EOTW: Biceps Curl Variations (yes, really)

EOTW: Yes, I am giving you biceps curls

Well here’s one for your diary.

Yep, I am going to give you some biceps curl variations that may actually help you on the ice (a bit).

When someone tells me they do biceps curls in their workout, I usually roll my eyes and then the next words out of my mouth are “Guy…what the heck??”

But I also know that a lot of you do them.

And you do them wrong, which I saw demonstrated many a time when working out in the hotel gym last week.

I also have a confession.

In the off-season, I will let our HockeySTRONG members do a few “beach body” workouts that I have put together for them if they have finished their hockey workout with time to spare.

I love to see the smile (or maybe it is a grimace) on their faces and they channel their inner meathead for a few minutes.

So here are some biceps curl variations.

And here are a few of my favourite formulas for building those biceps, but WARNING, I would not do these with the Zottman curl – I think it could just be too hard on your elbow, we just do straight 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps for that one.

Drop Sets

Start with a weight that you can lift about 8-12 times with perfect form.

When you get to your last rep of the first set, immediately grab the next lighter pair of dumbbells or reduce the weight on the cable machine by one plate and keep going.

You should only get another 2-4 reps (if you get up to 6, you probably started off too light.

Once you have done your 2-4 reps, immediately grab the next lighter weight and do another 2-4 reps.

And that is it. This would appear in the program as 12: Dx2 – so 12 reps for the first weight and then two drops after that.

Run the Rack

This is similar to the Drop Sets, except you keep going – you will typically only do this once.

You start at the dumbbell rack and grab a weight that you can lift for 8-12 reps with perfect form. Then as soon as your form breaks, you set those down and grab the next lighter weights, continue all the way until you are grunting out the last 3 reps with the 5lbs DBs

WARNING: this will be the exact point that the most ripped guy in the gym or your coach will walk into the weight room and look at you sideways as you wrestle up those 5 pounders for two – you will then feel compelled to explain that you were just ‘running the rack’ – it’s very advanced. They will look at you like they don’t believe you, because they don’t.

Now, if your first weight is going to be the 50lbs DBs, then maybe you will go down to the 20s – you don’t have all day to be doing biceps curls (okay maybe you do)

Crazy 8s

This is a fun one because you do it with your training buddy. It works best if you are both use about the same weight, but if not just grab your own bar. We typically do this with the EZ Curl Bar, but you can do it with DBs, cable column, whatever.

One of you starts and does 8 reps, then you pass the bar (or whatever) to your partner. Then they do 8 reps.

They pass back to you and you do 7 reps, back to them and they do 7.

You see the pattern don’t you. Keep going until you each finish your one rep (again, this is when your coach will walk into the weight room – don’t try to explain).

This is not really “Hockey Training”

I know some of you will read between the lines and twist it around in your gym rat brain and interpret this article to mean

“Maria says biceps curls are the best hockey training – I better do more biceps curls. If I cut out those Reverse Lunges, Single Leg Squats and Four Way Hip I can do way more biceps curls – that’s what Maria wants”

Although I think some of these will help improve your forearm strength and your wrist mobility (not to mention build some big guns to show off in the dressing room) – this is the equivalent of dessert.

First you need to do your salad (mobility), then eat your steak (strength and power), finish up your veggies (your energy system training) and THEN you can have a bit of dessert.



PS – when I launched the ShutOut academy, quite a few of you asked if you could get into the Turning Pro Coaching program – the answer is not yet – but soon. I will open it up for applications in the next few days.