This Weight Plate Partner Workout Is the Perfect Fat Arm Finisher

·6-min read

Focussing on big, multi-joint, compound lifts that give you the most bang for your buck is sage training advice that you’ll find from most reputable sources, including us. In fact, as strength sports and functional fitness continue their meteoric rise into the mainstream, it can seem as though there is no need for accessory movements – that there exists no place for focussing on smaller muscle groups. Which begs the question" is ‘arm day’ dead?

Whilst it may be true that classic compound lifts such as the bench press, pull-ups and heavy rows will definitely provide a hefty, growth inducing stimulus for your bi’s and tri’s, it’s not necessarily equally true for everyone. Genetics play a huge role here, with some trainees adding inches to their arms at the mere mention of a barbell, whilst others press, row and pull away to no avail.

Whichever camp you fall into, for maximum growth, some direct arm training is almost certainly called for. But if gym time is at a premium, you need a dose that’s as savvy as it is effective.

This pumped up partner protocol from the minds of MH Elite coach Tom Kemp and Squad head of training Andrew Tracey is the perfect way to bookend your session, taking mere minutes to complete and requiring only a pair of heavy weight plates, you’ll be getting the minimum effective shot to add inches to your guns, meaning you can cash out of your workout with a rewarding pump.

You’re going to complete 100 reps each, of two movements – the plate curl and the overhead tricep extension – working back and forth with your partner in sets of ten. The catch? Whilst your partner completes their reps, you’re going to secure your plate in a pump-intensifying static hold, driving up the fatigue, and ramping up growth inducing ‘metabolic stress’. If you break your hold at any point, your partner must stop their reps.

The full workout is below. Before you take up arms read AT and TK’s tips to make sure your tickets to the gun show are properly stamped and watch their video demonstration of the session.

SPINNING PLATES

If you’re training at home or in a gym with a slim selection of plates, you may just have to work with what you’ve got. If, however, you’ve got access to a variety of weights, picking the right one is the key. A weight in the region of 15-20kg is ideal. If you have to go lighter, consider doubling down and aiming for a total of 150-200 reps of each movement, performed in sets of 20.

A thick, rubberised bumper plate is absolutely ideal here; having to work harder to grip the plate doesn’t just give your forearms a workout, but your biceps will take a harder hit due to the ‘irradiation effect – where recruiting surrounding muscle groups causes all of the muscles involved to work harder.

GAINS ON HOLD

Immediately after you’ve completed your first 10 curls, your partner is going to tackle theirs. But your work isn’t done. Before they can make a start, perform one final half curl, finishing with your forearms parallel to the ground and holding the plate in place, working your biceps isometrically. Hold this position until your partner has despatched their ten reps, wait for them to secure their hold, then get back to pumping away. Work back and forth like this until you’ve ticked off 100 reps between you. If at any time either of you wavers, dropping your arms below parallel, or lifting them above in search of some relief, your opposite number must stop. The more stops you accrue, the longer you’ll spend on the pain train. This is a good time to try out some fatigue management techniques, such a slow, controlled breathing or trying to solve complex maths problems in your head. Pretty much anything to take your mind off the chargrilling your biceps are currently experiencing.

IN OVER YOUR HEAD

With 100 curls boxed off and your biceps royally engorged, it’s time to turn our attention to those triceps. Simultaneously press your plates overhead, if your partner finished the final set of curls, you’re going to go immediately into tricep extensions, flexing at the elbow and lowering the plate to the back of your neck before extending it back up overhead. Whilst you’re working your way through the reps, your partner is charged with holding their plate, locked out above head, working not just the triceps but bringing the shoulders into the mix, too. After your final extension, stop in the overhead position while your partner begins their reps. As with your curls, if either of you bend at the arms or have to lower the plate at anytime, stop the rep count.

BLOOD BROTHERS

With 200 reps under your belt and an unrelenting few minutes of muscle searing isometric holds in the ledger, your arms should be unrecognisably engorged with growth triggering metabolites. Throw this session in once or twice per week, for a no fuss solution to baggy sleeves.

Got no partner? Start a stopwatch and alternate between 15 seconds of curls, followed by a 15 second hold, once you reach 50 reps, switch to a 15 second overhead hold, chased by 15 seconds of triceps extensions until you reach your 100 reps.

THE WORKOUT

Alternate back and forth with your partner in sets of 10, ‘resting’ in an isometric curl/ overhead hold, until you reach a combined total of 100 curls and 100 tricep extensions.

A1. Plate Curl x 100 (in sets of 10)

Grip a thick weight plate by the sides, allow your arms to hang freely, fully extended (A). Flex at your elbows curling the plate up towards your head (B), keeping your upper arms close to your sides and avoiding excessive body movement. Slow reverse the movement and repeat.

A2. Plate curl hold (while partner works)

From an extended arm position, begin curling your plate towards your head, stop once your forearms reach parallel to the ground and hold the plate in this position, keeping your torso upright and upper arms close to your body.

B1. Plate overhead tricep extension x 100 (in sets of 10)

Press your plate into the air and lock it out above your head (A), flex at the elbows and slowly the lower the plate down, behind your head until it touches the back of your neck/ shoulders (B), pause here for a second before explosively reversing the movement, locking the plate back out overhead.

B2. Plate overhead hold (while partner works)

Gripping your plate by the sides, press it out above your head, maintain an upright position and do not allow your arms to bend. Focus on actively pushing the plate away, the whole time it is overhead.

You Might Also Like

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting