So you want to build lean muscle, but don’t have an expensive set of weights at your house?
This can be a common problem for a lot of men and women that don’t have time to join a local gym. Although bodyweight workouts have been proven to be effective, some people simply prefer to lift weights.
I Used To Be A Depressed Overweight Accountant
Each night, the firm would order takeout from a nearby restaurant. As you can imagine, this added some noticeable inches to my waistline.
Within just a few months, I gained almost 40 pounds of fat. I weighed 225lbs with a body fat percentage of 22%. I remember looking in the mirror and feeling disgusted with my own reflection.
That was the moment that I decided I wasn’t going to live this way anymore.
I didn’t have time to join a gym, and didn’t have the space to transform my small apartment into a fitness studio. My only option was to use equipment that I already had stored in my room, refrigerator, and closet.
I quickly realized that weight is weight. It doesn’t matter if it comes in the form of a bench press, dumbbell, mattress or couch.
Biceps And Triceps Suitcase Workout
Today, I’m going to show you how to build lean muscle to your upper body from the comfort of your own living room. You can also use this workout to stay in shape on the road. You won’t be doing any bodyweight exercises. Instead, you’ll be the suitcase to target your biceps, triceps, and shoulder regions.
This will be a circuit workout, and you’ll be cycling through each exercise twice. I know this workout may seem a little bit unorthodox. In fact, I’m willing to bet that you’ve never used your traveling gear to get toned arms. I promise within the first couple of minutes, you’ll feel the burn in your biceps, triceps, and shoulders. Let’s get started!
Exercise #1: Suitcase Biceps Curls
For this exercise, you’ll need a small suitcase that weighs anywhere between 25-50 pounds. If for any reason you have a smaller suitcase, there’s no need to worry. You can increase the amount of weight by simply throwing in clothes, shoes, or a case of Poland Springs water bottles (my personal favorite).
This biceps curl variation is going to target the peak of the biceps. Begin by gripping the handle of the suitcase with your palms facing upwards. Stand with your feet roughly shoulder width apart, and then extend your arm to a dead hang position. Whenever you’re performing a biceps curl, it’s imperative to maximize the full range of motion on each rep. Always ensure that your arm is completely straightened, and keep your upper body vertical at all times during each set.
Curl the suitcase up until it comes in contact with your chest area, and then slowly descend it back down to the starting position. It’s important to always maintain full control of the weight on the negative portion of each rep. This will generate an eccentric contraction, which will accelerate the muscle development in your arms.
Continue to repeat this movement for 10 reps on your right arm. If for any reason you can’t perform 10 reps, you can use your left arm as a spotter. Once you complete the set, simulate the same movement on your left side.
Exercise #2 – Towel Suitcase Curls
This exercise is going to isolate the brachialis region, which is located between your biceps and triceps. This is a subsidiary muscle group that a lot of people tend to neglect. When trained consistently, it will make your biceps and triceps pop out of your arms.
The key to activating your brachialis muscle is by executing proper form. Typically, you would need to utilize the cable machine to perform this exercise. Start by wrapping a towel around the top handle of the suitcase. Grip the towel with your thumbs pointing upward, and then extend both of your arms to a dead hang position. For maximum results, make sure that your elbows remain tight to your sides at all times.
Curl both hands up until they are about level with your chin. When you reach this point, explosively rotate your palms in an outwards motion. This will activate the brachialis muscle, and you’ll feel it in your biceps. Slowly bring the suitcase down until your arms are fully extended once again. Keep your reps between 10-15 per set.
Exercise #3 – Over The Head Suitcase Extensions
Now we are going to switch gears and target the triceps. This is a muscle group that accounts for 70% of the middle region of your arms. The triceps are made up of three subsidiary regions, which are the medial, lateral, and long heads. If you want to get toned biceps that pop out of your tee shirt, then you need to train all three muscle heads accordingly.
For this particular variation, you are going to be hitting the long head, which is the largest and strongest part of the triceps. You’ll be using the towel and suitcase once again, but in a much different way. Begin by establishing a grip on the towel with your fingers pointing down, and then hoist the towel of your head. At this point, the suitcase should be residing on the middle region of your back.
It’s important to keep your elbows tight to the side of your head at all times. Slowly extend your arms up above your head. At the peak point of each rep, rotate your palms outward. Really try to capitalize on the full range of motion, and contract your triceps when you reach this point. Bring your forearms back down as far as you can, and then continue repeating this motion. Keep your reps within the 10-15 range for each set.
Exercise #4 – Suitcase Straight Raises
This is a simple burnout exercise that will be targeting the shoulders. When done correctly, it will give you some muscle vascularity in both the anterior (front) and medial (middle) deltoids. This is more of a toning exercise, so you’ll want to lift lighter weight for higher rep counts. Use no more than 15 pounds, and keep your reps between 15-20 for each set.
Begin by gripping the suitcase handles with your palms facing down. Extend both of your arms so they are resting on your thighs, while maintaining a slight bend in both of your elbows. In one motion, raise the suitcase up to your chin level. This is the point in the exercise where most people stop. To maximize the muscle definition in your shoulders, you’ll want to continue raising the suitcase up above your head. When you reach the peak point of the rep, slowly bring the suitcase down until your arms reach a dead hang position.
There will be some days that you don’t have time to get in a full workout, and that’s completely fine. But now you understand how to use everyday home equipment like water jugs, suitcases, and towels to get a quick, efficient workout. No matter how hectic your schedule might be, you can find 10 minutes to train each day.
I’m assuming that you have a suitcase stored somewhere in your house or apartment. If you don’t have access to a towel, then you have bigger problems than trying to get in shape.
Cycle through this workout twice, and keep your rest time between 20-30 seconds for each set. Be sure to leave a comment below, and let me know if you want to see more workouts like this one.