Josh Bryant’s 7 Favorite Arm Training Programs!


Josh Bryant is one of the top bodybuilding coaches in the world.

He has trained many professional bodybuilders including Johnnie Jackson and Branch Warren.

If you want to build big, strong arms then this article is for you!

Introduction

  • Part 1: Giant Sets
  • Part 2: Cluster Sets
  • Part 3: Isometric Training
  • Part 4: Eccentric Training
  • Part 5: Rest-Pause Drop Sets
  • Part 6: The 100 Rep Method
  • Part 7: Occlusion Training
  • Part 8: Josh Bryant’s Favorite Arm Routines

In this comprehensive guide I will teach you Josh Bryant’s 7 favorite training strategies to build big, strong arms.

Josh Bryant believes that the best way to build big, strong arms is to use a holistic approach with many different training methods.

Josh uses many different arm training programs including giant sets, cluster sets, eccentric training and occlusion training to overload as many different muscle fibers as possible. Check it out:

“To be your best the 1980’s played-out “3 sets of 10 ain’t going to cut the mustard. You have to use a holistic approach if you want to get holistic huge arms.”

Josh is known for using extremely low reps and extremely high reps in his arm training programs. One of his favorite low-rep strategies is called isometric training.

Here is Josh Bryant taking his bodybuilding clients through an isometric workout for the triceps:

Josh Bryant’s Iso-Dynamic Tri-Sets

For this routine Josh performs a giant set of isometric bench presses, a heavy set of bench presses against bands and decline dumbbell extensions. He performs all three exercises in a row with only 10 seconds rest between sets.

Josh says that this type of heavy, low-rep training is essential for building maximum muscle mass in your triceps.

Josh Bryant used to be a powerlifter but he isn’t married to the low-reps style. He also loves to use high-rep sets in his arm programs.

Here is Josh performing a 200-rep set of bicep curls and a 100-rep set of v-bar dips at the end of his arm workout:

Josh Bryant’s 100-200 Rep Burnout Sets

Talk about an intense set! Josh trains to failure, rests 20 seconds and then repeats until he has performed 100-200 total reps.

Josh uses many different high-rep training strategies to maximally overload the slow twitch muscle fibers, to create a ton of metabolic stress and to really fatigue as many muscle fibers as possible.

Josh Bryant is not married to any one training style. He uses many different training methods because the only thing he cares about is getting results. If you are serious about building big, strong arms then these Josh Bryant arm routines are for you.

Note: if you have trouble reading the training routines in this article then check out this guide on how to read a training program. Now let’s get down to business…

Part 1: Giant Sets

Josh Bryant believes one of the best ways to build huge arms is to use training methods that increase the time under tension of your sets. One of Josh’s favorite ways to do this is with giant sets.

A giant set is a training method where you perform 2-4 exercises in a row for the same muscle group. Here is a simple giant set triceps routine that you can try. Check it out:

Superset Triceps Workout

  • A1: V-bar dips (upright torso), 3 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 10 seconds rest
  • A2: Tri-set triceps extension**, 3 x 30, 1/0/1/0, 3 minutes rest

**Perform 1 rep of neutral grip dumbbell presses, 1 rep of lying triceps extensions, 1 rep of pullover triceps extensions. Repeat for 30 total reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this routine you are going to perform a giant set with dips and lying triceps extensions. You perform a heavy set of 6 reps on the dips, rest 10 seconds and then perform 30 reps of lying triceps extensions.

This is a form of contrast training where you overload your triceps with low reps and high reps in the same extended set.

Another one of Josh’s favorite strategies is to use giant sets with 3 different exercises and different rep ranges. You perform 4-6 reps on the first exercise, 10-12 reps on the second exercise and 20-25 reps on the third exercise.

Here is Josh describing this method:

“We’re hitting different angles and different rep ranges. I got this concept from Charles Poliquin. He’s had some great workouts with the omni concept.

It’s important to give credit where credit’s due. It shows you guys I’m doing my research. And finally if you don’t like it you can harass him, not me!”

Josh gives credit to other people for the same reason I do. If you don’t like this article then you can harass Josh Bryant, not me!

