Arnold’s Favorite Biceps Exercise (MADE BETTER!)

Arnold’s Favorite Biceps Exercise (MADE BETTER!)

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, Today I want to take an old-school bicep exercise
and make it better. Yes, I learned it from Arnold Schwarzenegger,
and I know you’re probably saying “There’s nothing you can do to Arnold’s stuff and make
it better.” I promise, if you put a little science in
this – as we’re going to today – that it is a possibility we actually could. And maybe, the great Arnold could have had
even better biceps than he already did. Here’s what we’re going to do: we want to
take the 21 curl – that’s the 21 technique – which means we do 7 half reps in the bottom,
we do 7 half reps in the top, and then we do 7 full curls. Arnold taught us this, right? We know how to do this. However, we’re not doing it right because
if we know the science of the curl there’s a strength curve, and it goes like this. That means the tension is highest in the middle
of the curl. Meaning, you know it’s the hardest portion
of the curl; to hold it right here. It’s easier once we move past that position,
and it’s easier to get to that position. So if it’s easier form here, to here and it’s
easier from here, to here, then we want to make sure that we’re challenging ourselves
more. When we do a 21 curl we usually grab one set
of dumbbells and we say “I know that I have to do the bottom portion, and I have to fatigue
myself through the top portion, and then I have to still have some energy left to do
the full rep. So I’m not going to have enough energy, or
strength left to do the hardest portion”. Because we’re passing through that middle,
“I’m not going to be able to do that at that point because fatigue has already set in.” Okay, that’s good, but you’re limiting your
ability to lift more weight in those easier portions of the curl. So what you want to do is, start with what
you would normally do – whatever you normally do your 21 curls with – and jump up two
dumbbells. So instead of doing them with – let’s say
I would do 35s – instead of doing 35s, jump up to the 45s. Now here’s the difference. We’re going to do what we call ‘cube sets’. We drop them down three times, twice. So 7, 7, and 7 with three different dumbbells. So now, with the 45s I want to do my 7 bottom
reps because I’m stronger down there. I can handle this. Why limit myself to what I can curl with the
35s if I can do this 45 in the bottom portion of the rep? I think that’s seven. Then I come in, I drop them right down. Now I grab the 40s. The 40s, now I’m going top half, down. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Then I come into the 35s. Again, it’s appropriate for this portion,
but I’ve gotten more out of the curl. So I’ve literally squeezed out every, single
ounce of effort that I had. I mirrored the strength curve. I got more out of that single set of 21s than
I ever would have if I’d fixed myself into one, single set of dumbbells. Guys, this is what I’m talking about. This is where you put the science back in
strength. Sometimes, yes, even the great ones can advance
beyond what they did, and squeeze out just a little bit more, and in doing so, help you
get more from your workouts. One final order of business. I promised that Jesse would be in this video. If you followed along, when we had our 4 million
subscriber he lost the beard, kept the mustache. Come over here, Jesse. JESSE: I don’t want to. JEFF: We’ve got to show them the porn ‘stache. See this right here, folks? This is what happens when Wyatt Earp, Freddy
Mercury, and – got anybody else? JESSE: Luigi? JEFF: Luigi have a baby. Right? It’s pretty damn ugly. Guys, if you’re looking for more programs
head to We put the science back in strength, and at
the same time, we make sure you can follow all of our programs because I’m with you there,
every step of the way. Those are all over at In the meantime, I’ll be back here with another
video with Jesse in a couple of days. See you.

99 thoughts on “Arnold’s Favorite Biceps Exercise (MADE BETTER!)

  1. Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

  2. Another well thought out video. Have you ever done a program focusing on unilateral training both with weights and or body weight? I know you’ve shown individual exercises but what about a complete body program?
    Thanks again for the excellent content you put out!

  3. Damn that really works.. can u do one on how to remove man boobs?? Vacation in Japan an want to look good

  4. Remember watching at home kids.
    Fat is an important part of your nutritional needs, although Jeff has not eaten a single gram of fat in the last 10 years doesn't mean you shouldn't either.😉
    Love the videos Jeff your a great teacher.

  5. I've been doing the 21 curl since I was a wimpy lad in middle school (a friend's older brother had an Arnold workout book.) Next arm day, I'll definitely be implementing Jeff's twist on it!

  6. Arnold would've had better biceps? Ur talkin too much shit bruh u need to watch ur mouth when u talk about Arnold.

  7. It's the most you could do in 21s was 35 pound dumbbells there is no way you be able to lift 35s 7 times after increasing the weight on the previous 14 reps. If you could you prob should have been using 40s

  8. A year in a half training like an athlete an I'm looking like a small Jeff physique wise, veins are popping, got some shoulder caps, ya baby thank you jeff!!! I've watched alot of your videos you are by far the best. Train hard, good rest, an eat good.. I literally need to do more leg stuff, I'm slacking an need some pussy for that motivation!!!!! But ain't getting any hahahaha!

  9. Those who think that Arnold's exercises can't be improved upon or bettered haven't been in fitness or bodybuilding since Arnold was gifted his 1980's Mr. Olympia win.

  10. Idk….. How about doing 7 full reps first…. Then doing the top 7 reps then bottom 7 reps???
    I haven't done 21s ever so I don't have any experience with them….. I am just saying….
    Do full range of motion with best strength then do the half reps

  11. A good version of legendary exercise. If you have your own gym at home, with full set of dumbbells! Doing this in any Balkan gym would couse a civil war…So i stick to the original… 😉

  12. Sir, you know a lot about fitness however your face looks like you’re not healthy, like if you’re hungry or something. Maybe gaining a few pounds would be good for you.

  13. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a damn Legend, but i can totally see the sence in this, it's pull day Sunday I'll be doing these.💪🏼

  14. What if you add bands to the 21 so at the easier part of the curl the bands are tighter making it harder as you move out of the more difficult part of the lift

  15. I was taught the the point if this exercise was the constant time under tension. Is the heavier weight a bigger benefit than the time under tension? Thank You!

  16. This is great thinking. I do feel like you lose some good time under tension tho. I guess hurry up grabbing the next dumbbell.

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