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Natural Bodybuilding w/Monica Ewing



We at Body Builders Network welcome your requests for advice. Go ahead, ask us for advice by emailing us at You will find our advice replies to you requests here, in our Biceps Column.

Q: I'm having trouble building impressive biceps. Do you have any ideas, tips or secrets?

Many of us, regardless of the number of dumbbell and concentration curls we do, will never achieve the arm development of the celebrated champions. Genetics plays a major role in determining how well your body responds to weight training. Genetics aside, there are no excuses for not working hard and giving it your personal best effort. Through dedication and developing a "winners attitude," you can develop a set of awesome arms.

EZ-curl bar

Let's start off with the EZ-curl bar. The EZ-curl bar is recommended because it places less stress on the wrist. Use a shoulder width grip with knees slightly bent (bending the knees relieves pressure on the spinal column), and body erect. Slowly begin to curl the weight paying close attention to form. Lift the weight up in 3 seconds and lower the weight in 4-5 seconds. Research shows that the eccentric (lowering of the weight) component of weight training, greatly benefits muscular growth. Two key factors leading to continued muscular growth include consistent tension and muscular stress (i.e., lifting in a slow, controlled fashion).
Your first set is the warm up set:
1st set 20 lbs x 15 reps
2nd set 40 lbs x 12 reps
3rd set 60 lbs x 8 reps
4th set 90 lbs x 6-8 reps
As you increase the weight, also increase your rest period. We advise a rest period of 3-4 minutes between sets. This allows for both the nervous system and muscular system to regenerate and prepare for the upcoming challenge.
Remember, in natural training, if you don't fully recover, you will surpress the immune system and hinder your progress.

Dumbbell Curls

The second bicep exercise is alternating dumbbell curls. Use the same body position as mentioned above. Maintaining proper form while training will ensure you stimulate the muscle and prevent injury. The posture position we recommended ensures that the stress is placed directly on the biceps and not on the upper back muscles, spine, or shoulders. Your goal is to perform 3-5 sets in strict form.
After these two exercises, take a quick glance into the mirror (others are already watching you). Your arms, heavy as lead pipes, should be "pumped" and engorged with nutrient carrying blood. Flex them "bad-boys!" Take a few minutes to get a drink, refocus, and visualize the construction of your own personal "Guns!"
We know you're tired. But this is the time to show your true colors—those of a champion.

Preacher Curls

Let's move on to preacher curls, made famous by Larry Scott. The preacher curl is a great exercise for putting total stress and tension on the biceps. This exercise is also great for adding to the overall shape and peak of the biceps. Remember, put your total focus into this exercise. Squeeze out each rep and avoid using momentum (cheating) to move the weight. It's vital to stimulate as many muscle fibers as possible and completely exhaust the bi's. We recommend a 2-4 second count in raising the weight, holding the weight in a contracted position for another 2-4 seconds, and lowering the weight as slow as possible (2-4 seconds). Each intense rep can take 6 to 12 gut-wrenching seconds, however, once you've completed your sets, your confidence will continue to mount as you get closer to achieving your personal best.

Concentration Curl

The final exercise we will discuss in this article is the dumbbell concentration curl. This exercise is very similar to the preacher curl. Its main purpose is to improve the overall shape and peak of the biceps. We recommend doing this exercise sitting on the end of a bench with your elbow pressed against your inner knee. Curl the weight from the foot up to the shoulder. Remember, try to place as much stress and tension on the muscle as possible. This exercise will provide the biceps with new blood, great for recovery. 2-3 sets should leave your biceps completely destroyed.
Heavy, intense weight training is extremely tough - especially for the natural athlete. You are to be commended for your dedication to setting and just as important, achieving your goal(s). According to the greatest bodybuilder of all-time, Arnold Schwarzenegger, weight training provides you with discipline, self-esteem, and the motivation needed to accomplish any goal you have in life be it in the gym, classroom, or in the business world.

In conclusion, bicep training as is all weight training, extremely intense and requires full dedication and commitment in and out of the gym. Come to the gym ready to push your body through new mental and physical obstacles. Challenge yourself! Make the 45-60 minutes you spend in the gym the most intense training session of all time.

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