Lee Priest’s Arms Workout
Lee Andrew Priest McCutcheon is a former Australian IFBB professional bodybuilder and NABBA professional athlete. He’s one of the most recognized Pro bodybuilders not only in Australia but the entire world. Lee is famous for his achievements at a very young age, winning his first show at only 13 years of age, and turning IFBB Pro by the age of 20.
The Words Of A Priest
Lee ‘The Blonde Myth’, has some of the best arms and forearms in the history of bodybuilding. The owner of the best hands gives advice on how to build Big Guns.
You can develop your own best arms if you follow these fundamentals religious. Lee Priest
I have yet to read a textbook that contributed more to my arm size than what I’ve learned from my own lifetime of lifting. Since age 13 (1985), I’ve trained my arms as a total package of biceps, triceps, and forearms in the belief that they are equally important.
These are the 17 arm fundamentals: 8 for biceps, 5 for triceps and 4 for forearms that I’ve always used. Let’s get started.
Rule #1 Volume
Don’t buy into the cop-out that small muscle groups need fewer sets. The more sets I do, the more I grow, so 20 sets for biceps is an embarrassing minimum for me. Usually, I do 25 to 35. Obviously, I don’t recommend that volume for you unless you’re at my level, but you should always push yourself to do more. How much, more is indicated by the muscle’s refractory period. Beat it so senseless with heavy weight that it remains fatigued until your next workout.
Rule #2 Include Standing Barbell Curls In Every Workout
Every muscle group has its classic mass builder. For biceps, that exercise is standing barbell curls. They don’t always have to be your first exercise, but they must be in every biceps workout, Go very heavy with them, but never cheat. Keep your elbows at your sides and get a complete contraction at the top. Lower the bar slowly and tightly, but do not extend all the way to the bottom. Do these as straight sets. They’re too heavy to superset-at least they should be.
Rule #3 Superset
Almost always, I superset near the end of my workout. By that time my biceps are so numb from heavy straight sets that the blood has nowhere to go, so if I attack them quickly with two different movements, it stirs things up and restores the pump. Beginners: Wait until you are intermediate or advanced before super setting. Build mass, with straight sets first.
Rule #4 Include Two-arm Preacher Curls In Every Workout
Preacher curls with either a barbell or cambered bar are a necessary power-isolation movement that involves just enough leverage to force the biceps bellies to pull with maximum stress at both ends of their insertions.
Rule #5 Change Your Workouts
Just because I believe an exercise should be used every time doesn’t mean it should be used in exactly the same way every time. Your body will familiarize itself with a movement by coordinating various muscles. That makes the movement easier, but it reduces stress on the muscle. As a bodybuilder, you want to increase that stress, so change your order of exercises every time. Never give your body a chance to adapt.
Rule #6 Include Dumbbell Preacher Curls In Every Workout
A one-arm dumbbell curl on a preacher bench enables me to apply power-isolation to areas that cannot be reached by two-arm curls. By keeping the dumbbell level, supinating it or pronating it, I can respectively target my biceps peak, inner head, outer head or brachialis. This is not effective as a superset movement, because of the delay between sets, but it’s ideal for heavy straight sets.
Rule #7 Begin Your Workout With Dumbbell Concentration Curls
If I already have a pump before my heaviest sets, the fatigue is driven deeper and quicker into the muscle, so I pre-exhaust my biceps with concentration curls, sometimes free-armed, sometimes from a spider bench and sometimes off the top of an incline bench.
Rule #8 Include Alternate Dumbbell Curls In Every Workout
I credit this exercise more than any other for giving my biceps their spherical mass. The versatility of this movement, and the fact that it allows me to use lots of weight endows me with the power to place that mass in any area of my biceps I choose. If I hold the dumbbells level, the bulk of the work is directed into my biceps brachii. If I supinate as I curl, I spread the mass around the ball of my biceps.
Rule #9 Include Two-arm Dumbbell Extensions In Every Workout
You’ve seen those guys with the sides of their triceps horseshoes bulging around the muscle bellies all the way to their elbows. This is how they got that mass, it’s the safest power movement for triceps. Interlocking my thumbs inside one end of the dumbbell, I lower it until my hands are at the base of my skull, then explode with all my might, pressing as far as I can, without locking out.
Rule #10 One-arm Behind-the-neck Dumbbell Extensions, The Perfect Prioritizer
I’m convinced that no one can have complete triceps development without this movement. It hits all three heads of the triceps with sufficient distribution of power to keep them in muscular balance. I get a fairly good stretch at the bottom but I don’t press all the way to the top. Constant tension works best with these.
Rule #11 Include Triceps Extensions In Every Workout
I don’t care where you put extension movements in your triceps workout just do them every time. You can’t have optimum triceps mass without them. I like a cambered bar but some guys prefer a straight bar. Also lying hits the belly seated hits the horseshoe. In either case. I control the weight on the way down tightening as I go then gradually turn on power for the press.
Rule #12 Include V-bar Cable Pressdowns In Every Workout
The worst mistake bodybuilders make with cable press downs is to use them as a strict isolation movement, when they’re perfectly designed for applying power and building overall triceps mass, especially with a V bar. That’s how I use them. I lean in slightly, so I can press straight down through the power axis of my body. Because of the weight I use, I let my elbows go where they want; my triceps still get all the work. I also stay in the six- to eight-rep range, using constant tension.
