Training your Biceps with 21s

The world of bodybuilding is a complex one, with a multitude of techniques, strategies, and exercises to choose from. One of the most challenging muscles to develop and define in bodybuilding is the biceps brachii. This article will delve into the anatomy of the biceps brachii, the challenges faced in bodybuilding, and the potential solution provided by 21s.

The Challenge of Biceps Mass in Bodybuilding

In bodybuilding, muscle growth is a complex process that is influenced by factors such as genetics, training, nutrition, rest, and in some cases, the use of performance-enhancing substances. Not everyone achieves the same results from various training strategies due to individual genetic variations, commonly referred to as "predisposition."

The biceps, along with a few other small muscles like the deltoid, is most subject to inter-individual anatomical differences. Many aspire for it to be "spherical" and well "detached" from the forearm and the anterior deltoid. However, it often appears "double," "tapered," or simply small, which can be a source of frustration for many bodybuilders.

Physiology and Theory-Methodology of Biceps Training

Recent studies have revealed that various muscles do not contain the same muscle fibers and the same innervations. For instance, there is a notable difference between postural muscles and those responsible for forceful movements. The biceps, while responsible for performing strength movements, contain a greater number of red or slow fibers, typical of the S motor units but also present in the intermediate motor units. Therefore, it is generally recommended that the biceps should be trained with more repetitions, performed more slowly, and with less recovery, compared to other muscles.

Training with 21s

The 21s training method was conceived for the hypertrophic development of the brachial biceps. It is based on high intensity (HIT), but it is primarily used to train the smallest muscle districts, often characterized by high concentrations of S-type motor units with slow oxidative fibers.

As the name suggests, 21s training uses 21 repetitions for each set. These repetitions are divided into 3 mini-sets of 7 reps, each carried out with series of dynamic movements that are entirely different from each other:

  • 7 reps with incomplete movement: first 50° of the joint movement angle.
  • 7 reps with incomplete movement: second 50° of the angle of joint movement.
  • 7 reps with complete movement: slow execution of the entire joint angle.

Strengths of 21s

When executed correctly and adapted to individual needs, 21s can be highly effective. It respects both the speed of contraction and the average load suitable for training a minor area such as the biceps. It also allows for work in the angular closure, essential for achieving the spherical shape of the biceps. The third mini-set employs muscle exhaustion, which can be further enhanced through "forced executions" with a training partner.

In conclusion, the 21s training method is worth experimenting with for those struggling to develop their biceps. If it proves ineffective, do not lose hope! The journey of a bodybuilder is long and challenging, but with perseverance and the right techniques, success is within reach.

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