Working out in tandem with fellow Optimum Nutrition-sponsored athlete Leon Williams, Shaun Stafford's got a full-on workout that's going to help you gain some gleaming new guns! From his grab bag of exercises, Stafford has put together a nice assortment of sets and reps, a few new movement patterns, and some sensational supersets.
Make sure that your body and mind are tuned in, switched on, and ready to go before your first EZ-bar rep!
Stafford wants you to take a hip-width grip on the bar, palms facing up. Keep your core locked and your elbows in to your sides, forcing your biceps to handle the lion's share of the work. The goal is to isolate the biceps and minimize the impact of surrounding stabilizing and assisting muscles.
Dumbbell Hammer Curl
Stafford says to keep your thumbs extended as you would when actually holding a hammer. Keep your elbows at your sides. Make sure your core is stable and that you're not putting any strain on your lower back.
Alternate Hammer Curl
This is really a standing alternating curl, but with a twist that allows you to hit the brachialis on the way down, and the major biceps brachii muscle on the way up. When you follow the correct technique, Stafford says, only your elbow joint will be moving. Keep your core locked and your chest up.
Barbell Reverse Curl
This movement enables you to isolate the biceps muscles so you can get those muscle fibers working hard. You'll do 25 reps in total per set, but using "rest-pause." After every 5 reps, don't end the set but take a 10-second recovery period that should enable you to keep lifting at a high intensity throughout the set.
As you go through this movement, keep your arms facing down and your wrists strong. Use the brachioradialis muscle to squeeze the bar up so your forearm touches your biceps, then slowly lower the bar back down.
After all those reverse curl reps, Stafford takes you back to heavier reps with 5x5 skull crushers. The extra rest time between sets should allow you to recharge your energy and lift a heavier weight through a full range of motion. The only joint you want moving during your set is the elbow.
Stafford cranks it up with your second superset, of which dips are the first move. Watch his form closely in the accompanying video and follow suit. He's doing these in a way that focuses the work on his triceps rather than his chest.
Staffordsays to keep your elbows tight to your sides so that your triceps are isolated as much as possible. Tempo-wise, slowly control the rep on the way down, pause at the bottom, then explode up, squeezing your triceps at the top.
You've done two supersets, and now it's time for your second straight set using rest-pauses. Again, fix your elbows at your sides so your triceps work to their maximum ability. That means taking the elbow all the way up to your chest, then exploding down as you squeeze the triceps to get maximum contraction.
This is an advanced training technique, perfect for the end of a session when you want maximum burnout to get maximum results. Use either a rope or a straight bar for this exercise.