Here is a great omni-reps biceps routine you can try. Check it out:

Tri-Set Biceps Routine

  • A1: Chin ups (narrow / supinated grip), 4 x 5, 8/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • A2: 45 degree incline DB curls (supinated grip)**, 4 x 10-12, 2/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • A3: 45 degree spider curl****, 4 x 20-25, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest

**Performed as 1.25 reps. Lower the weight all the way down, curl the weight a quarter of the way up, lower the weight all the way down, the curl the weight all the way up. That counts as 1 rep. Perform 10-12 of these reps per set.

****Loop a towel through a kettlebell and hold the ends of the towel as you curl. Perform the top 70% of the range of motion only.

Here is the training video for this workout:

Josh Bryant is really showing his genius with this routine. Not only is he using 3 different rep ranges, but he is also executing each exercise in a novel way.

For the first exercise you are using a 5-second lowering phase to create more eccentric stress and to increase the time under tension.

For the second exercise you are using 1.25 reps to really overload the stretched position of the exercise.

Finally for the third exercise you are using partial reps in the top position to maintain constant time under tension on the target muscle.

Here is Josh describing the 1.25 reps used on the second exercise:

“We’re doing one and one quarter rep. This makes use of the stretch reflex. This enables you to recruit more muscle fibers during the concentric range of motion.

You get that overload stretch reflex right there, boom! You recruit more muscle fibers.”

If you never mix things up with slow eccentric reps or even 1.25 reps then your arms will never be as big as they could be.

Here is a great omni-reps triceps routine that you can use with the previous bicep routine for a complete arm workout. Check it out:

Tri-Set Triceps Routine

  • B1: Floor press (shoulder-width grip), 4 x 5, 1/1/X/0, 10 seconds rest
  • B2: Decline DB extension**, 4 x 10-12, 2/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • B3: Overhead rope triceps extensions, 4 x 20-25, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest

**Performed as 1.25 reps. Lower the weight all the way down, curl the weight a quarter of the way up, lower the weight all the way down, the curl the weight all the way up. That counts as 1 rep. Perform 10-12 of these reps per set.

Here is the training video for this workout:

Josh Bryant uses the same rep scheme for this routine. You perform 5 reps on the first exercise, 10-12 reps on the second exercise and 20-25 reps on the third exercise.

This rep scheme lets you hit all of the fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers in your triceps in one go.

Josh also uses some unique strategies like pausing for 1 second in the bottom position of the floor press to recruit more muscle fibers in the triceps. Check it out:

“He’s taking a true 1-second pause in the bottom position. This breaks up the concentric / eccentric chain and forces you to recruit more motor units.”

The bottom line is giant sets are one of Josh Bryant’s favorite training strategies for building big, strong arms.

Performing 2-4 exercises in a row for your biceps or triceps is a great way to extend the time under tension of the set and to stimulate more muscle growth. Josh likes to perform his giant sets with a variety of rep ranges and tempos but this is not required.

Part 2: Cluster Sets

Cluster sets is a training strategy where you take short rest breaks in between the reps of your set. Josh Bryant likes to use cluster sets with sets in the 4-8 rep range to build muscle mass as fast as possible.

You won’t find any scientific studies on high-rep cluster sets but Josh knows from personal experience that they work for building huge arms. Check it out:

“If you want to know the ins and outs of the science of this, do a search on PubMed, corner a doctor at a cocktail party or follow my lead and get some real results right here.”

Here is Josh demonstrating a triceps cluster set on overhead rope extensions:

Josh Bryant’s Triceps Cluster Set

In this video Josh is performing sets of 4 reps for 5 minutes straight. In between each set he rests 15 seconds. This is just long enough for his muscles to partially recover. Check it out:

“This is what’s called a cluster set. We’re going to get a ton of volume in a short amount of time. We’re going to go for 5 minutes straight. Get 4 reps, rest 15 seconds and then repeat that process for 5 minutes straight.”

Cluster sets are so effective because they increase the density of your workout. In other words you can perform a huge amount of work in a very short period of time. This is a good thing if you are trying to build big, strong arms!

