Home Workouts Splitting Your Workout: Bicep and Tricep or Bicep and Forearm

Splitting Your Workout: Bicep and Tricep or Bicep and Forearm

Posted by admin in Workouts Category. Reviewed and Updated: 15 May, 2018

In all basic bodybuilding exercises (bench presses, rows, etc.) both the tricep and bicep receive a serious load. The arm muscles are very important for any man. Due to this reason, beginners and experienced athletes want to develop good arms (bicep, tricep, and forearm) as a matter of priority. Read on to know more about bicep and tricep workout plus forearm exercises.

Bicep and Tricep Workout – Basics and Routines


As the bicep and tricep are antagonist muscles and are located at the same place, bicep + tricep split on the same day is a good option for the arm training.

The first option is to do the exercises first for one muscle group, and then for another one. Some people believe that the course of training of muscle groups does not matter. They say you can start with the muscle group that you like best. Others believe (and we consider it a more reasonable opinion) that the triceps is a larger muscle group, so it should be trained as a matter of priority.

With the training option triceps and biceps in one day, you need to perform 3 exercises for each muscle group: 1-2 basic and 1 isolation exercise.

If you are an advanced athlete, you can do 4 or even 5 exercises per muscle group. It all depends on your level of fitness performance and muscle volume. The more muscles you have, the more work you need to do in order to train the muscles from different angles and provide a load for each muscle fiber.

Base workouts for the tricep and bicep are as follows:

The Tricep:

  • Close-Grip Bench Press, 4 sets of 8-12 reps;
  • Barbell Skullcrusher, 4 sets of 8-12 reps;
  • Dumbbell Skullcrusher, 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

The Bicep:

  • Seated Bicep Curls, 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps;
  • Standing Bicep Curls, 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions;
  • Reverse Grip Bicep Curls, 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

As the training option for the tricep and bicep, you can apply the superset principle. Superset is the combination of two or more exercises and the sequential execution of them. This principle applies to high-intensity techniques.

For example, take one exercise for the bicep and one for the tricep: bicep curls and barbell skullcrushers. Do one set of bicep curls and then switch (without rest) to barbell skullcrushers. This will be a superset. Rest 1-2 minutes, and perform the next series.

This option can be used in training any muscles that are antagonists. What does it mean? As one muscle contracts, the other relaxes. An example of an antagonistic pair is the biceps and triceps, because the triceps relaxes while the bicep muscle contracts to lift the arms.

The superset principle works well in isolating exercises. In basic exercises, applying this principle will be quite difficult, since the execution of even one set of the basic exercise takes a lot of effort. Successful execution of two qualitative heavy sets of basic exercises without rest will be very difficult. You will rapidly spend all your energy.

An example of superset bicep and tricep training:

First, perform one basic exercise for each muscle group.

  • Barbell Bicep Curls, 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions;
  • Close-Grip Bench Press, 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps

Then perform exercises on the basis of the superset.

  • Dumbbell Bicep Curls, 3-4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions, plus Dumbbell Skullcrusher, 3-4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions;
  • Reverse Grip Bicep Curl, 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps, plus a Tricep Cable Exercise, 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

This is an approximate workout plan for the triceps and biceps. You can add and change exercises depending on the level of your performance and desire. The number of sets and repetitions should not be changed by beginners. Advanced athletes can, if desired, add another set to each exercise.

Superset is a method of high-intensity training. Beginners should not often use it. This can quickly lead to overtraining. For beginners, it’s best to do a workout using supersets once a month.

You might be interested in free weight full bicep workout.

Bicep and Forearm Workout – How to Increase Forearm Mass & Strength?

Many people train their forearms along with their bicep muscles. They may include forearm exercises in bicep and tricep workout routine, or do these exercises on a bicep day (bicep and forearm workout only). Both options are acceptable. The forearm is not a large muscle group, so it does not matter with which main muscle group you train it.

So, let’s switch to forearm training. The so-called wrist curls help to train the wrist and the inside of the forearm. The exercise is formative one, that is, it is the basic exercise for forearms (and also it is the most known among ordinary athletes). Wrist curls increase the volume and strength of the inside of the forearm.

How to perform this exercise? Take dumbbells in your hands, and stand in front of the bench on your knees. Place your forearms across the bench so that the palms of your hands look up. Push your wrists to the edge of the bench (when you unbend them, the dumbbells should not touch the bench). Slightly move away from the bench, so that your hands are almost straight. The torso and forearms should remain stationary throughout the exercise. Dumbbells do not need to be tightly clamped in your hand, better make the grip a little weaker, so that dumbbells slid to your fingers. Fully straighten your wrists, and then gradually lower the dumbbells down. Try to lift the dumbbells as high as possible, but do the movements smoothly, while straining the muscles of the forearm, not the bicep muscles. The elbows and forearms should be at the bench. How to pump up your wrists? Brushes should be located 60 degrees above the horizontal at the top of the exercise. Having reached the top point, you can completely unbend your wrists, and gently lower the dumbbells. If you use heavy dumbbells for exercise, remember that you must hold your breath when lifting. Exhale when the dumbbells are already lowered.

This exercise is very popular in arm-wrestling community. We are sure that top arm wrestlers with a massive physique like John Brzenk (USA), Devon Larratt (Canada), Denis Cyplenkov (Russia), and Andrey Pushkar (Ukraine) do this exercise. But the wrist curl is not the single exercise that can be used in armwrestling to work out the wrist.

How Do You Work Out Your Forearm for Arm Wrestling?

Bicep and forearm workout described below is very popular in arm wrestling. In addition to this exercise, athletes, who are engaged in arm wrestling, may use the following exercises:

  • Raising the Hammer or One-Sided Dumbbell. For this killer exercise, you will need a lever with a weight at one end, for example a hammer or sledge hammer. Also you can use a one-sided dumbbell “Hammer Bar”, which is designed specifically for this exercise and is equipped with a thick 6-cm handle for better grip. Or you can buy a heavy dumbbell called “Heavy Handle Dumbbell” with a five-centimeter thick handle.
  • Towel Pull-Ups. For this exercise, you will need two small towels. Then you should throw the towels across the crossbar, the distance between them should correspond to the width of the shoulders, the fragments hanging from the horizontal bar should be equal. Then grab for these hanging areas so that the palm faces of the hands look at each other, and the thumbs, if extended, point upwards. Perform pull-ups, which help not only work the biceps and the broadest muscles of the back, but also develop tenacity and increase the strength of wrists and fingers. (You might be interested in pull-up technique, which is described in our article about best full back muscles workout).
  • Specialized Wrist Rotations. The difference between wrist curls and wrist rotations is in that the rotation is performed using a special eccentric dumbbell (with a shifted center of gravity). Your elbow should rest on the armrest of the table. When performing wrist rotations, muscles of the biceps should be strained, and a 90º angle should be made between the forearm and the shoulder. The load should be selected so as to withstand the stress in the corner for 30 seconds and so that the movement is done 8-10 times. The advantage of this exercise over others is that when the wrist is strengthened, the force of the angle between the forearm and the shoulder increases. The lifting of the eccentric dumbbell on the wrist also loads the fingers. Athletes using the basic technique or “the hook” should enter this exercise into their training cycle.

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