A Breakthrough Biceps Strength And Size Workout You Can Use Right Now

Like the title says, this is a breakthrough biceps workout you can use right now to increase strength and size. I emphasize “right now” because there is nothing to buy, nothing to delay your use of it, no reason not to use it immediately if you need it.

The biceps exercises shown are nothing unique. You’ll recognize them. The value is in the combination and intensity with which they’re performed. All four exercises you’ll see performed, combined, will equal one set.

Do em like shown and you’ll think a blow torch has been turned on your arms. I’ve shown a great deal of me doing the full set of exercises which I don’t normally do. But in this case, it gives a good picture of the combined effect of the exercises.

Normal Fitness will not be a clearing house for workout “systems”. But combinations of exercises that can be used as part of any strength training are what will be shown here. They will be of value in helping you break through challenges with muscular development, strength, and just the motivation to keep vigorously working out.

That’s combined and  used with any other strength training method you may be using.

CAUTION: Use this wisely, not as an end-all arm workout, but periodically to add shock value to your muscles. When you workout one way for long enough, your body becomes resistant. That’s the time to add a different combination of exercises that are either heavier, used at greater intensity, or both.

ALSO: This high intensity, multi-exercise biceps workout is not for people new to strength training. It is for people who have established a solid platform of strength training exercise.

The Exercises Done Without Rest: After Warmup

NOTE: The weight used for each exercise should allow you to do multiple reps of each exercise. Weight should not be close to a single maximum lift.

1. Chrome Curved Curl Bar curls with reps performed to 90% of failure. This starts with weight that is moderate, but enough to get the biceps working deep. It sets the stage for the other 3 done back to back.

2. Standard Dumbbell Curls performed to 90% failure. With only 10-15 seconds between this and the first exercise, your ability and how many reps will be seriously curtailed. That’s ok.

If 15 reps are 90% of failure, great. If 7 reps are, that’s ok too. Don’t worry about the count. It will be according to your level of strength training, weight used, etc. Concern yourself with the intensity. Continue to move until complete.

3. Hammer Curls – forcing the weight up, fighing it slowly back down. Same progression as exercises above.

4. Resistance Band Curls to complete failure. Stand on the band, feet spread to provide full band weight resistance and perform them smoothly but quickly until you can’t pull them up at all.
Finish: That’s your one set.


If this proceeded after other exercises for your arms, this may end the workout. If it is stand-alone, you may want to do it again after several minutes rest.

Even if you work your arms regularly, don’t be surprised if this produces some soreness. It will work the muscles to a degree they haven’t been used to. Initially, some soreness is a positive response.

A breakthrough biceps strength and size workout. If you have been working out and need to go to another level, you can use it right now.


An Intense Upper Back Workout For Breakthrough Results

The intent of this back workout is not to make it an end-all workout. It’s to add yet another tool to your list of workout methods. It is a high intensity upper back workout that will give you something to take you to a higher level, or help you break free from a plateau.

For it to work in that capacity, it has to be done with a high degree of intensity. That’s why it should be used periodically and not continuously. It is a breakthrough type workout.

You’ll do three exercises to a high level of fatigue with only enough rest between them to change to each weight station or change equipment. That will mean you will do in 10-15 minutes what you would normally take 30-45 minutes to do.

It’s the intensity that makes it work.

Keep in mind, if you don’t have one or any of the pieces of equipment shown, you can substitute something else. Just try to emulate the move and weight load. It may take some imagination, but keep in mind, your body doesn’t know whether you’re lifting a concrete block or a dumbbell.

Don’t be afraid to be creative.Lat Shoulder Control

Before starting, about the importance of the lats. Yeah it looks good to have a wide back. But more important than that the lats are what gives the deepest functioning ability to your shoulders. The lats enable stable, strong shoulder rotation and provide strength to finish the most difficult lifts and pulls done with the arms and shoulders. The lats also provide significant body armor protecting your body from hard impact.