Here is a sample cluster sets arm workout that you may want to try. Check it out:

Josh Bryant Bicep / Tricep Cluster Set Routine

  • A1: Smith machine bench press (shoulder-width grip), sets of 5 x 5 minutes, 1/0/1/0, 15 seconds rest
  • B1: Fat grip barbell curl (reverse grip), sets of 3 x 5 minutes, 5/0/1/0, 15 seconds rest
  • C1: Dumbbell dead stop triceps extensions, sets of 5 x 5 minutes, 2/0/1/0, 15 seconds rest
  • D1: Machine preacher curl, sets of 8 x 5 minutes, 1/0/1/0, 15 seconds rest
  • E1: Dip machine (upright torso), sets of 8 x 5 minutes, 1/0/1/0, 15 seconds rest
  • F1: 75 degree incline DB curl (supinated grip)**, sets of 5 x 5 minutes, 1/0/1/0, 15 seconds rest

**When you hit failure at 5 reps with a supinated grip switch to hammer grip incline curls. When you hit failure at 5 reps with a hammer grip switch to standing DB hammer curls.

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this workout Josh is performing alternating exercises for his arms. He performs his 1st biceps exercise, then his 1st triceps exercise, then his 2nd biceps exercise and so on.

Alternating between exercises for your biceps and triceps is a great training strategy for building bigger, stronger arms.

Research shows that this strategy helps you recruit more muscle fibers and increases your muscular endurance. In other words it helps you lift more weight and perform more reps throughout your workout. Not a bad deal if you ask me!

This whole cluster sets workout should take you about 30-40 minutes to complete. I think you will be shocked at how effective it is for adding size to your arms!

Part 3: Isometric Training

Josh Bryant loves to use isometric sets in his arm workouts. In fact Josh calls isometric training one of the best training methods in the world for building maximal strength and functional hypertrophy.

There are three types of muscle contractions:

  • Type #1: Concentric contractions
  • Type #2: Eccentric contractions
  • Type #3: Isometric contractions

Concentric and eccentric contractions are pretty straightforward: they occur when you are lifting a weight up or lowering it back down.

Isometric contractions are completely different: they occur when your muscles are contracting without moving!

Josh likes isometric sets because they help you recruit more muscle fibers and produce more force. In other words they are a powerful stimulus for size and strength gains!

One of Josh Bryant’s favorite isometric training strategies is called “functional isometrics.” The basic idea is to perform 6 full range of motion reps on the bench press followed by an all-out isometric contraction for 6 seconds. Check it out:

Josh Bryant Functional Isometrics

Talk about a brutal training method! Here is Josh Bryant giving a perfect overview of functional isometrics:

“If you’ve never trained this way then you’re in for a shock! You’re obviously getting neurological adaptations but you’re also going to get hypertrophy because it’s a totally new stimulus.

If you’re doing all those reps first and then on that last one with that maximal intention for 6 seconds, you will definitely grow from this way too.”

Josh Bryant often starts his triceps workouts with functional isometrics and then performs some higher-rep pumping exercises later in the workout to finish things off.

Another one of Josh Bryant’s favorite isometric training strategies is called “iso-dynamics.” The basic idea is to perform a giant set with isometric bench presses and 2 full range of motion triceps exercises.

The isometric set teaches your body to recruit more muscle fibers and the last 2 exercises help you fatigue those muscle fibers for maximum growth.

Here is a sample iso-dynamics routine you can try. Check it out:

Iso-Dynamics Bench Press Routine

  • A1: Close grip bench press overcoming isometric***, 3 x 6 second hold, 10 seconds rest
  • A2: Close grip bench press against bands, 3 x 3, 1/0/X/0, 10 seconds rest
  • A3: Decline DB extension, 3 x 10, 5/0/1/0, 4 minutes rest

***Perform an overcoming isometric with an empty barbell. The pins should be set up 2 inches below the lockout in a power rack.

Here is the training video for this workout:

This workout is absolutely brutal! Once again Josh blends together many different rep ranges and training methods to fatigue as many muscle fibers as possible. Here is Josh Bryant describing the isometric bench press:

“They go with an activation exercise. So what the activation exercise is, the isometric against pins. They push as hard as they can against the rack for 6 seconds.

Once you’re at the point of producing maximal force the time starts. You want to try to break the rack!

Is this holding? No! This is a push! Break it! Kill it! That’s what you’ve got to do. After this you can actually produce more force.”

Right after the isometric bench press you perform a set of close grip bench press with bands. The bands help you to overload the top half of the movement and really force your triceps to work hard in the shortened position of the range of motion.

