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Simple and Quick Dumbbell Arm Workout

Someone recently wrote to me about different training techniques and touched on one I’ve known for a while now and recently revisited. If you’re at all familiar with Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson from the old Ironman Magazine days you’ll know they popularized the POF system. That is the Positions of Flexion training technique.

I remember using POF for many years during my competitive days. I liked the fact that I could organize my training pretty easily around it and I didn’t need a ton of volume to get great results. Let’s break down this oldie but goody technique and then plan out a quick, but very effective arm workout around it.

 

Positions of Flexion

POF has two main components: low volume of work and working each muscle group in the three positions of flexion (midrange, stretched, and contracted). The midrange exercises are usually reserved for the big muscle movers such as bench presses, shoulder presses, barbell curls, and squats just to name a few. The stretched position are, you guessed it, exercises that put an intense stretch on the muscle belly. Think incline curls, chest flys, and sissy squats. Finally, contracted exercises cause an extreme peak contraction to finish off a body part such as concentration curls, cable crossovers, and leg extensions.

My personal experience taught me a few things about this type of training. I loved the lower volume and multiple angles, but I didn’t find it effective for every body part. Specifically, it was tough for me to get everything out of chest, back, and shoulders using POF. Those areas thrived on just a few simple moves and higher volume. It’s great, however, for arms and legs.

Arm training should be simple and quick without a ton of fanfare, complexities, or endless training volume. Below is an example of some triceps and biceps workouts I’ve done using POF in the past and recently as well with dumbbells exclusively. Let’s get to it.

 

Simple and Quick Dumbbell Arm Workout

Lying dumbbell extension (noes breaker/skull crusher) 3 x 10-20
Standing overhead double arm dumbbell extension 3 x 10-20
Bent-over dumbbell triceps kickback 2-3 x 10-20

Standing dumbbell curl 3 x 10-20
Incline bench dumbbell curl 3 x 10-20
Dumbbell concentration curl 2-3 x 10-20

 

* If you’re tight on time you can superset triceps and biceps by alternating exercises for each back to back without rest. Perform a triceps exercise then immediately perform a biceps exercise and keep alternating until all three sets are complete. Rest for one minute and then start the next pair of exercises.

Superset: Lying dumbbell extension (noes breaker/skull crusher) 3 x 10-20 and
Standing dumbbell curl 3 x 10-20

Superset: Standing overhead double arm dumbbell extension 3 x 10-20 and
Incline bench dumbbell curl 3 x 10-20

Superset: Bent-over dumbbell triceps kickback 2-3 x 10-20 and
Dumbbell concentration curl 2-3 x 10-20

 

Let me know how you do in the comments.

By Brad Borland

Cancer Survivor, Military Veteran, University Lecturer, Strength Coach, Natural Drug-Free Bodybuilder, Husband, Father

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