Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss

Quick Wits: Best Exercises for the Arms [Biceps & Triceps] (Lifting for Muscle Series)

January 25, 2024 Philip Pape
Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss
Quick Wits: Best Exercises for the Arms [Biceps & Triceps] (Lifting for Muscle Series)
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Show Notes Transcript

Want bigger arms? Your biceps and triceps are more than just a show muscles. They are crucial for strength and functionality and critical in almost every lift you perform.

Philip (@witsandweights) is breaking down his 4 favorite exercises for sculpting strong and impressive guns in this special Lifting for Muscle Series of Quick Wits!


“Quick Wits” are short, 3-5 minute episodes between full episodes to give you an actionable strategy or hit of motivation.

These mini-episodes give you practical advice on fitness, training, and mindset based on my everyday experience with clients that you can implement right away.

If you enjoy these bonus episodes or have feedback on how to make them better, just send me a message on IG @witsandweights or hit me up in the free Wits & Weights Facebook community.

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Philip Pape:

On today's lifting series. We are getting into the arms your biceps and triceps. Bys and tris are more than just a show muscle. They are crucial for strength and functionality and they're pretty important in almost every lift you do. Today we're breaking down my four favorite exercises for sculpting strong biceps and triceps. Get ready for some serious guns.

Philip Pape:

Welcome to the Whits and Weights podcast. I'm your host, phillip Pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger, optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition. We'll uncover science-backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset, with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry, so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in. This is the lifting for muscle series of Quick Whits, where we give you the fast track to fitness wisdom, and today we're zoning in on arm training Specifically, we're going to separate it into biceps and triceps and I'm going to give you five exercises today, just as a little extra bonus. To fit these in. Biceps is what we're going to start with. That's the muscles that everyone loves to flex, but, as you're going to find out soon, triceps are really where the size come in. But let's start with biceps. Chin ups. Yes, you might be surprised, but chin ups are usually seen as a back exercise. I mentioned them in the back episode, but they're fantastic for biceps too. When you are pulling yourself up, your biceps are definitely hard at work. Even though you're pulling with the back. The biceps have to get engaged and if you have that full range of motion and pull your chest all the way to the bar, where your chest touches the bar, with a controlled movement, you're going to get some maximum bicep engagement there. So chin ups is number one, and then number two is really all the forms of curls, and this could be 15 different exercises. Let's be honest Barbell curls with a straight bar, with an easy bar, dumbbell curls, hammer curls you could do them synchronized or alternating. You can sit on a bench, you can sit on a seat, you can stand. There are preacher curls with an easy bar. Preacher curls, independent, with dumbbells. There are spider curls I mean there's everything and they hit the bicep from all different angles. So it's really up to you. They're all going to pretty much hit your biceps and they're going to be effective as long as you train hard. If you want to specialize, include two different movements one at a lower rep with a heavier load and one with a higher rep, like something like drop sets, for example. So those are the curls. We've got chin ups and curls for biceps. That's going to pretty much cover the gamut for that.

Philip Pape:

Now let's switch to triceps, which make up two thirds of your arms muscle mass, and when you see someone that has kind of really big, broad, nicely defined arms, it's probably the triceps that's really getting them there. I've found that with personal experience, so I'm pretty proud of my arms development and a lot of that comes from the triceps. So the first on the list is, of course, going to be a barbell movement, the close grip bench press. It is not just for your chest when you're really close in with that grip, it heavily involves the triceps If you keep your arms close to your body and you can get a really good solid workout and lots of load that way.

Philip Pape:

Next up we have all the different types of extensions, and the two that I love are lying triceps, extensions with an easy curl bar, where you're lying on a bench and the bar's coming behind you as far back extended, rotating the shoulders as you can. Not just a skull crusher to the bench or to your head, take it way back and rotate that shoulder, you're going to be able to load a lot more on that bar and really hit the triceps through the range of motion. The other extensions I like are overhead and I've seen studies and even heard of the community that those tend to be the most effective versions of extensions. But again, you can't load them as much when you're using dumbbells overhead. So you can use either dumbbells or you can use an easy curl bar in what's called a French press. You could even do seated extensions.

Philip Pape:

There's so many ways to do extensions and they all target slightly different heads of the tricep. So it's really just keeping your elbows steady, focus on full extension of your arms and rotating that shoulder through the range of motion. And, as a bonus, any press down movement, usually on a cable machine. I mean you could use bands as well, but we're talking rope press downs or just kind of a fixed bar type press downs. It's a nice finisher. I like that as a finisher in your arm workout to get that pump, get that burn in the tricep muscles and there you go.

Philip Pape:

So we've got.

Philip Pape:

For biceps we have chin-ups and curls.

Philip Pape:

For triceps we have the close grip, bench press all forms of extensions and press downs. If you combine these in different combinations and progress them over time which is the key train really hard, train close to or pretty much at failure with these, it's easy to do for these they are definitely gonna enhance the size and the aesthetics of your arms, but also contribute to overall upper body strength that may then carry over into some of your other lifts. So remember, training arms is not just for looks, even though guys, I know a lot of us do it. For that reason, it also helps with your strength and stability. So until next time, I want you to keep lifting, keep learning and keep growing those guns. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of Wits and Weights. If you found value in today's episode and know someone else who's looking to level up there Wits or Weights, please take a moment to share this episode with them and make sure to hit the follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong.

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