll see the lifter camping out for at least 15 seconds or so, and sometimes far longer, as they prepare themselves to make this transformation. And that’s in an ideal scenario, with a crowd watching and urging them on, and a long-awaited triumph in their crosshairs.

In training it’s different. No one is watching, except for maybe a slightly nervous spotter or workout partner. It’s all on you. And if you want to make it through this set and eventually lift something even heavier, you’ll need more than just good form and a good pre-workout to make it happen.

The Image of Strength

Arnold famously saw his biceps as mountains, and pictured himself lifting tremendous amounts of weight with those “superhuman masses of muscle.” But what often gets overlooked in that anecdote is why he favored this type of image. As he told “Muscle Builder” magazine back in the day, it was all about losing himself.

“When you think of biceps as merely a muscle, you subconsciously have a limit in your mind. When you limit yourself to that, it is very hard to get there, and nearly impossible to go beyond,” Arnold said. “But when you think about a mountain there is no mental limit to biceps growth, and then you have a chance of going beyond normal mental barriers.”

If you want to make it through this set and eventually lift something even heavier, you’ll need more than just good form and a good pre-workout to make it happen.

I’ve been in this position many, many times over the course of my training career, and I’ve learned what puts me in the max-strength headspace. Mountains aren’t enough for me; I need to go animal! There are a few scenarios that I envision, but here’s a classic one.

I’m not a fan of house cats—in fact, I’m allergic to them—but I admire big cats, and especially lions. A male lion in his prime embodies strength, power, and aggression. And just as important, we’ve all seen enough images of lions in our lives to be able to recall one vividly on a moment’s notice.

When I walk toward the power rack, I see the lionesses move aside. I get under the bar, look the water buffalo straight in the eye, and then we go to war! Nine times out of 10, the pride gets fed, but sometimes that damn buffalo gores me. When that happens, I step back and tell myself I’ll get him next time. And I mean it.

Are animals not your thing? Make it more personal. Imagine a situation where everything you hold dear is on the line. Picture someone holding a gun to your head, or worse, to the head of someone you love. You don’t have a choice; you simply must pump out those extra reps in order for this nightmare to end.

After the set, picture yourself kicking the crap out of that guy. I promise you, if you let yourself go to dark places like this, you will be rewarded for your efforts.

You don’t have a choice; you simply must pump out those extra reps in order for this nightmare to end.

Get Big On the Big Screen

Intense visualization isn’t for everyone. And even the most imaginative of us need to mix things up, so we don’t get too far out there. Enter videos.

Last March, Bodybuilding.com held an NCAA-style bracket tournament of the best and most motivating training montages. It ended up being Rocky films versus Rocky films all the way through. Everyone has their favorite, but “Rocky IV” ended up with the crown.

Over the last 29 years, countless strong people have channeled these six minutes to find new levels of strength and unbridled intensity.

Rocky IV Training Montage
Watch The Video – 06:27

If you’re partial to fight imagery, like I am, something more brutal might be necessary before you head out to the weight room. I love the scene from “Immortals” where Theseus leads his army into battle and runs full speed at the enemy. This one’s good if you have a lot of reps ahead of you:

Epic Battles from Immortals
Watch The Video – 03:43

A max-strength day? The first fight scene in Troy is great before a big weight. A terrifying opponent falls, and there’s never a doubt who will prevail.

Troy: Achilles vs Boagrius
Watch The Video – 02:03

The New Classics of Motivation

Part of Rocky’s charm, of course, is that when the movie came out, he stood alone. To paraphrase an old country song, he was motivation before motivation was cool, before “fitspiration” was a thing. Today, countless online videos are made specifically to help you—or at least the person in the video—train harder.

Looking for an extra inch on your arms? Then command your biceps to grow like YouTube sensation CT Fletcher does.

I Command you to Grow!
Watch The Video – 07:19

Had it up to here with haters? Then dedicate your workout to them, like Kali Muscle does. If it can help a man move 275 pounds with just his arms, it must be powerful stuff!

Kali Muscle 275-lb. Barbell Curls
Watch The Video – 01:17

Everyone has their own trigger; the trick is finding it. What makes a heavy weight turn into a light one for you? Is it a classic like “Pumping Iron,” one of Ronnie Coleman’s old school videos, or are you “Driven Beyond Strength” with DeFranco?

Are you one of those rare ones who can get motivated by something as simple as a big number or the goal of looking swole for an upcoming event? Let us know in the comments!

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About The Author

John Paul Catanzaro is one of Canada’s leading health and fitness authorities. He is a CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist.

Strong-Arm Tactics: James Grage's Superset Arms Workout

Life isn’t always fair. Losing 50 pounds of hard-earned muscle and living with chronic pain isn’t fair, but fair is just another four-letter word that starts with “f.” I didn’t choose to be critically injured, but I don’t use my injury as an excuse. Your life and your body are what you make of them. Today, we’re going to make a pair of badass arms.

This workout, like any other, is more mental than physical. Training is about your ability to tune in to your body, focus on each and every single rep, and make every one count. That’s where growth occurs. When you’re uncomfortable, and it hurts, you force your body to adapt. Believe me, this workout will force your biceps and triceps to adapt.

Strong Arms Workout: Overview
Watch The Video – 12:17

Strong Arms Tactics

This workout is built on two supersets and one giant set. Each superset begins with a biceps curl and finishes with a triceps extension. The final combo is a giant set finishing with back-to-back triceps exercises.

I don’t really like to rest; I like momentum. When I do these supersets, the intensity is high and my heart rate is elevated. I want to build muscle and burn fat at the same time. Too many times I see people go to the gym and just check sets off their lists. Make sure you train with focus and intensity. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you hit a wall, rest-pause, shake it out, and get right in your head again.

This workout starts with a short cardio warm-up. It lasts just long enough to get some blood flowing and get you mentally ready for the work ahead. I take this time to visualize the upcoming exercises.

“Each superset begins with a biceps curl and finishes with a triceps extension.”

I then warm up with chin-ups to prime my biceps and push-ups to prepare my triceps. I don’t do them to fatigue—just enough to stimulate the muscle. In between the push-ups and pull-ups, I do some light stretching.

Don’t take your warm-up lightly. Injury is no joke, unless you want to take a couple months off from training. There’s no need to jump in too fast, because trust me, we’re going to kill the workout.

Strong Arms Workout



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