The best technique to get SWOLE

Brandon Hahn March 12, 2013 Training Articles
The best technique to get SWOLE

You’ve seen people doing a variation of it in the gym. Chances are you’ve even tried the basic technique and had decent results. It’s time to step your game up to the next level. We’ve put logic into this move to really make it work! It’s time for you to get swoooooole!

The move often involves the biceps, and people know it as 21s. You do 7 bottom half reps, 7 top half reps, and finish with 7 full reps. Yay, what a waste of time! The move is supposed to do something amazing and “shock” your muscles into growth. A little hint, THAT WON’T HAPPEN! Why? The thought of this brutal torture makes you choose a lighter weight, after all it is 21 reps, and you need to complete all of them. On top of that, you aren’t utilizing the technique to fully work the muscle.

Well, let’s look at this with some logic. You are completing this exercise @ss backwards. This exercise can be flipped around to truly overload the muscle and promote extreme growth. Here’s how:

  1. Complete 7 full reps
  2. Now 7 top half reps
  3. Finish with 7 bottom half reps

Why? The 7 full reps first allows you to work the full ROM of the lift. The top half comes next because it’s the second hardest portion of this technique. Finishing with the bottom half reps, is utilizing a technique that has been around for ages aka partial reps. You won’t want to do this exercise for every set of the workout, but it can be used for every muscle group (should you choose to use it for every muscle).

You can use this for compound lifts or isolation lifts, depending on your training style. It is ideal to use this technique as a finisher for the muscle group. You should choose a weight you could do for 10-12 reps. With this variation it is easy to go too light, and completely waste the set.

Here are some of the exercises we prefer to utilize this technique with:

Incline DB Flyes
Hammer Strength Chest Press

Straight Arm Lat Pulldowns
Lat Pulldowns

DB Lateral Raises
Upright Rows

Preacher Curls
Barbell Curls

Cable Pressdowns

Front Squats
Leg Press
*Leg extensions could be used here but as an open chain exercise, it can put unnecessary stress on the knee.

Weighted Hyperextensions
Standing Leg Curls

Traps, Calves, & Forearms:
*These muscles utilize a very short ROM, and it is best to stick with full range reps for these muscle groups.

There you have it! Now, it’s time to take this to the gym. After you are finished with the brutal assault, snap a pic, and share it on our Athletic Xtreme Facebook Page! Enough talk, time to get swole!

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About The Author

Brandon has been in the fitness industry for over seven years and has trained over 1,000 clients. He has competed in several bodybuilding competitions and continues to improve his physique with hardwork and dedication. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science, Brandon has the knowledge and skills to get you on the fast track to fitness.