After qualifying for the 2023 Olympia, Men’s Open bodybuilder Brett Wilkin joined forces with coach Joe Bennett to build a Sandow-trophy-worthy physique. Wilkin is training with Bennett to build Wilkin’s arms — an area of his physique Wilkin feels is lagging.
In a video published on Wilkin’s YouTube channel on Aug. 17, 2023, coach Bennett trained Wilkin through an arm workout with the goal of hypertrophy in former WWE superstar Dave Bautista’s Lion’s Den Gym in Tampa, FL. Check it out below:
Brett Wilkin’s Arm Workout
Wilkin’s high-volume arm workout comprised seven exercises:
Wilkin used antagonistic supersets as the biceps and triceps; one muscle group recovered while the other was trained to maintain higher intensity.
Standing Preacher Curl & Seated Cable Cross Triceps Extension
Standing preacher curls help maintain the elbow against the pad, ensuring the target muscles are loaded throughout the range of motion. He paired them with seated cable cross triceps extensions. Although the loading patterns of the second exercise and barbell skull crushers are the same, the former delivers a more natural line of pull, placing less stress on the shoulder and elbow joints.
The cross-triceps extension setup involves adjusting a functional trainer’s cable pulleys at chest height. Wilkin grabbed the right wrist cuff attachment with the left hand and the left cuff with the right hand, then sat on a utility bench facing away from the front of the machine. Maintaining a slight arch in his back and holding his upper arms parallel to the floor, Wilkin extends his elbows 45 degrees and squeezes his triceps at the top.
Seated Cable Biceps Curl & Smith Machine JM Press
Wilkin performed the seated cable biceps curl on the functional trainer with the cable pulleys set at the lowest setting. He grabbed the D-handles with a supinated grip and flexed until his lower arms were parallel to the floor. Wilkin paused at the top of each rep.
Wilkin added a resistance band on both ends of the barbell on the Smith machine JM press to tweak the bar’s resistance profile. The bands added more tension during concentrics and relieved some during eccentrics. Wilkin locked out at the top of each rep.
Seated Overhead Rope Triceps Extension & Dumbbell Hammer Curl
Wilkin used a long rope attachment and flared his elbows for a more extended range of motion during the overhead triceps extensions. He used slow eccentrics, exploded through the concentrics, and paused at the top, as was the pattern throughout the entire training session.
Wilkin superset the triceps extensions with unilateral dumbbell hammer curls. Training each arm individually helps Wilkin identify strength imbalances and adjust his programming with Bennett accordingly.
Cable Rope Biceps Curl
Wilkin concluded his arm workout with double drop sets of cable biceps curls. He maintained a slight elbow bend at the bottom and paused at the top. At the time of this training session, Wilkin was 10 weeks from stepping on stage at the 2023 Olympia, scheduled for Nov. 2-5 in Orlando, FL. He will soon enter his weight cut to achieve his signature peeled conditioning, which earned him the moniker “The Butcher.”
Featured image: @brett_wilkin on Instagram