For many of us there comes a point where our arms stop growing and we presumably seem to reach our genetic limit in terms of bicep size. Don’t feel bad – it had to stop at some point!
In most cases though, there will almost always be a little more size you can squeeze out of your arms. This is especially true if you’re just a casual bodybuilder as opposed to Ronnie Coleman – in all likelihood there’s much more growing to be done. The only problem is then, that you’re probably not training in the right way or in a manner that’s sufficient to stimulate proper growth. Maybe it worked before but in order to really trigger hypertrophy you’ll need something a bit more potent as you get bigger.
Here is a workout from Vincent DelMonte that can do precisely that.
Pre-exhaustion is a tried and tested workout method used by many bodybuilders where you fatigue your muscles by using isolation exercises before moving onto a large compound exercise. The problem is that new research shows that this actually prevents the target muscles from working as hard as they can during the compound movements. Thus Vincent recommends doing the compound moves first and the isolation moves second in order to enjoy better results while still really punishing those individual muscles, in this case the biceps.
The movements that Vincent recommends for this routine are:
Narrow Supinated Sternum Chin-Ups
To start, perform chin ups with an underhand grip and move all the way up to touch your sternum on the bar. Meanwhile, keep those hands close together to really engage the biceps rather than the lats.
Alternating Incline Dumbbell Curls With Isometric Holds
Here you perform dumbbell curls on an incline bench and then use an isometric hold in the middle to encourage muscle fiber recruitment and to remove any momentum. This is a great way to make your regular dumbbell curls harder and is recommended for anyone looking to build size and strength.
Close Grip Bench Press
The close grip bench press is designed to hit the triceps in a similar fashion to triangle push ups.
Dumbbell Parillo Press
The parillo press is a movement that involves pressing two dumbbells, then slowly going through the negative portion of the movement allowing them to lower hinging at the elbows almost like a skull crusher (but at the side of your head instead of over the top). Then rotate at the shoulders bringing them back into position for another press.
Partner Dumbbell Curls
Stand opposite a training partner and take it in turns to perform curls. Each time you reach failure, pass the weight immediately to your buddy and continue. Keep going until you have each performed 100 repetitions.
Fingers Interlocked/Feet Elevated Push Ups
End with 100 press ups using feet elevated. A good option is to elevate your feet on a buddy’s back and then to use a ‘you go, I go’ approach similar to the partner curls.
Through these exercises you’ll have hit both the biceps and the triceps in a manner that turns the idea of pre-exhaust on its head. At the same time, you’ll have used moves that are in themselves different and challenging to encourage major growth.