A Shortcut to Back and Bicep Size by Jim Stoppani

Want to get bigger biceps and a wider lat spread with less time? Then simply follow this workout from Jim Stoppani that uses rep ranges of 12-15 reps with relatively light weights.


When it comes to building massive muscle, it’s a big mistake to think that it’s all about heavy weights. Heavy weights have their place, certainly, but they also have their downsides. For instance, they might be perfect for building strength but when it comes to size it’s often actually better to focus on doing large amounts of repetitions which helps to occlude the muscle and to really create those muscle tears. It’s all about volume and actually you’ll find that switching to a lighter weight and performing more repetitions with better form is often the very smartest thing you can do for triggering growth. Don’t believe it? Then just try it for a month and see what happens – there’s a good chance you’ll grow almost inexplicably.


So that’s the theory… how about the moves? Take a look…


Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

The dumbbell bent over row is a great move that hits the lats, the shoulder and the biceps. Jim recommends performing this not on a flat bench but standing with his hand on a rack or bench. This allows the force to be absorbed through more of the joints to prevent stress on the lower back.


Wide Grip Pull Down

Move onto the wide grip pull down and make sure to pull your arms all the way back and to really squeeze your lats while you perform your repetitions. Jim suggests using rest pauses for that final set.


Standing Pull Downs

Standing pull downs are pull downs except you’re standing while leaning slightly backwards. This allows you to pull the bar at an angle rather than directly vertically or directly horizontally. In turn this means you’re hitting an angle that normally gets overlooked.


Straight Arm Pull Down

Keeping arms straight, pull the bar directly downwards hinging at the shoulders and making sure not to bend your elbows.


What makes the straight arm pull down so good? Well, unlike lat pull downs or pull ups, this is a ‘single joint’ movement which means it’s much better at perfectly isolating the lats.


Barbell Curls

The biceps should already be warmed up at this stage. Now move onto the barbell curl with a narrow, then wide grip. Finish with a rest pause. At this stage your arms should already really be burning.


Incline Dumbbell Curls

This focusses the move on the long, outer head of the biceps which makes them the perfect follow up to the barbell curls. Like the barbell curls incline dumbbell curls make it hard to cheat.


High Cable Curl

Using the cable with arms turned out, curl the handle in towards your shoulder. This is a great way to keep the resistance right on the biceps throughout the entire movement and to hit the shorter portion of the muscle.


And as always, Jim ends with some ab exercises. Specifically he uses hip thrusts then explosive crunches.

Leave a Comment