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  • What's up, guys?

  • Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com.

  • So, youre having trouble building your biceps?

  • Youve come to me, and my video.

  • I think I can help you.

  • I’m not really sure, but I think I can help you.

  • Guys, I’ve got to be honest with you here.

  • That’s a joke because honestly, when I was younger my biceps were my biggest trouble

  • spot.

  • I didn’t have big arms.

  • It was through my perseverance and wanting to build bigger biceps that I made a whole

  • hell of a lot of mistakes, but I ultimately wound up being able to build decent sized

  • arms because of that.

  • So, what I want to do is help you today.

  • I know why yours aren’t growing and I’m going to help you fix that.

  • First, when we get into the different aspects of training your biceps I like to think there

  • are mechanical things youre doing wrong.

  • Literally, how youre lifting the dumbbell, and when youre twisting, and if youre

  • raising your arm up or not to get complete bicep contraction.

  • I made a video on that, and I’m going to link that right here to show you what it looks

  • like.

  • I’m going to link it again at the end of the video because I want you to see that.

  • I cover five mechanical flaws that youre making.

  • Youre going to want to see that.

  • Today I’m going to tell you the two things youre probably doing wrong that are definitely

  • holding you backbeside your arms, again, I know because I’ve witnessed this myself,

  • first handis your training frequency.

  • Secondly, your lack of variation of bicep training techniques.

  • First of all, as far as training frequency goes, you have to understand that the biceps

  • are pretty limited in terms of their function.

  • They supinate the forearm like this.

  • You can see the bicep will activate just by doing that.

  • Most importantly they flex the elbow.

  • That’s their biggest driver and function, is to flex the elbow like this because of

  • their attachment from here, down.

  • They pull, they pull the elbow up.

  • They also have the ability to get a little bit of shoulder flexion because of the longhead’s

  • attachment up in the top here of the glenohumeral joint.

  • So, we can get a little bit of that, too.

  • Because of that, you have to realize that any time youre bending your elbow in any

  • exercise you do, on your pull day, any back exercise, chin-ups, rows, inverted rows, one-armed

  • rows; anything youre doing, youre working your biceps.

  • Your biceps are an incredibly small muscle, believe it or not, only occupying a very small

  • portion of the anterior side of your arm.

  • Too much volume here, and too many times hitting them in a week is going to be too much.

  • A lot of times, guys, if youre training a push-pull leg system, and youre training

  • each function twice a week, if you throw any direct bicep work in on top of that youre

  • truly hitting your biceps three times in that week and not giving them enough time to recuperate.

  • It’s not about protein synthesis every 48 hours.

  • It’s literally about giving that muscle group a chance to recover and get back to

  • being able to be stimulated again in a meaningful way.

  • Not just to coast through another half-assed workout, but in a meaningful way that leads

  • to progressive overload.

  • That is where we jump off into the second point.

  • When were talking about progressive overload, again, go back to the function of the biceps.

  • Their limitation in what they do.

  • Were talking about a hinge joint here.

  • If we were talking about the shoulders, that’s a ball and socket joint.

  • Meaning, my exercise variety for shoulders is a lot more than what we have for biceps.

  • In terms of the fact that they look completely different.

  • A press looks different than a side-lateral raise, looks different from a front raise,

  • looks different from rear delt raises.

  • We have lots of different angles and planes that we work in because of the variety of

  • the movement that the three-dimensional ball and socket joint provides.

  • The hinge joint of the elbow dramatically limits our options to a lot of different curls.

  • Period.

  • Youre curling with dumbbells, youre curling with a barbell, youre curling with

  • a concentration curl, youre curling with a spider curl; youre freaking curling no

  • matter what youre doing, guys.

  • Youre curling.

  • The thought that you could simply change bicep exercises to create new overload, realizing

  • once again that theyre all basically formed around the same movement here at the elbow

  • is not going to work.

  • Not mention the fact that most of our bicep exercises are pretty limited, in terms of

  • the ability we have to continue to add weight to them.

  • Ask yourself the last time you actually increased the amount of weight youve used on dumbbell

  • curls.

  • If you have, how much have you really increased?

  • Progressive overload, and overload in, and of itself is pretty difficult to achieve.

  • You need to do something dramatically different.

  • And that is, vary the way in which youre doing your curls.

  • So, let me show you a few different ways you could do that.

  • The first thing I like to cover here is one I calledSliced Reps”.

  • I take a weight I can normally use for 15 reps and perform a curl all the way to the

  • top.

  • When I come down I drop down 1/9 of the way.

  • You don’t have to get out your compass or going out and figuring out what that is.

  • Literally, just drop it an estimated 1/9 of the way, and come back up to the top, and

  • contract.

  • Then drop down a little more, then come back to the top.

  • Then a little bit more and come back to the top.

