He hasn’t been on the scene long, but 23-year-old Uzoma Obilor has already built an impressive following—and not coincidentally, some insane arms. This IFBB Classic Physique pro takes an old-school approach to building his upper body that can help anyone, of any age, get an incredible pump and be confident that it’ll carry over into lasting gains.
Obilor starts the workout off with triceps and then alternates between both bis and tris, which is a good way to let one muscle group get a quick rest in and recover before another killer set. His workout doesn’t include any movements that are weird or unusual. Why? Because for arms, oldies are usually goodies—as long as you perform them with focus, intensity, and a few perfectly chosen dropsets.
Just because it’s strictly “arm day” doesn’t mean you leave out compound movements. A lift like the close-grip bench press is killer on all three heads of the triceps, plus it’s a two-for-one since you’re getting a little additional pec work in.
For arms nearly the size of bowling balls, high-volume sets are your friend. Just get ready to hate your friend as you endure the burn!
Close-Grip Bench Press
Obilor loves starting off his arm day with a classic mass-building exercise. Challenge yourself to increase the weight with each set and lower the reps simultaneously from up around 15 to a seriously hard 12. When performing close-grip benches, a good way to figure out where your hands should be is to hold them out straight in front of you, in line with your shoulders. This will largely depend on where your regular grip typically is, but don’t go any narrower than this. He finishes with a triple dropset, slowly dropping the weight and repping it out, with no rest between. Attempt if you dare!
Dumbbell Single-Arm Triceps Extension
The benefit of the single-arm triceps extension is in the name itself: being able to focus on just one arm at a time, feeling the muscle stretch and contract with each rep. Obilor says this simple change helps to “really kill it,” go a little heavier, and really give the triceps a reason to grow like crazy. He does this one pyramid style, increasing the weight with each set, and then adds dropsets for an extra torture that ignites your tris.
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curl
Now we’re switching gears to give the biceps some attention. Seated curls allow you to eliminate any momentum in your body from assisting you with the concentric portion, making the curls a little tougher—especially if you go up in weight each set! Cheating your lifts is only cheating yourself, so let’s see if you can handle the same weight you normally would with standing dumbbell curls. No dropsets here, just pushing bigger and bigger dumbbells with each set. As Kris Gethin says, you should be visualizing your biceps working with every single rep.
Just when you thought your biceps might explode, we’re gonna push their limits a bit further. Obilor maintains the same weight for his sets when he feels he’s getting heavy enough where it could compromise his form. Stay intense, but also stay smart in the gym. And of course, back to dropsets this time around. Unleash the ugly lifting face with no shame!
Superset: Rope Triceps Press-down and Straight-Bar Triceps Press-down
There’s nothing like ending a triceps beating with press-down supersets. Just like Kaged Muscle’s James Hollingshead, Obilor uses the rope to ensure he’s getting a full contraction down and outward, while the straight bar is rigid yet effective in hitting the head of the triceps. On both movements, keep your shoulders down and back so you’re not letting the deltoids take over.
Cable Hammer Curl
To mix up the angles in which he pumps up his biceps, Obilor throws in some dumbbell hammer curls. He says not to think about counting reps on these so much, but rather focus on squeezing, contracting, and stretching the muscle to its fullest capacity. He’s using a rope attachment in the video workout, but feel free to use an EZ-bar or straight-bar attachment if you find one or the other more effective.
Dumbbell Reverse Curl
Last comes the reverse curls, which Obilor points out most people tend to forget about. The forearm gains are real here, but obviously the biceps aren’t left out. He does 3 sets building up, and finishes with a double dropset. Take note that in the video he had his lighter dumbbells handy right next to him so he could quickly go from his heavier sets to the dropsets without missing a beat. Don’t take a break in the beating here! Finish strong and stroll out of the gym feeling swole.
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