Finally you finish the giant set with the decline dumbbell extensions with a 5-second lowering phase.

This is a tremendous way to overload the lowering phase of the exercise as well as the stretched position of the strength curve.

So far we’ve looked at isometric training strategies for the triceps. The truth is you can also use isometric sets to train your biceps!

One of Josh’s favorite strategies is to superset isometric barbell curls with full range of motion curls. Check it out:  

Biceps Iso-Dynamics Routine

  • A1: Ez-bar curl bottom position overcoming isometric (wide / supinated grip), 1 x 6 seconds, 10 seconds rest
  • A2: 45 degree incline DB curl (supinated grip), 1 x 4-8, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Ez-bar curl middle position overcoming isometric (wide / supinated grip), 1 x 6 seconds, 10 seconds rest
  • B2: 45 degree incline DB curl (supinated grip), 1 x 4-8, 3 minutes rest
  • C1: Ez-bar curl top position overcoming isometric (wide / supinated grip), 1 x 6 seconds, 10 seconds rest
  • C2: 45 degree incline DB curl (supinated grip), 1 x 4-8, 3 minutes rest

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this routine Josh’s client performs an isometric curl with manual resistance, rests 10 seconds and then performs a full range of motion set.

The isometric set forces you to recruit more motor units and create maximum tension in the biceps. Then the full range of motion exercise obliterates whatever is left in the biceps.

Here is Josh Bryant describing this strategy:

“Not only is she going to concentric failure, doing maximal isometric, she’s going from maximum amount of no movement right there to maximal stretch.

This is a blitz clean on the overload – we’re going every single different direction.”

If you have access to a training partner then you have to give this isometric biceps routine a shot. Josh Bryant says it is a great way to blast through a training plateau in biceps size and strength.

Part 4: Eccentric Training

Eccentric training is one of the most powerful training methods you can use in the gym. The basic idea is to use techniques that overload the lowering phase of your exercises.

One of Josh’s favorite eccentric training strategies is to perform an exercise with a 5-second lowering phase. This slow lowering phase exhausts your eccentric strength levels and is great for stimulating size and strength gains.

A more advanced strategy is to perform eccentric-only reps. One of Josh Bryant’s favorite eccentric-only exercises is the one-arm barbell preacher curl. Check it out:

The one-arm barbell preacher curl is one of the best exercises you can use to target the short head of your biceps. Here is Josh Bryant describing this exercise:

“This is called a one-arm eccentric barbell curl. Most bodybuilders and people in general neglect eccentrics.

Research shows that eccentric training is very important for building maximum hypertrophy.

I promise you he’s going to be very sore tomorrow if he’s never done this before.”

So why are you performing this exercise with a barbell instead of a dumbbell? That is a great question.

One of the functions of the biceps is to supinate your forearm. In other words it rotates your forearm from an overhand position to an underhand position.

When you perform this exercise with a barbell the short head of your biceps has to work extra hard to balance the barbell and to keep your forearm in a supinated position.

If you still think the one-arm barbell preacher curl is a gimmick then here is Josh Bryant to knock some sense into you:

“This exercise is not for the weak of heart. It’s the real deal.”

Josh Bryant uses the one-arm barbell preacher curl many different ways. Sometimes he performs it as a stand-alone exercise. Other times he performs it as part of a giant set. The choice is up to you.

Another one of Josh’s favorite eccentric training strategies is to perform eccentric-only reps on machines. Josh has a training partner lift the weight up so you can lower it back down on your own.

Here is a sample bicep routine you could try. Check it out:

Eccentric Arm Routine

  • A1: Eccentric-only smith machine drag curl, 3 x 5, 5/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • A2: 60 degree incline DB curls (supinated grip), 3 x 10**, 2/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • A3: Standing straight towel kettlebell curls, 3 x 10, 5/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • B1: Machine curls, 1 x 40-50****, 1/01/0, rest as needed

**Perform 1.25 reps. Lift the weight a quarter of the way, lower it back down, lift the weight up all the way, lower it back down. This counts as 1 rep. Complete 10 of these reps.

