Sometimes it pays to cheat a little.
Ever notice those big swole guys in the gym whom are grunting, groaning, and swaying their bodies as they execute their bicep curls? It looks as though their heads are going to explode as they grind out those last few reps of each set.
Interestingly, do you also notice how many of those same guys have some pretty massive arms—particularly those bulging biceps? Well, there’s something to notice by those humongous hulks.
No, it’s not encouraging bad form during workouts. However, when it comes to your biceps, a little cheating is actually okay.
The reason that you see people slinging those weights up to their shoulders is because they’re usually on the last leg of their workout, and are trying to squeeze everything they can out of their arms by using the weight’s (and their body’s) momentum.
While people might assume that you’re cheating your muscles when you do this, in reality every last tendon and ligament is getting worked to its last molecule. We’re going to show you a bicep workout that borrows from this concept and shows you that sometimes, cheating can be a good thing.
For this workout, execute each exercise (all sets) before moving onto the next one. Believe us, your arms will feel it the next day!
We’re going to start off in more or less safe territory here. This is in order to prep your biceps for the good strain that is to come!
First, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing inwards). Keep your bodyweight on your heels and elbows pinned to your sides as you curl the weights upwards.
As you lift the weights, rotate your hands at the wrists so that your palms are facing upwards when reaching the top position. Hold for a two-second count, then gradually lower the weights back to the starting position. Try not to sway your body.
Do 15, 12, 10, then 7 reps, and take a rest of 60 to 70 seconds in-between each of the four sets.
Close Contact Curls
Stand as you would for conventional bicep curls, but position your elbows slightly behind the rest of your body. Keep your shoulders back and face straight ahead.
Curl the weights upwards, but keep them in constant contact with the front of your body. Also, make sure to keep your palms facing upwards throughout each entire rep. Contract your biceps at the top position, then slowly lower the dumbbells back down to your sides. It should look as though the weights are sliding up and down the front of your body.
Perform 12 to 14 reps for a total of four sets.
Standing EZ – Curl Bar Bicep Curls
Stand straight up and hold the EZ Curl Bar at the inner handle so your hands are closed-in, and slightly bend towards each other due to the angle of the bar’s grip.
Lift the bar while keeping your elbows tucked and touching your sides so that the only thing moving is the bar and your forearms. Hold at the top position and squeeze your biceps, then gradually lower the bar back downwards.
Cheater Bicep Curls
Now it’s time to get your cheat on (in a good way of course)! For this exercise we’ll need to go a little heavier, so choose a pair of dumbbells that are about 70% to 80% percent of your 1-rep maximum.
Position yourself as you would with conventional biceps curls, and execute your bicep curls as you normally would. However, this time when the weights begin to get a little heavy for you to lift using strict-form, power through the hump zone (that area around halfway where the weight is slightly difficult to lift) by incorporating your hips to help.
You want to fall into a rhythm where your torso leans forward a little and your hips extend as you lift the weights back up. Just remember not to bend backwards.
Do as many as you can with each are just until right before failure, for a total of 3 sets.
Breaking the Rules
With this biceps routine, you’ll not only feel the burn, you’ll also see a dramatic change in both the vascularity and size of your biceps. Who knew that breaking the rules could feel so good?