My warm up for my upper back workout is often in the form of power cleans. These may be light, medium or heavy according to what my strength training needs are at the time. The power cleans are compound moves that fully warm up my legs, upper and lower back, and arms. Not absolutely necessary, but if you’re going to use this great strength and agility exercise, this is a good place.

The high intensity upper back workout starts here.

The first exercise I’m doing is a bent over two arm row with one end of a barbell.  Keep in mind, the important thing is to do them until you feel near failure.

Be sure to set your back when doing these to avoid injury. Don’t allow yourself to sway or allow your back to raise and lower when performing the rows.

Bent over two arm row

When concluded, without delay pick up your dumbbells and do some heavy one arm dumbbell rows. Keep in mind, heavy means what is heavy to you. It should dig in deep to the lats with a full awareness based on feeling the depth of effect.

After the fatigue of the barbell rows, these allow you to focus tightly on your lats without being inhibited by your weakest link which is your lower back. If you have access to a fitness center, you may be able to use a chest supported rowing machine.

One Arm Dumbbell Rows

The final exercise, without resting, are resistance band pull downs. Seated at an angle under the straps, back straight, keeping your arms high grip the band while positioning yourself so there is beginning resistance on the bands. At no point during this exercise should the band(s) go limp.

Note: Today, for a moderate cost, you can purchase resistance band systems that with a little imagination will rival the weight resistance of a high end gym cable machine. Mine can be used individually or combined for resistance up to 210 lbs.

Resistance Band Pulldowns

Pull the bands back smoothly as far as possible. Return to the beginning position. No jerky movements should be used. The return back to the beginning position should be slow ans smooth.

IMPORTANT: On the resistance band moves, there should be no relief on the muscle, up or down, until the exercise is completed – almost to failure. Also the elevated position of the bands is important to hitting the full range of muscle fiber in the lats.

Alternately you can duplicate the rowing exercises very effectively by lying under a barbell elevated on a squat rack or Smith Machine. This provides a very solid platform for pulling yourself up in a rowing motion. It can also be modified pretty significantly to add challenging elements to the exercise.

After these are complete, you should have done somewhere around 50-70 total reps between them all.

Now is time to rest for two minutes.

Alternatives or additions to the exercises above: Full bent barbell rows, straight bar inverted pullups, chest supported dumbbell rows.

How to use it.

Then repeat this intense set of back exercises again. Or use them as a one-time element added to your heavy strength training. Use it however you need it to accomplish your strength training goals.

Keep in mind that once you perfect the performance of these upper back exercises, you can use your imagination to add challenging elements to them.

As you progress through your workouts, the only limit to the number and ways of doing exercises to add challenge and effectiveness is your imagination.

Write down the details of this high intensity upper back workout. While nothing should be cut in stone, having a record of how you do each exercise accompanied by changes you make will go a long way in providing a long list of options going forward.

NOTE: In most articles I write from the perspective of what you can use at home, outdoors in  your yard, in the woods, at a park, etc. While I use a fitness center periodically throughout the year, I never want to get dependent on it to maintain a high level of fitness and strength.


Lack Of Sustained Muscle Development Will Steadily Contribute To Your Demise

Normal Fitness is not an age related website. The exercises and insights are not aimed at any particular age. But it was not started without the internal concern of how important sustained muscle development is throughout anybody’s life.

I look around every week at people (I’ll be referring to men for this example) who are in their 30s and 40s who are going about their lives with no thought of their physical condition. If they can work, eat, play, and otherwise socialize, they don’t have any awareness that slowly, their limbs are getting softer and their midsection is growing and sagging.

At that age range it doesn’t cause many problems with most. What few are aware of is not only the general health consequences of lack of exercise. They have no concept of the lack of strength training robbing them of life now, and resulting in severe consequences later.

