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Thread: "The Truth" w/ Eric Broser (Q&A and Training Articles)

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    Default "The Truth" w/ Eric Broser (Q&A and Training Articles)

    Recently I sent a shoulder training article I had written to my good friend on the board, V-Shredder. He was looking to increase the width of his delts, and I sent him a piece that specifically addressed that problem. When V posted about it in another thread I began to receive requests from several members for other training articles that I have had published in the past. Thus, I am starting this thread, where I will post old articles if there is an interest from more members on the board to read them.

    I will start with a biceps training article, and if you guys would like, I will post another article every week or so.

    Thanks.

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    Bi-Laws
    By Eric Broser
    Sometimes I am completely fascinated with how badly the average gym-dweller desires to build big arms! Although I witness these guys training chest, back, shoulders, and legs with formidable intensity and passion, it seems to jump to another level when they are attacking the arms. I often hear more yelling during a set of barbell curls than a set of squats! Strange…but true.

    In fact, to illustrate my point about just how driven most trainees are to one day flex a pair of 20-inchers, I will relate to you a small poll I recently took in the gym regarding this very subject. I asked a bunch of the more serious bodybuilders in my gym this question: If I were to magically give you six inches of muscle to add anywhere on your body, how would you distribute it?

    The majority of those I polled allocated most of the “magic inches” I provided them with to their arms. A few of them mentioned their chest, but the overwhelming response was arms! A couple of guys even went so far as to reply, “I’d take the entire six inches and slap 3 on each bicep!” And of course one joker told me he’d put 1and ½ inches on each arm and the other three somewhere else I will not mention. Of course I had to break the news that the “body part” he was referring to was not actually a muscle, and that even if it were, three inches would still not be enough to make him bigger than my 10-year-old nephew. But once again, I digress.

    The really interesting thing about my little poll was that most of the guys didn’t even say I that they would add the inches to their arms, but more specifically, to their biceps. This of course prompted me to explain to them that the mass of the triceps actually contributes to overall arm size more than the biceps do, but they still held firm that they wanted bigger, freakier, higher, thicker biceps!!

    Now, I am sure if I were to poll a group of competitive bodybuilders, who must be more concerned with the symmetry and proportion of their physique, the results would have been different. However, since the majority of serious lifters out there have no desire to step onstage, I guess I can entertain their desire for simply building massive, freaky biceps at the expense of perfect proportions! And that is exactly what this article is about…triggering new growth into those lagging biceps, using methods and techniques that perhaps you have never tried before. So if your biceps are not quite where you want them to be despite your most ferocious efforts in the gym, read on and maybe you will run across a bi-law that will get the job done for you!

    Bi-Law # 1: Bend ‘em Back


    One of my favorite things to do in between sets in the gym is to observe other people’s form while they train. I actually do this without even realizing it, which I guess is because training clients is all I did for about 13 straight years! Thus, I am always watching to see who is doing it right, and who is doing it wrong. Unfortunately, very few people use excellent form while they train.

    When it comes to working the biceps, one of the things I often see is people initiating their curls using forearm flexor power rather the pure biceps power. Of course, by nature of their function, the forearm must be involved in every curling movement, but if you actually turn the beginning of the movement into a wrist curl you are taking away a lot of the stimulation that you are intending for your biceps. I have very often been told by trainees that when they train their biceps, that their forearms get the more intense pump. This is not a good thing if you are looking for bigger guns!

    If this sounds like you, then what you should actually be doing during most curling movements is bending the wrist back throughout the set. By doing this you will effectively take the forearm flexors out of the movement, thus forcing the biceps to do almost all of the work. Yes, this will feel a little odd at first…and chances are your curling poundage will be lessoned somewhat, but trust me when I tell you that you will actually be hitting your biceps harder than ever before. Try using this method for at least one exercise during each biceps workout (I suggest a barbell movement) and I bet you will see improved results.

    Bi-Law # 2: Keep Your Chin Up


    No, I am not here to give you a pat on the back and tell you that having puny biceps is perfectly ok (although it really is…if you like sharing your girlfriend’s shirts!!). When I mention your “chin” I am not talking about the one on your face, but the kind you should be doing in the gym if you want to literally pummel those biceps into growth! Close grip, underhand chins are one of the most effective biceps exercises you can do, but yet, so few trainees ever use them. Yes, they also work the back musculature, but within the construct of a biceps program, you will almost entirely feel them in your screaming biceps! I recommend using CG chins in one of two ways. Either perform them as the last exercise in your biceps routine, so that the bi’s are already pre-exhausted. Or, use them as the second exercise in a biceps superset (preacher curls followed by CG chins are an amazing combo!).

