For someone who is supposed to be a powerlifter I sure love to train my biceps. And after reading through Arnold Schwarzenegger’s New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding I have been extra inspired to put some inches on to my arms, and I have been implementing some tried and true Golden Era bicep curl variations to do so. In this article I will be showing you one of my favorite variations, the Incline Dumbbell Curl!
Benefits: When done correctly this movement involves a fantastic range of motion which will allow you to stretch your bicep completely at the bottom of the movement while focusing on the peak at the top, helping to develop the thick, peaked biceps we all strive for.
Execution: To do this movement you will need to set up on an incline bench. I like to set the bench up about half way between a shoulder press and a flat dumbbell bench press, as going to high or too low of an incline will change the range of motion which is the key here. Next, grab a set of dumbbells and sit on the bench with your arms hanging loose at your sides. Next, curl the weights up to your front deltoid and focus on the squeeze at the top! On the way back down, focus on controlling the weights and not allowing any swinging motion, keep tension on the biceps.
You may do these in an alternating fashion while supinating and pronating your wrists (turning your wrists) or with both arms curling simultaneously, although Arnold himself preferred to use the supination/pronation technique to get the best results, and after testing out both variations I must say I agree.
Implementation: Here are a few of the rep schemes I have found to work best with this exercise
— 4×8 heavy with strict form, performed in an alternating fashion.
— 4×8 each arm alternating style followed by a dropset with three different weights, 15 reps each while curling the dumbbells simultaneously
— 3×12 each arm followed by 2 sets of 20+ reps, all reps done simultaneously.
— 5×10 reps total. 5 reps simultaneous, 5 reps alternating each arm
— 3x21s: 7 reps top half, 7 reps bottom half, 7 full range of motion. All reps done in an alternating fashion.
Throw Incline Dumbbell Curls in on your next arm day and get on the road to Golden Era Biceps!!