Pretty standard really, as I wrote earlier I've adjusted my training and mind set for arms to be more similar to how I train other muscle groups, rather than always chasing a high rep pump, and rotate exercises and sets/reps a bit. Here's the breakdown of arms throughout the week:
Back/Biceps day - Tuesday - I hit back hard, 6 exercises and a total of 20 working sets. So, by the time I get to biceps they've already been thoroughly warmed up and worked a bit, so on this day I make sure intensity is high and I get a good pump, but won't do anything too heavy. Again this starts after I finish the back workout.
1. Straight barbell curls - 3 sets of 8+8. Got this also from Roelly Winklaar, I'll do 8 standard reps, coming down to almost fully stretched but not quite, to keep tension in the biceps, while leaving the elbows in place. Then, I'll go right into another 8 (or as many as I can) coming down slightly lower than half way, then back up, raising elbows slightly this time to get maximum peak contraction. By the last set I typically can't get the last 8, usually 5-6 and I'll do some partials.
2. Plate loaded Hammerstrength Preacher Curl - 3 sets of 8-10. I typically avoided preacher curls because they're a weak movement for me, but after sucking it up and just focusing on getting stronger on that movement, it's been getting a lot better. I make sure to fully stretch 100% before coming back up. Sometimes I'll also use cable machine preacher curl or barbell.
3. Dumbbell cross body curls - 3 sets of 10-12, recently starting using straps for these and it really helps keep all the tension in the brachialis.
Delt/Tricep day - Wednesday - Hit delts hard, then move on to triceps.
1. Weighted tricep dips - 4-5 sets of 5-6, really trying to bring up triceps so starting with heavier movements for strength. I don't feel a huge pump here, but make sure to stay upright and keep tension all in the triceps. Past couple sessions I've had 90lbs on the dip belt.
2. Swivel Bar Pushdown "Knuckles Down" - 3 sets 8-10. Got this from a Paul Carter article. Basically standard push downs, but at the bottom, you try to turn your knuckles down towards the ground and squeeze the tricep as hard as possible. Thinking about the knuckles takes the tricep contraction to the next level!
3. Single Arm Reverse Grip Cable Pulldowns - 3 sets 10-12. Supinated grip, one arm at a time, making sure to contract the tricep as hard as possible at the bottom and a slow stretch on the negative.
ARM DAY - Saturday - Just arms, no cardio.
1. Barbell Curls - 4-5 sets of 5-8 - Hard and heavy, explosive as possible with a slow negative. These are not cheat curls, no upper body momentum.
2. Alternating Dumbbell Concentration Curls - 3 sets 8-10. Nothing special, focus on the squeeze and wrist rotation at the top for maximum contraction.
3. EZ Bar Curls - Narrow Grip - 3 sets 8-10 - I view this as a "bridge" exercises between standard curls and hammer curls. Using the narrow grip of the EZ bar curls works the outer part of the long head of the bicep, I feel like it gets the area between the peak and the brachi, helping to round out the arm from all angles.
4. Hammer Curl Bar - 3 sets 10-12 - Slow with a brief pause at the top, arms come up to slightly higher than parallel with the floor.
1. Close Grip Bench - 4-5 sets 5-8 Again focusing on strength here, make sure to find the range of motion that allows you to keep it all in the triceps.
2. Rope Pull Downs - 4 sets 8-10 - I think about the same "knuckles down" tip as with the swivel bar for maximum contraction.
3. Decline Bench Dumbbell Tricep Extension - 3 sets 10-12 (to fail) - A fantastic tricep finisher on the decline bench, focus on the negative with a slow stretch, and peak contraction at the top.
Similar to arms, I had to change my mindset, and incorporate lower reps. As delts are smaller muscles, I always chased the pump thinking that's what I needed, and also to try to avoid injury. But, when I really wanted to prioritize shoulders and arms, I realized I needed to be stronger and raise intensity. If you can get the strength up, then you can lift heavier weights for higher reps, and spur new growth. I started by doing 5x5 seated Dumbbell presses to start off every workout, that alone was extremely helpful in building strength. I also added in alternating front raises after DB presses, as heavy as possible while keeping tension in the shoulder, sets of 8-10. When I started DB presses 5x5 that was a few months ago, I was doing 55's and 60's for 5. Yesterday I was able to do 70's for three sets of 8, and got two sets of 5 with 75's. For front raises, I started with 20lb dumbbells, yesterday I was able to do 2 sets of 12 with 37.5's, and 2 sets of 10 with 40's.
I feel the mindset was the most significant thing that changed in my shoulder and arm training, really trying to improve strength and intensity I'm those muscle groups as I do with chest, back, and legs. Definitely have to be careful to avoid injury and not abuse the joints. Since I always typically did sets of at least 10 for shoulders and arms, moving to lower reps was very beneficial not just for strength and growth, but because it was a big change from what I was doing. If someone had stubborn arms and always did lower reps, I would imagine doing a few weeks of higher rep pump work would be a good stimulus for growth.