Reactive Pump  Training

by John Meadows

Program 1.3

Monday Legs Heavy
Tuesday Chest / Shoulders Heavy
Wednesday Off
Thursday Back Heavy
Friday Chest / Shoulders Pump
Saturday Arms Pump
Sunday Off

The Reactive Pump – 4 Steps:

The Reactive Pump stimulates enhanced muscle responsiveness to growth and recovery. So, when we use the term "Reactive Pump," or simply "pump," know that we're using a new definition, application, and methodology for the pump. It consists of four steps:

1 – Pre-load the bloodstream with specialized anabolic and insulinogenic nutrients contained in Plazma.™

2 – Pump and keep pumping these nutrients into pre-activated muscle to sensitize it to being highly responsive to the effects of training.

3 – Activate and stimulate fast-twitch fibers while in the Reactive Pump state.

4 – Induce, through specific exercise techniques, supra-maximal intramuscular pump volume, further engorging muscle with these high-tech nutrients.

Monday – Legs Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

1 - Leg Curl

Goal: To get a pump in your hams – engorge the muscle with blood.
Sets: 3 work sets
Reps: 6 full and smooth, rhythmic pump reps, followed by a drop set.

Do 2-4 warm up sets to get you started. Work up to doing sets of 6 with perfect form. Drive your hips down into the pad as you curl the weight up. Keep going until you reach a weight that will be relatively difficult (still have 1-2 reps left in the tank). Do 6 reps, then drop the weight and shoot for another 8, then drop the weight again and go to failure. Once you can't do full reps, tack on 10 partials out of the stretched position. We'll count the last 2 sets of 6 plus the drop set as work sets, so 3 work sets total.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Monday – Legs Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

2 - Chain Squat

Goal: Explosive reps for initial work sets. On the challenge set, we're looking for explosiveness, pump, maximum contractile tension throughout the rep, and development of pain tolerance (yes, you can develop this!)
Sets: 4 work sets
Reps: 3 explosive reps (drive up as hard as you can)

Pick any bar – a Safety Squat bar, Spider bar, Cambered bar, regular bar, Buffalo bar, etc. – and start hitting squats for sets of 6. Remember, look for that "switch" when you feel the weight all of a sudden get lighter out of the bottom, and your explosiveness increases. Always keep that in mind when doing these.

In previous few weeks we've worked up to a weight and then kept adding chains until you lost your explosiveness. You were doing sets of 6 for all your work sets. This week, once you've done your final warm up set of 6 and are ready to execute your work sets, back your reps down to 3 for a set. Then add a chain to each side and do 3 reps, and then add another chain and do 3 reps. That's 3 sets. This week you're in for something special for your 4th set. Welcome to the challenge set. This is a unique way to stimulate muscle and the CNS, not to mention test your heart. How hard can you really push yourself?

The idea here is to work up to a massive drop set, or really an "add" set. Take off the 2 chains so you're starting the set with no chains. Now do your set of 3, and ADD a chain back on. The weight will still be the same at the bottom, as the chains are de-loaded, but now you have to push even harder to get the weight up. Rack it after 3 reps. Now add another chain, and do it again. Keep going until you know your form will break down, and then stop -- but don't walk away yet. Have your partner's strip off all the chains and knock out another 3 reps. After this have them take a significant amount of weight off and shoot for 10 more reps. See how well you can do this set. It's going to take some serious heart. To show you what I do on these, see below:

Safety Squat Bar
1 plate per side x 6
2 plates per side x 6
3 plates per side x 6
4 plates per side x 6
4 plates per side x 3
(the set above is where CNS fully turned on)
4 plates per side + 1 chain x 3
4 plates per side + 2 chains x 3
Challenge Set
4 plates per side x 3
4 plates per side + 2 chains x 3
4 plates per side + 4 chains x 3
4 plates per side + 6 chains x 3
- Rest 30 seconds
4 plates x 3 (chains were stripped off)
- Rest another 30 seconds and then
2 plates x 10
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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Monday – Legs Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

3 - Leg Press

Goal: To get a massive pump in your legs from the drop set.
Sets: 1 work set
Reps: 32 total reps

