Bodybuilding Legend Jay Cutler’s Top Three Exercises For Building Massive Arms

Cutler picks three most effective biceps and triceps exercises for building massive arms

Jay Cutler Arm Exercises
Credit: Jay Cutler / Instagram

Triceps DipsArms are one of the most visible body parts and developing them is essential for everyday functioning and doing most of the activities like lifting, pushing, catching, pulling, throwing and holding, etc. In the age of the internet and social media, it is very easy to get lost in the storm of over-information. Therefore, it is essential to separate chaff from the grain and understand what really works. Bodybuilding legend Jay Cutler utilized his understanding of bodybuilding to achieve the highest prize in the sport of competitive bodybuilding. So who else can guide you better?

Cutler is a retired professional bodybuilder that won the prestigious Mr. Olympia crown a whopping four times. One of the most prominent figures in the 2000s era, Cutler was involved in a fierce competitive rivalry with the legendary Ronnie Coleman. After years of trying, Cutler dethroned Coleman at the 2006 Olympia and won the title three more times – in 2007, 2009, and 2010.

Following his retirement in 2013, Jay Cutler has significantly downsized but maintains an excellent physique nevertheless. Bodybuilding is an extremely demanding sport that takes a toll on many bodybuilders’ health in the later stages of their careers. However, Jay Cutler is one of the few bodybuilders that walked away from the sport relatively healthy and without major injuries. The 49-year-old attributes this to his ability to listen to his body and modify maneuvers accordingly.

Jay Cutler has transitioned well to the age of social media and remains one of the most popular yesteryear bodybuilders. He is one of the prominent voices of the sport and routinely shares bodybuilding content on his YouTube channels. Through his podcast, Cutler has shed light on a lot of lesser-known aspects of the sport along with current affairs. A few months ago, the 4-time Mr. Olympia shared his steroid cycles. Recently, Jay Cutler shared the three most important exercises for biceps and triceps in an Instagram video. So without further delay, let’s check out what Cutler recommends for building massive biceps and triceps.

Jay Cutler’s most effective exercises for complete arms development

Biceps Exercises

1. Hammer Curls

Hammers Curls are the first important arms exercise according to Jay Cutler. This exercise has no alternative in terms of its benefits for adding size and strength to the arms. Brachioradialis and brachialis are the primary target muscles of this movement. The brachialis is an elbow flexor located deep into the upper arm. Building this muscle is necessary to create more width in the arm. The Brachioradialis is a forearm muscle that flexes the elbow, supinates, and pronates the forearm.

Very few exercises isolate these muscles to the same degree as the hammer curls. Therefore this exercise makes it to Jay Cutler’s list of most important arm exercises. 

2. Alternate Dumbbell Curls

Dumbbell curls are probably the most common arms exercise and also the most recognizable one around the world. It is a versatile movement that targets the biceps brachii muscles in the arm. It is the most preferred biceps exercise due to its convenience and multiple variations that allow to emphasize different parts of the muscle.

Also, dumbbells are the most portable form of weight and are available in almost every gym and even many houses. So accessibility is another plus point when it comes to dumbbell curls. Not surprisingly, this is the second most important biceps exercise according to Jay Cutler.

3. Barbell Curls

This variation of curls has an obvious benefit over dumbbell curls. You can lift far more heavier weights with the barbell which helps achieve muscle hypertrophy. This is the most important biceps exercise number three in Jay Cutler’s books.

Triceps Exercises

1. Triceps Dips

This movement works all three triceps heads and guarantees building muscle and strength. Most people that weight train also include a variation of dips in their training routine to work the triceps. Anyone can do triceps dips depending upon their strength. But it is essential to choose the variation that best suits your progression level. Undeniably, triceps dips are a great way to build the triceps and therefore it makes it to Jay Cutler’s list of three best triceps exercises.

2. Rope Pushdowns

Rope pushdowns are the dumbbell curls of triceps when it comes to popularity and recognizability. It is one of the best exercises for triceps development and hence recommended for people at all levels of their fitness journey. Pushdowns work all the heads of the triceps. Once you make it a main lift along with your compound movements, no one can keep your triceps from complete development.

3. French Overhead Press

Triceps are a huge muscle group that occupies a larger surface area than the biceps. The best triceps exercises are those which emphasize the long head of triceps but work all three heads. The French overhead press in one such exercise that is extremely important for building bigger and stronger triceps. It is especially helpful in building the triceps if they are underdeveloped. This is the third and final exercise recommended by Jay Cutler for developing the triceps.

To summarize, these are the three biceps and triceps exercises that bodybuilding legend Jay Cutler recommends for building huge arms:


  • Hammer Curls
  • Alternate Dumbbell Curls
  • Barbell Curls


  • Triceps Dips
  • Rope Pushdowns
  • French Overhead Press

Reps & Sets Recommendation

To maximize muscle growth in your biceps and triceps, it’s important to focus on different rep ranges for each muscle group. For your biceps, try using weights that let you do 6-8 reps per set. For your triceps, aim for 8-10 reps per set. If you’re new to weightlifting, start with 2 sets of each exercise. If you’re more experienced, you can do 4-5 sets.

Here’s a sample arm workout that includes exercises for both your biceps and triceps:

Exercise  Sets  Reps 
Hammer Curls  3 6-10
Alternate Dumbbell Curls  3 6-10
Barbell Curls  2 6-10
Triceps Dips Max 
Rope Press Downs  3 8-10 
French Presses 8-10

Remember to rest for 60-90 seconds between sets of tricep exercises, and 90 seconds to 2 minutes between sets of bicep exercises. Since your arms are smaller muscles, you don’t need as much rest as you would for larger muscle groups like your back and chest.

You can watch the video here, courtesy of Jay Cutler’s Instagram account:

Jay Cutler’s advice is backed with years of training and exchange of knowledge with some of the brightest minds in the bodybuilding industry. Therefore, it is beneficial to go ahead and incorporate these arms exercises into your routine and observe the change.


Published on January 7, 2023 at 11:58 am
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