Tip: The Right Way to Cheat Curl

Yep, there's a right way. And it can force your biceps into a brand new growth phase. Here's how it's done.

Cheat Curl with a Slow Eccentric (Negative)

Cheat curls are one of the best ways to build biceps size and strength. No, we're not talking about emulating that guy in your gym who insists on curling a 100 pound bar when he should be using the 40 pound bar. The cheat curl can be a legitimate training method, if you do it right... and not like that guy in your gym.

The key is to not try to drum up business for struggling chiropractors everywhere by grossly hyperextending your low back at the end range of motion.

  1. Start the movement by flexing at the hips and using your glutes and hamstrings to get the movement started.
  2. Hold the contraction for a one count at the top.
  3. Lower slowly, emphasizing the biceps by controlling the weight on the way down.

This eccentric stress will cause a lot of muscle growth since you'll be able to use considerably more weight than normal thanks to the explosive hip extension used to get the movement started.

In most gyms you'll have access to a standard straight bar. Given my druthers, I'd use a fat bar or Fat Gripz to get in some extra forearm work while reducing elbow stress.

If you have cranky elbows or just want some variety, try using dumbbells instead. The dumbbells allow for more freedom since you aren't locked into a fixed position.