Rule #13 Include Close-grip Bench Presses In Every Workout
Nothing heats basic close-grip benches for building belly size in your triceps. If you use a monkey grip and keep your hands just far enough apart to apply explosive power. The inner head of each triceps and the total length and girth of its belly—from your traps all the way down to your elbows—will become so huge that people will think you’re keeping something in there that needs to be set free. Look at what close-grip benches did for me.
Rule #14 Cambered-bar Reverse Curls Are The Best Mass-balancing Arm Exercise
My biceps-triceps-forearm proportions may be the best in the sport because I work each of those muscle groups equally hard. I also make sure I hit them in a compound manner with this exercise. High reps produce a paralyzing pump in my lower forearms and burn ropelike separations into my upper forearms. At the same time, I’m working my biceps and brachialis to tie them in with my forearms.
Rule #15 Train Forearms After Back
Your forearms are used all day, every day, so in order to get them to grow, you need to take them to extremes. The most efficient way to do that is to make sure they’re pre-exhausted, and they’re optimally pre-exhausted after a back workout. That’s when I hit mine. My forearms then fatigue quicker and deeper, resulting in a very efficient forearms workout.
Rule #16 Use Very High Repetitions
My forearms, and presumably yours, are accustomed to low reps from lifting heavy weights for other body part workouts, so I figure that the best way to shock them awake is to do just the opposite: Hit them directly with insanely high reps, never less than 25 and frequently going up to 100.
Rule #17 Curl And Twist Through Three Dimensions
Not only must you do reverse curls for the top of your forearms and wrist curls for the underside of your forearms, but you should also add hammer curls and twists to spread mass around your entire forearms areas.
Call To Arms
By following these fundamentals, the upside is that my arms keep getting bigger. The downside is that what I’m doing never gets easier. The moral is that if you’re willing to suffer these rules, you’ll eventually need a flatbed truck to lug around your arms, as I do. What are you waiting for?
Lee Priest’s Arm Program For Beginners
- Dumbbell Concentration Curls 3 10-12
- Barbell Curls 3 10-12
- Alternate Dumbbell Curls 3 10-12
- Barbell Preacher Curls 3 10-12
- Dumbbell Preacher Curls 3 10-12
- French Presses 3 10-12
- Two-Arm Dumbbell Extensions 3 10-12
- Close-Grip Bench Presses 3 10-12
- V-Bar Cable Pressdowns 3 10-12
- One-Arm Dumbbell Extensions 3 10-12
- Cambered-Bar Reverse Curls 3 12-18
- Alternate Dumbbell Hammer Curls 3 12-18
- Barbell Wrist Curls 3 12-18
- Dumbbell Wrist Curls 3 12-18
Lee Priest’s Arm Program For Intermediates
- Dumbbell Concentration Curls 4 6-8
- Barbell Curls 4 6-8
- Cambered-Bar Preacher Curls 4 6-8
- Seated Alternate Dumbbell Curls 4 6-8 superset with Underhand Chinups 4 to Failure
- Dumbbell Preacher Curls 4 6-8
- Close-Grip Bench Presses 4 6-8
- Two-Arm Dumbbell Extensions 4 6-8
- Lying French Presses 4 6-8
- V-Bar Cable Pressdowns 4 6-8 superset with Seated French Presses 4 6-8
- One-Arm Dumbbell Extensions 4 6-8
- Cambered-Bar Reverse Curls 4 6-8
- Barbell Wrist Curls 4 6-8
- Alternate Dumbbell Hammer Curls 4 6-8
- Dumbbell Wrist Curls 4 6-8
Lee Priest’s Advanced Arm Program
- Dumbbell Concentration Curls 5 6-8
- Barbell Curls 7 6-8
- Alternate Dumbbell Curls 5 6-8
- Cambered-Bar Preacher Curls 5 6-8 superset with Underhand Pullups 5 Sets to Failure
- Dumbbell Preacher Curls 5 6-8
- Close-Grip Bench Presses 7 6-8
- Two-Arm Dumbbell Extensions 5 6-8
- Lying French Presses 5 6-8
- V-Bar cable Pressdowns 5 6-8 superset with Dips 5 Sets to Failure
- Seated French Presses 5 6-8
- One-Arm Dumbbell Extensions 3 6-8
- Alternate Dumbbell Hammer Curls 5 8-10
- Barbell Wrist Curls 5 25+
- Dumbbell Wrist Curls 5 25+
- Cambered-Bar Reverse Curls 5 25+
Lee Priest’s Training Schedule
- Day 1: Legs
- Day 1: Back, Forearms
- Day 3: Chest
- Day 4: Shoulders
- Day 5: Arms
Calves Trained Daily
Abdominals Trained Every Other Day
- For all workouts, warm up with two or three light sets of the first exercise.
- Beginners should work to just short of failure.
- Beginners and intermediates should train arms twice a week, with two or three days between each workout.
- Intermediates and advanced trainers should work to failure.
- Advanced trainers should train arms once per week.