****Train to failure, rest 20 seconds, then repeat until 200 total reps are performed.

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this routine Josh Bryant is using eccentric-only reps as part of a giant set. Josh performs eccentric-only reps on the first exercise, 1.25 reps on the second exercise and a 5-second lowering phase on the third exercise.

At the end of the routine Josh has you perform a 200-rep burnout set on machine preacher curls. If your arms have not grown sense Gangnam Style was a thing then you have to give this routine a shot!

Part 5: Rest-Pause Drop Sets

Rest-pause drop sets are a hybrid of two incredible training methods: rest-pause sets and drop sets. Let’s start by talking about rest-pause sets.

A rest-pause set is a high-intensity training method where you train to failure three times in a row on an exercise with 20-30 seconds rest in between each set. Check it out:

How To Do Rest-Pause Sets

  • Step #1: Train to failure in the 6-12 rep range, then rest 20-30 seconds
  • Step #2: Train to failure a 2nd time with the same weight, then rest 20-30 seconds
  • Step #3: Train to failure a 3rd time, done!

Here is Dusty Hanshaw giving a perfect demonstration of a rest-pause set:

Rest-pause sets are absolutely brutal. In fact they are so hard that most people only perform 1 rest-pause set per exercise. After that your muscles are smoked and it’s time to move onto the next exercise.

The rest-pause drop set is an even harder version of the regular rest-pause set. You perform 1 rest-pause set, then you drop the weight by 20-30% and perform a 2nd rest-pause set on the same exercise. For example:

How To Do Rest-Pause Drop Sets

  • Step #1: Perform a rest-pause set, then reduce the weight by 20-30% and rest 20-30 seconds
  • Step #2: Perform another rest-pause set with the new lighter weight, done!

Rest-pause drop sets are an extremely tough training method. As Josh Bryant says, you have to be a “glutton for punishment” to train this way.

If you are a true masochist and derive pleasure from experiencing pain in the gym then you will love this training method!

Here is a sample rest-pause drop set workout that you can try. Check it out:

Rest-Pause Drop Set Arm Workout

  • A1: Bench press with chains (shoulder-width grip), 1 x 6-10**, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • B1: Machine preacher curl (supinated grip), 1 x 6-10**, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Dead stop DB triceps extensions, 1 x 6-10**, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: 75 degree DB spider curl (hammer grip), 1 x 6-10**, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Machine dips (upright torso), 1 x 6-10**, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this workout Josh alternates between an exercise for his triceps and an exercise for his biceps. This is a great way to improve your muscular endurance during the workout. Your triceps are resting while you perform your biceps exercise and vice versa.

One of the great things about rest-pause drop sets is you can get a huge volume of work done in a very short period of time. Check it out:

“Jonathon did 30 sets in 47 minutes, and that’s including the warm up time too. That’s the power of the rest-pause drop set method.”

If you are looking for a powerful way to blast through a plateau in arm size then the rest-pause drop set method has your name written all over it. Just don’t come crying to me when you can’t bend your arms the next day!

Remember, this is Josh Bryant’s brainchild. If you don’t like it then go harass him, not me!

Part 6: The 100 Rep Method

Josh Bryant may be a world-class powerlifter but he is not a slave to the lower rep ranges. One of his favorite strategies for building huge arms is to perform 100 rep sets!

These ultra-high rep sets are great for targeting the slow twitch muscle fibers and for creating a huge amount of metabolic stress.

One of Josh’s favorite strategies is to shoot for 100 total reps using as many sets as necessary. You train to failure in the 20-40 rep range, rest 20 seconds and then go again. You keep training to failure until you have performed 100 total reps.

Here is Jonathon Irizarry demonstrating this method on dips:

100 Repetition Method Dips

The 100 rep strategy is a simple but extremely effective way to train for huge arms. Josh sometimes likes to mix things up by using mechanical advantage 100 rep sets.

The basic idea is to train to failure, in the 20-40 rep range, then change the angle of the exercise and continue going until you hit 100 total reps. You change from the hardest mechanical position to the easiest mechanical position to help you get additional reps.

Here is a triceps workout using the 100 rep method. Check it out:

100 Rep Method Triceps Workout

  • A1: Smith machine JM press, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Incline JM press push ups**, 1 x 100, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Overhead rope cable extension (low-pulley)****, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Performed as a mechanical advantage drop set. Perform as many reps as possible with the barbell 1 foot above the ground. After you fail, rest 30 seconds, raise the barbell 6-12 inches and go to failure again. Repeat until you have performed 100 total reps.

