Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
Since you’re using very heavy weight, yet curling through only the top half of the movement, every set sucks your lungs dry, tugs at that hard strap of muscle across your biceps peaks, and pulls at your upper and lower tie-ins until they want to rip. If you’d like to fill empty pits between your upper tie-ins and delts, and if you’d like to make the bellies of your biceps iron-hard, these are for you.
To prioritize biceps hardness, start your workout with standing barbell curls, six sets of four reps, then follow with four sets of seated cambered-bar half-curls, six reps each. Every couple of weeks, try the following as a shock routine for hardness: Superset these two exercises for eight sets each, 30 reps down to four for standing barbell curls, 30 reps down to six for seated cambered-bar half-curls.
STANDING TWO-ARM CABLE HALF-CURLS
These are the ideal complement for seated cambered-bar half-curls, picking up the lower half of the movement to deepen the lower split between the two biceps heads, bolster the bottom tie-in and increase the density of the lower half of the belly.
Keep your elbows at your sides, and curl through a forward arc to just above horizontal. Employ constant tension and use the same slow pace for both contraction and extension.
Alternate workouts, starting with standing barbell curls followed by seated cambered-bar half-curls for one workout, then standing barbell curls followed by these for the next workout; or start with six sets of standing barbell curls, then superset seated cambered-bar half-curls with these for four sets each, 20 reps for the first set down to six reps for the last. For super intensity triset all three for six sets each, 20 reps the first time through, six reps for the last triset.
ONE-ARM PREACHER CURLS
Put the hardness where you want it with this one. To broaden the bulge of your lower biceps, bias your body forward. To thicken your upper biceps and wrap them farther under your front delt, draw your body back slightly. Hold the dumbbell level to squeeze hardness into both heads. Pronate it slightly to hammer hardness into the outer head and brachialis. Supinate it for the inner head.
Do not sequence two one-arm exercises; the rest interval between them becomes excessive. Instead, combine this exercise with a two-arm movement, such as cambered-bar preacher curls, paired either as tandem straight sets or as a superset. Either way, do four sets each, 20 reps for the first set and six reps for the last.
ONE-ARM CABLE POWER CURLS
This exercise puts to rest any idea that one-arm cable movements are for wimps. Nothing beats it for adding lumpy width to the upper arm. Brace your arm against your side, then curl across the front of your body, close, with very heavy weight. It’s a mass builder, as well as an isolated hardness movement.
To drive in hardness from contrasting angles, pair this close-to-the-body position with an extended-arms position (such as that used with seated cambered-bar half-curls, standing two-arm cable half-curls or cambered-bar or barbell preacher curls). Tandem straight sets and supersets are equally effective. Use both.