How Dennis ‘The Menace’ James Works Out For Upper Body Gains

Dennis James

Get a great pump like Dennis James himself and see serious gains.

Dennis James is a former professional bodybuilder from Germany who is well-known for his personality and successful bodybuilding career. With a big following on social media, he uses his platform to post new photos, throwbacks of his bodybuilding days, and those posts to inspire others to make their own desired changes.

For many of us, finding the right workout can be a challenge and one we may not be up for. We live busy lives, deal with a lot. The last thing we want to do is take time to sit and decipher who online is telling the truth and who is just plain lying. But it doesn’t have to be that hard. With professional bodybuilders and other athletes who now having larger platforms, we can take their workouts and what drives them to succeed and apply to our own routine and lives. Use these pros for they have done it before and know exactly what needs to be done to succeed at the highest of levels.

Dennis James has had a long and accomplished bodybuilding career and is definitely one to take notes from. He has competed against some of the best in the world and it wasn’t just by chance. His approach to training and nutrition is top notch and has served him well throughout his career.

Full Name: Dennis James

Weight Height Date Of Birth
255-265 lbs. 5’8’’ 05/31/1966
Profession Era Nationality
Bodybuilder 1990, 2000, 2010 German, American

This upper body workout from Dennis consists of chest, arms, and shoulder exercises to give you a well-rounded and massive physique. By targeting this muscle groups individually, you can pay more attention to building each of them, working on mind-muscle connection, and seeing the gains you want most.

Dennis James

About Dennis James

Dennis James is a former professional bodybuilder born in Germany. He was always active and started training at a young age. But when he was 18-years old, he started bodybuilding and his training went to a whole new level. He began competing in junior competitions and would eventually grow his name more and more until he finally began competing on the biggest stage. He competed at Mr. Olympia seven times and proved he had what it took to be the best in the world.

He has been featured in many magazines and his social media presence is massive. His relationship with two-time Olympia Champ Big Ramy also brings increased notoriety as he continues to promote the sport of bodybuilding while inspiring others so they can succeed as he has.

Dennis James

Dennis James Training Routine

Dennis focuses on those heavy movements, and with his training partner as two-time Olympia champ Big Ramy, their workouts are simple but highly effective at seeing results. Dennis created an approach to lifting called the Menace Time Under Tension. Essentially, this involves lifting the weight slower, really involving the full range of motion and then returning to the starting position at a normal speed. It helps reduce injury and only adds to your gains.

Let’s take a look at these chest, arms, and shoulder workouts so you can start to see serious gains and a massive physique you want most. A mix of machine and free weight exercises, as well as mixing in those compound and isolation exercises, gives you a well-rounded and versatile workout, leaving room for alternatives if need be. The nice part is that many of these exercises can be changed out for others to provide for muscle confusion and offer the best for gains.


Exercises Sets Reps
Incline Machine Press 3 10
DB Chest Fly 3 10
Push Press 3 8
Cable Chest Fly 3 10
DB Press 3 10
Incline DB Fly 3 8


Exercises Sets Reps
Triceps Pushdowns 3 12
Machine Preacher Curls 3 12
Skullcrushers 3 10
One Arm Preacher Curl 3 10
One Arm Triceps Pushdown 3 10
Concentration Curls 3 12
Seated Hammer Curls 3 8
Incline Triceps Extensions 3 8


Exercises Sets Reps
Lateral Raise 3 10
Front Raise 3 10
Upright Row 3 10
Reverse Pec Deck 3 10

Dennis James Nutrition

Dennis focuses on a rather simple plan but makes sure he eats plenty of calories and tons of protein. When he would be in the offseason, his carb intake would increase, but his meals would still consist mainly of protein, like lean meats, and carbs, like brown rice. Following a simple diet allowed him to eat well, eat the foods he needed to, and make life easy when it came to preparing and cooking food.

Dennis James

Why Upper Body Workouts Are So Important

Working our upper bodies makes a lot of sense. For those us bodybuilders, building that massive upper half physique is what everyone sees. But when it comes down to building real gains, the benefit of a strong upper body plays into all aspects of our training and performance, as well as physical health. Working to strengthen muscles around those supporting joints limits injury and we tend to use our upper body muscles for many functional movements. Posture, imbalances, and developmental support are just some of the key benefits associated with building a strong, stable, and massive upper half as you seek the best for your gains.

Along with these great workouts from Dennis James, consider upper body workouts like the close grip lat pulldown for back and bis, hanging leg raises for a stronger core, and kettlebell rows for a versatile exercise to boost pulling movements.

Wrap Up

This workout from Dennis James is one to certainly fire up your muscles to grow so you only see the best in terms of growth and overall gains. Dennis has had an amazing career and knows just what it takes to compete with the best. Using his workouts and other advice to better ourselves and our routines can help see gains as great as his as we seek to embark on our own bodybuilding or fitness journey. Give this workout a try, get the right supplements to help you, and see those gains you want most in no time.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Dennis James Instagram

Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.