What’s the sense in wearing a tank top or T-shirt if it always seems like you’re swimming in it?
You want to fill those sleeves and look like you’re a regular at the gym — not like you merely ran out of clean clothes and borrowed from your old stash of college T’s, right?
The biceps and triceps are among the most sought after gains.
Yet, unless Arnold Schwarzenegger is in your bloodline or you can afford to load up on 200g of protein a day, your upper arms will always be one step behind your goals (ironic).
Well, not anymore.
Mike Samuels launched a biceps and triceps routine featuring everything from isometric holds to rest-free circuits. All to guide you out of your rut and return those gains on a silver platter.
Will this arm building circuit be all it takes to earn you some respect (and attention) at the gym? That’s for you to decide … So, here’s Mike Samuels’ arm building circuit!
Table of Contents
- About the Creator – Mike Samuels
- What is Mike Samuels’ Arm Building Circuit?
- Mike Samuels’ Arm Building Circuit Details
- Arm Building Circuit Pros
- Arm Building Circuit Cons
- Arm Building Circuit Conclusion
About the Creator – Mike Samuels
Mike Samuels might not bring the same star power and name recognition as Jeff Nippard or Jeff Cavaliere. But remember: Online fame doesn’t define a fitness guru’s worth or skill.
So, here’s a look at what we know about the mysterious Mike Samuels.
Samuels’ initial venture into the fitness community didn’t involve weightlifting at all. The guy dedicated years to running 10k races before he eventually discovered the joys of powerlifting.
In 2008, he officially became a trainer with Premier Global. Not three years later, Samuels went on to win a coaching award from Precision Nutrition.
Since then, Mike Samuels has:
- Trained clients in diet and exercise in the UK
- Written articles for fitness-based websites like Livestrong and STACK
- Won his weight class and age group at the Great British Powerlifting Federation All England Championships in 2012
- Participated in more powerlifting competitions to put his strength to the test
But where has Mike Samuels been since 2017?
All we know is that when he was making his rounds on the internet and sharing his fitness knowledge years ago, he was quite well-respected.
What is Mike Samuels’ Arm Building Circuit?
(It’s also a stellar forearm workout too.)
You have two options when running this program:
Do arm day once a week (75-90 minutes): Complete circuit #1 three times with 90-120 seconds of rest in between … and then do the same for circuit #2 (six total circuits).
Do arm day twice a week (35-45 minutes): Do circuit #1 three times after your first upper body session of the week … then do circuit #2 after your second weekly upper body workout.
And you’ll need a full gym membership to use this program. That’s because you need the following equipment (which you might not have at home):
- Resistance bands
- Weight plates
- Cable machine
- EZ curl bar
This six-week, high-volume arm workout might feel more like a weightlifting session with a little cardio infusion sprinkled in — so don’t be surprised if you’re exhausted halfway through!
Beginning with one or two cycle-throughs can help you ease into the program better.
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Mike Samuels’ Arm Building Circuit Details
Mike Samuels’ Arm Building Circuit is high-paced. And it requires you to do one set of a bicep or tricep exercise before quickly jumping over to another (no rest!).
Some exercises are isometric holds, while others are to failure or within the 6-12 rep range. So, make sure you’re keeping a close eye on what’s on deck, as there’s little consistency!
Here’s a look at each circuit:
- Standing EZ Bar Curls – 1 set x 6-8 reps (no rest)
- Close Grip Bench Presses – 1 set x 6-8 reps (no rest)
- Isometric Cable Curl Hold – 1 set x 30-40 seconds (no rest)
- Cable Curls– 1 set x X AMRAP in 30 seconds (no rest)
- Overhead Cable Extensions – 1 set x 10-12 reps (no rest)
- Bench Dips – 1 set to failure (no rest)
- Rest 90-120 seconds (repeat two more times)
- Seated Dumbbell Curls – 1 set x 6-8 reps (no rest)
- Weighted Dips – 1 set x 6-8 reps (no rest)
- Reverse Cable Curls – 1 set x 10-12 reps (no rest)
- Band Curls – 1 set x AMRAP in 30 seconds (no rest)
- Isometric Cable Pushdowns – 1 set x 30-40 seconds (no rest)
- Overhead Plate Extensions – 1 set x X AMRAP in 30 seconds (no rest)
- Rest 90-120 seconds (repeat two more times)
Arm Building Circuit Pros
1. A Real Plateau-Buster
By this point in your training, you’ve probably dedicated most of your workouts to compound exercises (like bench presses or squats).