When they hit close to my age, they’re suddenly in the unenviable position of having to play catch up. And if their health has been largely neglected, that may be difficult to accomplish.

What “Later” Means In Muscle Development

“Later” is one of the most insidious words in the English language. At this writing I’m almost 60 years old. I don’t mention that very much here because it gives peoples an incorrect perception of what and who I am writing to and for. I, like most people have taken a “later” attitude on many things throughout life.

Now I’ve actually reached “later”. That’s what we really don’t count on when we think “later”.

Having said that, even though I work out, sometimes rabidly, there is no telling the consequences of what I have or haven’t done to or for my body in decades past. But over the last couple of years, walking through nursing homes with ailing parents as residents, I have come to the place where absent something beyond my control, I’ll fight frailty with everything in me for as long as I’m able.

And I have a legitimate concern for the people I see and know every week who don’t give a thought to their future physical condition. I’ve worked out at some level, including strength training all my adult life. That gives me at least some advantage at this stage of life.

The Terrible Realization That Muscle Is Missing

But what is awful is watching people you care about hit their mid 50s and realize something is missing. Instead of building on a muscular platform, they begin to accommodate their frailty. That’s a shame knowing that people well into their 70s and even beyond can build muscle and strength.

To be clear, this is not about becoming bodybuilders and power lifters. It is about systematically making muscle and strength development a part of life that remains throughout the entire time we remain functional.

When you reach your mid 50s or early 60s do you want to be working on how to strengthen your ankles? Do you want to be walking for exercise because you’ve waited too long and are too frail to do anything else?

Or would you rather blast into your later years able to run and jump and climb and lift for whatever you want to do in that stage of life? Do you want to be able to defend yourself, your family, your friends?

Reality Of What Intentional Muscle And Strength Development Means

Sustained muscle development means not only ability to do what you want to do in life. It is essential for health, especially in later years, protecting internal organs. It is especially important in the event of surgery both in the earlier years and critical when you are older.

So, Normal Fitness is for you if you are new to fitness training, have worked at it for a while, are having difficulty staying motivated, looking for new ways to break through sticking points in your muscle development.

If you’re wanting to ramp up your physical training from a once in a while conviction to a true lifestyle, I’m genuinely cheering for you.

It’s Never Too Late

Oh, and by the way, after everything I wrote above about the consequences of waiting, if that’s what you’ve done, forgive yourself. If you are in your 60s and realizing you are in trouble physically, assuming you are in relatively good health, it’s not too late to get started.

You may be amazed at what you can accomplish.

After you’ve looked through the site, feel free to contact me. I’ll be glad to everything I can to help you find your way through the sometimes confusing world of strength training.


The Conflicts Of Strength Training With Weights And Machines

Two doses of reality to start this article on what really works for strength training with weights:

1. Almost everything works for somebody under some conditions.
2. Almost everything can be dangerous under some condition(s) for anybody.

In the world of exercise and fitness, particularly strength training, for every expert that endorses some strength method, or strength equipment, there will be an expert that says it’s terrible.

That is a fact to deal with going in to any kind of training. Whether it’s for getting in better shape to be able to play with your grandkids to training for a Tough Mudder it’s either great or terrible according to which expert you hear from.

An Indisputable Strength Fact

That said, here is a fact that is indisputable to help us all at least get a glimpse of daylight through the fog: Lifting some kind of weight on a regular basis over some period of time will result in greater strength for almost everybody.

Vague as far as specifics, but the closest to a statement that can be made without much conflict.

Problem with the statement is it is so vague it doesn’t help anybody who is trying to get started or trying to progress. We need specifics from somebody who knows what they’re talking about.

The Basics Of Strength Training With Weights That Never Change

So, here is a more precise statement for anybody just beginning strength training: Try to begin with free weights, standard or Olympic, either one. Basic strength exercises that will remain with you as long as you are healthy are bench presses, squats, deadlifts. Learn to do them safely and with good form for safety and effectiveness.

