Dumbbell curls, barbell curls, cable curls. Is your biceps routine starting to feel a little repetitive? Perhaps it’s time to shock the system, and celebrity trainer Jay Cardiello, CSCS, CPT, has just the thing. Simply reach back into your memory banks and recall that classic element of the Presidential Physical Fitness Test, the flexed-arm hang. “I use it to exhaust the biceps before doing a combo move like Zottman curls to totally fatigue the muscle after a hard training session or as a high-intensity training technique to blast out the arms,” he explains.
TRY THIS: Grasp a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (palms facing out) and perform the first half of a pull-up. Then simply keep your elbows bent, your chin above the bar, and your feet off the floor for as long as possible — or at least longer than your training partner, who can time you with a stopwatch. (Training solo? Count Mississippis.) “Below 15 seconds, you need to hit the gym more often,” Cardiello says. Forty seconds or more, however, is considered excellent. — Steve Mazzucchi