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The shocking truth about training is that any high-intensity routine eventually runs its efficacious course and needs a change to shock it anew into further muscle growth.

June 20, 2008

Written by the FLEX staff

Fortunately, biceps, because they can be directly isolated and attacked with maximum resistance, are highly responsive to such shock routines. Here's one that never fails to stimulate new detail, separation, peak and vascularity.

•Use once or twice a month.

•A true shock set is as much mental as physical and begins the day before the workout, by experiencing, in your mind, the sensation of each rep of every exercise, feeling the pump and fatigue building to failure, controlling the movement, so that every set is perfect. You should even feel the fatigue. For motivation, visualize how much bigger and ore defined your biceps will be when you've finished.

•Do only one warm-up set at the beginning of the workout, using your first exercise for 15-20 reps.

•Emphasize concentration, strict form.

•Exercise 1: seated alternate dumbbell curls. Start the movement with the dumbbells in a hammer position, palms facing inward. As you curl, supinate your hand, so that your palm faces upward at the top of the movement; squeeze for a second, to get a peak-contraction. On the descent, do not lose tension; maintain the same controlled speed throughout. Do three sets of 12 reps each, near failure; then, increase the weight by 10 lbs. per dumbbell and force out a fourth set of 12 reps.

•Exercise 2: dumbbell preacher curls. These are not one arm at a time but both arms together. As you curl, again supinate your hands slightly, getting a hard, twisting, peak-contraction at the top; hold for at least one second. Maintain the same controlled pace throughout each of four sets, pyramiding the weight upward each time. Stay in a 10-12-rep range.

•Exercise 3: standing cross-body cable curls. Plant your stance and fix your body erectly so that you have plenty of support for maximum control and power. Grasp a stirrup handle, and, using only biceps contractions (not shoulder movement), curl up and across the front of your body to your opposite upper-pec. Supinate as you go, and get a one-second peak-contraction. Do four sets of 12 reps each.

•Exercise 4: one-arm dumbbell flat-bench concentration curls. Instead of the preacher bench, try using the edge of a flat bench; it provides a more stable base for better isolation and range of motion. Maintain intense concentration throughout. At the top of the movement, supinate for a one-second peak-contraction. Do four sets of 12 reps each.FLEX.

FLEX FORUMS: Discuss your arm workouts with fellow bodybuilders.

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