****Perform “1 and a quarter reps” out of the bottom position. Raise the rope up a quarter of the way, go all the way down, go all the way up and then all the way down. That counts as 1 rep, perform 8-12 total reps per set.

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this workout Josh Bryant performs the 100 rep method on bodyweight triceps extensions using a 45-pound barbell.

You start with the bar close to the ground which is your toughest mechanical position. After you reach failure you raise the bar 6-12 inches and train to failure again. You just keep going like this until you have performed 100 total repetitions.

This is a brutal way to overload your triceps in a short amount of time.

Now let’s look at a workout you can do for your biceps. Check it out:

100 Rep Method Biceps Workout

  • A1: Standing unilateral DB hammer curl**, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Inverted row****, 1 x 100, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: 60 degree incline cable curl, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Insert a 2-second pause at 15 degrees elbow flexion on the eccentric range of each rep. In other words, pause on the way down just before your arms full extend. This pause will help you recruit more muscle fibers in the brachialis muscle.

****Performed as a mechanical advantage drop set. Perform as many reps as possible with the barbell 1 foot above the ground. After you fail, rest 30 seconds, raise the barbell 6-12 inches and go to failure again. Repeat until you have performed 100 total reps.

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this workout Josh Bryant uses the 100 rep method on the inverted row.

You perform your first set with your upper body parallel to the ground. After you hit failure at that setting you raise the bar and train to failure again.

Every time you raise the bar you put yourself in a stronger mechanical position so you can bust out more repetitions. 

Part 7: Occlusion Training

Occlusion training is one of the craziest training methods ever invented. The basic idea is to take something like a wrist wrap or knee wrap and wrap it around your upper arms.

Once you have it wrapped around your arms you perform high-rep pumping exercises. This creates a horrible amount of metabolic stress inside your muscles and has been shown to stimulate muscle hypertrophy.

Here is Josh Bryant describing the occlusion method:

“This method is very painful but it’s a great way to build bigger arms without having to use a lot of weight.”

One of Josh Bryant’s favorite strategies is to use occlusion training at the end of a tough workout to really finish off the biceps and triceps.

Here is a circuit that you can perform for your arms. You perform dips, rest 30 seconds, standing dumbbell curls, rest 30 seconds, band pushdowns, rest 30 seconds, standing hammer curls, rest 30 seconds and repeat the whole circuit 3 more times. Check it out:

Occlusion Training Routine

  • A1: V-bar dips (upright torso), 3 x 20, 1/0/1/0, 30 seconds rest
  • A2: Standing DB curls (supinated grip), 3 x 20, 1/0/1/0, 30 seconds rest
  • A3: Band pushdowns, 3 x 20, 1/0/1/0, 30 seconds rest
  • A4: Standing DB curls (hammer grip), 3 x 20, 1/0/1/0, 30 seconds rest

Here is the training video:

This is an absolutely brutal arm circuit. By the end of it your arms should be ready to explode! I highly recommend occlusion training if you have access to wrist wraps and you have a high pain tolerance.

Occlusion training will never replace traditional training methods but it can be a great way to blast through hypertrophy training plateaus without having to use a ton of weight.

Part 8: Josh Bryant’s Favorite Arm Routines

Let’s finish this article by looking at 2 of the craziest arm training workouts that Josh Bryant has ever written!

This first workout was written for the bodybuilder Corey Mathews. It uses many different training methods including origin-insertion supersets, mechanical advantage drop sets and supra-maximal eccentric training. Check it out:

Josh Bryant’s Crazy Arm Routine #1

  • A1: V-bar dips, 3 x 6, 8, 15, 1/0/X/0, 10 seconds rest
  • A2: Overhead rope cable extensions (high pulley), 3 x 6, 8, 15, 1/0/1/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Chin ups (narrow / supinated grip), 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 10 seconds rest
  • B2: 30 degree incline DB curl (supinated grip), 3 x 8**, 1/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • C1: Bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 25****, 1/0/1/0, 3 minutes rest
  • D1: Eccentric one-arm barbell preacher curl, 3 x 5, 8/0/1/0, 3 minutes rest
  • E1: Dead stop lying DB extensions, 3 x 10-12, 2/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest

**Performed as a single drop set. Train to failure, then drop the weight by 20-30% and train to failure again. Perform this drop set on all 3 sets.

