Slow and Heavy: Biceps and Triceps

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

I'm getting into this series again after two years of not doing it, and enjoying the variation from most weights tapes. I find Biceps and Triceps to be the most challenging of the three Slow and Heavy workouts, because it's much harder for me to maintain concentration when doing such slow, repetitive work for these small muscle groups. With legs, chest and back you're also focused on good form in your whole body (bracing your back/core on the bench for back pullovers, for example), you're thinking about balance (for squats and lunges) mind was much more engaged for the legs/shoulders/back/chest segments. For tris and bis it was harder for me to focus.

The format is the same as the other workouts in Slow & Heavy: Cathe and four backgrounders do a brief dynamic warmup, followed by three or more exercises per body part, three sets of eight reps, using a 6-counts-contraction, 2-counts-extension tempo, one minute rest between sets. The exercises are standard bodybuilding: overhead French press, skullcrushers and triceps extensions; dumbbell curls, hammer curls and barbell curls. Cathe tacks on dips for triceps (I subbed side-lying triceps pushups) and two effective wrist/forearm strengtheners at the end of the biceps section. There is a good abs section before the concluding, short stretch. Everything is very slow and controlled and Cathe gives relevant form pointers throughout. The music is generic background beats and Cathe is on-tempo for the workout.

I think this tape is excellent for building strength if you lift to failure or near-failure, but it's a test of your ability to concentrate to get through it. Cathe encourages exercisers to use Slow & Heavy in short rotations of no more than three weeks, and I can see how the triceps/biceps workout in particular might get a little tedious if done for longer than that.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is extremely professional in this series, except she keeps mixing up "reps" and "sets" - which can be discouraging when you're struggling through rep 6 and she says "two more sets!" She lifts heavy and demonstrates excellent form. The form pointers are cued verbally and also demonstrated between sets, which is very helpful.