Four-time Mr. Universe Mike O’Hearn is training hard (and at 51 years old, he has the results to show for it). The bodybuilder recently posted a video of his arm day training split during a period when he’s training two-a-days over a two week span.
O’Hearn starts his session focusing on biceps, so that means lots of curls. He works through sets of incline curls, then spider curls. And while the movements might look repetitive, O’Hearn is all about mixing it up by hitting unconventional angles.
“You’re gonna walk into any gym when someone’s doing biceps, I’ll guarantee the majority of the time, this is their movement on everything they do,” he says, mimicking an up and down movement though a limited range of motion. But O’Hearn suggests mixing it up with the angles on both moves; moving outward for incline curls and angling inwards for the spider curls.
“Different angles hit different parts of the biceps,” he says. “Different angles, different angles, that’s what we’re doing here. Don’t be so locked in on stuff.”
Just be careful that you don’tpush beyond your comfort level when you lean back for your own incline curls. “Make sure to work in your range of motion on the incline curls,” advises Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. “Yes, part of the purpose of the move is to find a different upper arm position relative to torso, but it’s not a move you should push to the point of shoulder pain.”
Next, O’Hearn moves to a concentration curl. He opts for a seated variation, but you can attempt the move from a bent-over position like The Rock, too—as long as you focus on isolating your movement at the elbow.
O’Hearn’s next move, which he calls the Titan Press, focuses on the triceps. These are fine for a four-time Mr. Olympia, with very specific training goals and 42 years of experience—but they’re not for you. “Some moves just aren’t worth trying, and this is one of them,” Samuel says. “It’s pushing your shoulders into extreme internal rotation, and that leaves little room for rotator cuff tendons to move. You can still isolate your triceps just as much with a standard skullcrusher variation that doesn’t press you into internal rotation.”
After that, he gets an incline bench and gets to work on kickbacks, overhead extensions, and pulldowns on a cable machine. Again, Samuel cautions that guys with limited shoulder mobility might want to be cautious when it comes time to go overhead. “This move is fine if you have good shoulder range of motion, but let your shoulder ROM be your guide here,” he says. “If you can’t get your arms overhead while keeping your ribcage tight to your body, think twice about doing this, even though it will hit your triceps from a unique angle.”
But for O’Hearn, this workout hits the spot. “Swollen,” he says. “We are finished.” The bodybuilder should feel swole—he put in a ton of work on (primarily) only two muscles. Unless you’re a bodybuilder training for a specific goal, you won’t have much success doing that very often.
O’Hearn closes his session with a word about his immediate post-workout routine.
“I ate this morning, I’m gonna eat again right now,” he says, emphasizing how important it is for him to stay furled up during his high-volume training days. “If you’re not, then you’re setting yourself up to fail later.”