Sometimes, doing a million barbell curls might help you build a bigger and better arm, but more often than not, you are going to need a more meticulous approach. Everyone wants to make their biceps look like those of Mr. Olympia winners, but doing curls until you collapse is bottom-tier thinking – you need something better, more sophisticated and more effective, so try these five strategies and grow your biceps like never before. Let’s begin.
1. Get a Grip
Your grip is everything when doing barbell curls. If you use a shoulder-width grip you will use your outer and inner bicep heads almost equally, but the wider you go, the more your short/inner head starts to take more of the force. The narrower your hands go, the more your long bicep head will be affected, so you definitely want to switch up your grips. Take some normal shoulder-width barbell curls and add some where your grip will be wider, as well as some close-grip curls. This will effectively work on both the long and the short head of your biceps, increasing their overall size and strength.
Begin your biceps training with four sets of bicep curls. On your first set, hold a close grip, about 8 inches of space between your hands. On your second set, take a hip-width grip, and on the third, take a normal shoulder-width grip. Your fourth set will need to be a wider grip, so six inches wider than your shoulder width should do it.
2. Sit Down
If you’re reading this, partial movement shouldn’t be strange to you. When you do a part of an exercise you become stronger just in that little part. You can apply this to your biceps training, but in case you already have 21s to do as partials for your biceps, know that going heavy is much more efficient. Performing the complete range of motion of a curl limits you to a weight you can lift at your weakest part of the exercise, if using correct form.
When you do seated barbell curls, you cut off the bottom half of your movement since the bar rests on your thighs. Also, this helps you focus on putting on more weight on your biceps, which means you can overload it since your strength comes out around the top half of the range of motion. For most people, seated barbell curls provide a 20 to 30 percent increase in the weight they’re able to lift in comparison to normal barbell curls. Do them first in your workout for best effect. You’re going to need three sets of them and then follow up with 2-3 sets of regular standing barbell curls with a full range of motion!
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