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Force Stubborn Biceps TO GROW With This Exercise!


Posted by Scott_Herman - June 10th, 2017

This article is going to mostly focus on forcing your stubborn biceps to grow, but if you also have uneven biceps, you might want to pay attention as well.

Throughout my lifting career, I’ve always had a much easier time building my triceps. My triceps always responded really well to weight lifting. Now while I don’t have small biceps by any means, I just never felt that same satisfaction from a bicep workout as I did from a tricep workout. However, since I have started doing my cheat and recover method, one muscle where I have really seen the biggest results is my biceps.

How Will This Help Me If I Have Uneven Biceps?

This is going to relate to those of you with uneven biceps as well, because I know from experience it can get things evened out again. Last year I tore my bicep tendon in my left arm, and I could notice a difference between the size of my right and left biceps. Now, after implementing this style of training, with this exercise, my biceps are back to being pretty much the same size. I’m going to explain to you how to perform my cheat and recover style of training with a barbell bicep curl.

The Science Behind Cheat & Recover

No matter what exercise you are doing, you will always be 40% stronger in the ECCENTRIC (negative) portion of the movement, than you are in the CONCENTRIC (positive) portion. If you take that advice, and apply it to a barbell bicep curl, there’s no possible way that you’re going to be able to lift the amount you need to lift on the concentric portion, in order to really maximise the overload on your biceps on the way down.

If the maximum you can curl for 8 repetitions is 100lbs, which is still a lot of weight don’t get me wrong, and you curl the 100lbs up no problem, you’re still going to be 40% stronger on the way down. Therefore you’re not maximizing the overload on your biceps throughout the negative. That’s where cheat and recover comes in.

Can Just Anyone Do Cheat & Recover Workouts?

Cheat and recover IS NOT FOR BEGINNERS. Your muscles aren’t ready, your tendons aren’t ready, and for an exercise like this you need to have good core control in order to handle that maximum load on your biceps. If you’re a beginner, wait until you have progressed a bit more before you try this.

How To Implement Cheat & Recover On A Barbell Bicep Curl

To maximise the exercise for bicep growth, you want to get a neutral grip on the barbell. Obviously the reason you’re using a barbell for this, is that you can put as much power into the bar as possible, and if you were using dumbbells you would not be able to lift as much weight (Because doing each arm at a time is a lot harder to do).

What you’re going to do is utilise a bit of momentum to help push through the concentric phase of the movement. Now, I’m not talking getting super sloppy and throwing your back into it, I’m just talking a little momentum to get that weight up. Once you get the weight up, you don’t immediately drop it down. You get into place, take in a breath through your nose, get your core as tight as you can, flex your biceps, and then you control the negative on the way down. All you need is about a 2 second negative. You’re going to complete 8 cheat reps just like that. As soon as you finish the cheat reps, you’re going to do 8 recover reps. To do this, you will need to lower the weight to a weight you can handle for 8 reps with near perfect form.

Why Is The Cheat & Recover Method Worthwhile?

Now the reason I do the cheat & recover method is because, as you may know from my FitnessGenes test I did a couple of years ago, I have a higher ratio of slow twitch muscle fibers compared to fast twitch. What that basically means is for me to build muscle, yes I need progressive overload but I also need a lot of volume. This will be similar for a number of you as well.

So once I have finished the 8 cheat reps, in order to infuse more volume into my workout, I would perform 8 more repetitions with proper range of motion, and because my biceps are already fatigued from the cheat set, it’s going to make the concentric portion much harder, and even more effective.

Key Things To Keep In Mind When Using Cheat & Recover With A Barbell Bicep Curl

In order to curl the most amount of weight possible, you have got to keep a tight core. Some of you may want to use a weightlifting belt in order to keep things super tight so you can lift even more weight. If you’re using a lot of weight, and you’re doing your cheat reps, and you didn’t take in a breath before lifting the weight up, then when you lower the weight down, your core is going to crumble and the bar will take you down with it. This means all the tension goes out of your biceps.

Also keep in mind, we’re not doing drag curls here. Drag curls are much harder to do, so you wouldn’t be using as much weight anyway. We’re doing barbell curls – that means that on the negative portion, you have got to keep your elbows in-line with your hips, or slightly in front of them. Think of it as lowering the barbell AWAY from your body while doing the curl.


Yes we’re trying to use more weight, yes we’re trying to overload, but remember the overall goal is to place AS MUCH of an overload on those biceps as possible to spark AS MUCH growth as possible. For me, if I’m lucky enough to train with a partner, I will have them pick the bar up for me and bring it to the top, and then I just focus on the negative portion of every rep on the cheat set.

Remember, we don’t care about the concentric phase during the cheat reps. Our goal is to get as much tension on the biceps as we can during that eccentric phase, where we are 40% stronger.

Related Videos:

3 Reasons You Will Never Have ABS | STOP MAKING THESE MISTAKES!

TWO Reasons Why Your Triceps STOPPED Growing!

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