Ok. That’s another statement that is not likely to be met with much resistance. Those are lifts that can be performed with only minimal equipment, even if you don’t have access to a barbell. They can be done with dumbbells and a bench or reasonable replication of a bench.

For supplemental exercises, use free weight dumbbells, kettlebells, weighted balls, etc. All free weighted items. For the most part, no real issues.

Where The Controversy Swells

Now, let’s get a bit more controversial about what really works for strength related weight lifting.

Use machines.

That two word statement is likely to send some dedicated weight junkies into a spastic fit of rage. Even suggesting that anything mechanical can produce anything resembling real strength or muscle development is ludicrous.

Ok, now that I’ve tread on this ground, I’ll just go ahead and make it worse.

Here it comes. Brace yourself. Use a Smith Machine for bench presses and squats (God forbid this unholy travesty), a seated leg extension machine (shades of indecency and knee destruction), a pec deck for chest development (horrors of your pectoral muscles being torn from their platform and thrown in a bloody heap on the gym floor).

Sorry for the big long sentence but I was so nervous typing it, I had to hurry and get it over with.

I could go on, but that should be enough to end up with me being trashed as being worse than Satan himself on any forum it lands on.

Now to be clear, I’m not endorsing any particular weight, system, lift, or machine.

So what does Normal Fitness recommend for strength training?

Well, aside from the first three exercises mentioned in the first non-controversial statement, the bench press, squat, and deadlift, nothing.

Oh, and anything that you need to meet the goals of your fitness pursuits. In other words whatever you need to do and use to achieve what you’re training for.

Reality Of Danger In Strength Training

The fact is there is danger in every free weight of any size you pick up. There is danger in any machine you sit, stand, or lie in. There is danger in every move you make. There are inherent dangers in every system of exercise on the market.

But all of them work for somebody. That’s why the fitness industry is a mega billion dollar business entity.

Where To Look For Strength And Muscle Training Confirmation

Some of the top bodybuilders on earth use the machines that are most commonly opposed for various reasons online by a multitude of experts. These are not people who are functionally challenged. Most of them have full lives outside the gym.

They run, jump, ride, swim, compete in lots of activities that require extreme versatility and agility. I’ve known some accomplished bodybuilders who are/were serious and capable martial artists. The use of both free weights and machines as a general principle only strengthens and enhances their ability to do what they do.

Take “Appropriate” Very Seriously

The key to using those machines effectively is to use them with appropriate weights for appropriate reasons in an appropriate way at the appropriate time in appropriate combinations with other equipment. Don’t follow all of those appropriates and you will be verifying the experts’ warnings.

So, how do you proceed in all this confusion?

Figure out precisely what you want to accomplish. Find out what kind of strength training it will take to accomplish it. Determine what equipment it will take to get it done, including free weights and/or weight machines.

Learn the advantages, what each move, weight, machine will do. Follow the guidance of verified, accomplished experts who endorse machines and learn how to use them safely and effectively. Pay attention to equally accomplished detractors to those same machines for caution about what to watch for when using them.

Best of both worlds. Use them for the benefits. Use care to avoid adverse effects or injury.

Use everything you need to meet your training goals. Use caution with everything you use.

Keep in mind that no one weight, device, machine or system is an end all for your fitness pursuits.

Always keep in mind that everything including your weight training, is part of something else.

Use it all.


A High Intensity Biceps Workout With Adjustable Dumbbells

I used the term high intensity to describe this adjustable dumbbell biceps workout because it requires you to use the dumbbells for three consecutive exercises with no rest in between except to change positions. A concentrated workout for any body part will require a moderate weight because of the general intensity of the exercise.

This is not a workout intended to replace your regular, progressive heavy arm work. It is to add to your workouts from time to time to add variety and hence to avoid plateauing.

