Bodybuilding. For those of us who have been practitioners of bodybuilding for over 20 years, it is a daily discipline. It’s a life long love affair. It’s not something one does just to impress the chicks, or to scare off the bullies. Or like Gary Strydom once said and I’m paraphrasing, “I didn’t get into this kind of shape to wear a tank top in the mall.” When you get older, bodybuilding becomes much more than that. It becomes a guiding force.
Take Jimmy for instance. Jimmy is in his latter 40’s and is training like a man possessed. I couldn’t help but notice him today as I filmed Ed Brown, Jr. I learned from Jimmy that he’s been married 3 times and has 3 kids in their teens and twenties This is a man who has lived some life. And there he was, pumping up. Getting ready for his next bodybuilding contest.
It’s a daily discipline. A guiding force.
As you progress in bodybuilding, you learn new ways of building muscle, you become more and more interested in bringing out the detail. Detail is what makes a physique look complete. Developing those lesser known muscles not only makes the body part appear bigger as a whole, the measuring tape confirms it.
One of my favorite bodybuilding writers, Dennis Weiss says little things like a twist of the wrist, pulling down the shoulder, raising the weight either a little forward or backward, or holding the barbell momentarily at the peak contraction of the movement can make all the difference between building just
mediocre muscles or literally huge ones.
Take biceps for instance. Most bodybuilding beginners start with barbell curls, dumbbell curls and preacher curls. In the beginning, if you’re doing every thing right, you should put size on your arms pretty readily. After some time though, you have to start seeking out new and creative ways to train the muscles in order to get better results.
Here’s a combo exercise that you can do for size and detail. Ed is 7 weeks out from the Mr. Universe contest and is interested in bringing out lots of detail. The following exercises are designed to do just that.
- Alternate Dumbbell Curls x 8 reps
- V Bar “Priest” Curls x 15 reps
Pro Tip: Ed learned about the V Bar Curls from Lee Priest. Lee mentioned to Ed how much he liked the exercise and how he felt it in the brachialis (or side of the biceps). Who the hell is going to argue with Lee Priest about arms?
Do the alternate dumbbell curls as you normally would with a medium-heavy weight that will allow you to get up to 8 reps. Then, without rest, go immediately into the V Bar Priest curls. At the top of the movement try to keep the elbows up high. This, along with the V Bar handle, makes the difference with this exercise. The biceps receive lots of stimulation from basic pulling motions involving the back. At the intermediate and advanced level, you have to train the biceps differently in order to work those “hard to reach” muscles like the brachialis.
You may notice that you never see anyone in your gym doing this exercise with the V Bar Handle. You see the same people, day in and day out, doing endless sets of biceps curls and triceps pushdowns. That’s fine for them but if you want to achieve serious arm growth and detail, you must explore different techniques like this one in order to avoid pattern overload as well as to get closer to your full potential in bodybuilding. Let’s face it, we don’t go to the gym to waste time, we go to the gym to train hard enough and smart enough to become better than we were yesterday, right?
Spend some time with the exercise combo above for better arm development. Train with an open mind and think about how you can change all of your exercises just a little to get better results. As always, if you have any questions please comment below and we’ll answer them. Below is the video to accompany this article.
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