Operation Aesthetic Header

Day 41:Arms

It’s great to get in an easier weight-training workout at this point during a diet. You’ll continue to increase detail while you may feel a bit deprived from your reduced calorie intake. And then you’ll take the next day to recover and re-feed with a cheat meal.

Because you’re fairly far along in Operation Aesthetic it’s important for you to consider recovery as much as exercises, weights, sets, and reps. At this point you’re only about 2 weeks away from the end of the program. The key is to make sure everything is going well with your physique as much as it is with your workouts.

With that said, I still want you to emphasize the volume sets at the end of each exercise during this workout. Those burnouts or drop sets really help improve the detail and appearance of your physique at this point. To get the most from these sets you should contract your target muscles, squeezing as hard as you can. Hold that for an extra second during each rep of these burnout sets. Don’t worry about the number of reps—just get in as many or as few as you can, going for quality over quantity.


*For virtually all biceps and triceps moves I use that technique I love for the last set—going down the ladder with high reps and lighter weight. I think that’s especially important when you’re this deep into a diet to bring out detail.

*Notice that for some unilateral moves, I touch the part of my arm that I’m working. That increases the mind-muscle connection, really helping you focus on what you’re trying to do. For unilateral moves, you can also spot yourself for that last rep or two if your form starts to get a little choppy.

*For Phase Two we’re also including reverse-grip barbell curls to improve forearm development.

Early morning cardio


25 minutes

Get to this as quickly as possible upon waking—you can check your phone while you’re doing cardio.



Dumbbell Biceps Curl

Really emphasize the stretch and contraction with each rep.

5 SETS / 12, 10, 7, 3, 15 REPS

Concentration Curl

I spread my legs fairly wide, and I place the back of my upper arm close to my knee. That’s the position that works best for me.

4 SETS / 12, 9, 6, 4 REPS

One-Arm cable curl

I bring the handle across my body just a bit at the top to hit my outer biceps.

5 SETS / 12, 10, 8, 6, 15 REPS

Reverse Barbell Curl

Hold your elbows tight against your sides and use the power of your forearms to raise the weight.

4 SETS / Burnout

Close-Grip Bench Press

Use that slow negative and explosive positive to get a great triceps contraction.

5 SETS / 12, 10, 7, 3, 15 REPS*

French Press

Choose the hand placement that feels right to you—I go a little narrow.

5 SETS / 12, 10, 7, 3, 15 REPS


I don’t count reps; I just keep my form tight for every rep.

4 SETS / Burnout

One-arm triceps pushdown

Keep your working-side elbow close to your body to really work the triceps.

5 SETS / 12, 10 7, 3, 15 REPS

Post-Workout cardio


25 minutes

You can also perform this later in the day.

TIP: You can increase the length of your cardio if you want. Steady-state cardio is a crucial component of fat loss, and you’re going to have a full rest day tomorrow. Still, don’t take up the intensity. Remember that more intense cardio is likely to burn muscle tissue when you’re this deep on a calorie-restricted program.

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