Last week we used bands, but not this week. While I find bands work well, they can also beat you up a little if overused. Here, just do sets of 4 reps and build to a weight that you can use for a drop set. You should be plenty warm after squats, so don't waste your energy doing any more than 4 reps as you ramp up. Once there, I want another drop set. Do 8 reps, drop the weight significantly and do 8 more reps, and repeat the drops two more times for a total of 32 reps. That's it for the leg press, but stretch your quads intensely for 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Monday – Legs Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

4 - Leg Extension

Goal: Extreme pump to deliver nutrients and trap growth factors in the muscle. The more blood, the better.
Sets: 2 work sets
Reps: 10 / as many as you can

For the first set I want you to drape 1 chain across your back (no bar) and lunge for 10 steps on each leg. Your form, however, will be a little different from what you're used to. Step forward with your right leg and go down nice and slow so that your left knee GENTLY touches the ground, and then bring the left leg back even with your right leg. Repeat this 10 times. So what we're doing here is performing all the reps on one leg and then going to the other leg. This style minimizes momentum and doesn't allow for a break on the working leg, thereby creating more tension and a better pump.

Now on to set #2. Use 2 chains draped across your back, but this time revert to the standard alternating leg style where you step forward with one leg, and then step forward with the other. Still, we want a little time between reps to allow for more blood to pump into your legs. Take as many steps as you can, then dump the chains and keep going until your legs quit working.

Stretches – After your drop set on the leg press and in between your lunges, stretch your quads intensely for 30 seconds!

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Monday – Legs Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

5 – Dumbbell Stiff-Legged Deadlift

Goal: Stretch your hams out with weight, and work from a different joint angle. Load a stretched muscle!
Sets: 3 work sets
Reps: 8 reps

Use 25-pound plates and try to get a slightly better stretch each set. Remember to push your hips back, not just bend over at the waist. We want to focus on the hamstrings, not the lower back. Do 3 sets of 8 reps and on each rep come up all the way and flex your glutes, too!

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Monday – Legs Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

6A/B – Standing Calf Raise / Dorsiflexion

Goal: Extreme pump to deliver nutrients and trap growth factors in the muscle. The more blood, the better.
Sets: 3 work sets
Reps: (10/10/10) 30 total reps

This is the same as last week, volume wise. Do 10 reps, hold and flex at top for 10 seconds, and repeat twice. That's 1 set. This means in each set you'll do a total of 30 reps and have 30 seconds of static holds at the top. Do this 3 times.

Superset with:

After each set of calves, I want you to stand up and simply dorsiflex your foot repeatedly to train the anterior tibialis. Do them until your tibialis goes numb. This usually happen between 30-50 reps.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Tuesday – Chest / Shoulders Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

1 – Machine Press

Goal: Start with a machine movement to get some blood flowing and grease your joints up for the explosive work.
Sets: 3 work sets
Reps: 8 smooth, full-range reps

I prefer these to be done on a flat press, not an incline. Warm up, and then simply pyramid up in weight as you go. Do sets of 8 reps. Keep going up in weight until you can't hit 8 reps. We'll count the last 3 sets as work sets.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Tuesday – Chest / Shoulders Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

2 – Reverse Band Bench Press

Goal: Explosive reps. Drive up as hard as you can.
Sets: 5 work sets
Reps: 5 explosive reps (drive up as hard as you can)

You've done these before, but I want you to repeat them this week. After doing them already, you should feel more comfortable and "in the groove." I want you to do sets of 5 again. Remember that these are to be done explosively (but not bouncing out of the bottom). Find a weight you can do with that style and stick with it for 5 sets of 5 reps.

Note: Use the thick orange bands from EliteFTS on these. They're called "light" bands.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Tuesday – Chest / Shoulders Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

3 – Incline Barbell Press

Goal: Constant tension with a tough weight.
Sets: 3 work sets
Reps: 8 constant tension reps

We've done sets of 6 on these the last few weeks. This week we're bumping the reps up to 8. Again, attach the bands to the top of a power rack so that the bands help you get the weight out of the bottom position and just blast through the reps explosively to lock out. Don't use a weight that's so heavy you have to slowly grind through the rep. You'll be able to use significantly more weight than you normally can, however, due to the band assistance at the bottom. This is going to allow you to work with heavier weight through the ROM without the huge pec insertion/shoulder stress at the bottom of the movement that has torn many a pec.

