Hypertrophy

The preacher curl upgrade that builds biceps

Do preacher curls to develop better biceps aesthetics, says John Meadows

John Meadows is a national champion bodybuilder and works with many of the best physique athletes in the world. He is based in Columbus, Ohio.

Iron Insights

1 Shape your biceps
The preacher curl is one of my favourite biceps building exercises, particularly for developing the bottom portion of the biceps that ties into the elbow. It gives the biceps a rugged, thick look and the preacher curl does a good job of building that area.

2 Try spider curls
Spider curls are also good for building that portion the biceps. It’s essentially a preacher curl but instead of the pad being at an angle, it goes straight down. It’s a great exercise although you don’t often see people doing them anymore.

3 All about the range
Bigger guys don’t have a big range of motion on the biceps so I have them curl to failure and then I help them do forced reps, but I actually force the bar back behind their head. They might do six to ten reps and then I may help them do another ten.