If you want to build bigger biceps peaks that look like mountains sitting on your arms, then I’m going to ask you to include this one dumbbell curl variation into your biceps training. All you’ll need is a single dumbbell and proper technique to build bicep peaks that rival Mount Vesuvius. In this video, I am going to show you how this one exercise will not only help to increase the height of your biceps peaks, but I’m bringing in Jesse to show off the results he got from adding this exercise to his training over the last 30 days.
I’ve told this story a number of times, but when I was younger and wanted big arms like the action heroes I saw in movies, my brother gave me access to a single dumbbell. For someone wanting to build big biceps, a single dumbbell doesn’t sound like much to build big biceps, let alone tall biceps. However, having seen a professional bodybuilder claim to build his giant biceps using the exercise I show you in this video (one that requires just one single dumbbell), it became my go-to exercise until I was able to gain access to more equipment and ultimately it went on the back-burner.
When Jesse asked me what he could do to help increase the height of his biceps peaks, I immediately thought back to this exercise and told him to include it into his training and to report back in 30 days to see if there were any noticeable results. Full-disclosure, Jesse didn’t do this exercise for 30 consecutive days; it was over a 30 day period in his current training split. That averaged 9-12 times in that period that he made use of this biceps peaks curl.
I told Jesse that for the next 30 days, that whenever his programming called for him to do traditional dumbbell or barbell curls, that he should swap them out for this waiter curl variation to increase the height of his biceps. Now, he still included rows and weighted chins in his training, so not all bicep work was removed for this exercise; just the standard curls. At the end of the 30 days, Jesse noticed that the height of the bicep peaks were increasing and that his biceps stood noticeably taller.
This exercise is awesome for building bicep peaks because it targets the long head of the biceps and not only that, but to perform the movement correctly, it requires the use of the biceps master tip – taking the wrists out of the movement. Turn the dumbbell on its side and grab the underside of the top of the dumbbell, holding the dumbbell as far down as your arms will allow, making sure the very top of dumbbell is parallel to the ground. Curl the weight up, making sure to get peak contraction of the long head off the biceps. The key here, however, is to make sure that the top of the dumbbell stays parallel to the floor (taking the wrists completely out of the equation as the master tip instructs). Return the weight back to its starting position, but again, take the wrists out and keep the dumbbell’s ends parallel to the floor.
So, next time you are looking build the peaks of your biceps and increase the height at which they stand; I want you to incorporate this variation of the waiter curl into your training. I want you to remember the key aspect of the technique on this exercise which comes from removing the wrists contribution to the movement. Regardless of what exercises you do, whether to build your bicep peak or not, I want you to remember that it’s not just what exercises you do, but how you do them. By putting the science back in strength, I want to make sure that you are getting the most out of everything you do so that you can see the absolute best results.
If you are looking for a science based step-by-step workout plan that helps you to build muscle by getting the most out of every exercise you do, head to the link below and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. See how training like an athlete and taking your training more seriously can speed up the gains you get and help you keep them for years to come.
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JESSE: All right.
So, as you can see here, we have – we’ve
got Ursa Minor, Ursa Major.
I think that’s Scorpio, Leo.
Is that Orion’s Belt right there?
That might be Capricorn, as well.
Is that one the North Star, Jeff?
JEFF: I think so.
JESSE: You don’t like my astronomy lessons?
JESSE: Aw, come on.
JEFF: What’s up, guys?
Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com.
JESSE: No intro this time?
JEFF: No intro.
Done with the intros for now.
Guys, we’re talking about building bicep peaks.
That exercise that you saw me doing in the
beginning of this video was something that
goes way back with me.
As a matter of fact, when I was working out
with my brother, the story as I’ve told it
before – he really didn’t let me do anything.
He was my older brother and I had to be relegated
to cheerleader until I was old enough to pick
up the weights.
But I did have access to a single dumbbell,
and I remembered seeing an exercise that Sergio
Alebo – way before your time, Jesse.
JESSE: Way before my time.
JEFF: Sergio Alebo did, for his bicep peaks,
where he took a single dumbbell, just like
that, and lifted it in that fashion.
That stuck with me because I have covered
on this channel before something called a
“Master Tip” and the value of keeping your
wrists out of it.
Bent back as you curl up to negate some of
the extra forearm contribution of the curl
and put more of the work on the biceps.
I forgot about the exercise.
JESSE: How do you forget that?!
JEFF: Because when I got access to two dumbbells,
and a chin-up bar, and a barbell I was switching
them out for other things.
Like barbell curls and chin-ups.