    When doing CG chins you must make sure you are using proper form to get the most out of them. I recommend a grip spaced no wider than 6 inches apart. Begin the movement at a dead hang, with your arms completely straight. At the peak of the concentric portion of the rep, your chin should rise just above the bar (no half-reps please) as you squeeze your bi’s hard. Try to lower yourself very slowly, taking up to 4-6 seconds to get to the bottom position.

    When you get to the point that you can get 10-12 repetitions with your bodyweight, add some extra resistance with a belt designed to hold plates and/or a dumbbell around your waist. Once you are doing clean reps with 50 extra lbs attached to you, I promise your biceps will have all the mass you could ever want!

    Bi Law # 3: Twice is Nice

    It is very much in vogue these days to only train each body part once per week, and with good reason…it works. However, when looking for some extra growth in a particular muscle, it can be very effective to hit that muscle twice per week for a period of time. This is something that works quite well with the biceps, because they tend to recover from workouts very efficiently.

    The keys to making a two-days-per-week biceps prioritization program effective are as follows: 1) Make sure there are at least three days in between workouts, and 2) Do two different types of workouts each week.

    Here is a split that you might use when incorporating two biceps workouts per week:

    Monday: Chest/Biceps
    Tuesday: Quads/Hams
    Thursday: Lats/Traps
    Friday: Shoulder/Biceps/Triceps

    If using this, or a similar workout scheme, I would suggest you make Monday your “main” biceps day, wherein you would utilize about 1/3 higher volume of sets to train them than on Friday. Also, it can be very effective to use heavier weights and lower reps in one workout, and lighter weights and higher reps in the next. Another way I like to vary the two biceps training days is to use all barbell movements the first day, and all dumbbell movements the next. However, this is something you can experiment with, as long as there are some meaningful variations between the two workouts.

    Bi Law # 4: Grow in Slow-Mo

    Whenever I watch the average gym-rat training his biceps, I often see more “swinging” during a single set than in an entire day at a children’s playground! Yes, I know it’s fun to lift a ton of weight to impress your friends, fellow gym-rats, or the girl with the boobs as big as you want your biceps to be, but all of that cheating is only cheating you! Using momentum, leaning back, and lifting your elbows while you curl is NOT a training technique, but a train-wreck. If you desire to fill out your shirt sleeves a little better, than it’s time to clean up your form and slow things down.
    It has been my observation that most guys do their curls with a tempo of 1/0/1/0. If you are not familiar with this method of expressing lifting speed, this simply means that the eccentric (negative) portion of the lift is completed in one second; there is no pause at the bottom; the concentric (positive) portion of the lift is completed in one second; there is no pause at the top. Thus, at this tempo, each repetition takes approximately two seconds to complete, and since most sets are anywhere from 6-10 reps, this means that time under tension (TUT) will only be between 12 and 20 seconds. This is not optimum for those looking to affect hypertrophy in a muscle. Studies have shown that the optimal TUT for gains in muscle size is between 40-70 seconds per set. Hmmm, think it’s time to go into slow-mo?

    My suggestion to anyone seeking more size on them bi’s is a repetition tempo of 3/1/21. Using this lifting speed will bring the length of each repetition to seven seconds, which translates to a TUT of 42-70 seconds for sets between 6 and 12 reps. Perfect!

    Will this force you to drop your curling poundage considerably? Yes. But will you really care when your biceps are so big you cannot touch your fingers to your shoulder? Didn’t think so.

    Bi-Law # 5: Go Angling

    Drop the fishing pole, get off the boat, and take off the funny looking hat with all those lures attached, because that is not what I mean by angling! Think about your biceps workouts and tell me if you tend to pretty much do the same exercises over and over. Barbell curls, preacher curls, seated dumbbell curls, concentration curls, etc. Now, if you biceps are growing just fine, then it is obvious that they are still thriving with those same exercises. However, if your biceps growth is moving as fast as a turtle carrying Oprah on it’s back, then angling may be just what you need (bro, I told you, drop the fishing pole!).

    What I am referring to when I mention angling is basically changing your lines of pull, body positioning, and/or planes of motion in order to stimulate your biceps in ways they are not used to. Varying angles will change motor recruitment patterns, wake up the central nervous system, and even allow you to preferably recruit either the inner or outer biceps head to a greater degree if you so choose. All good stuff!

