Issue #16


by Juan Carlos Lopez

Emerald Cup 2006 Photos and Results

Emerald Cup 2006 Review
by Juan Carlos Lopez

20 questions with Cover Model: Shaushi Zike

Video Interview with Cover Model Shaushi Zike

Tanji Johnson's Emerald Cup Posing Seminar
by Juan Carlos Lopez

Balancing Training and a Full Time Job
by Traci Redding

Video Interview NPC Figure Michele Cogger

Shaushi Zike, Vanessa Van Overmeer, Michelle Cogger, Jill Knight and Roxana Kreklo

Video Interview with NPC Figure Vanessa Van Overmeer

Shipshape - Fitness on Board
by Rossella Pruneti

Video Interview CBBF Figure Roxana Kreklo

Building Beautiful Biceps
by Tina Jo Orban

Building Beautiful Biceps by Tina Jo Orban

Tina Jo Orban

When people know you lift weights, especially if you’re a female, they’ll want you to show them your flexed bicep. Indeed it is the contracted bicep that gets all the attention of a buff physique. The biceps and the brachialis are principal flexors of the elbow joint, there for doing curls is needed to build your arms. However, building awesome biceps takes more than just doing curls.

As a trainer, I recommend clients (those ones interested in building lean muscle) do at least 12-16 sets of exercise per muscle group.  Regarding the biceps you could do, for example, 4 sets of three exercises, or 4 sets of four.  Simple.  But the intensity, and the rest periods and the exercises you choose matter!  Here are three exercises to build the biceps, and the brachialis, (the muscle that lays deep to it) and the brachioradialis.  The brachioradialis crosses the elbow joint and runs down the forearm where it attaches to the styloid process of the radius. This muscle is active in flexion and extension of the elbow and that is exactly what a bicep curl does. Therefore this muscle gets worked in this exercise also.
Here  are three great “bicep”  (we’ll call it that but note several other muscles trained) exercises to build beautiful arms.  The first is the biceps dumbbell curl.  With this exercise perform four sets. You’ll want to supinate your grip, palms forward, and slowly flex the elbow.  The cadence should be about two seconds pulling up the dumbbell, exhaling as you exert yourself, and two seconds down.  For building muscle The Mass Theory suggests that one trains at least 75% of his/her one rep maximum.  This translates into doing about 12-15 reps. The last few reps should be burning: If they are not the weight is too light.  At this intensity, ideal rest periods should be about 30 seconds but no longer than a minute.
You can alternate the curls or do them simultaneously.  It does not matter, just realize doing the exercise simultaneously requires more exertion, and therefore is tougher.  Also it is important to have good posture during the exercises.  This means shoulders should stay in-line with hips, and you should have soft knees while you maintain good posture. Do not use momentum to throw up the weights, and don’t hyper-extend your back on the lift.

Biceps Dumbell Curl

The next exercise uses the EZ-curl bar.  This cambered bar is great because if you stand in the anatomical position, (palms facing forward), your hands naturally fall, with just where the wider grip of the EZ-curl bar is.  This allows your arms to lift in a natural position without torque on your wrists.
This exercise you need to perform standing so excellent posture, breathing technique, and cadence aforementioned should be used.  Simply fully extend the cambered bar with a supinated grip, bar touching your thighs, and then curl up.  Do your 12-15 reps for four sets, with less than one minute rest periods.

EZ-curl Bar

The final exercise in this quick biceps blasting routine is the dumbbell hammer-curl.  This exercise requires that you have a neutral grip, palms face in toward the body. In this exercise the prime mover is the brachialis, and the brachioradialis. All of these muscles should, and need to be worked, for proper balanced development of the arms.  For the hammer-curl you start in full extension, and draw up the weight towards you shoulder, keeping your grip neutral through the entire contraction and extension. All the same posture, breathing technique and cadence should be used here, as in the basic bicep curl. You could do hammer curls with the rope as well.

EZ-curl Bar

In addition to curling to build great arms, in order to see definition, or cuts, one needs to perform some aerobic activity to burn body-fat. Additionally a you should have a diet that is conducive to training. This means a diet that meets your protein demands, yet does not over-consume calories for your metabolic needs. This requires discipline outside of training. I won’t go into depth here, as this is an article on biceps, not nutrition.
In a nutshell one’s bodyfat levels need to be low enough so that you can see the muscles. This is called definition. You need to be lean enough to show off those built muscles.  Having lean muscular arms takes effort. So get to work.

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