10-Minute Arms

Your workout time is precious, so don’t waste a second with this ultra-condensed biceps and triceps attack.
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10-Minute Arms

As closing time at the gym ticks closer, the battle begins: Staffers anxious to head home start dropping ever more urgent hints to leave. The music shuts off, the PA announcements build in intensity and banks of florescent lights flicker off as the last few stragglers defiantly eke out their final sets.

If you’re one of those never-say-die souls, we have a perfect workout for you: a one-station, 10-minute arm routine that will let you hit the exit in the nick of time.

All told, you’ll do six exercises in three superset combos, each pairing a triceps move with a biceps. The supersets are designed for maximum output in minimum time, with each superset requiring only a quick change from the upper to lower position midset on the adjustable cable apparatus and an attachment switch-out from the short straight bar to rope to D-handle as you work your way through the gauntlet.

First, you’ll click that straight bar into place for pressdowns, followed by cable curls. You’ll do three supersets total, resting only as long as it takes to switch the cable position from high to low in between, aiming for eight to 10 reps per exercise. A key pointer for both exercises is to keep your elbows in tight to your sides, as if a metal rod were running through your torso holding them in place. Letting them shift forward allows for unwanted shoulder involvement and advantageous positioning (i.e., cheating).

Next are overhead rope extensions and lying curls, resting only long enough to catch your breath, 30 seconds at most. If you’re not familiar with lying hammer curls, lie flat on the floor, feet at the machine, and keep your elbows in tight to your body as you curl. If the design of the machine compromises your range of motion, switch this out for standing rope curls instead. Again, you’ll do three sets of eight to 10 reps without a break, doing a drop to failure on the final go-round.

You’ll finish with the D-handle for one-arm reverse-grip pressdowns and cross-body cable curls, turning sideways to the stack for each exercise. Do two supersets total, taken to failure. (Your arms will be fatigued at this point, but doing one arm>About nine-and-a-half minutes later, you’re done, with just enough time to slip out the door under the impatient glare of a key-wielding crew member. Eh, maybe he’s just jealous of your wicked pump.