Bicep and Tricep Superset Workout for Mass

Want to build big arms? Of course you do! Try this bicep and tricep superset workout on for size.

This article will outline an arm workout based on supersets that will force your muscle fibers to grow. Combining biceps and triceps training into one superset workout is an excellent way to get that sleeve-bursting pump and greater gains without spending hours in the gym.

What are Supersets?

A superset consists of alternating sets of two different exercises without rest. You rest after the two back-to-back sets. The two most common types of supersets are antagonist supersets and agonist supersets.

Antagonist Superset

An antagonist superset is when you combine a set of an exercise for a muscle group with an exercise for the opposing muscle group. Examples would be a biceps exercise followed by a triceps exercise or a quadriceps exercise combined with a hamstring exercise.

Agonist Superset

Here you pick two exercises that work the same muscle group and perform a set of each without resting. The bench press followed by dumbbell flyes is a classic example. Another agonist superset is leg curls + Romanian deadlifts, a combo that torches the hamstrings.

We’re doing antagonist supersets for your biceps and triceps in this workout. When you perform biceps curls, you contract your biceps to move the weight while your triceps, being the antagonists, relaxes. And during a triceps exercise, you get the opposite effect.

Benefits of Superset

Compared to traditional strength training with rest periods between each set, superset might offer some potential benefits.

  • The main benefit of using supersets is saving time. By supersetting exercises without resting between sets, you make your workout more time-efficient.
  • Supersets help produce a greater training volume in less time compared to traditional sets. Training volume is one of the main drivers of muscle hypertrophy.
  • You get a great pump from supersets. While it might not be a huge help when it comes to building muscle, it sure feels nice.

There is no convincing evidence that supersetting leads to greater muscle growth in the long run, but they can be fun and different, and they allow you to save time without sacrificing training volume.

The Beginner, the Intermediate, and the Advanced

You can use this superset arm workout to build great guns regardless of your training experience. It’s made up of three biceps exercises and three triceps exercises, the difference being how many sets you perform.

  • Beginners will be doing a total of six supersets.
  • Intermediate lifters will perform a total of ten supersets.
  • Finally, the advanced lifter is in for a massive fifteen supersets.

How Do You Know if You’re a Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced?

A classic way of defining training experience is to look at how fast you’re gaining strength.

  • Beginner: you get significantly stronger from workout to workout.
  • Intermediate: you get significantly stronger from week to week or bi-weekly.
  • Advanced: you get significantly stronger from month to month or longer.

However, this being a hypertrophy-focused workout, strength gains isn’t the be-all and end-all.

  • Beginner: you’ve been working out for a month or more and learned how to perform the different exercises. You’re past the absolute beginner stage and know how to activate the correct muscles when you lift. If you haven’t set your foot in a gym yet, superset training shouldn’t be on your list of immediate things to do.
  • Intermediate: you’ve been training for six months or longer, making consistent gains in strength and muscle mass. You might already be familiar with supersets, having implemented them in your own workouts.
  • Advanced: you’re a serious lifter who can handle a high training volume. You have extensive experience in advanced intensity-boosting methods like supersets.

With that said, let’s get to it!

Bicep and Tricep Superset Workout for Mass

Before hitting the heavy weights, make sure your bicep and tricep muscles are fully warmed up. Do a couple of high-rep sets of curls and extensions using a light weight that doesn’t exhaust you, and maybe a few lateral raises and lat pulldowns to warm up your entire shoulder girdle and prepare for the real work coming up.

You’ll be using both free weights and cable exercises, with rep ranges varying from six to 15 to hit all muscle fibers in one workout.

  1. Barbell curl and barbell lying triceps extension
  2. Barbell preacher curl and barbell standing triceps extension
  3. Cable curl and tricep pushdown

Superset One: Barbell Curl + Barbell Lying Triceps Extension

Starting strong, you will begin the workout with a superset consisting of two mass-builders: the barbell curl and the barbell lying triceps extension.

Select a weight you can perform six reps with, the last rep being a struggle to complete.

  • Beginners: perform two supersets.
  • Intermediates: perform four supersets.
  • Advanced: perform five supersets.

Rest two minutes between each superset. Supersets are time-effecient, but you still want long enough rest periods between them to recover properly and perform your best.

Barbell Curl

The barbell curl is your basic bicep mass-builder and one of the best bicep exercises in your training arsenal. It’s also the first exercise in this bicep and tricep superset workout. Using a barbell, you can handle a heavy weight, putting the max amount of stress on your biceps and making them grow.

Use a straight bar or an ez bar, maintain good form, but don’t be afraid of using a little momentum on the last rep to get the bar going. That’s called a “cheat curl,” but used strategically, you’re not cheating yourself. Instead, you can grind out one last rep where you would have failed otherwise. Make sure you lower the bar slowly and with complete control.

Barbell biceps curl exercise technique

Muscles Worked in Barbell Curls

Muscles worked in the barbell curl

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Barbell Curl

  • Grip a bar with an underhand (supinated) grip, hands about shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift the bar with control, by flexing your elbows.
  • Don’t let your upper arm travel back during the curl, keep it at your side or move it slightly forward.
  • Reverse the movement and lower the bar back to the starting position.

Barbell Lying Triceps Extension

Like the barbell curl, the barbell lying triceps extension allows you to handle the most weight and overload your triceps.

This is not your standard skull crushers where you bring the barbell to your forehead. Instead, I want you to lower the bar fully down behind your head, getting a full stretch and range of motion before you extend your arms and contract your triceps at the top.

