The Infamous Arms & Legs Circuit
My Infamous Arms & Legs is a great full body circuit that involves pairing heavy weight lifting with high volume body weight movements for the upper body, and utilizes bodyweight lunges in between rounds for conditioning, a killer leg pump and also to allow your arms to recover slightly between rounds. The chin ups, dips, and push ups serve two purposes - when paired with heavy isolation movements for the biceps and triceps they really help to pre-exhaust or burnout the muscle, and due to them being large compound exercises, your chest, back, and shoulders get in on the action, making this a circuit that involves almost every muscle in the body. That alone would give you a tremendous pump and push your conditioning, but factor in that your only rest between rounds is 3 minutes of lunges and now you’ve got a complete workout that includes cardio and will leave you a sweaty mess with a raging metabolism. Think of it as “Crossfit for Meatheads”.
Now keep in mind, just because this workout involves a few sets of lunges doesn’t mean that you can substitute it for a leg day. The lower body work in this routine is more of a conditioning tool, so I still recommend two actual leg days thru out the week. On a typical training week, this would be the “extra” workout, perfect for the weekend (before heading to the pool in that new Max Effort tank top that requires an arm pump) or a midweek second workout after a heavy leg workout.
The key to this routine is being able to move quickly from exercise to exercise with little rest, and also picking heavy enough weights for both the curls and the dumbbell skull crushers. I recommend getting everything set up ahead of time so you can move seamlessly thru the circuit with minimal downtime. It’s also a good idea to do a few warm up sets of barbell curls, skull crushers and dumbbell curls so you can select the proper weight. The weight must be heavy enough that is challenging to hit the prescribed number (5 barbell curls for example) in order for this workout to deliver on my promise of an enormous pump and total body exhaustion. On the exercises that are listed for “Max Reps”, make sure to pump them out until failure.
Begin with a leg-less Rope Climb. Immediately go to 5 strict but heavy barbell curls (in later rounds it may be necessary to “cheat” the bar up a little bit by using your hips). After the set of curls, go to a pull up bar and rep out as many underhand chin ups as possible, making sure to get your chin above the bar on every rep. Transition to the Dip bars where you will do a super slow set of 5 time under tension dips. Count to 5 as you lower down into the dip, hold the bottom position for 5 seconds, then come up slowly for a full 5 count. Next lie on either a bench or the floor and perform 8 dumbbell skull crushers. Be sure to hold the dumbbells in a neutral position (palms facing each other), and try to keep your elbows pointed at the ceiling as you flex the joint an bring the weights to your front delts. As soon as you finish the skull crushers rep out narrow “diamond-style” pushups until you collapse onto the floor. Stand up and complete 3 minutes of walking lunges as your “active rest” before starting the next round. Advanced lifters may choose to use a medium set of dumbbells for the lunges. Complete 4 total rounds of this full body killer and be careful that the skin on your upper arms doesn’t tear from the crazy pump.
Arms & Legs
Circuit: 4 rounds
Rope Climb - 1 (leg-less)
Barbell Curl - 5
Chin Ups - Max Reps
Dips - 5 (5/5/5 tempo)
DB Skulls - 8
Diamond Push Ups - Max Reps
Walking Lunges - 3 minutes
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