- EZ Power Curl: Using an EZ bar, start leaning forward about 15 degrees and use a bit of swing to complete the rep. End the rep standing up straight and avoid leaning back excessively. The little swing should help your strength go up, but this shouldn’t look like a half-clean, half-seizure abomination.
- Straight Bar Cable Curl: Attach a straight bar to a low cable and, well, curl it. Be strict with form and try to get a stretch at the bottom of the rep. Straight bars can be hard on the wrists but using cables and going light usually mitigates this.
- DB Hammer Curl: Perform a standard dumbbell curl holding the ‘bells like two hammers (thumbs up style).
- Machine Biceps Curl: Use a curl machine that allows for a supinated grip.
The exercises need to be performed in the order listed, but you have the option of performing them as straight sets or in a superset fashion (superset triceps exercise one with biceps exercise one, etc). If you choose to superset, perform the two exercises back to back for one set each and then rest.
Regarding rest time, on the timed sets keep the rest week one fairly short – about 30 seconds works well. On week two, 60-90 seconds is ideal, and on week three (which is the toughest) just keep the rest under three minutes.
If you’re in a big group then definitely superset the exercises – I often train with four or five guys at the same time so that’s how we do it.
Although this is set up as a 3-week program, it needs to be repeated for a few cycles to really see the beauty of it. Progression occurs by increasing the time each week; upon completing the cycle, you increase the weight on each exercise (normally by about 10 pounds or 1 plate on a machine) and repeat the whole process.
Follow this for at least two cycles, although three, four, or more cycles is better.
The Heavy Stuff
Note: The first exercise for each muscle group is not a timed exercise. Each has its own set and rep scheme, as shown below.
- Close-Grip Bench
- Week 1: 5 x 3, straight sets (e.g. 225 x 3, for 5 sets)
- Week 2: 5 x 4, straight sets, same weight as week 1 (e.g. 225 x 4, for 5 sets)
- Week 3: 5 x 5, straight sets, same weight at week 2 (e.g. 225 x 5, for 5 sets)
- Week 4: Add 5-10 pounds to week 1 poundage; repeat (e.g. 235 x 3, for 5 sets)
- Power Curl
- Week 1: Set of 8, set of 4, set of 2, set of 4, set of 8 (Note: last two sets are lighter than first two sets for the same reps, for example, 80 x 8, 100 x 4, 120 x 2, 90 x 4, 70 x 8).
- Week 2: Set of 10, set of 5, set of 3, set of 5, set of 10. (Same weight as week 1. For example, 80 x 10, 100 x 5, 120 x 3, 90 x 5, 70 x 10)
- Week 3: Set of 12, set of 6, set of 3, set of 6, set of 12. (Same weight as week 1. For example, 80 x 12, 100 x 6, 120 x 4, 90 x 6, 70 x 12)
- Week 4: Add 5 lbs to each set on week 1; repeat (e.g. 85 x 8, 105 x 4, 125 x 2, 95 x 4, 75 x 8).