I want you to keep your form the same, stopping about two inches short of touching your chest, and going to 3/4 lockout. So do sets of 8 reps, all the way up until you can no longer get 8. We'll call the last 3 sets work sets.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Tuesday – Chest / Shoulders Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

4 – Flat Dumbbell Twist Press

Goal: Extreme pump to deliver nutrients and trap growth factors in the muscle. The more blood, the better.
Sets: 3 work sets
Reps: 10 reps

These are awesome for delivering a massive pump. It's all about the squeeze and stretch. Lie flat on a bench with dumbbells and lower them while arching your chest so that you get a good stretch. Then, at the bottom, turn your palms so that they're facing each other (neutral grip). This will allow the sternal fibers on your inner pecs to stretch and work more.

When you drive the weight up, as you drive, turn your pinkies in (NOT your thumbs) and squeeze at the top. You won't be able to use as much weight as you can with a regular dumbbell press, but you'll get a great contraction. Once you find a good weight, do 3 sets of 10 reps. (Note: I only use around 40-pound dumbbells for these.)

Stretches – In between each set of twist presses, do a chest stretch for 30 seconds. I like to sit on a bench and have a partner put his knee in my back, straighten my arms and pull them back until I feel a searing burn in my chest. Hold it for 15 seconds.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Tuesday – Chest / Shoulders Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

5 – Cable Lateral Raise

Goal: Get blood moving into your shoulders and begin to get a nice "pump."
Sets: 3 work sets
Reps: 12 smooth, full-range reps

Grab a low pulley handle and stand away from the machine. I want you to pull these up from behind your back, not out in front of you. Do 12 reps on one side, then flip around and do 12 on the other side. Bring the cable up to about eye level. Keep a slight bend in your elbow, but don't let your elbow "sag" down and turn this into a front deltoid exercise. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Tuesday – Chest / Shoulders Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

6 – Face Pull with Band

Goal: Extreme pump to deliver nutrients and trap growth factors in the muscle.
Sets: 3 work sets
Reps: 30 reps

Use a long, skinny micro band on these. Last week we held and flexed, but this week I want you to just crank out reps. Do 3 sets of 30 reps. You don't have to hold the flex, but don't get sloppy and turn this into a trap and lat exercise. Focus on your rear delts and work through the pain on each set to hit your number. This will be tough.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Tuesday – Chest / Shoulders Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

7 – Cage Press

Goal: Explosive reps. Drive up as hard as you can. We're training a pumped muscle here!
Sets: 4 work sets
Reps: 5 explosive reps (drive up as hard as you can)

This week I want you to do these with a little twist. Now, when you drive the weight up, push your head forward. This slight change in angle will allow you to crush your traps along with your delts. So as you explode the weight up, lean your head and upper body forward and flex your traps in the locked out position. You have to be leaning forward for this to work correctly. Try a few light sets to get into the groove before you start. Do 4 sets of 5 reps with a weight you can do with perfect form.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Thursday – Back Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

1 – One-Arm Barbell Row

Goal: Get the blood flowing and gear you up for the explosive work.
Sets: 4 work sets
Reps: 8 smooth, full-range reps

Use 25-pound plates to allow for a better stretch at the bottom of the movement. Remember the tips from when we did these on week 1 -- don't set up so that your back is totally parallel to the ground; stay a little above that. Keep your torso from dropping, and let your arm come down and feel your scapulae stretch as you reach for the ground. Your lats don't usually get this kind of stretch, and they'll quickly begin pooling with blood.

Do these rhythmically, up and down. I want you to feel a lot of tension and compression. This is what the barbell allows for that a dumbbell doesn't. These work best when the hip on the working side is raised a few inches higher than the other hip. The angle of your body will pre-stretch your lower lat, and you'll feel your entire lat from top to bottom. Do 4 sets of 8 reps.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Thursday – Back Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

2 – Chain Deadlift

Goal: Pump to entire backside, plus more explosive work.
Sets: 4 work sets
Reps: 10 explosive reps (drive up as hard as you can)

Do sets of 3 reps to reach a weight that you're normally able to get 10 reps with. Every rep should fire off the ground and not slow down at all.

Now start adding chains, 2 at a time on each side. Keep adding chains in this manner until you feel your speed slow down slightly. To give you an example of what I do, I only use 225 pounds on the bar, and I add 2 sets of chains per side until we get to 10 chains per side. The reps are still explosive, though.

