The Milos Sarcev Arm Workout!


Milos Sarcev is an IFBB professional bodybuilder and one of the greatest bodybuilding coaches of all time. His nickname is “The Mind” because of his intelligent approach to training and nutrition.

Milos believes that the fastest way to build a huge upper back is to use a high-intensity training technique called “giant sets.

Here is Milos talking about this technique:

“What is the most intense training system? What creates maximum muscle fiber stimulation? If you’re truly honest with yourself then the answer is giant sets!”

A giant set is a high-intensity technique where you perform 4 or more exercises in a row for a body part with no rest between sets.

For example here is what a giant set for the chest would look like:

Arms Giant Set

  • Step #1: Perform exercise “A”, rest 10 seconds
  • Step #2: Perform exercise “B”, rest 10 seconds
  • Step #3: Perform exercise “C”, rest 10 seconds
  • Step #4: Perform exercise “D”, rest 2-4 minutes, then repeat!

Giant sets are so effective for building big, muscular arms because they force your muscles to work longer by increasing the time under tension of your sets. They are almost like drop sets except you are switching to a different exercise rather than decreasing the weight on the exercise.

Milos Sarcev has two different ways he likes to use giant sets for his arm routines.

The first strategy is to perform several exercises in a row for the biceps or the triceps. The second strategy is to alternate back and forth between one exercise for the biceps and one exercise for the triceps.

I think the second strategy is especially effective but Milos Sarcev uses both strategies in his workouts.

Let’s start by looking at one of Milos Sarcev’s favorite bicep giant set routines. Check it out:

Bicep Giant Set

  • Exercise #1: Preacher cable curl (wide / supinated grip), 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #2: Machine preacher curl (supinated grip), 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #3: Machine preacher curl (narrow / supinated grip), 3 sets of 10 reps**, no rest
  • Exercise #4: 30 degree spider ez-bar curl (narrow / supinated grip), 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #5: Seated DB hammer curl, 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #6: Preacher ez-bar curl (narrow / neutral grip), 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #7: Ez-bar drag curl (wide / supinated grip), 3 sets of 10 reps, 3 minutes rest

**Perform a double drop set. Train to failure, drop the weight by 20-30%, train to failure a 2nd time, drop the weight by 20-30%, train to failure a 3rd time, done!

Here is the training video:

This giant set routine was performed by IFBB pro Sergio Olivia Jr. Milos designed this biceps giant set routine to really focus on the short head of the biceps.

He used several different exercises including preacher curls, machine preacher curls and spider curls to target this portion of the muscle.

You can also design biceps giant set routines to target the long head and short head of the biceps equally. Here is one such routine. Check it out:

Biceps Giant Set

  • Exercise #1: Cable curl (reverse grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #2: Cable curl (supinated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #3: 45 degree incline DB curl, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #4: Preacher cable curl (narrow / supinated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #5: Seated ez-bar curl (narrow / supinated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #6: Preacher cable curl (wide / supinated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #7: Seated DB curl (supinated grip)**, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #8: Machine preacher curl (supinated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #9: Seated alternating DB curl (supinated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #10: Machine preacher curl (narrow / semi-supinated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #11: Standing barbell curl (supinated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #12: Preacher ez-bar curl (wide / pronated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #13: Preacher ez-bar curl (wide / supinated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, rest as needed

**Perform the bottom half of the range of motion only

Talk about an intense biceps workout! This routine features 13 exercises for this small muscle group. This may sound insane but Milos Sarcev always gets great results with his clients. As they say, “you can’t argue with results.”

I really like how Milos uses almost every type of biceps exercise in his giant set. He uses ez-bars, dumbbells, machines and cables to overload as many different points in the strength curve as humanly possible.

