Twenty-ones are a unique weight lifting technique to increase strength and build beautiful biceps. This is an effective exercise that really fatigues the muscle, and therefore builds new fibers for lean, toned arms.
Feeling Gym Burnout?
We all go through workout burnout from time to time. To maintain focus and remain committed to our program, sometimes it helps to give the workout a makeover from time to time. As a creature of habit, I tend to follow the same routine day in and day out. A slave to the schedule, I hardly have to think twice about which workout I am going to from one day to the next. My schedule is relatively fixed according to time constraints. Mixing up the routine, even just a little bit, especially in the gym, provides new inspiration and results.
A Twist on the Usual Bicep Curl
So, what are twenty-ones? This exercise was given its name based on the traditional number of repetitions completed per set. It is a seven, by seven, by seven routine, varying the motion slightly after each block of seven, equalling a total of twenty-one by the end.
Choose Moderate Weight and Practice Good Form
Begin standing with a curl bar. Choose moderate weight for this exercise, about equal to the amount of weight you curl seated with individual weights (ten pound free weights is equivalent to a twenty pound bar). You may use free weights if that is what available to you, but a bar provides more stability and accountability to good form throughout the exercise, particularly as you grow tired. Remember to maintain a tight core and focus on standing up straight.
1. Lift the bar to your chin, lower it only to 90 degrees, and then bring it back to your chin. Repeat this “half curl” partial range of motion in a controlled fashion seven times.
2. Lower the bar so your arms are relaxed and the bar is resting against your thighs, palms facing outward. Now curl the bar to 90 degrees, then lower it to original position at your thighs again. Think of this as the remaining half of the partial curl you did above. Repeat this motion seven times.
3. Finish your set with seven repetitions of a full range of motion curl now, thighs to chin, for a total of twenty-one.
This set is one continuous exercise, completing all twenty-one consecutively. Aim for three sets of twenty-one, with one to two minute rest in between sets. Your arms should be sufficiently tired at the end of each set of twenty-one, which is great: this means you are challenging the muscle and forcing it to work outside of its usual comfort zone.