STEP UP YOUR GAME: BICEPS

As soon as I started writing this series, the question has been asked. “When are you going to write the one for arms?” I don’t think I need to explain why either. Flexing a bicep or “making a muscle” as we learned as kids has been a way to show your strength for generations. The day many of us walked in a weight room for the first time, getting big arms was the reason why. All right, enough chitchat. Let’s do this.

What Beginners Do: Barbell Curl

The foundation exercise for getting big biceps has always been the classic barbell curl. Whether it’s a straight bar or an EZ Curl Bar, it’s a staple for beginners and advanced trainers alike. Now I’m not knocking this exercise as I would probably be banned from any gym for the rest of my life if I did but I am suggesting we “step up” to a more advanced version of this exercise to get giant guns.

Try This: Preacher Barbell Curl
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Now before you advanced guys started reading me the Riot Act, remember this is for beginners and many guys are not familiar with preacher curls so let’s learn more about them.

Made famous by the first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott (they are known in some circles as Scott Curls), using a preacher bench makes the exercise tougher because the upper arm is pinned against a platform and it is very difficult to use momentum to get the weight up. The result is biceps isolation which will ultimately lead to bicep growth.

How To Do It: Position yourself on a preacher bench so you are sitting on the seat and your arms are resting against the preacher pad. Your arm pits should be against the top of the bench. Reach down and grab the bar with a shoulder width grip. Using only force from your biceps, curl the weight up and squeeze the biceps at the top of the movement. Lower the weight slowly until just before your arms are stretched out and repeat for the desired number of reps.

Points to Remember

Don’t use super heavy weight. Your biceps are in a vulnerable position and going too heavy can result in injury.

Keep your butt on the seat and don’t try to cheat on this exercise. It’s tough to do anyway but if you try you will only be hurting yourself in the long run because you will stress your tendons and ligaments around the elbow and your biceps won’t reach their full potential.

I prefer the EZ Bar myself as it causes less stress to the wrists than a straight bar but if you prefer the straight bar, go for it. You can also try this with dumbbells to isolate each bicep.

Next time we cover the triceps (which actually make up two thirds of your upper arm) and learn more about how to “Step Up Your Game” in the gym.

About the Author
roger rockridgeRoger “ROCK” Lockridge is a writer whose work has been seen all over the world. He is most known as a writer for Iron Man Magazine and Bodybuilding.com. In 2009, he was named Bodybuilding.com Male Writer of the Year which along with the Female award is the highest award for writers in the bodybuilding/fitness world.

Roger is also known for his work against child abuse and domestic violence and he was featured as a part of the domestic violence documentary “30” as the only child survivor and the only male survivor in the film.