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How to Maximise Bicep Muscle Growth with the EZ Bar Curl

Make your biceps grow by performing correct curls in an EZ bar.

Discover the secrets to sculpting massive biceps through the effective use of a different barbell. This is how to maximise bicep muscle growth with the EZ bar curl.

When your goal is to forge powerful biceps, the key lies in exercises that focus on the controlled curling and flexing of your elbows, working to contract and elongate those coveted arm muscles. Apply targeted tension and weight, and witness your biceps undergo impressive development. Unleashing the potential of the EZ bar, often an underutilized gem in the realm of bicep workouts, can elevate your muscle-building journey.

The EZ bar, alternatively known as the curl bar or cambered bar, stands out as a specialized weightlifting barbell designed for various arm muscle exercises, with a particular emphasis on the biceps and triceps. Distinguished by its zigzag or “W” shape in the middle, this bar introduces angled hand placements during gripping.

Crafted with the intent to alleviate strain on the wrists and elbows, the ergonomic design of the EZ bar offers a distinctive advantage over traditional straight barbells. The angled hand positions facilitate a more natural grip and optimal wrist alignment during exercises, ensuring a level of comfort that is especially beneficial for those with wrist or elbow concerns.

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The versatility of the EZ bar extends beyond bicep curls, making it an exceptional choice for a range of triceps exercises, such as skull crushers, as well as other movements involving curling or pressing actions. Widely embraced in gyms and fitness centres, the EZ bar emerges as an indispensable tool for precisely targeting and cultivating the arm muscles, providing a pathway to a more defined and robust physique.

But you landed on this page because you want to learn how to build bigger biceps by performing the EZ bar curl. For that, we turn to the expertise of Dr Mike Israetel. Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, is a well-respected professor in the bodybuilding community. He doesn’t only talk about workouts and fitness tips, he often dives deep into health and nutrition.

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How to Maximise Bicep Muscle Growth with the EZ Bar Curl

Emphasising the versatility of principles across barbell variations, Dr. Mike acknowledges the importance of ensuring wrist and elbow comfort with straight bars before getting into EZ bar techniques.

The first tip from Dr. Mike centres on choosing the right grip, highlighting the individual’s comfort for elbows and shoulders. Whether opting for a wider or closer grip, the key is to select what feels optimal at any given time. Experiment with different grips to identify the most effective approach for you.

What about the direction of where you curl – whether straight up and down or in an arcing fashion? Israetel introduces the concept of drag curls for a more direct path and an alternative wider stance for a pronounced u-shaped motion. The objective is to stimulate the biceps effectively, and you should try both ways to see the impacts of each in your training.

Next, let’s talk about elbow positioning during curls. While some advocate for keeping elbows pinned to the sides for isolation, others favour a more flexible approach, allowing elbows to move freely towards the face. So which is right? Both, actually. Mike says that you should try and do what feels best for you – which seems to be a theme here, right?

You should also pay close attention to eccentric control. Don’t lower the bar too fast. Israetel introduces the concept of “anti-ego juice,” recommending a controlled eccentric phase for enhanced muscle engagement. This technique involves selecting a weight light enough to permit a slow and deliberate descent – this is what ultimately will teach you how to maximise bicep muscle growth with the EZ bar curl.

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If you find it challenging to feel the biceps during workouts, have you heard of myoreps? This involves incorporating a brief rest between sets, allowing you to perform additional reps close to failure. By incorporating this technique, you can maintain proximity to failure for a higher volume of reps, thus ultimately increasing and stimulating muscle growth.

Those were Mike Israetel’s techniques and tips for you to understand how to maximise bicep muscle growth with the EZ bar curl. If you couldn’t get your biceps to grow, the information provided earlier will surely mitigate that problem.

Experiment with these techniques, keep good form when exercising and apply progressive overload while training close to failure, or to failure.

To see Israetel performing and explaining each of the tips mentioned above, watch the following video.

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Having strong arms can offer many benefits, including:

  • Increased Functional Strength: Strong arms are essential for performing daily tasks like carrying groceries or lifting objects.
  • Better Sports Performance: Strong arms are crucial for sports such as basketball, football, and weightlifting.
  • Reduced Risk of Injury: Strong arms can help to prevent injury and strain to your shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
  • Improved Posture: Strong arms can help to improve your posture and prevent back pain by supporting your upper body.
  • Increased Metabolism: Building muscle mass in your arms can boost your metabolism, helping you to burn calories more efficiently.
  • Improved Confidence: Having strong arms can give you a sense of confidence and self-assurance in your physical abilities.
  • Better Overall Fitness: Strong arms are an important component of overall fitness and can help you to achieve a well-rounded, healthy physique.

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The frequency of training your biceps and triceps depends on various factors, including your goals, overall training program, recovery capacity, and individual preferences. However, a general guideline for most individuals is to train these muscle groups 1-2 times per week.

When designing your training schedule, it’s important to consider the principle of muscle recovery. Both biceps and triceps are relatively smaller muscle groups compared to larger muscle groups like the chest or back. This means they typically require less volume and recovery time.

Overhead triceps extension vs tricep pushdown

If you’re following a split routine where you dedicate specific days to training different muscle groups, you could include a biceps and triceps workout as part of your arm day. This could be done once a week, allowing for adequate recovery time between sessions.

Alternatively, you might choose to incorporate biceps and triceps exercises into your upper body workouts on separate days. For example, you could train biceps on one day and triceps on another day during the week, with a few days of rest in between each session.

Source: Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

Remember, it’s essential to listen to your body and monitor your recovery. If you find that your biceps and triceps are not fully recovering between sessions or if you experience excessive muscle soreness, you may need to reduce the frequency or intensity of your training.

Ultimately, finding the optimal training frequency for your biceps and triceps will involve experimentation and adjusting based on your individual response to training. Consulting with a qualified fitness professional can also provide personalized guidance based on your specific needs and goals.

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