Chef Robert Irvine shared with us his arm workout, excerpted from his training and nutrition book, Fit Fuel (fitfuelbook.com). It’s a fairly straightforward old-school approach, but according to Robert, the key to really making it work is to keep rest periods short and intensity high. This might mean backing off of the weight you’re used to using, but in Robert’s opinion, it’s more important to stay in motion. So check your ego at the door.
Perform 20-30 minutes of cardio on an elliptical or machine of your choice. Get your heart rate up between 65% and 75% of your maximum heart rate. Calculate by taking the number 220 and subtracting your age. The resulting number is your theoretical maximum heart rate.
Barbell Curls, 5×50, 15, 15, 15, 50
Description: Grab a light, fixed barbell or an empty barbell with a shoulder-width grip and curl it 50 times. Rest one minute, then do 15 reps with each of the following hand positions: wide, shoulder-width, and hands touching. Rest one more minute, then do another 50 reps at shoulder-width.
EXERCISE SETS REPS
Hammer Curl 4 sets 12-15 reps
Reverse Curl 4 sets 12-15 reps
Cable Rope Pressdown 4 sets 12-15 reps
Cable Kickback 4 sets 12 reps
Diamond Pushups 4 sets 25 reps
Skull Crusher 4 sets 12 reps
Pushups 4 sets 15 reps
Hammer Curl: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and, without using any momentum, curl the weight up to chest level, stopping just shy of your shoulder. Squeeze your biceps at the peak of the movement, then slowly return to the start position.
Reverse Curl: Grab an EZ-curl or straight barbell with a double overhand grip, and let your arms hang down to your waist. Curl the bar up using only your biceps, then slowly return to the start.
Cable Rope Pressdown: Clip a rope attachment to a high pulley at a cable station and grip it with both hands at either end. Keeping your elbows at your sides (imagine they’re bolted to your ribs) press down, extending and contracting your triceps hard. Flare your hands out at the bottom of the movement, hold for a second, then slowly return to the start.
Cable Kickback: Attach a single D-handle to a low cable pulley, and hold it in your right hand. Bend at the waist, keep a flat back and stick your right elbow to your ribs. Extend your arm so that your hand reaches back toward your butt. When your arm is fully extended, contract your triceps hard, then slowly return to the start.
Diamond Pushups: Get into a pushup position with your hands so close that you can touch your opposite thumbs and forefingers to each other; the space in the middle will be in the shape of a diamond. Lower your upper body to the floor, then push up forcefully with your pecs and triceps. If a straight push-up is too difficult, modify the move by dropping to your knees. In either variation, keep your back flat throughout the move.
Skull Crusher: Load an EZ-curl bar and lie on a flat bench with the bar in your hands. Keeping your elbows extended, set your arms at a 45-degree angle behind your head—this is the starting position. Keeping your elbows fixed in the starting position, bend your elbows to lower the bar to the top of your head. Contract your triceps hard to extend your arms and return to the starting position.
Pushup: Get into a pushup position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. Keep your back flat as you lower your body to the floor, then push back up to the start. If a straight push-up is too difficult, modify it by putting your knees on the floor. In either variation, keep your back flat throughout the move.