Bodybuilder Shaun Clarida Breaks Down an Intense Arms Workout

Shaping a tremendously aesthetic physique requires tremendously intense coaching. It’s evident that 212 Olympia winner Shaun “The Giant Killer” Clarida has no such points together with his dedication. On April 12, 2022, the IFBB Pro shared an intense higher physique exercise that seemingly attacked each side of his arms on his YouTube channel.

As Clarida explains, he doesn’t normally have a wire-to-wire coaching day dedicated to his arms throughout his low season. Due to simmering fan assist and demand (over 25,000 subscribers on YouTube), Clarida determined to offer the individuals what they needed and document an arms session.

It’s an inside look into the stellar power of the 2020 212 Mr. Olympia Champion and the second-place finisher on the 2021 Mr. Olympia. 

Clarida’s Arms Workout

Clarida doesn’t waste any time diving proper in. He begins the video session by working his triceps and caring for them with applicable care and steadiness immediately. 

Rope Pushdown 

Sets and Reps: 6-7 x 10, double drop units on last set.

Clarida begins the session with a triceps pushdown utilizing a rope attachment. He says he likes to start his arm exercises with an remoted, single-joint train to heat up his triceps muscle groups earlier than making an attempt heavier compound lifts (lifts that interact multiple joint concurrently). Research exhibits that single-joint workout routines is usually a vital boon to muscle development when utilized virtually. (1)

Clarida performs two warmup units, two feeders (or build-up units which might be difficult however aren’t pushing to failure), and three working units (units the place the athlete pushes near or reaches precise failure).

Cable Curl 

Sets and Reps: 6-7 x 10

Once rope pushdowns are within the rearview mirror, he transitions to a cable machine for cable curls. Like the pushdowns, cable curls enable Clarida to heat up the muscle group earlier than heavier units. Using D-handles for a extra comfy grip than a bar, he follows the identical set and rep format because the pushdowns. 

We’re gonna maintain it fairly primary, straight units right here.

Once Clarida reaches the ultimate set, he institutes a unilateral variation — the place an athlete does x-number of reps on one aspect earlier than switching to the opposite and doing the identical. One research exhibits that unilateral coaching could result in balanced, vital power positive factors — as much as 29 % will increase in examined individuals over an prolonged coaching interval. (2)

[Related: Bodybuilder Breon Ansley Explains His Decision To Retire From The Classic Physique Division]

Dumbbell Single-Arm Overhead Triceps Extension 

Sets and Reps: 3 x 10

After ending his first set of overhead extensions, Clarida does one thing surprising — he removes his hoodie to work out in a tank prime for the remainder of the session. 

For you, only for you, all my followers…at present solely, I’m going to point out you a little bit little bit of pores and skin.

Notably, Clarida maintains the single-arm dumbbell overhead triceps extension is his favourite, foundational triceps motion. 

EZ-Bar Curl

Sets and Reps: 3 x 10

Before Clarida begins this motion to work out his biceps, he notes that he prefers an EZ-bar, which has a novel curl form, over a straight barbell as a result of it’s simpler on his wrists. The bodybuilder begins with 30 kilos on his first set earlier than ultimately ending with 100 kilos. 

Underhand Cable Pushdown

Sets and Reps: 3 x 10

Clarida wastes no time after his curls and instantly proceeds to a superset with cable triceps pushdowns. He once more makes use of D-handles however with an underhanded grip to isolate the lengthy head of the triceps (the triceps muscle nearer to your physique). It’s a transfer he says he picked up from his coach, the late John Meadows. 

Taking care of each triceps muscle is vital, however the lengthy head would possibly particularly play a outstanding position in power growth. Past knowledge has proven that the lengthy head is way extra of a consider muscle activation and drive than the opposite triceps brachii. (3)

[Related: Watch Bodybuilder Kyle Kirvay Squats 685 Pounds For 5 Reps]

Dumbbell Hammer Curl

Sets and Reps: 3 x 10

Clarida then performs cross-body dumbbell hammer curls. In providing extra readability, it’s all a method to maintain his exercises easy however efficient. 

“Let’s stick with the basics. The basics have always worked,” Clarida says.”You’ve received some nice machines. I extra so make the most of that when I’m in prep versus now. I really feel like now could be my development season for me personally. Compound actions that work one of the best for me. So barbell, dumbbell work. That’s what I prefer to depend on principally throughout my development season.”

Overhead Cable Extension

Sets and Reps: 3 x 10

Clarida’s final triceps exercise of the day centered again with the cables — this time whereas seated on a bench and carried out at shoulder top. Per Clarida’s rationale, he saved this distinctive triceps motion for a great purpose.

“They really open the triceps head, get some of my blood in there and stretch the fibers,” Clarida says. “They’re full of blood, nice and tight. I’m gonna go stretch them out and then get one more big contraction out of them.”

It’s an important nearer for Clarida due to what high quality blood movement can do for a muscle. In optimum circumstances, an athlete’s blood movement should match the calls for of no matter muscle it’s they’re contracting. Anything much less, they danger failure and, within the worst-case situation, would possibly even put themselves in peril of potential harm. (4)

Bisolator Curl

Suggested Sets and Reps: 3 x 10

Clarida caps his arms exercise with an obvious set to failure for every arm on the “Bisolator” — an older machine focused on biceps and dealing their peak.

Any athlete searching for to maximise their energy output will ultimately come round to engaged on a muscle’s peak. Over time, findings have proven coaching routines that place advantage on working peaks will bear out with the athlete having a extra environment friendly power basis. (5)

Mr. Olympia Is Next

One of the crown jewels {of professional} bodybuilding — the Mr. Olympia occasion — remains to be a methods off. Circumstances might change for somebody elite like Clarida between April and December 2022. If he’s planning to reclaim the 212 Olympia title from Derek Lunsford, this low season arm exercise definitely doesn’t harm his possibilities.

The 2022 Mr. Olympia will happen on December 15-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. 


Gentil, P., Soares, S., Bottaro, M. (2015). Single vs. Multi-Joint Resistance Exercises: Effects on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy. Asian Journal of Sports Medicine. 2015 Jun; 6(2)
Green, L.A., Gabriel, D.A. (2018). The impact of unilateral coaching on contralateral limb power in younger, older, and affected person populations: a meta-analysis of cross-education. Physical Therapy Reviews. 2018 Mar; Vol. 23; p. 238-249
Kholinne, E. et al. (2018). The totally different position of every head of the triceps brachii muscle in elbow extension. Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica. 2018 May; 52(3); p. 201–205.
Joyner, M.J., Casey, D.P. (2015). Regulation of Increased Blood Flow (Hyperemia) to Muscles During Exercise: A Hierarchy of Competing Physiological Needs. Physiological Reviews. 2015 Apr; 95(2); p. 549–601.
Sarabia, J.M., Moya-Ramón, M., Hernández-Davó, J.L., Fernandez-Fernandez, J., Sabido, R. (2017). The results of coaching with hundreds that maximise energy output and individualised repetitions vs. conventional energy coaching. PLOS One. 2017 Oct; 12(10)

Featured picture: @shaunclarida on Instagram

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