Photos by Ian Spanier
Stop and think carefully about your biceps workouts and tell me if you tend to pretty much perform the same exercises over and over at every session—barbell curls, preacher curls, seated dumbbell curls, standing low- cable curls, concentration curls, and so on. Now go ahead and flex your biceps and decide if you are satisfied with their current size and shape. If the answer is yes (which I doubt, but let’s just for argument’s sake say it is), then go ahead and flip a few pages to the next article—there are so many great ones to choose from! However, if you are part of the vast majority, and the answer is no, then please keep reading, because it is my goal to greatly increase ticket sales to your “gun show.”
If you have read any of my articles in the past, you are sure to already know that I am a huge advocate of variety when it comes to designing individual workouts and overall training programs. If my 28 years of experience as a competitive bodybuilder and coach have taught me anything, it is that the human body is a profoundly adaptable machine— and because of this, we must continually present new challenges by switching up the stimuli we thrust upon it (that is, exercises, angles, tempos, and techniques).
While there are many effective ways to tweak your workouts with the goal of pushing past plateaus or staving off stagnation, the one we shall focus on in this article is introducing a few novel movements. Of course, each of the exercises I will present are nothing more than variations of the basic curl, but by simply changing the arc of pull, the angle of the torso, and the positioning of the elbows and shoulders, we can attack a unique set of motor unit pools (and muscle fibers). This, along with giving the central nervous system something new to deal with, can help take your biceps development—and arm measurements—to an entirely new level!
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