    Here are some ways to use the concept of angling in your biceps workout:

    -Instead of curling off the angled side of a preacher bench, curl off of the vertical side.
    -Instead of doing seated dumbbell curls, try incline dumbbell curls. If you already do these, try going for a steeper angle.
    -When doing dumbbell curls of any kind try grabbing them either by the inside or outside plates rather than in the middle. This alone will change how it affects the biceps.
    -When using a barbell, vary your grip from wide to narrow.
    -When using dumbbells try either curling across your body, or turn the palms out and curls away from your body.
    -Try sitting at an upper pulley cable station and curling a straight bar back behind your head.
    -Try lying down at a seated cable row station and doing curls while flat on your back.

    So if your greatest desire is a pair of massive guns hanging from your shoulders then I hope you will give these Bi-Laws a try. They have worked for dozens before you, allowing them to reach the land of biceps bliss, and they can do that for you as well. Do what you’ve always done, and get what you’ve always gotten…make a change and those tiny biceps will soon be long forgotten!

    Ok, now I want all of you to go ahead and Keep Your Chin Up and Bend ‘em Back, even when Angling, preferably in Slo-Mo, while remembering that Twice is Nice. Get my drift?






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    Nice article Eric, would love to see weekly updates on training.

    thanks for sharing the knowledge bro

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ortski View Post
    Nice article Eric, would love to see weekly updates on training.

    thanks for sharing the knowledge bro
    My pleasure Ortski!
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    Subscribed!

    Yo, guys..... this is top notch stuff right here. I wasn't kidding when I said the effects were immediately felt. Follow everything as close as possible and I'm sure you will agree.

    I'm glued to this thread.
    "Life is about choices: tap, nap, or SNAP!" ~ Future UFC Lightweight Champion Marcus Hicks

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    your fine work is very appreciated. thanks for the info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by V Shredder View Post
    Subscribed!

    Yo, guys..... this is top notch stuff right here. I wasn't kidding when I said the effects were immediately felt. Follow everything as close as possible and I'm sure you will agree.

    I'm glued to this thread.
    Well V, you were the "catalyst" for this thread. But I will only keep it going if I see there is true interest from members. Maybe one of the mods could pin it to the top if deemed worthy.

    Anyway, thanks as always for your kind words of encouragement V.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123rip View Post
    your fine work is very appreciated. thanks for the info.
    My absolute pleasure 123.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodyfx2 View Post

    Anyway, thanks as always for your kind words of encouragement V.
    You honor and humble me. I'm just an average Joe. And it's us who should be thanking you for the encouragement. You're a fantastic natural athlete who proves day in and day out that it can be done. In my opinion you give us more than we give you.
    "Life is about choices: tap, nap, or SNAP!" ~ Future UFC Lightweight Champion Marcus Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by V Shredder View Post
    You honor and humble me. I'm just an average Joe. And it's us who should be thanking you for the encouragement. You're a fantastic natural athlete who proves day in and day out that it can be done. In my opinion you give us more than we give you.
    And it is people like you that make it a pleasure for me to share as much of my knowledge and experience as I possibly can.
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    Pffft... if you two start making out this thread is going to need to get a room

    Good shit Eric! It's fantastic to have a known writer in the magazines interacting with everyone here - not just infrequent visits but actual two-way discussions...

    Bi Law # 4: Grow in Slow-Mo - made me think of some recent studies I buried myself in regarding resistance training as a motor learning process. Improvements in coordination are a learning process established by new neural pathways in the central nervous system. Learning to better focus on the agonist muscle leads to more fiber recruitment, which subsequently leads to a greater training stimulus...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warrior View Post
    Good shit Eric! It's fantastic to have a known writer in the magazines interacting with everyone here - not just infrequent visits but actual two-way discussions...

    Bi Law # 4: Grow in Slow-Mo - made me think of some recent studies I buried myself in regarding resistance training as a motor learning process. Improvements in coordination are a learning process established by new neural pathways in the central nervous system. Learning to better focus on the agonist muscle leads to more fiber recruitment, which subsequently leads to a greater training stimulus...
    Thanks Warrior. Like I said, it is my pleasure to help as much as I can for those that are passionate about this endeavor.

    Yes, going slower can lead to greater fiber recruitment, as well as greater muscle damage, which is the catalyst that sets the "growth machinery" into motion.
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    So when does " Class with Eric " start ??? Where do I sign up ???

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    Great stuff Eric...as always!

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    Awesome!

    Now this is a thread that needs the "sticky" tag!

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    Great thread i will be watching this with keen interest...

    Thanks Eric

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    Quote Originally Posted by FitnFirm View Post
    So when does " Class with Eric " start ??? Where do I sign up ???
    Come on FNF, you know you have been teacher's pet for a while now!
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