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BergMuscle
03-25-2008, 06:26 AM
I love to change up my routine to keep my muscles guessing and growing. I've been reading a lot of praise for 21s for bicep building.

My question: from all the experience of the O35 crowd, how do 21s compare against the 4x4 DB curls fitty describes in this classic (in my opinion) thread?

I have the high biceps that fitty describes and have gotten the best pump and peaks on my bis following these ideas. Might 21s work my high bis just as well?

Mark1T
03-25-2008, 07:02 AM
Hey Berg. Really, I do not know. I have high Biceps, too. 21s may be ok for some, but to me they are a kind of fad, because everyone is different, and to say that some magic number is the answer just because they feel the burn, is silly.

For people with high Biceps like us, it seems to make more sense to work on a full range of motion and great form, versus trying to mentally hit some number and most likely throw form out the window.

To me, for Bicep development, Form and full range of motion are essential. All I do is pick the Bicep exercise I am on for a period, such as sitting alternating DB Curls. I make each rep count on Form, and go to failure - rest 30 seconds and go to failure - rest 30 seconds and go to failure - rest 30 seconds and go to failure. For my last set, I drop about 15lbs per each DB and do a widow-maker set. Each week I try to progress 5lbs., but I might stay at a particular weight for 2 weeks and then move up the next week. If I cannot progress any further, I move to another Bicep exercise and maintain the same strict form and failure.

That is my Bicep workout for that week, unless several days after I want to do some Hammer Curls.

bulldog71
03-25-2008, 07:16 AM
If you want bigger bi's, do heavy squats, deads and rows, eat and sleep a lot!

/thread

lol

bodyhard
03-25-2008, 07:34 AM
I have a very high peak on my biceps, IMO the best exercise for high peak biceps are incline DB curls with a twist at the bottom and top of the movement.

At the bottom of the movement twist your wrist (inward toward the body) so that the back of your hand faces your body and at the top of the movement turn your wrist outward so that your pinkie is higher or at least leveled with your thumb.

Also no alternating as you tend to move the body from side to side, the lift should be both arms simultaneously.

WizardGlick
03-25-2008, 07:55 AM
My own personal experience is leading me to feel that, for me mind you, something more along the lines of 21s works much better for gaining a peak. The only thing lifting heavy with few reps gains me lately is joint ache.

But I would seriously say try them and see what it does for you. That's the best way to do things, imo.

PLANETGETLOW
03-25-2008, 08:15 AM
I mix up my bicep exercises. On mondays I'll do some hammers followed up by preacher curls......on thursdays I'll do 21's followed by concentration curls.

Last night was a good one, I did hammers to reverses (negatvies) and had a nice pump.

21's are effective, no doubt about it but I think the bicep needs variation.

rea99
03-25-2008, 09:23 AM
21s may be ok for some, but to me they are a kind of fad, because everyone is different, and to say that some magic number is the answer just because they feel the burn, is silly.



If 21's are a fad its a fad thats been around since I was in my teens, and longer.

I do 21's for the burn and pump, I do not consider them a big mass builder, when done super strict with at least a full 1-2 count when paused in the middle on every rep. I cannot do them with anything close to the weight I use with typical db curls.

If your familiar with the exercise you know 21's are just 7 reps, consisting of 3 curls within one full rep. If you did 8 it would be 24's, 6 would be 18's, etc. For w/e reason 21's just stuck probably because if you can do more than 7 your going to light and its catchy. I am dying sometimes using 25lb dbs for 21's after doing my typical bi's routine, I mean literally sick to my stomach, gut aching agony. So obviously I love them but not every workout.

Mark1T
03-25-2008, 09:56 AM
If 21's are a fad its a fad thats been around since I was in my teens, and longer.

I do 21's for the burn and pump, I do not consider them a big mass builder, when done super strict with at least a full 1-2 count when paused in the middle on every rep. I cannot do them with anything close to the weight I use with typical db curls.


Maybe fad isn't the right word. I just think there are more effective ways to build mass. If they are not for mass, then I don't do them, because I want mass. As you suggested, super-strict would be good, but most don't do it like that. They just blast off without form.

