arnold-schwarzenegger-biceps-curl-alternateI’m going to tell you something the “functional fitness” crowd doesn’t want you to hear.

If you do biceps curls or triceps extensions, your arms will grow.

I know, I know…not functional what so ever and a waste of time, right?

The “functional fitness” folk will tell you rows, chin ups, bench presses and overhead presses will work your bis and tris so you don’t need to worry about adding in arm specific work. This is almost true…but your size gains will be limited.

Why do you train (if you don’t train for a sport)? To build wide shoulders, a thick back, huge pecs and arms that fill your shirt sleaves, right? Ladies, isn’t it nice to have nice arms in your sleeveless shirts? Well, let me tell you both now, isolation exercises are the icing on the cake if your goal is having nice arms.

You’re not going to build your arms (the way you want) with just compound lifts. How do you think Arnold built those huge guns? Multi-joint lifts AND isolation-type exercises.

So there you have it. Arm isolation training isn’t weightlifting blasphemy…that’s what the best bodybuilders have been doing for years. The next time a “functional” trainer tells you to stop curling, tell them that biceps curls ARE functional training for bodybuilders and trainees who want bigger arms!

In light of this fact, here are a few biceps curls variations you can add into your program.

But you have to promise me one thing. No curling in the squat rack!

curling in the squat rack

1. Standing barbell curl, palms up.

2. Standing barbell curl, palms down.

3. Standing barbell curl, mixed grip.

4. Perfect Curl, palms up.

5. Perfect Curl, palms down.

6. Standing barbell curl, palms up 21s.

7. Standing barbell curl, palms down 21s.

8. Standing EZ bar curl, palms up.

9. Standing EZ bar curl, palms down.

10. Standing EZ bar curl, palms up 21s.

11. Standing EZ bar curl, palms down 21s.

12. Standing barbell cheat curl, palms up.

13. Standing barbell cheat curl, palms down.

14. Standing single arm barbell curl, palm up.

15. Standing single arm barbell curl, palm down.

16. Standing dumbbell hammer curl.

17. Standing dumbbell hammer curl 21s.

18. Standing cross body alternating hammer curl.

19. Standing dumbbell curl, palms up.

20. Standing dumbbell curl, palms down.

21. Standing dumbbell curl, palms up 21s.

22. Standing dumbbell curl, palms down 21s.

23. Standing dumbbell Zottman curl.

24. Standing dumbbell corkscrew curl (palms down, rotate to palms up while curling up, reverse to lower).

25. Standing dumbbell curl, palms up, alternating sides.

26. Standing dumbbell curl, palms up, holding one arm at 90-deg while performing reps with the opposite arm.

26. Standing dumbbell curl, palms down, alternating sides.

27. Standing dumbbell curl, palms down, holding one arm at 90-deg while performing reps with the opposite arm.

28. Incline bench, face up, dumbbell curl, palms up.

29. Incline bench, face up, dumbbell curl, palms up, alternating sides.

30. Incline bench, face up, dumbbell curl, palms up, 21s.

31. Incline bench, face up, dumbbell curl, palms up, holding one arm at 90-deg while performing reps with the opposite arm.

