Q: I was going through some old IRON MAN magazines to give to my nephew, and saw Jonathan on the cover of the March ‘09 issue. Unbelievable biceps! I couldn’t find an article on his arm training in that issue, though. What arm workout did he use to build those incredible peaked bi’s?
A: Full, peaked biceps are only possible if you have the genetic propensity to build thick, high bi’s. That’s not to say you can’t do it; you’ll never know till you try—and full-range training will bring out your full muscular potential…
That’s why we always use some form of Positions of Flexion, which ensures that the muscles are trained through their total range of motion—midrange, stretch, and contracted; however, we have many variations, and the POF biceps routines can even be tweaked to enhance width or peak as well as a balance of both. How? With the in-for-out/out-for-in rule.
A wide grip (out) puts more stress on the inner head for width, while a narrow grip (in) hits the outer head best for more peak. That’s one reason concentration curls are a great peaking exercise—the arm is angled across the body, which is as narrow, or “in,” as you can go for outer-head stress. The outer head is what creates peak or height.
For inner-head density—so your arms look thicker from the front hanging at your sides—substitute one-arm spider curls with the upper arm angled out. We classify that as a fullness or width exercise for the bi’s.
Whether we’re stressing inner head for width or outer head for peak, we always use the three-way POF technique (even when it’s split over three workouts with STX or XRX). For example, barbell curls for midrange work, incline curls for stretch overload, and concentration curls for contracted-position work…
It’s simply a matter of altering grips and/or exercises in each position to get slight enhancements in the different heads for unique effects like more peak—but, as we said, the results you ultimately get will be governed by your genetics. And intensity. You gotta go medieval on those muscles!
For more information and complete biceps and triceps specialization arm workout programs, see the X-traordinary Arms e-book.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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