At the 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contest in Myrtle Beach, SC, there was a recognizable face (and physique) amongst the media teams adjacent to the competition stages. Seven-time 212 Olympia champion Flex Lewis was in attendance, providing coverage for the event.
Similarly, 2017 WSM champion Eddie Hall was in attendance doing commentary and introductions for Channel 5 in the UK before each event across the five-day contest. Given that Hall’s current goal is to compete in a bodybuilding competition by the fall of 2024, he wasn’t going to let an opportunity to train with one of bodybuilding’s greats slip by.
Lewis joined Hall in the gym for a dedicated arm session at The Pump House gym in Horry County, SC. The workout was filmed and published on Lewis’ YouTube channel on May 10, 2023. Check it out below:
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Flex Lewis and Eddie Hall’s Arm Training
Below are the exercises performed during the training session in South Carolina:
- Triceps Pushdowns & Overhead Triceps Extensions
- Dumbbell Skull Crushers
- Machine Overhead Triceps Extensions
- Dumbbell Biceps Curls
Triceps Pushdowns & Overhead Extensions
The cadence of the workout was a typical one for training partners in the iron paradise. While Lewis worked, Hall rested, and vice-versa.
The grips used for the triceps pushdown varied between under and overhand. Lewis incorporated a rope attachment for a triceps pushdowns superset, which also trained with a neutral grip.
After working the triceps in the shortened position, Hall and Lewis turned around and performed overhead triceps extensions to stimulate the triceps in their fully lengthened positions.
Dumbbell Skull Crushers
Using a weight bench with little rest time from the previous triceps superset, Lewis banged out skull crushers while laying on an incline, starting with 20-pound dumbbells.
Lewis was conscious to maintain his wrists in a neutral position, resisting the urge to flare the hands and elbows out at the top of the movement. This kept the tension on the triceps through the full range of motion.
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Machine Overhead Triceps Extensions
Lewis hadn’t had enough overhead triceps extensions yet for his training diet of endless overhead triceps extensions, so he positioned himself for the machine variation.
The benefit of the machine is the removal of stability required for the movement, which theoretically means that the former Olympia champ can load more weight than he could on the cable machine.
Dumbbell Biceps Curls
The cue Lewis offered to Hall during biceps curls is to imagine crushing a nut between the nook of the elbow by bringing the forearm against the biceps rather than trying to curl the weight. This cue is intended to help the mind-muscle connection maximize elbow flexion to further contract the biceps.
Lewis was not concerned about body language seeping into the form as long as the contraction of the biceps remained. Since the target is the biceps contraction with each rep, the rest of the body swinging was not a concern.
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The strongman and bodybuilder closed the session by burning out the biceps via drop sets. It was a strange visual to see Hall struggle to lift 20-pound dumbbells by the end of the session due to reaching failure on his curls.
Fewer Exercises, Higher Intensity
This training session was a prime example of how it doesn’t take many exercises to achieve a pump. Lewis and Hall progressively loaded five movements with high intensity to mechanical failure to burn out their biceps and triceps.
Suppose high-volume, high-intensity training is potent for all-time greats across two strength sports. In that case, it’s probably potent for the everyday gym goer to pack size onto their arms — engage cues that help enable peak contractions and train to mechanical failure for maximum hypertrophy.
Featured image: @flex_lewis on Instagram