I’m sure as enthusiastic trainers we all relish the thought of building big arms, but sheer size doesn’t really ‘cut it’ as bodybuilding is much more about ‘The Look’ rather than ‘The Mass.’
‘Conditioning’ and ‘Shape’ are two very important requisites which contribute greatly to achieving ‘The Look’ that we so desire. This tip focuses on the latter – (the shape) and in this case it’s in relation to the development of our biceps.
Nobody who commits to the iron game pursues flat biceps, the attraction to building big biceps (to a large extent anyway) lays in the resulting peak once the muscles are flexed. It’s actually one of the judging criteria for the compulsory pose – Front Double Biceps!
I respect that to a degree this is determined by our genetics, but one of the most fascinating and appealing aspects of bodybuilding is the fact that we can all achieve so much within our genetic boundaries – we can genuinely make a massive difference!
Peak Contraction can apply to all bicep movements, but it’s particularly effective on the more ‘isolating’ exercises such as ‘Concentration Curls’ and ‘Front Double Bicep Cable Curls’ (using the both top handles on the cable-crossover machine and ‘curling’ to the side of our heads).
Peak Contraction simply maximises the breakdown of the fibres that are central to the peak of the biceps. To achieve Peak Contraction simply hold and keep the weight still at the moment of optimum contraction for 2-3 seconds. Or in other words – when your biceps are peaking at their highest, simply maintain that pose for 2 seconds before slowly breathing in again to begin your next rep.
Unfortunately we can all be guilty of rushing through ‘the peak’ element of our curling, holding it for no more than 0.5 of a second – this compromises the level of resistance those centralised fibres (that are responsible for the peak) undertake and kind of lets them off lightly. By holding the contraction when it’s at its greatest for 2-3 seconds of every rep you’ll be literally tearing down those said fibres, (you’ll certainly be able to feel the difference deep within the muscle ‘bellies’) and as a result you’ll provide so much extra stimulus to that area of the arm.
The body will then place a much higher demand on recovering said damaged fibres resulting in larger more powerful centralised muscles which when flexed will provide your biceps with a greater, bigger peak!
So there you go, Peak Contraction for Peaked Biceps!