Godfather of Bodybuilding Charles Glass Breaks Down an Arm-Building Superset

·2-min read
Photo credit: EmirMemedovski - Getty Images
Photo credit: EmirMemedovski - Getty Images

Charles Glass is a legendary figure in the bodybuilding community, a former pro competitor and Mr. Olympia contestant turned trainer who has worked with the likes of Flex Wheeler. His reputation as a mainstay in the sport for over 35 years has earned him the nickname of the "Godfather of Bodybuilding"—so when he drops some training knowledge, it's worth your while to pay attention.

Here, Glass shows off an arm-building superset that hits the biceps and triceps back-to-back. If you want to give it a try, it's best if you have access to a straight barbell and a Smith machine (although you can swap out other gear if you're really in a pinch for a pump).

Start by targeting the biceps with a drag curl using a straight barbell. This variation is a little different than the standard biceps curl—your aim is to move the bar in a straight line, as if you are dragging it along your torso. You should note that you won't raise the bar up as high through the top of the rep as you would with other curls; you should have a more limited range of motion thanks to the strict bar path. Squeeze at the top of the rep to emphasise the contraction. Perform 10 to 12 reps.

Without taking any rest, move to the Smith machine for a triceps-focused close-grip bench press. You'll go about this a little differently than the standard version of the exercise—instead of lowering the bar all the way down, which recruits the chest muscles, you'll flare out your elbows and stop the lowering phase early. "You go halfway down," Glass says. "If you go all the way down you're gonna put the chest involved. We don't need the chest. You want the triceps outside—more of half a movement."

Usually, we would advise that you perform the close-grip bench press with your elbows in close to your torso instead of flared out, as Glass recommends. But this shorter range of motion keeps you out of the potentially problematic shoulder position, and as Glass notes repeatedly, puts all the onus on the triceps with minimal chest recruitment. Using the Smith machine will also help you here. Since the bar is on a fixed track; you'll have an easier time keeping your arms in position and controlling the weight. Perform 12 to 15 reps here.

Repeat the superset for 3 to 4 rounds. Add it to your arm day workouts as a finisher, or even as a standalone session if you're looking for a quick pump.

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