But a 5×5 or PPL routine can only trigger so much growth in the minor muscles. At a certain point, you need to begin targeting them directly and with a brand new approach.
And that’s where this aesthetic arm routine enters the picture.
In true “plateau-busting” fashion, this routine targets:
- Hypertrophy and strength: 6-8 reps
- Pure gains: 10-12 reps
- Endurance: AMRAP
So, no matter what type of muscle fibers you have and how your biceps and triceps respond best, you’ll be able to reap the greatest benefits and see serious gains!
2. Potentially Quick Workout
The only rest periods worked into this routine are at the end of each circuit, where you’ll have 90-120 seconds to catch your breath and jump right back in.
Yes, 18-36 arm sets per week sounds like a lot.
But when you’re dividing these circuits into two separate workouts and tacking them onto the tail end of your upper body sessions, you can crush through the arm portions in 30 minutes or less.
So, it’s not a specialization routine that eats up too much of your time.
And if it takes shaky muscles and obliterated strength to make you feel productive in the gym, you can always stick to the 75-90-minute arm workout once a week.
Just be sure to give yourself a full week to recover and rebuild.
Arm Building Circuit Cons
1. Six Cycles a Week?
Regardless of how you perform this routine (once or twice a week), you’re going to be doing six total circuits a week — three of each.
Samuels claims this is a beginner’s routine.
So, the thought of a beginner:
- Powering through 36 arm sets with just occasional 90-120-second rest periods
- Going from a few sets of biceps and triceps exercises a week to suddenly 18 each
- Crushing through sets to failure or at near-maximal intensity
- Having enough energy a few days later to target chest and back for gains as well
… all sounds a bit ridiculous.
The last thing you want to do is stall your gains by doing too much too soon. Therefore, it’s best to start with one circuit first and then add more as you begin building strength and endurance.
Otherwise, you’ll always feel exhausted and weak.
2. Unusual Emphasis on Isometric Exercises
Okay, we definitely appreciate that Samuels added a ton of variety into this routine — 6-8 reps, 10-12 reps, failure, and even isometric holds — to keep it interesting.
Yet, the latter is where we winced a little.
Isometric holds are great when you’re looking to build stability and activate a massive number of muscle fibers. But with no muscle contractions, isometric exercises aren’t the best for mass.
Holding a cable curl or cable pushdown for 30-40 seconds might fatigue your biceps and triceps and make you feel productive. However, these exercises maintain strength rather than build it.
So, think about swapping those holds out and adding in true working sets.
3. Not Realistic In a Gym
If you have a fully-stocked home gym, then it’s 100% possible to cruise through this routine in only 30 minutes without having to wait on equipment to open up.
Or make exercise swaps — like dumbbell curls for band curls.
But at a gym (especially during rush hour), working this routine for 75-90 minutes at a time is going to make you an enemy of the people.
The first problem: You might have forced rest periods while waiting for equipment.
The second problem: Very few people will let you willingly “work in a set” of close grip bench presses just to do 6-8 reps and walk away.
So, your only other option is going to the gym to do this workout when it’s completely empty.
Arm Building Circuit Conclusion
Mike Samuels’ Arm Building Circuit has a ton of potential and is ten steps beyond what you’re probably already doing to build aesthetic triceps and biceps.
But it’s probably too much … and simultaneously not enough.
It’ll 100% blast your arms like never before through every rep range and intensity, a rock-solid plan for triggering growth. And you can crush through the workout in 30 minutes twice a week.
Yet, you’ll be doing far too many sets per workout, isometric exercises aren’t usually practical for building mass, and this routine is all but impossible in a regular gym.
So, don’t be afraid to give it a try — but make changes as you see fit:
- Do one or two cycles at first until you build up your endurance and strength.
- Limit the amount of equipment you use if you’re working out in the gym.
- Swap out isometric exercises and replace them with a set of 8-12 regular reps.
Now that you know how to build your biceps and triceps, are you ready to make gains throughout the rest of your body?
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