Barbell Lying Triceps Extension

Muscles Worked in Barbell Lying Triceps Extensions

Muscles worked by lying triceps extension

Primary muscles worked:

How to Do Barbell Lying Triceps Extensions

  • Lie down on a flat bench which your head close to the edge. Hold a barbell with a close grip, and lift it up to straight arms over yourself.
  • Lower the barbell down behind your head. Try to keep the same distance between your elbows throughout the movement.
  • Reverse the motion and extend your arms again.

Superset Two: Barbell Preacher Curl + Barbell Standing Triceps Extension

Rest two minutes, then move on to the next superset, consisting of barbell preacher curls and barbell standing triceps extensions.

Select a weight you can perform ten reps with, with the last rep being a struggle but not impossible.

  • Beginners: perform two supersets.
  • Intermediates: perform three supersets.
  • Advanced: perform five supersets.

Rest two minutes between each superset.

Barbell Preacher Curl

The preacher curl offers two significant benefits compared to other curl variants.

  • It is a fantastic isolation exercise involving your biceps and nothing but your biceps. If the barbell curls allow you to use maximum weights by involving the rest of your body a bit, the preacher curl targets the biceps and only the biceps.
  • It forces you to focus on eccentric movement, the part of the curl where you lower the bar. Research shows that eccentric training is an effective way to promote muscle hypertrophy. And no bicep exercise is more suited to eccentric work than the preacher curl.

Lower the bar slowly to full extension and contract your biceps as hard as you can at the top. No cheating and bouncing allowed here! Let your biceps do all the work.

Barbell Preacher Curl exercise technique

Muscles Worked in Barbell Preacher Curls

Muscles worked in barbell preacher curl

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Do Barbell Preacher Curls

  • Grab a barbell and sit down at a preacher curl bench, resting your upper arms against the pad.
  • Lower the barbell as far as you can, with control.
  • Reverse the motion and return to the starting position.

Barbell Standing Triceps Extension

As the name suggests, your triceps consists of three three heads: the lateral head, the short head, and the long head. The long head makes up around half of the mass of the triceps.

triceps


Performing overhead extensions is a great way to target the long head of the triceps. That’s where the long head is in a stretched position and where you can contract it most forcefully.

Enter the barbell standing triceps extension. This one torches the long head of your triceps and is a great exercise for muscle growth. Full stretch in the bottom of the movement, constant tension throughout, and full contraction at the top of the movement.

Muscles Worked in Barbell Standing Triceps Extensions

Muscles worked by standing tricep extension

Primary muscles worked:

How to Do Barbell Standing Triceps Extensions

  • Grip a barbell with a close grip, and lift it up to straight arms over your head.
  • Lower the barbell down behind your head, while keeping your upper arms still and vertical.
  • Reverse the motion and extend your arms again.

If you prefer, you can do dumbbell preacher curls and dumbbell triceps extensions instead. Using a dumbbell for the triceps extensions might be easier if you don’t have the mobility to perform barbell extensions comfortably.

Superset Three: Cable Curl + Triceps Pushdown

Again, take a two-minute breather, then move on to the finisher: cable curls and cable pushdowns supersets.

The focus of the third superset combo is on getting a pump and feeling the muscles work, not hoisting as much weight as possible. You’ll be using lighter weights than in the first two supersets. Select a weight you can perform 15 reps with, with the last rep being a struggle but not impossible.

  • Beginners: perform two supersets.
  • Intermediates: perform three supersets.
  • Advanced: perform five supersets.

Rest two minutes between each superset.

Cable Curl With Bar

Time to get your pump on! Keep your arms tucked to your sides and curl with proper form and a controlled motion. Don’t pause during the movement, keeping tension on your biceps at all times.

Muscles Worked in Cable Curls With Bar

Muscles worked in Cable Curl With Bar

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Cable Curls With Bar

  • Fasten a bar in the lower position of a cable machine. Grip the bar with an underhand (supinated) grip, hands about shoulder-width apart, and take a step back.
  • Lift the bar with control, by flexing your elbows.
  • Don’t let your upper arm travel back during the curl, keep it still or move it slightly forward.
  • Reverse the movement and lower the bar back to the starting position.

Triceps Pushdown

As with the cable curls, tuck your arms to your sides and concentrate all the work on the triceps. Maintain tension throughout the movement, but try to contract your triceps forcefully when you extend your arms.

Tricep Pushdown With Bar exercise technique

Muscles Worked in Tricep Pushdowns

Muscles worked in triceps pushdown with bar

Primary muscles worked:

How to Do Tricep Pushdowns

  • Stand one step away from the cable pulley, and grip a bar about shoulder width apart.
  • Pull the handle down until your upper arms are perpendicular to the floor. This is the starting position.
  • Push the handle down until your arms are fully extended.
  • With control, let the handle up again.

Feel free to do tricep pushdowns with a rope instead of a bar. The differences in muscle activation are minimal, so use whichever feels better and more comfortable to you.

Track the Bicep and Tricep Superset Workout in StrengthLog

There you have it! A basic but effective biceps and triceps superset workout that will give you a massive pump and promote hypertrophy.

Your muscles grow bigger and stronger in response to the demands you place on them. Once they’ve adapted to lifting a certain weight for a certain number of reps, they will not grow anymore. The key to fast and consistent gains in strength and muscle is to increase the weight you use in your training or to do more reps

A workout log is ideal for this purpose, and this workout is available in our app StrengthLog. The app is 100% free to download and use as a workout tracker and general strength training app where all the basic functionality is free – forever. The app also has a bunch of free programs and workouts. However, our more advanced programs and workouts (such as this one) are for premium users only.

If you want to download StrengthLog for free and give it a spin, use the buttons below.

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Good luck with your training and getting bigger arms, buddy!

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Andreas Abelsson

Andreas has over 30 years of training experience and is a highly appreciated writer and educator on exercise, fitness, and nutrition. Few people stay more up to date and have a better grasp of the field of exercise science than Andreas.