****Perform 5 reps, then perform 5 reps with a 2-board, then perform 5 reps with a 3-board, then perform 5 reps with a 4-board, then perform 5 reps with a 5-board. See the video for more details.

Here is the training video for this workout:

Let’s break down this brutal arm training workout.

The first part of the workout is a triceps origin-insertion superset. You are going to perform a set of dips, rest 10 seconds and then perform a set of overhead rope extensions.

This is called an origin-insertion superset because you are supersetting a compound exercise with an isolation exercise. This overloads your triceps near the shoulder joint AND the elbow joint for maximum muscle damage!

Josh also uses three different rep ranges on both exercises to overload as many muscle fibers as possible.

Next you perform a similar origin-insertion superset for your biceps. Josh throws in a drop set on the second exercise to thrash even more muscle fibers.

The third exercise a mechanical advantage drop set on the close grip bench press. You perform 5 reps on the bench press, 2-board press, 3-board press, 4-board press and the 5-board press. You shorten the range of motion as your triceps fatigue to make your arms work even harder.

Next is the eccentric one-arm barbell preacher curl to eccentrically overload your biceps.

Finally you finish with some dead stop dumbbell triceps extensions to really overload your triceps in the stretched position. After this workout your will barely be able to bend your arms!

Now let’s look at another one of Josh Bryant’s craziest arm workouts ever. Check it out:

Josh Bryant’s Crazy Arm Routine #2

  • A1: Bench press functional isometrics (shoulder-width grip)**, 3 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Chain triceps extensions, 3 x 8, 5/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Thick grip barbell curls (reverse grip), 3 x 5, 5/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: 60 degree incline DB curls (supinating grip), 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, no rest
  • D2: Standing alternating DB curls (hammer grip), 3 x AMRAP**, 1/0/1/0, no rest
  • E1: V-bar dips (upright torso)****, 2 x 20, 1/0/1/0, 30 seconds rest
  • E2: Standing DB curls (supinated grip)****, 2 x 20, 30 seconds rest
  • E3: Standing band triceps pushdowns****, 2 x 20, 30 seconds rest
  • E4: Standing alternating DB curls (hammer grip)****, 2 x 20, 30 seconds rest

**Performed with the occlusion training method. Wrap an occlusion training device around your arms to restrict your arm blood flow while performing these exercises.

Here is the training video for this workout:

This workout is even more brutal than the first one! Josh starts this routine with some functional isometrics for the triceps. This is a brutal way to recruit and fatigue the fast-twitch muscle fibers in your triceps.

The next exercise is chain triceps extensions. This is an exercise that Josh loves to use with his powerlifting clients. The chains let you overload the top half of the exercise with a crazy heavy weight. This exercise is also very easy on your elbows.

Next up is biceps. Josh uses a couple of very unique exercises including fat grip reverse curls with a 5-second lowering phase and incline dumbbell curls with a mechanical advantage drop set thrown in for good measure.

Finally Josh Bryant finishes the workout with an occlusion training circuit using dips, dumbbell curls, band pushdowns and hammer curls. By the end of this workout you will be begging for mercy!

Conclusion

Josh Bryant is one of the most creative bodybuilding coaches in the world. He is willing to try anything if he thinks it will produce better results for his clients. As Josh Bryant likes to say he is a whore for results!

If you are not satisfied with your current results in the gym then I strongly recommend you try some of the training routines covered in this article. I think you will be shocked at how effective they are for building bigger, stronger arms.

Here is a great quote by Josh Bryant to help you become a more enlightened bodybuilder:

“Bodybuilding circles usually encompass 2 kinds of circles: go heavy or go home, or the ones that just want to worship the almighty pump.

This is not dating. You do not have to be exclusive to either one of these camps. You have to use a holistic approach if you want to get holistic huge arms!”

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

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

Thanks for checking out my site! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen and I'm the founder of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to reach your size and strength goals faster then you've come to the right place. My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world. So grab a seat, kick back and relax. There's never been a better time to lift weights or to learn the art and science of strength training program design.

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