  • So, through nine levels here it takes you to get all the way to the bottom of the curl.

  • Then you come all the way back up to the top, then you divide it, and slice it into 8 pieces.

  • Then you come back down, then you drop it, and you now slice it into 7 pieces.

  • Ultimately, until you get down to your last two where youre going down halfway, then

  • come back up to the top, all the way down, and your last rep is one, full rep.

  • Now, what is happening here?

  • Were increasing our volume within a set.

  • Were increasing the number of contractions we get here.

  • Were spending a lot more time in the contracted position of the curl because we keep coming

  • back to it on every slice.

  • Were increasing the time under tension throughout the course of this set.

  • Again, although the range of motion is abbreviated in a single rep, youre still getting full

  • range of motion as you go from top to bottom throughout the course of this dropping ladder

  • here.

  • The fact is, this is a way to intensify the curl.

  • That is going to be how youll increase your muscle mass, by doing your biceps workouts

  • again.

  • Youre adding a way to progressively overload through some stimulus that you haven’t felt

  • before, as opposed to just saying “I’m going to do a different form of a curl today.”

  • It’s not enough to just go exercise to exercise.

  • We don’t have to just use that technique though.

  • We have other things here, like our arc variation.

  • With an arc variation we know that the moment arm can be changed.

  • If we stand here like I am, using a long movement, we keep our forearms straight as long as possible,

  • and our elbows are just a little bit at the front side of our ribcage, we know we have

  • a big, long arc.

  • A long moment arm for the biceps that make that weight feel extremely heavy and put a

  • great challenge on the biceps.

  • But we don’t have to stop at that point.

  • As we get fatigued and tired we can bring our elbows in to the sides now, instead of

  • in front of our ribcage.

  • Now, tucked in toward our sides and we continue to curl.

  • Weve shortened that moment arm, effectively lightening that weight in our hands to allow

  • us to keep going.

  • Then we can drop our arms back even more, even into this drag curl variation that really

  • shortens the moment arm on the biceps.

  • Not only that, it changes the strength curve of the exercise, so the hard part isn’t

  • in the middle of the exercise, but actually here, at the peak contraction of the exercise.

  • So, were able to take failure and extend it further, and further, and further, intensifying

  • the curl.

  • Again, it’s all curls.

  • But weve intensified that, and that’s going to lead to bigger biceps in the long

  • run because youve gotten too stale with the fact that you haven’t utilized enough

  • of these techniques.

  • I’ll give you one more here.

  • It’s actually one we use called intensity.

  • The intensity style here is, youre actually trying to increase the amount of productive

  • reps youre doing with a bit of a heavier weight now.

  • What we do is take an exercise and go to failure in about five, to six rep range.

  • Then we rest pause for 10 seconds.

  • We don’t put the weight down.

  • We just rest pause.

  • Youll see that, guess what?

  • After about 10, or 15 seconds you can crank out another three reps.

  • That’s enough time to rest and get out another three reps.

  • Then you rest again 10 to 15 seconds, and then you go for another three reps.

  • Then youre maybe going for two reps.

  • Then ultimately, youre going down in singles.

  • But if you do this for a five minute period of time, when you accumulate the number of

  • high intensity reps that you did in this one five minute set, and the number of reps you

  • did with this heavier weight; it’s going to be more than you likely did when you broke

  • your sets up into the tradition three sets of 12 style.

  • Again, using a heavier weight anyway to get into this five to six rep range, and youre

  • accumulating more of those heavy reps.

  • So, no matter what style youre looking for, heavier or lighter weights, 15 rep maxes,

  • or five to six rep maxes, the key is this: it’s not the exercise variation, guys.

  • It’s the variation of the intensity techniques youre using on those exercises that will

  • matter the most.

  • As far as frequency goes, if anything, dial it back and see how you do.

  • I promise you, youll probably see a better result from doing that than you are adding

  • more, and more workouts.

  • Guys, I hope this was helpful to you.

  • If youre looking for a program where we put it all in one complete step by step system,

  • I actually created something called our Ultimate Arms program.

  • That’s available over at ATHLEANX.

  • Guys, it’s not just arm training.

  • We train athletes here.

  • It’s a whole entire program, but it has a specialization for arms that helps you overcome

  • all the mistakes I made.

  • Not just the ones I point out here.

  • Everything I think that will help you get better arms in the long run.

  • Guys, that’s over at ATHLEANX.com.

  • In the meantime, if youve found the video helpful leave your comments and thumbs up.

  • Let me know what you want me to cover and I’ll do my best to do that for you in the

  • days and weeks ahead.

  • See you.

What's up, guys?

Subtitles and vocabulary

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B1 US biceps curl curling exercise bicep rep

My Biceps Aren't Growing (HERE'S WHY)

Video vocabulary