On May 16, 2022, two-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Breon Ansley posted a video featuring an arms training session on his YouTube channel. Ansley is currently preparing to compete in the 2022 Tampa Pro, scheduled to take place on the weekend of Aug. 4-6, 2022, in Tampa, FL. The video can be seen below, and the workout starts at the 3:36 mark in the video below.
Ansley was training at the iconic Gold’s Gym in Venice, CA, on this day, and he began by training the triceps.
The first exercise he did was machine triceps extensions. As he was executing his reps, Ansley paused at the end of each to prevent momentum from taking over — a maneuver that also forces him to feel each muscle contraction.
“I don’t like to do that [alternate between biceps and triceps exercises] because you lose some blood flow, and you lose your pump between moving from one muscle group to the next.”
He followed that first movement with two exercises that utilize the rope attachment — traditional rope pushdowns followed by overhead extensions.
Ansley is fond of the rope, allowing him to turn his hands out for a more significant triceps contraction. Ansley wrapped up his third set and then delivered some knowledge to the camera:
The triceps have more heads in them. So, it’s going to make the arms look that much bigger.
Ansley moved on to the dip machine, where he worked up to two 45-pound weight plates on each side, and he then performed dumbbell kickbacks, which helped him isolate each arm one at a time. He performed sets with a 35, 40, and 50-pound dumbbell — which is, for those who don’t know, a very heavy weight for kickbacks — before moving onto the biceps.
The first movement for the biceps was the alternating dumbbell curl. “The Black Swan” held the dumbbell with his hand close to one side instead of the middle. The first set that was on film was with 45-pound dumbbells. He hoisted the 50-pounders at one point — again, a lot of weight for an isolation movement. He was also twisting more at the top of the exercise, which he explained his reasoning for.
I was twisting at the top, guys, to get a little more of the inner bi here.
His second choice for biceps was the EZ-Bar curl, and he was lifting his elbows slightly at the top of the rep to maximize the contraction in the biceps. He worked with a 70-pound pre-fixed bar, followed by an 80-pound bar. The next movement was hammer curls, and he told the viewers not to use lifting straps on this exercise if they do it — “The whole point of this exercise is to grow them damn forearms.”
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He started with 55-pound dumbbells and worked up to 75-pounders on the final set. He also shared a tip on how to execute this movement — keep the shoulders back from start to finish.
“If you isolate it, keep the shoulders back and down, and keeping this hinge here (demonstrates), kind of like a drag curl…same principles.”
After his final set, Ansley went into a posing room to check out the pump he developed from the workout he completed. He emphasized to the camera that his ultimate goal is to win back the Classic Olympia title when he competes at the 2022 Olympia in Las Vegas, NV, on Dec. 16-18, 2022.
“I’m trying to win this damn thing this year.”
Sample Arm Workout
Note: Ansley’s exact sets and reps in this particular workout aren’t clear. However, according to research published in the International Journal of Strength and Conditioning, train in the six to 12 rep range for optimal muscle growth. Though, you can increase the reps as long as you adjust the weight so it feels as though you can only complete two more reps at the end of each set.
- Machine Triceps Extensions: 3-4 sets
- Rope Pressdown: 3-4 sets
- Overhead Rope Extension: 3-4 sets
- Dip Machine: 3-4 sets
- Dumbbell Kickback: 3 sets
- Alternate Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets
- EZ-Bar Curl: 3 sets
- Hammer Curl: 3 sets
Featured Image: Breon Ansley on YouTube