Now let’s look at some Milos Sarcev giant set routines for the triceps. Check it out:

Triceps Giant Set

  • Exercise #1: Bench press (shoulder-width grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #2: Seated ez-bar french press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #3: Cable pushdown (narrow / semi-pronated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #4: Ez-bar skull crusher (to forehead), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #5: Cable skull crusher (narrow / semi-pronated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #6: Cable pushdown (reverse grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #7: Cable pushdown (pronated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #8: Cable overhead extension (mid-pulley), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #9: Cable pushdown (pronated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #10: Cable skull crusher (narrow / semi-pronated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #11: Cable pushdown (reverse grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #12: Ez-bar skull crusher (to forehead), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #13: Cable pushdown (pronated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #14: Seated ez-bar french press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #15: Bench press (wide grip), 1 set of 10 reps, rest as needed

Here is the training video:

Talk about an intense triceps workout! Seriously, this is one of the most insane triceps workouts that I have ever seen. Milos Sarcev absolute destroys his triceps with 15 different exercises performed in a row!

In this routine Milos uses almost every exercise variation that you can think of to hit all three heads of the triceps: the long head, the lateral head and the medial head.

Here is another equally intense Milos Sarcev giant sets triceps routine that you can try. Check it out:

Milos Sarcev Tricep Giant Set Workout

  • Exercise #1: Seated ez-bar french press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #2: Seated dip machine, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #3: Decline ez-bar extension, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #4: Decline ez-bar press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #5: Seated ez-bar french press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #6: Lying ez-bar extension (to forehead), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #7: Milos Sarcev tricep extensions, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #8: 45 degree incline behind-the-head DB extension, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #9: Standing cable pushdowns (wide / supinated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #10: Lying cable skull crusher, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #11: Seated machine dips, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #12: Standing cable pushdowns (medium / pronated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #13: Standing cable pushdowns (narrow / pronated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #14: Standing cable pushdowns (narrow / pronated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest

Here is the training video for this workout:

This is an advanced triceps workout that should only be performed by advanced trainees who really know what they are doing.

Once again Milos uses almost every triceps exercise you can think of including many different variations of dips, cable pushdowns, skull crushers and overhead triceps extensions.

The other way Milos Sarcev likes to organize his giant set arm workouts is to alternate back and forth between biceps and triceps exercises. So you would perform one exercise for your biceps, then one exercise for your triceps, then another exercise for your biceps and so on.

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

Milos Sarcev Biceps / Triceps Giant Sets Routine

  • Exercise #1: Supine cable curl high pulley, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #2: Lying cable skull crusher (v-handle), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #3: Supine cable curl (low pulley), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #4: 30 degree incline rope triceps extension (low pulley), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #5: Standing cable curl (supinated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #6: Standing cable pushdown (pronated grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #7: 60 degree incline DB curl**, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #8: 60 degree incline ez-bar triceps extension, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #9: 60 degree incline cable triceps extension (low pulley), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #10: Seated barbell curl (supinated grip)***, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #11: Seated ez-bar french press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #12: Preacher cable curl (supinated grip / low pulley), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest

**alternate hammer grip and supinating grip

***top half of the range of motion only

This type of giant set routine is so effective because it trains opposing muscle groups together. When you use alternating exercises for biceps and triceps you recruit more muscle fibers, your muscular endurance improves and you get a better pump in your muscles.

Many athletes and coaches including Charles Poliquin and Arnold Schwarzenegger were also big fans of this type of arm workout.

Conclusion

Milos “The Mind” Sarcev might be the most successful coach in the history of bodybuilding. He has trained more IFBB professional bodybuilders than anyone in the world today. 

If you are an advanced bodybuilder then I highly recommend you give his giant sets training style a shot. He has used it with many of the world’s top bodybuilders including Mr. Olympia finalist Dennis Wolf to build a massive chest.

If you enjoyed this content then make sure you check out my article “The Milos Sarcev Training Program!” It may be just what you need to take your training to the next level. 

“What is the most intense training system? What creates maximum muscle fiber stimulation? If you’re truly honest with yourself then the answer is giant sets!”

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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