In a question you asked me recently, “What
can I do with a single dumbbell?”
JEFF: Besides regular curls.
I remembered back and told them about the
value of the exercise and then you went and
did it for 30 days.
JEFF: But what I did was, I told Jesse, “Okay,
we’ll do another experiment.
No more ‘Baby Shark’ for 30 days.
Something real for 30 days.”
And what I said was, “Don’t do any traditional
JEFF: “Don’t do any traditional dumbbell curls.”
JEFF: Full disclosure, you still did chin-ups.
JEFF: You still did rows.
JESSE: Underhand rows.
So, that’s been part of your program anyway.
JEFF: So, the only difference was the inclusion
JESSE: This exercise.
JEFF: This exercise.
The one, again, that you’re seeing here as
Jesse points out all the constellations in
my veins and vascularity of my arms.
That’s the one you were doing.
JESSE: Yeah, and I substituted for the traditional
Just to give them a sense of how often you
were doing this and if you did it in – what?
You were doing some of the total body workouts
JESSE: From one to two times per week.
JESSE: Sometimes three.
JEFF: Depending upon what-
JESSE: The program I was on.
JEFF: Whether it was ‘push, pull, legs’ or
whether you were doing a total body.
JEFF: So, it was not 30 days of this.
JESSE: No, no, no.
JEFF: Just within a 30-day period.
So, you probably wound up hitting at about,
let’s say 9 to 12 times.
I would say so.
JEFF: That’s the only bicep exercise you did.
So, let’s take a look at the exercise itself.
JEFF: Go ahead and pick up – I’ll coach
you through it.
So, we’re talking about making sure the top
of the dumbbell here always faces up toward
What you get is, you lower it down and you
have to change the position of your wrists
to make sure this stays level.
So, you go down to, about that far.
I always try to say you get down as low as
you can, as you saw me doing.
Just under there.
Now, as you lift up, you have to change the
position of your wrists to make sure this
stays up here.
One of the benefits we’re getting is some
good, longhead of the biceps because the arms
are staying close.
Similarly, to how they would in a drag curl.
We’re getting that.
We know that the longhead of the biceps, the
outer portion here of the biceps, are what
is responsible for that peak.
We get to the top and it’s an insane contraction,
JEFF: So, you hold it – come up closer.
Let’s see what they see here, now.
Right about here.
Now, go down.
Concentrate on this back arm over here, as
Arm’s right here.
Drag it up.
JEFF: Up to the top.
Up, up, up.
And again, it incorporates that master tip
that we’re talking about, where you want to
dead-arm those wrists.
JEFF: Get them out of it.
You can show off a little bit.
So, what do we see here?
In all honesty, you can see here in that area
that Jesse’s got much more development of,
first of all, this entire bicep.
But he’s starting to get more height on here.
Go from the backside, so they can see the
outside of it.
I mean, there’s no doubt.
There’s a much more defined peak up here than
you had at any point before.
JESSE: Yeah, I totally agree.
JEFF: So, as far as an experiment I would
say, in relation to Jesse, it’s a success.
JEFF: When you compare it to mine, I would
say it’s a failure.
JESSE: That’s not fair!
JEFF: But we’re not – it is out of proportion.
We’re not there yet.
JEFF: But the fact is, I think there’s some
It’s a good exercise.
More so than anything else, it’s a change.
JESSE: It is.
JEFF: If you haven’t done it before, it’s
a change from what you’ve bend going.
I wouldn’t say this is the only exercise you
should do from now on, but I think it has
Especially as an effective exercise to place
some tension on the biceps, and all on the
biceps, in the position that they can benefit
Especially when it comes to activating the
longhead of the biceps and adding more tension
to the peak.
So, give it a try.
JESSE: Definitely a success.
JEFF: All right.
JESSE: I think you’ll find success, too.
I’m glad we made it through a whole video
without one of those lame-ass intros.
JESSE: They’re not lame.
The comments prove that they’re awesome.
They like the sharks and the laser beams.
JEFF: If you’re looking for programs that
put the science back in strength – all these
little details matter – we have that built
into all our programs.
As I’ve said, it’s not just the exercises
you do, it’s how you do them that matters.
I’ll coach you through every one.
They’re all available in our programs at ATHLEANX.com.
In the meantime, tell us what you want us
If there’s something else you want to see,
make sure you leave it in the comments below
and we’ll do our best to do that for you.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure
to click ‘subscribe’ and turn on your notifications
so you never miss a new video when we put
All right, guys.
See you soon.
JESSE: As far as intros go, let me know what
you want to see.
More laser beams?
I’m all for it.