Here's what you need to know...
- The 7-Day Biceps Cure is a blend of rest-pause training and Charles Staley's EDT (Escalated Density Training).
- The Cure can add over one-fourth of an inch to your arms in a week and you don't have to change the way you train the rest of your body.
- The Cure requires that you do only one biceps exercise for 7 days straight: strict seated dumbbell curls.
My arms are really long. It takes me hours to get out of Costco because tiny ladies with bent spines keep pestering me to reach way up to the top shelf and grab them some kitty litter. Because of their length, it's really hard for me to add any size to them, particularly to my biceps. My old buddy Charles Poliquin, bless his kind heart, used to call me a German word that translates to "asparagus arms."
So you can believe me when I say I've tried lots of things to make my biceps grow. The only approach that worked at all was biceps specialization where I devoted a few weeks of training to my arms and did nothing for the rest of my body except lie in a hammock and glare at the heavens.
Luckily, I'm a pretty good problem solver. I usually apply myself to figuring out nutritional problems, but I think I can apply the scientific method to nutrition or exercise science with equal aplomb, so I set out to figure out how to "cure" my problematic biceps. What I came up with is the 7-Day Biceps Cure. I ran it by John Meadows, got his blessing, and gave it a go. While it didn't make me look like I was sporting ham hocks under my shirtsleeves, it added a little over a forth of an inch to my arms in a week and I didn't have to stop training the rest of my body (i.e., specialize my biceps).
One Biceps Exercise and One Biceps Exercise Only
The Cure requires that you do only one biceps exercise for 7 days straight, and that exercise is seated dumbbell curls. These should ideally be done on an upright bench and the backs of your arms should continually touch the seams of the stitching on the back of the bench so that the effect is almost like doing a drag curl.
- Establish your 8RM.
- Do 8 super-strict reps.
- After the 8th rep, lean forward and briefly rest the weights on the floor. Do not take your hands off the dumbbells.
- Rest approximately 5 seconds. Bring your body and the weights upright and do another rep.
- Put the weights on the floor and rest another 5 seconds or so. Do another rep.
- Continue in this manner for 3 minutes, counting your reps as you go. If you picked the right starting weight, the duration of rest between reps will lengthen by necessity. At first you'll rest for about 5 seconds per rep; later, 10 seconds or perhaps even 15.
- Repeat this every day for 7 days, trying to beat the previous day's record by at least 1 rep. If you're some sort of prodigy and you increase the previous day's number of reps by 4 or more, go up to the next heaviest pair of dumbbells the next day.
- After 7 days, resume normal biceps training.
Why Does This Workout Sound Familiar?
Weightlifting greybeards will probably categorize the 7-Day Biceps Cure as a blend between rest-pause training and Charles Staley's EDT (Escalated Density Training) and they'd be right. The beauty of rest-pause singles is that they allow you to use a high overall volume, and by combining rest-pause training with an EDT-like component – where each session has a "personal record zone" where you record how much weight you used and how many reps you did in a set time period – you subject the biceps to an insane amount of volume. Higher volume means the muscles are subjected to a longer TUT (Time Under Tension) and, provided everything is optimum physiology-wise, they grow.
Now I've always been enamored of rest-pause training in general. It suits me mentally because I stupidly feel guilty when I stop a set. I always want to keep going, using whatever method possible, until the sun burns out. The EDT-like time component, however, puts a governor on duration, thus protecting me against my worst instincts to keep on going further.
More importantly, though, rest-pause training works oh-so very well. By resting briefly between reps, you get a bit of ATP-creatine phosphate regeneration, along with allowing for a tad of CNS regeneration, which allows you to do more work with the same load. Brook Kubrick, he of dinosaur training, confessed that, "Heavy singles made me bigger and stronger than any other combination of sets and reps I've ever tried." Likewise, when I ran this by John Meadows, he told me that he knows guys who train with the style I laid out in the 7-Day Cure and they swear by it.
One thing I neglected to mention was the awesome pump you get from this workout and that brings up the one question I have regarding this method: I did it while using Plazma™. Would it work without it? Ordinarily, doing biceps curls for 7 days straight might cause tendinitis, a failure for muscles to adapt, or even CNS fatigue, even though the biceps curls are less systemically taxing than squats, deadlifts, or any other big lift. Plazma, I believe, prevented any of that from happening, in addition to taking advantage of the huge pump this type of training elicits.
When you get a pump, you make the muscle cells hyper-responsive to growth signals. As Pavel Tsatsouline said, apparently when mimicking a weight-lifting Moses, "If you get a pump with heavy weights you shall grow." However, when you pile Plazma on top of your pump, you zap all these nutrients and growth factors into the muscle and you simultaneously squelch inflammation and kick the muscle's butt into growing.
The One Big Question
The question that should pop into your brain after thinking about the 7-Day Cure is this: Will it work for other body parts? The no-doubt disappointing answer is, I don't know. I'm sure that rest-pause training would work for every muscle group, but I don't know if doing a rep every 5 to 10 seconds per session for 7 days straight would work, even if it's possible. Granted, some variation of that might work, but I haven't tried it... yet.