Marcus Haley talks biceps for the ’09 Arnold

by Shawn Perine

February 27, 2009


“My biceps have been growing really well this year. I’ve been stressing the brachialis and working on developing the peak, so there have been a lot of preacher curls and hammer curls. I noticed that once you get to a certain size it’s all about refining what you have, so I’ve turned to cable movements to help me concentrate on the peaks more.

“I’ve been doing single arm preacher curls, cambered bar curls, which I superset with cable rope curls to hit the brachialis and then I do curls where I’m on an incline bench and instead of curling the dumbbells straight in front of me I keep my hands out to the sides. It’s almost as if I’m doing a double biceps shot, but with my elbows down. It’s very intense. I only need to use 25lb. dumbbells when I’m doing these, and I go really slow.

“I’ll start my biceps routine with standing cambered bar curls. For my first set I’ll use 60 pounds and I’ll work my way up to 120 pounds. I don’t go crazy with the weight. Ever since my (thigh) injury I’ve been very careful in my training. I’ve adopted the Lee Haney principle of “Stimulate, don’t annihilate.”

“Every other workout I’ll switch up the cambered bar curls for straight bar cable curls. I like the variation and you can concentrate on squeezing a little more. When I do these I’ll bring the bar up to nose level. When I raise up my elbows I can get that peak contraction at the top of the movement.

“From there I’ll move onto single arm preacher curls. Again, I use a moderate weight and by the time I’m done with these my biceps are really pumped.

“Next up is rope curls, for the brachialis – four sets of fifteen reps – and that’s pretty much it for biceps.

“One thing I do that’s pretty different is periodically throughout my workout run my index finger up and down my biceps, trying to push the fiber strands apart. It’s basically a fascial massage. The Tampa Bay team doctor, Ira Gutentag, who is actually the one who fixed my leg, taught be how to do this. It’s pretty amazing actually. I’ve been doing this kind of massage to all my muscle groups and the results have been great. I highly recommend giving this a try to anyone looking for a new way of stimulating growth.”

Marcus Haley’s Arnold Classic Biceps Routine
Exercise Sets Reps
Cambered bar curls 4 15
Single arm preacher curls 3 20
Rope curls 4 15