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There are only so many variations of biceps curls, but we prefer to discover and milk every last one of them. In our November 2012 issue, we gave you a biceps workout that touched on all the basics: standing curls, incline curls, lying curls, and reverse curls to stimulate the forearms. More than four years later, that concept remains largely intact, only with a few minor (yet noticeable) tweaks.
This time there will be no lying around. Three of the exercises are standing, and the one seated move will likely be the most painful: dumbbell preachers, with which you’ll go back and forth with little, if any, rest throughout. The other key difference in this workout is a greater focus on the forearms, with two nonsupinated curling exercises (hammers and cable reverse curls). The one area these two workouts share in common: Both will produce a better set of pipes.
Do the Level Up workout first, then revisit the Straight Up one three to seven days later. Indeed, milk it for all it’s worth. This cow won’t run dry.
There’s not a ton of variance between straight bar and EZ-bar curls. Those who prefer EZ-bar typically cite a more comfortable hand position (palms turned slightly in) that reduces stress on the wrists.
From the previous workout, preacher curls essentially replace incline dumbbell curls, but the emphasis is different between the two moves. (Preachers stimulate the biceps short head slightly more, and incline curls work the long head.) The concept of isolation remains the same, though.
The forearms take the brunt of the load, and switching from free weights to cables provides constant tension, which will increase thickness.