32. Incline bench, face up, dumbbell corkscrew curl.

33. Incline bench, face up, dumbbell hammer curl.

34. Incline bench, face up, dumbbell hammer curl, alternating sides.

35. Incline bench, face up, dumbbell hammer curl, 21s.

36. Incline bench, face up, dumbbell hammer curl, holding one arm at 90-deg while performing reps with the opposite arm.

37. Incline bench, face down, dumbbell curl, palms up.

38. Incline bench, face down, barbell curl, palms up.

39. Incline bench, face down, dumbbell curl, palms down.

40. Incline bench, face down, barbell curl, palms down.

41. Incline bench, face down, dumbbell hammer curl.

42. Incline bench, face down, dumbbell corkscrew curl.

43. Incline bench, face down, dumbbell Zottman curl.

44. Incline bench, face down, dumbbell curl, palms up, 21s.

45. Incline bench, face down, dumbbell curl, palms down, 21s.

46. Incline bench, face down, dumbbell hammer curl, 21s.

47. Low cable rope curl.

48. Low cable straight bar curl, palms up.

49. Low cable straight bar curl, palms down.

50. Low cable straight bar curl, palms up, 21s.

51. Low cable straight bar curl, palms down, 21s.

52. Preacher EZ curl, palms up.

53. Preacher dumbbell single arm curl, palm up.

54. Preacher dumbbell single arm curl, palm up, 21s.

55. Preacher dumbbell single arm hammer curl.

56. Dumbbell concentration curl.

57. Trink Curl.

I could keep going with Fat Grip variations, and band resisted variations, but I’ll be here all night (and I think you get the point). Don’t just stick with one type of curl…you’ll limit your growth potential and most likely get board.

2-Tickets_2If you’re looking for an arm specialization program, my colleague Dan Trink, from Trink Fitness just released his new product today called 2 Tickets to the Gun Show. It’s a 4-week program, dedicated to making your guns bigger (who doesn’t want that!?). I went through the program last night and it looks pretty good (it should be as Dan writes for Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Livestrong.com and T-Nation among other high profile outlets). This ebook explains the program and the premise behind it (giving you huge guns!). It’s on sale this week for only $14.99.

Check it out HERE.

For real life results, my other buddy Jon Goodman gave the program a go last month and saw some nice gains!

jon goodman hylete

That’s a wrap.

Get your tickets to the gun show. This program works.

-JK

I am turning 67 next month and I started my journey with JKC in 2018. Seven years ago I experienced significant foot pain which had a negative impact on my day to day activities. I learned that issues in other parts of the body need to be addressed to achieve a positive result. My doctor (Dr. Jessica Wade) suggested, along with some other therapies, that I could  benefit from the conditioning JKC had to offer. I previously had not trained in any gym. I observed how many gyms operated and had a sense that JKC would be more my style: training in a small group setting, having such personal attention, and a program meeting my specific needs is fantastic! I love the atmosphere at the gym. Everyone is accepted and you feel supported and comfortable.

I heard somewhere that achieving your health goals is determined largely by what you do in the kitchen. I am grateful to have found Julia who brought direction and accountability to this most important piece for me. Having Julia in my corner has brought me confidence and certainty that I am on my way to achieving my goals. I highly recommend her if you are serious about making a change and feeling better about your health.

I recently visited Newfoundland for one month, and was looking for a good place to train while I was there. Jon and the team at JK conditioning really took the time to assess what I already knew, and set achievable goals for the time that I had with them. The gym was such a great place to push yourself. It had everything you needed, but more importantly it had a well organized, very knowledgeable, and really motivating group of trainers to push you at each workout. Not to mention a really nice group of other members who also motivated me to go that little bit further. I would highly recommend the gym to anyone who has a goal and wants to find a place to help them achieve it.

I started at JKC because my colleagues that go to JKC all look and felt fit and healthy thanks to Jon and Thomas – if JKC helped them, I knew they could do the same for me! I think JKC stands out from other gyms because of their personal touch! They listen to you and help motivate and support. They always believe in my ability progress and learn new exercises. I’ve been training at JKC since January of 2019 and recommend them to anyone looking to learn how to lift weight properly, feel stronger, and improve their health.

I have never previously seen the passion and level of care that Jon and Thomas bring to everyone who works out at JKC. Their knowledge, insight and skills are extraordinary, and they work with everyone individually to ensure the best possible results. The attention to detail and to every person’s specific requirements and goals, and the incredible, constant encouragement they provide, is, in my opinion, what truly distinguishes JKC from any other program in which I’ve participated. I am extremely pleased with the progress I’ve achieved thus far, and it’s largely attributable to Jon and Thomas and the approach they take to training and working with people.

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