Reigning two-time 212 Olympia champion Shaun Clarida relatively early in his 2023 Olympia prep. “The Giant Killer” transitioned from a push, pull, and legs training regimen to a routine that focuses on one body part at a time to improve his shape, symmetry, proportions, conditioning, and definition.
On Aug. 14, 2023, Clarida published a video on his YouTube channel wherein he shared his current arm workout to help him defend his 212 title for his third career win at the Olympia. Check it out below:
Shaun Clarida’s Olympia Arm Workout
Clarida did nine exercises in his high-volume arm workout:
- Rope Triceps Extension
- Cable Biceps Curl
- Cable Triceps Pushdown
- Dumbbell Hammer Curl
- Single-Arm Overhead Triceps Extension
- Single-Arm Biceps Preacher Curl
- Cross-Body Triceps Extension
- Overhead Cable Curls
- Triceps Machine Dips
Rope Triceps Extension
Clarida opened with 20 to 25-rep sets of rope triceps extensions to warm up. Once into his working sets, he performed 10 to 12 reps. He kept his upper arms pinned to his sides with slow eccentrics.
Clarida performed a double drop set on the final set, promoting hypertrophy even while consuming fewer calories. A Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness study found that “superior muscle gains might be achieved with a single set of drop set compared to three sets of conventional resistance training.” (1)
Cable Biceps Curl, Triceps Pushdown, & Dumbbell Hammer Curl
Clarida grabbed an EZ bar with a wide supinated grip and did two warm-up sets. The reigning 212 Olympia champ spends considerable time warming up — much more than when he first began his career in the gym compared to his younger days when he got straight to lifting heavy after entering the gym.
Clarida employed a narrow overhand grip on an EZ bar for the cable triceps pushdowns, focusing on slow eccentrics with a pause at the bottom. Dumbbell hammer curls were the follow-up, which biases the brachialis, which adds a visual thickness to the arms on stage. Clarida lifted the dumbbells cross-body, bringing them to his midline on the concentrics.
Single-Arm Overhead Triceps Extension & Biceps Preacher Curl
Clarida favors single-arm overhead triceps extensions to build the long and medial triceps heads. He performed extensions standing with his elbows flared to allow for a more natural range of motion.
The single-arm biceps preacher curl is one of Clarida’s favorite exercises to isolate the biceps brachii. Clarida added pauses in the shortened position.
Cross-Body Triceps Extension & Overhead Cable Curls
For the cross-body extensions, Clarida grasped a cuff attachment using a neutral grip. He assumed a hip-width stance, grabbed the pulley machine with his non-working arm for better stability, and limited his elbow movement during reps. He mimicked the front double biceps pose during his overhead cable curls. He trained to failure one side at a time during the final set.
Triceps Machine Dips
Clarida wrapped up his arm day with machine triceps dips. He maintained an upright torso, keeping the tension on his triceps. Clarida advised moving through one’s full range of motion to build “horseshoe” triceps.
The 2023 Olympia, scheduled for Nov. 2-5 in Orlando, FL, will be Clarida’s eighth-consecutive Olympia appearance. The former 212 Olympia champ will face the following athletes, who have qualified for the 2023 212 Olympia at the time of this article’s publication:
- Felipe Fierro (Chile)
- Angel Calderon Frias (Spain)
- Kamal Elgargni (Libya)
- Ahmad Ashkanani (Kuwait)
- Felipe Moraes (Brazil)
- Kerrith Bajjo (USA)
- Piotr Borecki (Poland)
- Andrei Melnikov (Russia)
- Roman Iushchenko (Ukraine)
- John Jewett (USA)
- Chris Jones (USA)
- Fabrizio de Souza Moreira (Brazil)
- Fink J, Schoenfeld BJ, Kikuchi N, Nakazato K. Effects of drop set resistance training on acute stress indicators and long-term muscle hypertrophy and strength. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2018 May;58(5):597-605. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.06838-4. Epub 2017 Apr 26. PMID: 28474868.
Featured image: @shaunclarida on Instagram