I was poking on them a little, because 10's or 16's or 18's might be better for some. Why the magic number 21? No one is alike, so for some to say 21's are great, that is great, but maybe just for them or they haven't ever tried a more effective exercise.

bodyhard
03-25-2008, 09:59 AM
Maybe fad isn't the right word. I just think there are more effective ways to build mass. If they are not for mass, then I don't do them, because I want mass. As you suggested, super-strict would be good, but most don't do it like that. They just blast off without form.

I was poking on them a little, because 10's or 16's or 18's might be better for some. Why the magic number 21? No one is alike, so for some to say 21's are great, that is great, but maybe just for them or they haven't ever tried a more effective exercise.

Funny you should say that cause when I used to do 21's I never actually did 21 reps 7, 7 ,7 I always did 30's 10. 10. 10 yet I called them 21's :D

Mark1T
03-25-2008, 10:05 AM
Funny you should say that cause when I used to do 21's I never actually did 21 reps 7, 7 ,7 I always did 30's 10. 10. 10 yet I called them 21's :D

Ha! Exactly my point, John. Thanks, biggun' ;)

rea99
03-25-2008, 10:43 AM
Funny you should say that cause when I used to do 21's I never actually did 21 reps 7, 7 ,7 I always did 30's 10. 10. 10 yet I called them 21's :D

ya I will occasionally fail at 5,6 or be having a good day and get 9,10 but there still always 21's its just the name that stuck. But I don't think the OP was dicussing the name or necessarily the numbers of reps, just the exercise itself.

edit: 4x4's are great last exercise too and can be done heavier from my experiance, I rarely do them though since heavy incline curls are a staple of my bi's routine

BergMuscle
03-25-2008, 03:49 PM
I don't think the OP was dicussing the name or necessarily the numbers of reps, just the exercise itself.

Yeah, my real question is around the order of the half-reps (for lack of a better term) and the full curls. 4x4's are done as 4 full ROM curls followed by 4 from the top to the middle, then 4 from the bottom to the mid point.
"21s" are 7 (or 6, 5, 10, 8, whatever) from bottom to middle followed by the same number from mid-point to top and then full ROM curls.

Any thoughts about the full ROM curls first or last, or anything else about the order for us high bicep guys (and gals)?

lukamar
03-25-2008, 04:11 PM
One exercise no one mentioned and i don't see used often is high cable bicep curls on a crossover. They are great for working on your peak and overall size. Arnold used them, Ronnie uses them both guys had or have huge arms.

beachstoyboy
03-25-2008, 04:54 PM
I don't have enough real world experience to say what works for me or not, but would somebody explain why number of reps affects biceps shape? I thought wrist position was more of a factor because of the biceps two heads (e.g. hammer curls vs regular curls).

lukamar
03-25-2008, 04:58 PM
hammer curls vs regular curls


Hammers are primarily a forearm exercise.

beachstoyboy
03-25-2008, 05:52 PM
Hammers are primarily a forearm exercise.

Thanks, good to know. But I still would like to know how reps and ROM affect biceps shape, specifically the idea of high vs low bicep.

lukamar
03-25-2008, 06:51 PM
This may explain it for you.

http://www.ifpa-fitness.com/IFPA-FitBits/fit-bits_archives/ifpa_fitbits_Building_Bigger_Stronger_Arms.htm

beachstoyboy
03-25-2008, 11:15 PM
This may explain it for you.

http://www.ifpa-fitness.com/IFPA-FitBits/fit-bits_archives/ifpa_fitbits_Building_Bigger_Stronger_Arms.htm

That helps explain things. I think I get it.

BergMuscle
03-26-2008, 05:58 AM
That helps explain things. I think I get it.

I'll add to that this quote from fitnessman from the thread I linked to in my original post.

"You can determine by holding a bicep pose with your palm facing your ear, fingers extended and joined. Now with other hand if you can put two or fingers between bicep and forearm, welcome to my world! You have no low bicep, never will and I wish I knew that years ago. I wasted so my of my youth training with low bicep movements that would never produce."

