Ah, the Bi and Tri day. A staple in the programming of countless male lifters focused around sculpting gun boats that would make a Navy admiral envious. Let’s level about Bi and Tri training. I can honestly say that for the majority of my lifting career, and career as a strength and conditioning coach, that I have viewed the arm day as a wasted day in the gym. Compound movements are where the mass is at so why waste time lifting a dumbell that’s 40 pounds when I could be hoisting a barbell with 400 pounds on it? Four hundred pounds is also devastatingly higher on the awesomeness scale than forty pounds, but that’s pretty obvious.
I decided to give an arm day a try for a little while. Doing heavy deadlifting on Monday followed by dynamic effort box squats and then turning around and hitting speed deads and Anderson half squats on Thursday made an arm day in between seem like an ok idea. With a competition coming up in October, getting my elbow flexors and extensors ready to handle a heavy dose of benching also seemed like a good idea. I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t lose any street cred in the process, because in the Finger Lakes if you don’t have street cred you ain’t shit fool!
How does one design an arm day that: A) isn’t a humungo waste of time B) doesn’t relinquish earned street status and C) guns you up like the HMS Dreadnought? Use cluster sets, add in corrective exercise and add in some brutal conditioning.
Instead of wasting time trying to pick out 14 different flexion and extension variations, pick a barbell or EZ bar variation of each and cluster set them; circuit your cluster sets with some added corrective flexibility and mobility work so you have something to do while you watch your arms grow. Then pick either a cable or dumbbell exercise for both flexion and extension and hit them hard with a little more volume, while also working through some more corrective exercise. After that, beat your delts like they stole your wallet with some 3-way delt raises and put the cherry on top of this bro-tastic muscle sundae by conditioning like your getting ready for a prison break.
Here is an example of how to make your Bi and Tri day AWESOME:
A1) Straight Bar Cluster Curls- 3 x [5 x 2] w/ 10 sec between clusters then rest 45 sec
A2) Floor Skull Crusher Cluster- 3 x [5 x 2] w/ 10 sec between clusters then rest 45 sec
A3) Bench Thoracic Extensions- 3 x 5
A4) Active Pec Stretch- 3 x 5
B1) Rope Pushdowns- 3 x 10
B2) Alternating Seated Incline DB Curls- 3 x 10
B3) Wall Hip Flexor Mobilization – 3 x 8
B4) Active Adductor Mobilization – 3 x 8
C1) 3-Way Delt Raise- 3 x 10 each way
D1) Medball Scramble Drill- 2 x 10 w/ 45 sec rest
E1) Airdyne Bike Equal Interval Tabata (20:20) x 8 rounds