America is the best nation on Earth, and that’s a scientific fact. Why is this an undeniable fact? It’s not because we invented freedom, or Coca-Cola and McDonalds, and as much as I’d like to say it, it’s because the greatest gift to mankind came from an American called Willis Carrier – the electric air conditioning – none of these is true reason why America is the best nation on Earth.
No, the reason America shines brighter (and kicks more ass than any other country, mostly English speaking countries) is because we have the right to bare arms. That’s right, here in A’s good ole US, we can walk around with our bare arms visible. Why else do you think Arnold came to America?
Wait … what was that? The 2nd amendment is not about our God-given right to wear schmedium t-shirts that prove to the rest of the world that we lift? So people in other countries can walk around with their bulging biceps?
Damn. My entire education is now a lie.
Yet the greatest arm building exercises in the history of the world were created by some of the greatest bodybuilders ever, who just happened to be Americans.
Building bazooka sized biceps was something the great Vince Gironda managed to do. In fact, Vince was arguably the first great mad scientist in the field of profit. And with his expertise, he helped the original Mr. Olympia to take home its first title.
ARMerica knows best how to build bigger biceps
America was the epicenter of the Golden Age of Bodybuilding. It was an era when men built bodies for aesthetics, not sheer muscle. And some of the foremost bodybuilding pioneers were Americans who refined the craft (and their bodies) by developing some of the toughest ways to isolate and build bigger biceps.
Vince Gironda devised numerous exercises and taught bodybuilding greats like Larry Scott and a plethora of movie stars during his illustrious career. And when it came to building bigger guns, Vince had a knack. One of his first creations was a favorite of bodybuilding’s first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott.
Spider Curl – Larry Scott
Larry Scott is the OG. He was the first man to be crowned Mr. Olympia in 1965 and defended that crown in 1966 before retiring from the sport. Hailing from Idaho, Scott began training at the age of 16 and won the Mr. Idaho competition at age 20. He then moved to California where he quickly achieved title after title.
Nicknamed ‘The Legend’ and ‘The Golden Boy’, Larry was known for his biceps development. And one of his go-to exercises for building his impressive biceps was The Spider Curl.
Lifting 50 pound dumbbells (22kg for you Metric Pagans) looks impressive. But more often than not, you look like you’re imitating Bernie Weekend at Bernies 2 (one of the best American movies ever made) so you can curl those last few reps.
When you do that, you are putting unnecessary pressure on your lumbar spine, diverting focus away from your biceps by recruiting your front deltas to move that barbell to final position.
The Spider Curl eliminates your delts from the equation and puts all the focus on your biceps, especially the shortened position of your biceps.
To perform a Spider Curl, lie with your chest on an incline bench. Your arms should hang over the couch so that gravity pulls them down. Make sure to fully extend your arms at the bottom, so don’t bend your elbows here.
Since your shoulders can’t help the weight, it means you’re taking biceps all the tension you can give them, especially at the top where this part of the exercise is most difficult. If you can, make sure to bring your elbow at the top about the same height as your shoulder, which will create a crazy contraction of the biceps. Contractions Larry Scott used to become the first Mr. Olympia.
Follow The Iron Guru
Born and raised in The Bronx, Vince Gironda, aka the trainer of the stars – he worked with Clint Eastwood, Cher, Denzel Washington, Sean Penn, Erik Estrada and more – is arguably the most influential man in bodybuilding. Gironda invented some of the most famous exercises known to mankind:
The Drag Curl is a great exercise that puts more stress on your brachialis and the long head of your biceps. But you will not be able to use a lot of weight in this exercise. Due to the limited range of motion (you are literally dragging the bar against your body), you should use a lighter weight.
Gironda’s Perfect Curl looks a bit strange, but holy hell it makes your biceps explode. Use a small straight bar or an EZ bar for this; you don’t need a lot of weight, this is all about creating huge amounts of time under stress.
With your elbows on your hipbones and your arms hanging straight, lean back slightly in a small amount of hyperextension. This will stretch your biceps. From there, slowly start curling up the weight, but as you curl, bring your upper body towards the bar.
Once you’ve brought your torso and bar together, you’ve reached the final stage of Gironda’s Perfect Curl. Contract your biceps for a second with whatever you have, then reverse your actions until you reach the starting position again.
Zottman Curls – George Zottman
Before bodybuilding, America was home to some of the strongest men who ever lived. Men setting records that still stand today. And one of these guys, George Zottman, invented an exercise that hits every part of your biceps.
There is an important part of the functioning of your biceps that many people keep out of their workout: forearm supination when the elbow is slightly bent.
Flex your biceps for a moment. Turn your fist away from your face while looking at your biceps. Have you noticed the change in your biceps? That’s because your biceps brachii also functions to supinate your wrist.
Zottman Curls start out like a normal dumbbell curl, so you can lift quite a bit of weight. But the real magic of this curl comes during the eccentric portion of the lift. Once you reach the top of the dumbbell curl, rotate your wrists into supination and slowly lower the weight. The eccentric portion of the lift allows you to hit your biceps brachii and your forearms with a lot more weight than you could do during a reverse curl.
Zottman curls are one of the best warm-up exercises you can do for a massive arm session. Or you can use them at the end of a workout with higher reps (20-30) and send a huge pump into your biceps and forearms.
But hang on my friend, remember how I said Vince Gironda was a genius? Well, good ole Vince developed his own twist on the Zottman Curl. It works the same as the one made by George Z. But Vince added a bit of finesse to it, a groovy flow that feels like a warm butt being slapped on the perfect piece of toast and injecting your arms with more blood than a Viagra-filled needle .
Team America: F * ck Yea
The list of Americans who changed the world is almost limitless. Edison gave us electricity; Alexander Graham Bell gave us the phone; the Wright brothers gave us flight; and some guy in jeans and a black turtleneck was forever changing technology (and the world). These men will be remembered for the rest of history.
But if you want to build historical biceps, the kind of arms written down by bodybuilding scribes tasked with documenting its daring legacy, listen to the wisdom of the great Americans described here and make these biceps exercises part of your arsenal. . And here’s a biceps-specific three-exercise workout that uses all the exercises listed here. So go my friend and build bigger arms.
1A. Drag Curls – 3 sets of 10 reps; rest for 60 seconds
2A. Spider Curls – 4 sets of 10-12 reps; rest for 60 seconds
3A. Zottman Curls (Gironda style) – 4 sets of 13 reps per side; rest for 60 seconds