Small Changes, BIG Results | Biceps | Erin Stern

Posted on August 26, 2016 at 12:00 AM

I think every gym has “that guy” or “that girl”, who walks over to the free weights section and starts doing curls. The weights are swinging, and you can see every muscle working, except for the biceps. I actually used to be that girl. I thought that I needed to lift very heavy weights in order to get my biceps to grow. I ended up using my shoulders and chest to do most of the work, while my biceps remained under-developed. By switching up a few things, I was able to sculpt my biceps and see results. Let’s go through some of the details.

Choose a weight that is challenging, but not too heavy. I recommend going a little lighter than you think you can lift. Weights can be made more difficult by increasing the time under tension or by decreasing the tempo of the repetitions.

Place the bench on an incline that’s about 60 degrees from parallel. This will make the incline a bit steeper than the traditional incline bench. This incline is perfect for eliminating the possibility of momentum, and is not so tall that you won’t be able to get your upper body over the top of the bench.

Start with your non-dominant arm. Let this arm dictate the number of reps you’ll do on the stronger side. Place your arm over the top of the bench while holding the dumbbell. Stand in a split stance, leading with the opposite leg of your working arm.

Place your upper arm flat on the bench and lean back slightly. This will help to eliminate the use of the shoulder and will allow you to lift the weight with just your biceps. Make sure your elbow is directly under your shoulder. This will also help ensure that you’re lifting the weight with just your biceps.

Slowly lower the weight to just above the bench, and lift the weight until it’s just short of perpendicular to the ground. This will help keep constant tension on the biceps. As the weight starts to become difficult, you can “self-spot” on the concentric portion of the rep, and slowly lower the weight with just your biceps during the eccentric/negative portion of the rep.

Stay present and mindful, especially as you start to get tired. Make sure you’re lifting the weight with just your biceps. The last few tough reps are where the best improvements are made! Check out the video for more tips and a demonstration. I love PEAK ATP for getting me through those tough last reps! I have been able to train at a higher volume than before, and I have seen great results with strength and endurance! Thanks for reading! Until next time, train hard y’all!

- Erin Stern, 2x Ms. Figure Olympia


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