OUT OF EVERY muscle group, your arms are likely the last one you’re neglecting in your workouts. Whether you’re training them directly with exercises such as the biceps curl or triceps extension, or indirectly with moves such as the pullup or pushup, odds are that you work your biceps, triceps, and myriad other arm muscles on the regular. After all, who doesn’t want to stretch their shirtsleeves?
Still, if your workout plan is typically composed of full-body splits or you structure your training sessions around movements that aim at the big muscle groups—think chest, back and legs—chances are you don’t often make your arms the star of the show as often as you might like.
This dumbbell challenge does just that, giving your arms center stage in your training plan for two consecutive weeks. You’ll target your biceps, triceps, and shoulders with two exercises a day for 14 days, making sure that your arms get a pump not only during every single workout, but also on what would otherwise be considered “off days” for most training plans.
If you do have a regular workout plan you want to stick to, you can still slot in this challenge at the end of each training session. Think of it as an extra-intense finisher. If you’re new to the gym, this can be your whole workout. And don’t worry—these sessions will never take you longer than 10 minutes to complete.
The 14-Day Dumbbell Arm Challenge Structure
In Week 1, you’ll perform reps of each of the two daily moves for 40 seconds at a time, alternating between them with 20 seconds of rest in between. Repeat those paired movements for five rounds.
In Week 2, perform each day’s moves as an “AMRAP+1” superset. Here’s what that entails: Begin with back-to-back sets of the two movements, performing the prescribed number of reps. Each time you repeat the superset, add a rep to each exercise. Continue for five rounds (that’s 10 minutes), completing as many rounds/supersets as possible and resting only as much as absolutely necessary (i.e., keep it minimal).
The key here (as always) is rep quality, not quantity. Chase good reps and squeezes, using medium-weight dumbbells. If you enjoy this challenge and are hungry for more, rest for two days after completing it, and then do it again, transforming it into a 30-day challenge.
You won’t see size gains in just 14 days—but don’t be surprised if you notice some growth as you approach the 30-day mark if you choose to double-up. Just as importantly, know that you’re building a mind-muscle connection that will set you up for long term success and consistent, eye-popping muscle growth.
The 14-Day Dumbbell Challenge Exercises
Position yourself on the floor in a tall-kneeling position, holding a pair of dumbbells by your sides, palms facing in. Keeping your back flat, core engaged, and elbows by your sides, curl the dumbbells halfway up while rotating your palms upward. Pause, then reverse the movement to return to the