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The ultimate circuit training for your arms

The training of arms is a very adored training by the majority of the men who exercise …

As the upper limbs are something very visible, everyone likes to have them well trained.

But this type of training has also been gaining many female fans.

However, with a training routine, it is not always easy to train them so frequently.

Some people choose to train them after training a large muscle, others prefer to train them separately.

One way to optimize your training time and, perhaps, to stimulate your arm muscles, is doing a circuit training.

Here you will find some benefits of this type of training and circuit training suggestions for your arms.

Benefits of Circuit Training

Circuit training is a good strategy for those who want to save training time and still train with high intensity.

Because there are not so many rest periods it is possible to train faster.

Another of the benefits of circuit training is to be able to perform an exercise with your biceps and then perform another with your triceps, giving a rest to the biceps because it is the antagonist muscle.

An antagonist muscle is one that assists the agonist (the muscle that is contracted to perform the movement) and is used to assist the agonist’s movement.

Circuit training is a good strategy for those who want to lose weight because the heart rate remains high due to the shorter rest period.

For this reason, this type of training can also be a good alternative for those who want to increase resistance.

Because it is a more dynamic workout, it can be recommended for those who do not like to train a specific part of the body, making it an excellent option for those who don’t like the monotony of traditional methods.

Circuit training: how to organize it

Circuit training: how to organize it

Depending on your purpose, an arm training circuit can be made in a variety of ways.

You can choose to train only one muscle in one circuit and then the other, or you can train both alternately.

A bicep circuit, for example, is an excellent choice to stimulate this muscle with more intensity and increase its volume as well.  

I recommend you to start with higher loads and reduce them throughout the circuit due to the continuous wear that your muscle suffers during the circuit.  

The other form is the agonist-antagonist muscle training, where you train the bicep and then train the triceps – alternately.

In this way, while training one muscle, you will rest the other.

So, you can organize a biceps workout as follows:

  • Scott Curl – 10 repetitions
  • Cable Bicep Curl – 10 repetitions
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curl- 10 repetitions
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curl- 10 repetitions
  • Rest 1 minute and repeat the circuit three times

On the other hand, if you opt for an agonist-antagonist training, you can do:

  • Scott Curl- 1 minute
  • Skullcrushers/Barbell extensions – 1 minute
  • Cable Bicep Curl -1 minute
  • Dumbbell Overhead Extension – 1 minute
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curl – 1 minute
  • Triceps Pushdown – 1 minute
  • Rest 2 minutes and repeat the circuit 2-3 times

As you can see, you can perform a certain number of repetitions or make as many repetitions at a preset time.

Both ways are good, your choice will depend a lot on your level of training and the purpose of your training.

How to perform the exercises

Scott Curl

Scott Curl

At Scott’s bench you sit and lean your arms on the bench and then you will flex your arms holding a bar in your hands.

Cable Bicep Curl

In the cable machine – with the cable coming from below – and assuming an upright posture, you hold the cables and flex your forearms to the chest, always keeping the elbows close to the body and controlling the eccentric phase of the movement (forearm extension).

Dumbbell Bicep Curl

Dumbbell Bicep Curl

It’s the same movement as the previous ones, however, this time you use the dumbbells and stand upright.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl

The movement is the same, but you just have to keep the dumbbell pointing to the floor (the grip is made with the hands turned inwards), that is: one end pointing to the ceiling and the other to the floor.

Skullcrushers/Barbell extensions

Skullcrushers/Barbell extensions

Lying on the bench with dumbbells or with a barbell, you assume a position as if you were doing a bench press, and then flex your forearms by pushing the bar up to the forehead to the head or back of it (optional). Next you try to overcome gravity with the extension of the arm.

Dumbbell Overhead Extension

Sitting, with a dumbbell, disc or bar in hand, you will flex both arms and carry the weight behind the head. When you finish, stretch your forearms again until you end up with your arms extended over your head.

Triceps Pushdown

Triceps Pushdown

Standing near the cables – with the cables coming from above – stretch the arms and then overcome the resistance of the arms, pulling the handle down, with the elbows always close to the body.

Regardless of which circuit alternative you choose, try always to maintain a good technique

Normally, when rest is reduced, the perception of effort is greater and there is a tendency to ignore the technique.

Understand that: the better your technique, the lower the risk of injury and the better the results.

Some tips:

  • Use this type of training whenever you want to escape the training routine.
  • Use it also to increase the intensity of training.
  • Keep in mind that as the rest between sets is short or non-existent, you’ll probably have to reduce the loads you’re accustomed to.

This type of training has numerous benefits as I have already mentioned.

However, it should be periodized and well planned, so you can recover properly and thus achieve the results you want.



The information included in this article concerns the authors opinion only.

About Tiago Sousa

Tiago Sousa
Tiago Sousa has a degree in Sports & Physical Education, he is a Personal Trainer and also a Crossfit L1 Trainer. He is a former competition swimmer with his own outdoor training business. He aims to bring more science to his area, helping people to achieve their goals in a safe way.

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