Biceps by Themselves

Isolate your arms for faster growth. By Michael Schletter

If you’ve done curls to exhaustion and yet your arms are the same size, it’s time for a change. Curls are often done with sloppy form from mechanically disadvantageous angles, letting the front delts take over the movement and robbing your biceps of the stimulation they need to grow. Get your biceps doing the brunt of the work. Put this routine in place of your normal bicep training and see the difference in weeks.

How it Works

Each exercise allows the biceps to be the prime mover — meaning it doesn’t allow stronger muscles such as the deltoids to take over and let you cheat the weight up. When the biceps are better isolated, they get worked harder and receive a better pump, leading to bigger muscle gains.

Dead-hang Chin-up

  • Sets: 3 Reps: As many as possible
  • Rest: 90 seconds

Grasp a pull-up bar with an underhand, shoulder-width grip. Pull yourself up so your chin is over the bar and hold that position for a second. Take four seconds to lower yourself back down.

EZ-bar Drag Curl

  • Sets: 3 Reps: 8-12
  • Rest: 60 seconds

Grasp an EZ-curl bar and pull your shoulder blades down and back. Begin curling the bar by bending your elbows and pulling the bar up, simultaneously drawing your elbows back while holding your shoulder blades in place. The bar should drag along your abdomen until it reaches your solar plexus.

Modified One-Arm Preacher Curl

  • Sets: 3 Reps: 8-12
  • Rest: 60 seconds

Grasp a dumbbell and approach a preacher-curl station. Lock your armpit over the top of the bench so your chest and triceps touch the pad. Allow your arm to extend down the pad, but keep a bend in your elbow. Curl the weight.

Zottman Curl

  • Sets: 3 Reps: 8-10
  • Rest: 60 seconds

Hold dumbbells at your sides with a neutral grip, palms facing in. Keeping your elbows there, curl the dumbbells while turning your palms to face you. At the top of the motion, turn your hands palms-down and slowly lower the dumbbells.

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