Winning the arms race isn’t as simple as hammering curls until your biceps turn to jelly. Instead you need to strengthen all areas – this upper-body session does just that.

“The key to growing any muscle is to make it work harder,” says performance coach Adam Gethin.

“Beating your arms up with curls might provide a good pump, but they won’t keep growing in the long-term.”

Instead, a full-body workout, with an emphasis on your biceps and triceps, will make the difference.

“These workouts are designed to hit your body from every angle,” explains Gethin.

“The exercises will stimulate your major anabolic hormones, including testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 [IGF-1], which are vital for maximal arm growth.”

Try This Intense Arms-Focused Upper-Body Workout | Men's Fitness UK

1. Rack Pull

Reps: 6
Rest: 90 secs
Sets: 4

  • Set the squat rack safety bars to just above knee height.
  • With the barbell resting on the bars, bend your knees and grasp it with a shoulder-width grip.
  • Retract your shoulder blades to keep your back flat.
  • Brace your core, press down through your heels and drive your hips forward to stand and raise the bar.
  • Lower the bar to touch the safety bars.

Try This Intense Arms-Focused Upper-Body Workout | Men's Fitness UK

2. Pull-Up

Reps: 10
Rest: 90 secs
Sets: 4

  • Grasp a bar with an overhand grip, so your palms are facing away from you and your hands are shoulder-width apart.
  • Contract your upper-back muscles to help pull your sternum towards the bar, then lower under control.

Try This Intense Arms-Focused Upper-Body Workout | Men's Fitness UK

3. Bent-Over Underhand BB Row

Reps: 10
Rest: 90 secs
Sets: 4

  • Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward from the hips, keeping your back slightly concave and your shoulder blades retracted throughout.
  • Holding the bar with an underhand grip just outside your legs, pull the weight up to your lower sternum, then lower with control.

Try This Intense Arms-Focused Upper-Body Workout | Men's Fitness UK

4. Ring Dip

Reps: 8
Rest: 90 secs
Sets: 3

  • Hold the rings with an overhand grip, with arms extended and palms facing.
  • Lean forward to recruit your chest muscles.
  • Keeping your arms tucked in, bend your elbows until your hands are level with your chest, then press back up powerfully.

Try This Intense Arms-Focused Upper-Body Workout | Men's Fitness UK

5. BB Biceps Curl

Reps: 10
Rest: 90 secs
Sets: 3

  • Hold a barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart and your palms facing forward.
  • Keeping your elbows close to your sides, and without leaning back, curl the bar up to your chest.
  • Squeeze your biceps hard, then lower the bar.

Try This Intense Arms-Focused Upper-Body Workout | Men's Fitness UK

6. Overhead Press

Reps: 10
Rest: 90 secs
Sets: 3

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the bar with hands just wider than shoulder-width.
  • Brace your core and glutes, keep your balance and press the bar overhead.
  • Lower the bar until it’s sitting on top of your chest, and repeat.

Try This Intense Arms-Focused Upper-Body Workout | Men's Fitness UKTry This Intense Arms-Focused Upper-Body Workout | Men's Fitness UK

7. Zottman Curl

Reps: 12
Rest: 90 secs
Sets: 3

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides, with your palms facing forward.
  • Keeping your elbows tucked in, curl the weights up to chest height.
  • Rotate your wrists so your palms face forward and slowly lower the dumbbells.
  • Rotate again at the bottom and repeat.

Try This Intense Arms-Focused Upper-Body Workout | Men's Fitness UK

8. Incline DB Biceps Curl

Reps: 12
Rest: 90 secs
Sets: 3

  • Lie on a bench set to 45 degrees.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms straight down by your sides and your palms facing forward.
  • Curl the weights up to shoulder height.
    Squeeze your biceps hard, then lower the weights with control.

Try This Intense Arms-Focused Upper-Body Workout | Men's Fitness UK

9. Diamond Press-Up

Reps: Max
Rest:
60 secs
Sets:
3

  • Assume a press-up position, with the tips of your thumbs and forefingers touching to form a ‘diamond’ shape underneath your chest.
  • Lower until your chest touches the tops of your hands.
  • Press back up and repeat until failure.
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