Challenge set: Now this is where it gets fun (again). I want you to beat the number you did last week on your high-rep set. This should be your hardest set of the day. We'll call this 4 sets, as you'll probably have at least 3 good strong sets with the chains going up, followed by the balls-out challenge set at the end.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Thursday – Back Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

3 – Dumbbell Pullover

Goal: Constant lat tension.
Sets: 3 work sets
Reps: 12 constant-tension reps

Remember to use the 'lying on the bench' style, as opposed to lying across the bench. Also, remember to not force the stretch. Take your time lowering the weight to maintain tension on your upper lats and serratus. Bring the dumbbell to the top of your forehead -- if you bring it up all the way to above the chest you'll lose valuable lat tension. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Thursday – Back Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

4 – Stretcher

Goal: Massive stretch on the lats.
Sets: 4 work sets
Reps: 8 reps

Lats are best worked by including exercises that offer a great stretch. One of the issues with this philosophy is that people develop very tight shoulder girdles, so this exercise isn't only great for upper lat development, it has the added benefit of stretching out that tight shoulder girdle. It'll feel a little strange at first in your delts -- not comfortable at all -- but by your last set, you'll notice a big difference in how "loose" your shoulders feel and the pump you get in your upper lats.

Attach a close-grip handle to a pulldown machine. Grab it and step back (you're standing up). Put one foot on the pad and keep one foot on the ground. Stand back so you can really stretch. You're going to do a row where you bring the close grip handle into your sternum, arch your chest, and squeeze your entire upper back. Here's the key to the exercise -- as you lower the weight, duck your head down between your arms and straighten your arms fully, allowing your lats to stretch out as far as they can. This will feel uncomfortable at first, but with each successive set your entire shoulder gear will loosen up. Do 4 sets of 8 reps.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Thursday – Back Heavy Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

5 – Banded Hyperextension

Goal: Pump to lower back/spinal erectors.
Sets: 2 work sets
Reps: To failure.

Get ready for an unbelievable lower back/spinal erector pump. I want you to use a band while doing hyperextensions. Loop one end of the band around the machine at the bottom and hold the other end behind your head, or you can hold it out in front on your chest. Do 2 sets to failure. You may end up doing 10 reps, or you may end up doing 40 reps -- it all depends on how strong your lower back is.

Aside from providing a powerful pump, these are also incredible for strengthening the lower back. As you come up, the band tension will make it harder. You'll probably feel your glutes and hams working hard too, and that's okay. There's no way for your lower back to not be working hard.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Friday – Chest / Shoulders Pump Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

1 – Machine Press

Goal: Most massive pump you can get.
Sets: 4 work sets
Reps: 12 reps

After a few warm up sets, do 4 sets of 12 reps using a full range of motion. Use a neutral grip where your palms face each other. Work the stretch at the bottom, and get a good, hard, 1-second flex. When you get to the deepest point, make sure your sternum is "lifted," and that you're fully arched. You'll feel an awesome stretch right in the middle of your chest on the sternal fibers when you do this right. Make sure you also flex for 1 second in the contracted position as well. Drive blood in there! Use the same weight for each set unless you drop 4 or so reps from the previous set (lighten it some if you do). If you lose a rep or two, that's okay. Execute these perfectly.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Friday – Chest / Shoulders Pump Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

2A/B – Pec Minor Dip / Dumbbell Bent-Over Side Lateral

Goal: Extreme pump to deliver nutrients to the muscle and "trap" them there, along with growth factors.
Sets: 4 supersets for 8 total sets
Reps: 10 / 20 reps

This is the same as last week except we're going to try to add a little extra resistance on the way down. If you're able to get 10 good reps, I want you to try to attach a little weight to yourself this week using a dip belt. It doesn't have to be much weight -- a 25-pound plate is plenty. Focus on keeping your arms straight and flexing your pecs! We're going to superset these with a rear delt exercise.

Supersetted with dumbbell bent-over side laterals:

Do sets of 20. Remember to not use your traps or back, just hinge off your shoulder joints and flex your rear delts. It won't take much weight.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Friday – Chest / Shoulders Pump Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

3A/B – Dumbbell Hex Press / Face pull with a Band

Goal: Literally force and trap nutrient-filled blood in the muscles.
Sets: 4 supersets for 8 total sets
Reps: 10 / 10 reps

On these you'll lie on a flat bench and, using a neutral grip (palms facing each other), press up two hex dumbbells while you simultaneously push them together. They need to stay in contact with each other the whole set. Think of it this way: try to smash them together. Lower the dumbbells to your chest, and then drive up and flex hard. Smashing the dumbbells together is what provides the magic in this exercise. The neutral grip also helps you avoid any extra shoulder stress on this day. Do 10 hard reps. The weight you use will be about 50% of what you would normally do for a 10-rep set. You're going to superset these with face pulls.

