I’m sitting in a black leather swivel chair at a barbershop less than a block from my house. The man with a pink-ish shaved head and wax-twisted mustache inquires what we’ve all been asked more times than we can rep 135 on the flat bench…
“Do you work out?”
“A little”, I reply.
I just returned from an arm session that has my biceps sprung like a frat boy on spring break. Of course I work out… Nonetheless, it makes me think. There’s a reason why the question “Do you work out?” is such a common formality of meeting someone that’s been cultivating MASS. Does the world outside of the gym think that sculpting perfect aesthetics is based purely on genetics? Sure, you know that guy that can eat pizza and ice cream and doesn’t put on a pound… That’s great for him but until he’s squatting over 600 I don’t really care. We work hard for our gains, and it’s not just to brag about how much we bench or to subtlety and with the utmost finesse pull off the double bi at the beach. That’s just a bonus. But I digress… you’re here to add some Bicep Mass. Biceps may not be the largest muscle groups but they often get the most attention, so let’s get Jack3d!
Hammer Curls are a great way to develop your brachialis. This is a muscle that sits under your bicep and contributes to the overall thickness of your arm. Have you noticed you can go heavier with hammer curls than regular DB curls? This is because you are using not only the elbow flexor of the bicep but the brachioradialis at its strongest position. Because the muscular makeup of the brachialis contains more slow-twitch fibers, a slower contraction will illicit greater gains. Chad Demchik of TEAM USPlabs recommends a two second squeeze at the top of the movement.
Spider Curl, Spider Curl, does whatever a spider curl does… Spider Curls can be a great movement to develop your bicep peak. Get a good stretch at the bottom of the movement and keep your wrists bent back to provide greater tension to the longer head of the bicep. Mike Rea of TEAM USPlabs says: “A great finisher for spider curls is to lighten the weight and actually curl the bar to your forehead, squeeze the contraction for a 2 sec hold and extend back to a full-stretch start position.”
Barbell Curlers have found a new home within squat racks (sorry Planet Fitness members) across the globe. With a variety of training options (Wide grip, close, reverse, one arm, seated, etc.), this movement may become your biceps BFF. John Davies, Founder of Renegade Training says: “This is not explosive training and you need well-controlled concentric action, where the muscle is isolated for the most part and after contracting the bicep, eccentrically lower the weight properly three times slower than the concentric action (often referred to as 3:0:1).”
Hammer Curls – Run the Rack (Pyramid)
Start with the lightest dumbbell you can find and perform 6 reps. Without resting, progressively work your way up the rack. Once you reach a weight where you can only perform 1 rep, start scaling back down the rack performing as many reps as possible.
Barbell Curl- 3:0:1 Tempo
2x10 (Wide Grip)
2x10 (Narrow Grip)
Spider Curl – Rest pause set
Rest 15 seconds and perform as many reps as you can to forehead, contracting for 2 seconds.
Prepared by Nik Ohanian
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