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Static King


One of the best ways to improve your strength is by moving nothing at all.

If your goal is strength, putting a zero-movement strategy into your repertoire could be exactly what you need.

By way a review, a static contraction, also known as an isometric, is one which the muscular force equals the external resistance, producing no movement whatsoever. For example, you loaded up the barbell on the bench press with much more than your 1RM (one rep max) and began pressing against it with all your might, you would have a static contraction. Even if the bar didn’t budge, despite the lack of movement a ton of muscular activity would be going on inside the muscle.

Research confirms you can produce more force and strength statically than you can during positive contractions. How can this benefit you in terms of strength? You need to look no further than your nearest sticking point. A static-training plan can help you blast past those sticking points that usually act as roadblocks. The good news is that you can apply the technique to just about any exercise from the squats to overhead press even to bicep curls. Be warned, though: it is more difficult than it looks. Applying continual maximal effort without movement is brutal and effective.

Be Specific
One key factor to keep in mind is that, although strength increases are associated with static training, they are angle specific. When you train statically at a particular angle, you gain strength and size only at that angle. Take for instance the overhead press. If you worked statically at one particular point along the path of the ROM, you would gain strength there and nowhere else. The gain in strength is not necessarily distributed along the entire range of motion. For this reason, you need to apply static training at various places.

The Weak Link
So where do you start? Go straight to the weakest point of your range of motion, which is near the bottom of most exercises. If you are working on the bench press, set the safety bars to the sticking point and load up the bar. Forget about it being your “weakest point” and be sure to load more weight than you could normally move so that you are certain to have absolutely no movement. If you are working out at peak gym hours or you do not feel comfortable putting that much weight on the bar, you can work with and empty bar, but from underneath the safeties. Simply press the bar up into the safeties as hard as possible.

A couple of items to note: On your pressing movements be very careful not al allow your hands to slip. Using chalk during static training is a good idea, because if your hands slip, your wrists can sustain severe injury, second, for the pulling movements throw on some pulling straps to make sure your pulls are not hindered by your grip strength. If you do not wear straps, use chalk instead.

Adding a static day a couple of times a month into your routine across all bodyparts will help trigger serious strength gains. The better able you are to blast through sticking points, the more weight you will ultimately move during standard weight training sessions.


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Ez-Bar Preacher Vs Incline Dumbbell Curl


Both versions of the curl work your biceps, but which is better at targeting the hoghly sought-after peak of the biceps?

EZ bar Preacher CurlEz-Bar Preacher Curl
Using various angles to gain mass and strength for major bodyparts like legs and back is critical. Too many athletes fail to extend such importance to the smaller muscle groups. The biceps, like the tricpes, grow and respond best when you train them with various exercises from a myriad of angles. The preacher curl places your arms in front of your body, allowing you to blast your biceps with incrediable isolation. The Ez-bar is slightly easier on the wrists than the straight-bar counterpart. Make sure your armpits rest comfortably atop the bench and your triceps are flush against the pad. At the top of the movement do not come up so high that your elbows rise off the bench, but keep your forearms nshort of perpendicular to the floor in the top position. Likewise, keep a slight bend at the bottom of the rep to ensure constant tension.

Incline Dumbbell CurlIncline Dumbbell Curl
Muchg like the preacher curl, the dumbbell curl done on an incline bench changes the angle of the arms to the body. You want to angle the bench at about 30-40 degrees backward for optimal pull on the biceps while not placing too much stress on the shoulder joint, especially in the start position when the dumbbells are hanging toward the floor. You do not need a ton of weight on this exercise to stimulate and innervate the relatively small biceps muscles. As opposed to the standing dumbbell curls the incline dumbbell curl eliminates much of the momentum, helping target the muscle with unrivalled accuracy. The dumbbells also allow you to determine muscular imbalances between arms, as you’re unable to do during the barbell versions of the curl. Finally, during the incline dumbbell curl you can work both arms simultaneously or alternate arms depending on your preference.

The Verdict
Although both these exercises are applauded and recommended for upper arm development, for hitting the peak the incline dumbbell curl is the clear winner. Here’s why: The peak of the biceps, or the highest point of the muscle during a double-biceps pose, is actually the long head, which is best targeted by the incline curl because of the pre-stretch that’s placed upon it at the start of the move. Conversely, the long head is under much less stress during the preacher curl when your arms in front of your torso. The preacher curl, while not superior for the peak, hits the short inner head. For that reason we recommend you utilise both exercises in your biceps routine.


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Barbell Wrist Curl


Many athletes neglect to train their forearms, focusing instead on the “T-shirt muscles”. Like any other muscle group the forearms need proper attention to grow. One way of achieving this is by doing barbell wrist curls. This movement develops the inside of the forearms and creates a powerful look to the whole arm.

–          Grasp a barbell with an underhand grip, keeping your hands fairly close together.

–          Sit on a bench with your forearms flat and your wrists hanging over the edge.

–          Bend your wrists to lower the barbell slowly towards the floor.

–          Let the weight roll right to your fingertips at the bottom of the movement and then slowly curl it back up.

–          Contract your forearms hard at the top of the movement and repeat for reps.

Remember, the forearms are endurance muscles that are used to being worked when you train other body parts. To encourage maximum growth, you will have to train them hard and make them burn. The barbell wrist curl will do the trick.