Issue #9


by Juan Carlos Lopez

2005 Canadian Nationals Women's Bodybuilding Photos Results

2005 Canadian Nationals Women's Bodybuilding Review

2005 Europa Super Show Photos and Results

2005 Europa Super Show Review

2005 Copa Internacional Guadalajara Photos and Results

2005 Copa Internacional Guadalajara Review

20 Questions with our Cover Model: Mindi O'Brien

Video Interview with our Cover Model: Mindi O'Brien

Post Contest Blues
by Traci Redding

Video Interview: Nita Marquez Wilson NPC Fitness

Is it a Goal or A Dream?
by Sarah and Geff Malone

An Interview with Trina Gillis

Pre Exhaust Bicep Workout
Linda Cusmano

Video Interview: Jenny Guenther IFBB Figure Pro

Women Training Routine Part 1: Leg Training
by Rossella Pruneti

Video Interview: Katie Szep IFBB Fitness Pro

Beyond the Mirror
by Rossella Pruneti

Mindi O'Brien, Lucie Bergeron, Susie Oatmeyer, Alexis Ellis, Tonia Williams

Video Interview: Alia Anor NPC Figure

Diet Depleting and Diapers
by Christine Wan



Pre Exhaust Biceps Workout by Linda Cusmano

Linda Cusmano

If you're stuck in the same biceps routine chances are that making gains is slowing down. It is much easier to train what feels easier or what you are used to but in essence you are not challenging the body. Many people get comfortable in their program forgetting that to continue achieving progress, the workout needs variety and change.
Variables such as sets, repetitions, exercises, speed of training, and style of program can greatly affect your desired outcome. In order to get the front of your upper arm pumped you need to train both heads of the muscle. Bi referring

to 2 is the first sign that there are 2 heads to this muscle, the second clue is the plural form but most leave the 's' out of biceps brachii. Leading to the next mistake people make, training the biceps in one angle all the time. This will only emphasize more tension on the inner head leaving an imbalance that is normally not really noticed but can cause problems as can any imbalance.
For the most effective biceps training you need to make sure to utilize different angles, grips and width of grips to ensure a well rounded session that will stimulate both heads of the biceps.

The key factor affecting how your biceps are shaped lie in the angles in which these exercises are performed. While muscle balance is a big issue there is also training your back. Having your biceps in peak condition will help you with the heavier weights needed for back muscle development since biceps are the primary assistants to most of your back training exercises. Common injuries such as tears in connective tissue (ligaments or tendons) can be avoided if you make sure to train not only hard and heavy, but also light days as well. Lighter training with high reps for endurance and strengthening of those tendons and ligaments must be included. This can be especially beneficial if your job directly recruits these particular muscle groups.

This intermediate to advanced routine is well rounded and designed to give you that shock you need in order to spark continued gains especially when you hit a plateau. You will notice most of these movements are performed with varied grips and outward curling motion in order to exercise the whole biceps muscle.

Perform each exercise in the order described.

Preacher Curl 21's

An exercise normally left for the end, with this routine it is the first exercise.
Using a standing or seated preacher (usually about a 45 degree angle) dumbbells in hand (medium-light weight) adjust your arms over the preacher with elbows at shoulder width. Try not to slouch excessively as your shoulders are being drawn forward. First 7 repetitions are done with the arm at a fully extended position, curling up half way only then returning to the fully extended position, but not leaning on the preacher once you have begun. Without stopping after the first 7 reps, now you perform another 7 reps from the halfway mark to a fully curled position and back to the halfway mark.
You are still not done, 7 more reps to be done with full curl, from full extension to full flexion. Keep good control, use weight you can handle well and not have to rush with. Normally here you want to complete a total of 3 sets, with 30 seconds to a minute rest in between sets, just enough to stretch the biceps (see end for stretch).

Incline Concentration Curls

With the same weight you would have used with the above, seat yourself in an incline bench again set for about 45 degrees in angle. Lay back completely, with arms out to side hanging loose, biceps will slightly face outward naturally.
Curl up with pinky side of dumbbell slightly turning toward shoulder at halfway up, then lower in the same fashion. Use controlled speed and you will pop your veins out! Again with this exercise you would do 3 sets but 12 reps with 30 seconds to a minute rest.

Hammer Curls

Using a little heavier weight than the last 2 exercises, standing in a comfortable stance, feet shoulder width apart, dumbbells in hand with palms facing inward. Lift the weights keeping arms at shoulder width and elbow slightly forward of hips (with palms remaining facing inward throughout exercise) then lower slowly without back swaying at all during movement. Perform 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Wide Grip Bar Curls

This is another standing exercise that you need to keep proper posture with, meaning neutral pelvis, chest out, shoulders back, head up, knees slightly bent. Use a bar with medium to heavy weight (don't forget those clips!). Grab the bar with underhand grip, palm up, and keep a wide grip no closer than 2 inches from shoulder width. Starting with your arms fully extended, elbows should never go behind hips throughout exercise, curl the bar up to about 5 inches from chest (any closer and you lose the tension) then slowly lower repeating for 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest is about a minute in between sets. Never use your back to get the weights up, make your biceps do the work even if you have to drop a few pounds off the bar, no swinging!

Cable Cross Curls

This exercise is done like the cable cross for pecs but instead you position for biceps. Standing in between the cables, one in each hand, using light weight, you need to position your arms up by your head (as if you're in a stick up!) with elbows inline with shoulders and ears no lower, not forward or back. Palms facing in bring cables to ear level turning pinky toward shoulder then fully extend. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps (you want to face the mirror for this one, it looks impressive!)


As a challenge I can almost guarantee that most of you won't be able to complete these! To end you're routine as a finisher you will now perform 5 sets of 8 reps, body weight chins with palms facing in, elbows at shoulder width bringing your chin right up to parallel the bar then down. Most people keep their knees bent but straight is fine too, although for those using a spot in order to complete this workout, knees bent will give your spotter a place to help push you a bit, at the shin area. Those of you hot shots who can take this should add a weight plate with a weight belt to challenge yourself.

Biceps Stretch

The simplest way to do this is to grab the hand of the arm you wish to stretch and bring that hand back (making sure all fingers are being pulled back and only for those with no wrist injury) extending the inner elbow forward to be straight and pushing your biceps outward as well which should result in a biceps stretch. Done correctly your fingers would be pulled back toward your body while the biceps is facing forward. Hold this for 15 to 30 seconds doing the stretch in between and/or after each exercise to minimize muscular ache and help recovery of the muscle.

Written by Linda Cusmano
Canadian Fitness Champion and Certified Personal Trainer

"Feel the Power of Weight Training!"

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About the Author...

Linda Cusmano

Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Competitor
Body Rush Personal Training & Lifestyle Consultation

If you are beyond this level and looking for more tips toward contest physiques then feel free to email me your questions and I will try to help.
Any fitness, health, diet, rehab or contest (fitness, figure, bodybuilding, fitness model) questions can be emailed to

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