Bodybuilder Shaun Clarida Performs a Sleeve-Ripping Arm Workout In His Off-Season

"The Giant Killer" shared his high-intensity, high-volume arm workout on his YouTube channel.

2020 212 Olympia champion Shaun Clarida is the only IFBB Pro League bodybuilder qualified to compete in two different bodybuilding divisions — 212 and Men’s Open — at the 2022 Olympia. Per the Olympia Qualification System, “The Giant Killer” earned his qualification for the Open division by winning the 2021 Legion Sports Fest, his IFBB Open debut. Former Olympia winners get a lifetime qualification to compete in their division. 

While it is not clear at the time of this article’s publication which division Clarida will compete in at the 2022 Olympia, it certainly adds to the anticipation of the 2022 Olympia weekend, scheduled for Dec. 16-18 in Las Vegas, NV. On Apr. 12, 2022, Clarida took to his YouTube channel to share his off-season arm workout.

Normally, I don’t have an arm day during my grow [off] season.

Clarida’s current muscle mass-loaded physique suggests he would feel at home in either the 212 or Open divisions. Check it out in the video below:

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Shaun Clarida’s Off-Season Arm Workout

Clarida usually performs antagonist sets in his arm workouts — meaning he alternates between biceps and triceps exercises as it allows his muscles time to recover between sets

Triceps Rope Pushdown

The five-foot, two-inch tall Clarida begins his arm workout with the triceps pushdown. He prefers to kick off his arm workouts with an isolation (single-joint) exercise as it helps warm up his triceps and elbows before he gets to the heavier compound movements. Clarida performs two feeders, two warm-ups, and two to three working sets of the triceps rope pushdown before working his biceps.

Cable Curl

After completing his first triceps exercise, Clarida performs the cable curl to warm up his biceps. He uses D-handles for a more comfortable grip than a bar attachment and follows the same rep and set scheme as he did for the triceps rope pushdowns. For the last set of the exercise, he performs a unilateral variation of the cable curl, where he does the required number of reps on one side before switching to the other


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A post shared by IFBB Pro Shaun Clarida (@shaunclarida)

[Related: Pro Bodybuilder Regan Grimes Shares Low-Volume, High-Intensity Leg Workout]

Single-Arm Overhead Triceps Extension

Following his first set of the single-arm overhead extensions, Clarida takes off his pullover to train in a tank top for the rest of the workout — something he doesn’t often do. The single-arm overhead triceps extension is the former 212 Olympia champ’s favorite triceps movement as it helps him get a sufficient muscle pump

EZ-Bar Curl & Underhand D-handle Triceps Pressdown

Clarida prefers the EZ-bar over the straight bar as it removes wrist mobility as a limiting factor. Plus, the cambered barbell helps achieve better muscle-fiber recruitment. Clarida begins the exercise with a 30-pound barbell and builds up to a 100-pound bar for his last set. After completing the biceps exercise, Clarida supersets it with an underhand D-handle triceps pressdowns to isolate the long head of the triceps — a move he learned from the late John Meadows.


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A post shared by IFBB Pro Shaun Clarida (@shaunclarida)

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Cross-Body Dumbbell Hammer Curl

For the sixth exercise of the day, Clarida performs the cross-body dumbbell hammer curl. The neutral grip curl is a great exercise to work the brachialis (which lies underneath the brachii), which can help add thickness — an important aesthetic on stage

Overhead Cable Extension & Bisolator Curl

The former 212 Olympia champ performs this exercise while seated on a military bench. He sets the pulley at shoulder height, making the movement look like a hybrid of the overhead triceps extension and the cable skull crusher

Clarida wraps up his arm workout on the old-school biceps concentration curl machine called the “Bisolator.” The movement helps work on the bicep peak and conditioning

Clarida’s Full Arm Workout

Here is a summary of the 2020 212 Olympia champ’s arm training routine:

  • Tricep Rope Pushdown — 6-7 x 10, double drop set on the final set
  • Cable Curl — 6-7 x 10
  • Single-Arm Overhead Tricep Extension — 3 x 10
  • EZ-Bar Curl — 3 x 10
  • Underhand D-handle Tricep Pressdown — 3 x 10
  • Cross-Body Dumbbell Hammer Curl — 3 x 10
  • Overhead Cable Extension — 3 x 10

Road to the 2022 Olympia

In January 2021, Clarida told BarBend that he intends to move up a division before retiring. However, the 39-year-old didn’t specify if that meant attempting to dethrone the two-time reigning Mr. Olympia champion, Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay. We’ll see if “The Giant Killer” attempts to topple the mass monster or challenge Derek Lunsford to reclaim the 212 Olympia crown in December 2022.

Featured image: @shaunclarida on Instagram