Call to Arms


In a complex world, you may find it reassuring to realize that the most intractable of problems can sometimes be boiled down to a simple one-word solution. Of course, world leaders and multinational corporations fighting over oil reserves, climate change and market dominance aren’t soon likely to heed the call of “share,” “cooperate” or “communicate” anytime soon. Ah, well, such are the fascinating flaws of human nature.

Thankfully in bodybuilding, such strife and conflict isn’t necessary, and straightforward answers do exist. Take, for instance, the answer to one of the most asked questions, How can I build bigger biceps? It’s our pleasure to report that a single declaration answers that unequivocally: Curl.

The following workout helps you do just that in five slightly different ways to maximize variety and stimulation of all the muscle fibers of the biceps brachii and brachialis muscles. You’ll begin with the standing barbell curl, then move on to the spider curl and dumbbell curl, finishing up with either machine or one-arm preacher curls.

Reps increase set to set. You’ll start each exercise with the heaviest weight you can handle and pyramid down to lighter weights from there. Some may quibble with this method — being used to increasing the weight each set — but our suggestion is based on the idea that you’ll be strongest early and will be able to handle more weight. Both methods certainly have value — so let’s save the argument for another day.


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Exercise: Standing Barbell Curl

Sets: 5

Reps: 15 (Light weight warm-up set), 6, 8, 10, 12


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Exercise: EZ-Bar Spider Curl

Sets: 4

Reps: 6, 8, 10, 12


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Exercise: Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curl

Sets: 3

Reps: 8, 10, 12

Finish with either exercise #4 or #5


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Exercise: Preacher Machine Curl

Sets: 2

Reps: To failure


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Exercise: One-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Sets: 2

Reps: To failure