Your typical arm day session likely includes at least one exercise that targets your biceps and one exercise that targets your triceps. That's part of this workout.
What your standard pump session likely neglects, however, is any type of focus on the eccentric portion of whatever exercises you've settled on for your training. The eccentric part of a lift, sometimes called the negative, is when the muscle lengthens—which is often the lowering portion of the movement, like when you lower the weight back down after contracting your muscles to curl a dumbbell. Lifters often rush through this phase (especially on isolation movements like curls), which is short-sighted. Not only are you quitting on half the lift, but there are gains to be had that you're leaving on the table, according to research.
Eccentrics are also helpful once you run out of gas with concentric parts of your workout, according to expert trainer Mat Forzaglia. They're useful to implement "at the end of your workout, when we've completely burned out the concentric, or push or up part of our movement." To empty your proverbial tank, you'll work on controlling the weight or movement down.
This quick sequence from Forzaglia's 20-Minute Muscle series, a new program from Men's Health MVP Premium, gives you a biceps and triceps finisher that doesn't skimp on the eccentrics. You'll emphasize this underappreciated portion of the exercises instead, giving your arms a new type of challenge. Try 3 to 5 sets of the pair, with no rest in between.
20-Minute Muscle: The Eccentric Arms Burnout Session
- Tall Kneeling Curl
3 to 5 slow reps
●Get into a tall-kneeling position, squeezing your glutes and core to create tension. Grab a pair of dumbbells.
●Raise the weights up to the top position of a biceps curl.
●Lower the weights down slowly, up to 3 to 5 seconds.
- Plank to Triceps Extension
3 to 5 slow reps
●Get on the ground in a strong high plank position. Keep your glutes and core engaged to create tension. Extend your arms forward so that your palms are flat on the ground, just beyond your head.
●Slowly bend at the elbows to descend down to the ground. Don't slam down at the bottom.
●Straighen your elbows to explode up.
Want more workouts like this? Check out Forzaglia's entire 20-Minute Muscle program (and tons of other programs like it) on Men's Health MVP Premium.