I also have no low bicep so I try to select by bicep exercises to maximize the muscle I do have to get those big guns we all want.

BergMuscle
03-27-2008, 10:53 AM
Today I took 4x4s out of my bicep routine and did 21s. Loved the short-term results (i.e. biceps inflating like f-ing balloons!). Hoping the long-term results are as great. :cool:

bodyhard
03-27-2008, 11:04 AM
Berg check your PM's

atoybbacs
03-27-2008, 11:21 AM
I tried 21s for the first time yesterday. Man I'm feeling it today, It was just what I needed. I will be doing them again.

dad5
03-27-2008, 12:57 PM
If you want bigger bi's, do heavy squats, deads and rows, eat and sleep a lot!

/thread

lol

right on the money

dad5
03-27-2008, 01:11 PM
One exercise no one mentioned and i don't see used often is high cable bicep curls on a crossover. They are great for working on your peak and overall size. Arnold used them, Ronnie uses them both guys had or have huge arms.

they call that the concentration curl works the peak

dad5
03-27-2008, 01:13 PM
Hammers are primarily a forearm exercise.
hammers curls work the outside of the bicep how can they work forearm when there is no wrist movement

PLANETGETLOW
03-27-2008, 01:26 PM
hammers curls work the outside of the bicep how can they work forearm when there is no wrist movement

Maybe he's referring to a "different" type of hammer? I don't know??????

dad5
03-27-2008, 01:31 PM
Today I took 4x4s out of my bicep routine and did 21s. Loved the short-term results (i.e. biceps inflating like f-ing balloons!). Hoping the long-term results are as great. :cool:

superset 21s its a killer

lukamar
03-27-2008, 03:34 PM
they call that the concentration curl works the peak

A concentration curl is a total different animal, working the arm muscles in a totally different manner.

High Cable Curl

http://kbierek.powweb.com/shapefit-pics/biceps-exercises-overhead-cable-curls.gif

Concentration Curl

http://kbierek.powweb.com/shapefit-pics/biceps-exercises-concentration-curls.gif


hammers curls work the outside of the bicep how can they work forearm when there is no wrist movement

It works the biceps as a secondary muscle, the primary muscle involvement is the Brachioradialis ( I know I probably spelled that wrong) which is a forearm muscle. If you don't believe me, if you cut the Brachioradialis in half you wouldn't be able to curl your arm in a hammer configuration. While most people class it as a biceps exercise it is in reality a forearm exercise as exercises are classed by the primary muscle involvement.

beachstoyboy
03-27-2008, 11:30 PM
hammers curls work the outside of the bicep how can they work forearm when there is no wrist movement







It works the biceps as a secondary muscle, the primary muscle involvement is the Brachioradialis ( I know I probably spelled that wrong) which is a forearm muscle. If you don't believe me, if you cut the Brachioradialis in half you wouldn't be able to curl your arm in a hammer configuration. While most people class it as a biceps exercise it is in reality a forearm exercise as exercises are classed by the primary muscle involvement.

I was skeptical at first too, because you think that anytime you curl its the biceps. But because pronating? the forearms (as in hammer curls) weakens the involvement of the biceps, the brachioradialis does the brunt of the work. I believe one of the attachment points is above the elbow on the outside of the arm, so it does in fact work the outside of the arm, just not in the way you think.

John Prophet
03-28-2008, 10:46 AM
hammers curls work the outside of the bicep how can they work forearm when there is no wrist movement

because part of the "forearm" crosses over the elbow joint

John Prophet
03-28-2008, 10:51 AM
21's I am almost against them solely on principle since they are almost a "purely bodybuilding" type of thing. Every time I see someone doing them its just a lot of pseudodrama.

I saw a trainer working with a "pro" baseball player one time....the trainer had him doing 21's with a lot of yelling etc....that whole approach is antithetical to what I do.

Anything that is a gimmicky "quick pump" type of thing, I avoid.

see also---> buddy curling (ladders, back and forths, whatever u call them)