STRENGTH TRAINING

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Flat Bench Rope Curl Drop Set

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

Benefits
Take your biceps to the limit with max-out drop sets. The key to these drop sets—here performed in a hammer curl position using a cable machine—is to keep curling until you reach fatigue. Fatigue is the point at which, while you could perform another curl, you could not do so keeping correct form. When you reach fatigue you'll pause, recover, and then take your biceps to that same point twice more using increasingly lighter weights.

Muscles Worked
Biceps

Starting Position
Fix the cable on a cable machine at medium height, and set it for slightly more weight than you would ordinarily curl. Hook a double-ended rope attachment to the end of the cable. Place a flat bench in front of the cable machine. Lie back on the bench with your feet toward the cable machine. Hold one rope handle in each hand, with your arms extended toward the machine and your palms facing each other (see Photo 1).

Exercise

  1. From the starting position, bend your elbows and bring your hands up toward your shoulders in a hammer curl. Try not to let your upper arms swing in any direction as you do this. Keep your palms facing each other throughout your motion (see Photos 2 and 3).
  2. From the top of your motion, when your elbow is fully bent, slowly lower your hands back to the starting position. Repeat the curls as many times as you can, until you would not be able to do another curl while keeping correct form. When you reach this point of fatigue you have completed your first of three drop sets (see Photo 4).
  3. Next, drop the weight to a slightly lighter weight, pick up the handles again, and repeat the same exercise of hammer curls, again curling until you reach the point of fatigue.
  4. Finally, drop the weight to a slightly lighter weight and pick the ropes back up for a final set of hammer curls, again to the point of fatigue. This will make three drop sets total.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.