Supersetted with face pulls with a band:

Grab a micro-mini band and pull your hands out to the side with straight arms. Once your arms are straight out to the side, flex your rear delts and hold it for a second. Do 10 reps in this manner.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Friday – Chest / Shoulders Pump Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

4A/B – 6 Way / Over and Back with a Band

Goal: Bring a never-before realized pump to the area.
Sets: 3 supersets for 6 total sets
Reps: 10 / 20 reps

Ready to put the finishing touches on your delts? Grab two light dumbbells and sit down. Take the dumbbells out to the side (a side lateral) and then horizontally bring them together in front of you. They should be at about chest level. Now raise them straight over your head using your anterior delts. You'll feel a massive flex in your front delt. Now lower them back to chest level, and then swivel them back out to the side lateral position, and finally drop them back down to your side. That's one rep. Do 3 sets of 10. Superset these with over and backs.

Supersetted with over and backs with a band:

You're going to go over and back 20 times each set like we did in previously. I expect your delts to be in a pumped and swollen state like never before!

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Saturday – Arms Pump Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

1A/B – V-bar Pushdown / 1.25 Barbell Curl

Goal: To get a maximum pump.
Sets: 4 supersets or rounds. Slow it down this week. Start the next round when you're ready; don't rush.
Reps: 15 / 8 with 10 bottom partials

This week we're switching the handle from a rope to a V-bar for variety. Do as many warm ups as you need. Don't worry about flexing at the bottom; I want continuous blood-pumping tension up and down. Do sets of 15 reps.

Superset with 1.25 barbell curl:

Here we're switching to a barbell from a cable and changing the rep scheme a bit. This will allow you to safely squeeze every ounce of effort out of your biceps. Do 8 reps with a full range of motion. This doesn't mean 100% full range of motion, it means that ROM "sweet spot" that feels right. After 8 reps, I want you to shoot for 10 partials out of the bottom. Keep your arms completely straight on these – just gently curl up about 3-4 inches. This will burn like fire.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Saturday – Arms Pump Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

2A/B – 1.25 Hammer Curl / Pronated Kickback

Goal: Literally force and trap nutrient-filled blood in the muscles.
Sets: 4 rounds. Start the next round when you're ready; don't rush.
Reps: 8 / 8 reps

This week we're doing traditional hammer curls as opposed to across the body hammer curls. This offers a slightly different angle. Do 8 reps with a full range of motion, and then do ¼ reps out of the bottom for another 8 reps. This will test your pain tolerance. At this point your pump should be massive.

Superset with pronated kickback:

Don't laugh, I hate traditional kickbacks too, but this is different. Keep your hands pronated the entire rep. When you lock out/kick the weight back, your palms should be facing the ceiling. You'll feel a contraction in the long and especially medial heads of your triceps that you won't believe. Do these right and they'll work awesome. They won't do squat if you let your form go and they turn into regular kickbacks. Flex at the top for a second as well. Do sets of 8 reps.

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© 2012 Biotest LLC

Saturday – Arms Pump Reactive Pump™ Program 1.3

3A/B – Kettlebell Lying Extension / Preacher Curl

Goal: Engorge the triceps with blood.
Sets: 4 rounds
Reps: 10 / 10 reps

These will feel a little strange at first, but I love them. You'll notice many of your little stabilizer muscles aren't really "turned on." In other words, you'll feel shaky. With each set you do though, you'll feel the movement getting smoother and smoother. Each set try to work the stretch a little more at the bottom. Don't lock out all the way, either -- come up 3/4 of the way and then right back down to keep tension on the triceps.

Superset with preacher curls:

Repeat these from last week. Your range of motion might be shortened due to all the blood in your arms. That's okay. Flex as hard as you can on the way up, then lower the weight in a controlled manner. Don't worry about taking 3 seconds this week; I want these to be a bit faster to help squeeze in more reps (and blood) before your biceps shut down from the pain! I'm adding an extra 2 reps per set to "help out." Do sets of 10 reps.

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