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Form & Function: Gun Play

The Iron Guru?s tips for using the preacher bench.

The preacher’s stand is invariably placed too high on the chest. This position allows only the low biceps to work, and the brachialis anticus, which is a muscle under the low biceps. This muscle is attached to the forearm and reaches halfway up the upper-arm bone. It is responsible for the thickness in the low-biceps region.

The high placement of the preacher’s stand results in low maximum biceps and brachialis pull but no high biceps and coracobrachialis development. This produces a flat biceps instead of a round look. To go further, the outer head of the biceps is developed by placing the elbows in and the hands wide. This position can only be successfully obtained by resting the elbows on a preacher’s stand so as to provide a firm placement for the elbows. The inner head of the biceps is developed by placing the hands close together (three inches apart) and the elbows 20 inches wide. Needless to say, the regular hand placement on the bar for the regular preacher’s curl is 11 inches apart, with elbows the same width, which develops the center portion of the biceps.

Another hint is to let the barbell roll down to the end of your fingers and then start your curl. As you close your hand, start curling by bending your wrist and flexing your forearms.

After you finish as many reps as your strength permits, step back from the preacher’s stand and curl the barbell four or five more reps with your elbows well back and the bar as close to the body as possible, touching your neck at the top of each rep. This type of burn is superior to half reps with elbows on the preacher’s stand, since, besides working extra-low biceps and brachialis, you also work the belly of the biceps, high biceps and coracobrachialis.

‘Vince Gironda, Iron Man, January ’74, Vol. 33, No. 2

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