Not An End All – A Supplemental Biceps Workout

In fact, nothing should replace general strength training exercises for any body part. Added exercises should enhance and assist you in gaining strength and getting past sticking points, as well as adding functional ability to your muscle.

If done correctly and with the proper level of intensity, these biceps exercises will result in your arms burning like fire. They will hit your bicep at each level, bottom, peak, top.

Working from an incline bench, I first do upright seated curls with the dumbbells. According to the weight you are using, you should be able to do 7-12 repetitions. This hits primarily the lower part of the bicep.

Seated Adjustable Dumbbell Curls

When complete I lean back in an incline position and do another set of curls, same number of reps. This elongates the muscle further working the muscle up into the peak.

Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curs

As soon as those are complete, I turn around with my chest resting on the inclined bench, arms hanging down below. On these I concentrate on as full a range of motion as possible, flexing at the top of the movement. This completes the range of muscle concentration with the top of the bicep receiving concentrated work.


To complete this set of exercises, I either use two very light dumbbells or a light resistance band and do standing curls to failure.

The burn at this point is tremendous and your arms will feel jelly like if you have worked with the proper amount of intensity.

Resistance Band Biceps Curls

After 2-3 minutes rest, you can repeat the exercises for the next concentrated set. Few people will need more than two complete circuits through these exercises.

These concentrated dumbbell biceps curls should be added, keeping in mind the Normal Fitness motto: Everything is part of something else.

Don’t use these as a forever workout for your arms. They are specifically to add as needed when you want to get past a point in your fitness pursuit.

Use them wisely and keep them just part of the big picture.


Suspension Straps Exercises – Worthy Additions To Your Workout Methods

Over the couple of weeks before this was written I put together a few video clips of me using some suspension straps I made to add a new level of exercise to my workouts. They are made from two tie down straps purchased at Lowes. Total price of the straps, clips, 3/4″ pvc was around $20.00. The result was a pair of 14 foot straps with ratchets that is versatile to say the least.

Best of all this DIY version is rated for 1000 pounds work load, 3000 lbs break strength. That gives me a lot of confidence that I am not going to break loose from anything these are attached to. Considering the way they’re used, nothing is more important than that consideration.

The video shows some brief examples of some of the simpler exercises outdoors and one indoors. At the end, I show the straps and how they are put together.



Don’t mistake these workout wonders for guy stuff.

Before going any further, women watching this, the way I’m dressed and where I’m using it, can come to the conclusion this is for guys. Not so. This is as much for women as for men. The benefits are for either and will work equally for either.

Just before I started this article I went out back and showed my 21 year old daughter, who is a martial artist, how to go through a full upper body workout with the straps. While she showed considerable strain, she went through it smoothly and successfully.

Satisfaction For Those Needing Exercise Efficiency

One of the great features of a pair of simple homemade suspension straps is their versatility. A full body workout can be accomplished by attaching the straps to a tree once and not moving them. All you have to do is change positions.

The first several exercises shown out in the woods were me using the suspension straps without ever changing or reattaching them. I just changed the position of my feet or my direction in relation to the straps. From that, I was able to do pushups at 3 different angles, angled rows pulling my body up toward the tree, curls with a full range of motion, triceps extensions, again with a full range of motion. 

All suspended between the straps attached to one spot on the tree. 

At home I showed one set of rows pulling myself up and toward the door the straps were inserted through. That setup was the straps attached to a 2×4 that was placed on the opposite side of the door. The board was driven between the door facing and the door closed.

That results in a solid, secure attachment for the straps to workout indoors. 

Workout at any level of difficulty and extremity.

Finally, I showed a couple of exercises of a more extreme nature with my feet off the ground, planted on the side of the tree. You have to be real confident of your straps to do that, and it is suggested that you get used to them fully before trying exercises where you are suspended with your feet off the ground. 

Check out the video to see how the straps are put together. 

You can be sure, suspension strap exercises will be a steadfast part of my strength and muscle building efforts well into the future.