The Iain Valliere Arm Workout | The Ultimate Guide!


Iain Valliere is one of the world’s top professional bodybuilders. Some of his career highlights include winning the 2021 Texas Pro and the 2021 Tampa Pro bodybuilding shows.

If you want to learn how Iain Valliere trains his arms then this article is for you!

Introduction

  • Part 1: The Iain Valliere Training Split
  • Part 2: The Iain Valliere Arm Workouts

In this comprehensive guide I will teach you exactly how Iain Valliere trains his massive arms.

Iain Valliere trains 6 days per week using a traditional bodybuilding bro split. He trains each muscle group on its own separate training day using a lot of volume and intensity. Check it out:

Iain Valliere’s Training Split

  • Day 1: Chest / Triceps
  • Day 2: Back / Biceps
  • Day 3: Quads
  • Day 4: Shoulders
  • Day 5: Arms
  • Day 6: Hamstrings
  • Day 7: Off

Talk about a brutal training split! Iain Valliere trains his arms on their own separate day once per week. He also performs some light arm work at the end of his chest or back workouts. This is a strategy that many professional bodybuilders use to increase their arm training frequency.

For this article we are just going to focus on Iain’s primary arm day where he trains his triceps and biceps.

Iain has a very simple strategy for training arms. He picks 3 exercises each for his biceps and triceps. He performs as many warm up sets as he needs to for each exercise and then he performs 2 all-out working sets to failure.

He does one heavier set in the 8-12 rep range and then one lighter set in the 12-15 rep range. He also loves to perform different high-intensity techniques on these sets including drop sets, cluster sets, rest-pause sets and even forced reps.

Here is what Iain’s typical arm day looks like. Check it out:

Workout #1

  • Exercise #1: Rope cable pushdowns, 2 sets of 8-15 reps**
  • Exercise #2: Close grip bench press, 2 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Machine overhead triceps extensions, 2 sets of 8-15 reps****
  • Exercise #4: Standing cable curl (dual handle, 2 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: Standing alternating one-arm DB curl (hammer grip), 2 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #6: Preacher cable curl (supinated grip), 2 sets of 8-15 reps

**On the second set perform a double drop set.

****On the second set perform a DC-style rest-pause set.

Here is the training video:

This is exactly how Iain Valliere likes to organize his arm workouts.

Iain says that he almost always trains triceps first in his arm routines. He says that you get a much better pump in your arms and training triceps first actually helps you get better engagement on your biceps exercises.

“I’d say 70% of the time I do all tris and then all bis. The other 30% of the time I do alternating, so one exercise for triceps, then one exercise for biceps, then another exercise for triceps. 

Iain Valliere uses a similar strategy in almost all of his triceps workouts. He starts with rope pushdowns, then performs a heavy “mass-building exercise” like dips or close grip bench presses and finally finishes with skull crushers or overhead triceps extensions to stretch out his triceps.

This is a strategy that many other bodybuilders like John Meadows have used in their triceps workouts.

On the close grip bench press Iain says that you do not want to go down all the way. Instead you should lower the bar to 2 inches above your chest and then press the bar back up. He says lowering the bar all the way to your chest will make your chest work harder instead of your triceps.

“You definitely want to pay attention to your range of motion. You want to keep your elbows tucked. If your elbows are flared out then you increase your risk of injury and you get less triceps involvement.”

Iain Valliere’s biceps routine is a lot simpler. He picks 3 basic biceps exercises including 1 exercise for his brachialis muscle.

Here is another one of Iain’s arm workouts. Check it out:

Workout #2

  • Exercise #1: Rope cable pushdowns, 2 sets of 8-15 reps**
  • Exercise #2: Machine dips, 2 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Dual handle cable pushdowns, 2 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Standing alternating DB curl (supinating grip), 2 sets of 8-15 reps**
  • Exercise #5: One-arm machine preacher curl (supinated grip), 2 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #6: Standing cable curl, 2 sets of 8-15 reps

On the second set perform a double drop set after reaching failure.

Here is the training video:

This is another normal looking arm workout for Iain Valliere. For his triceps routine Iain starts with his favorite cable rope pushdowns. Then he moves onto hammer strength dips and a second triceps pushdown variation.

For his biceps Iain performs 3 basic exercises: standing dumbbell curls, machine preacher curls and standing cable curls. Normally Iain likes to perform all of his triceps exercises and then all of his biceps exercises.

Here is one workout where he decided to mix things up. Check it out:

Workout #3

  • Exercise #1: Rope cable pushdown, 2 set of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: Dual handle cable curl, 2 set of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: 30 degree incline ez-bar skull crusher, 2 set of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Alternating DB curl (hammer grip), 2 set of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: 30 degree supine cable curl (low pulley), 2 set of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #6: One-arm cross body triceps extension, 2 set of 8-15 reps

Here is the training video:

For this workout Iain decided to alternate back and forth between an exercise for his triceps and an exercise for his biceps. This is a strategy that many other professional bodybuilders have used throughout their careers.

The main benefit is you get a huge pump in your arms and you can use a little more weight on your last 2 exercises for each muscle group.

Conclusion

Iain Valliere trains arms using traditional high-volume bodybuilding style workouts. He trains his biceps and triceps using about 3 exercises each and he performs most of his sets in the 8-15 rep range.

One interesting thing about Iain’s arm program is he only performs 2 working sets to failure per exercise. He also likes to perform high-intensity techniques on these exercises to blast through training plateaus.

If you respond well to high-volume workouts I highly recommend you give Iain’s arm workouts a shot..

If you enjoyed this content then make sure you check out my article “The Iain Valliere Training Program!

“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100%.”

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!

 

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

What's going on! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen, I'm the creator of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to take your training to the next level, then you've come to the right place... My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world!

Recent Posts