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The THT 2.0 Training Cycle. Build Biceps, Forearms, & Abs (part 11)

Let’s have a look at how to effectively and efficiently train our biceps, forearms, and abs on this cycle of THT.

This is your Wednesday workout


  1. Standing Dumbbell Curls (Alternate)
  2. Standing Dumbbell Curls
  3. Standing Barbell Curls
  4. Standing Barbell Curls
  5. Standing Barbell Curls
  6. Seated Incline Dumbbell Curls
  7. Seated Incline Dumbbell Curls


  1. Dumbbell or Barbell Wrist Curls
  2. Dumbbell or Barbell Wrist Curls


  1. Weighted Decline Sit-Ups
  2. Weighted Decline Sit-Ups
  3. Kneeling Cable Crunches
  4. Kneeling Cable Crunches
  5. Weighted Hanging Leg Raises
  6. Weighted Hanging Leg Raises

Perform the dumbbell curls by alternating reps on each arm i.e. the first rep with one arm only, then switch to the other arm. Right, left, right, left, right, left….and so on until failure.

I find it best to keep my palms facing outward right from the bottom of the movement. Others advise holding the dumbbell in a hammer-curl style at the bottom and twisting around on the concentric part of the rep, this is called ‘supinating’. But I find that this doesn’t actually place enough stress on the bicep at the bottom and mid-range points of the lift.

I used to recommend the curl/EZ bar for bicep curls but changed this advice about a year ago. If we want to recruit as many of the bicep muscle fibers as possible, we need an exercise that works in harmony with the function of this muscle. In order to do this we need our wrist to be fully supinated i.e. your palms fully turned up. An EZ bar just can’t do this. Use a straight barbell.

Lastly, Incline Dumbbell Curls! Some people call them, ‘Decline Dumbbell Curls’. It doesn’t matter what you call them – Just
perform them correctly. A FULL range of motion is critical here. When your back is in an incline position and your arms are hanging straight by your sides, I find the stress on the bicep is greatly increased compared with a regular dumbbell curl.

Incline Dumbbell Curls were my movement of choice before finding the Cable Preacher Curl. Full muscle fiber recruitment, maximum overload, and an awesome bicep pump are what you can expect from this movement. If you can, switch your of Inclines to Cable Preachers.


Forearms get so much work during the week that they really don’t need too much direct stimulation. 2 or 3 sets of dumbbell or barbell wrist curls to failure are sufficient.


Abs are a muscle like any other in that they require weighted resistance in order to grow. Build your abs with your workouts and let diet and cardio take care of BLASTING the unwanted flab on top. (see Total Six Pack Abs). And don’t even think about going near a stability ball.

You cannot “spot reduce” the fat away with endless sit-ups. Nevertheless, sit-ups are a great exercise for building abdominal muscle.

It’s an unsexy exercise and therefore it’s not ‘in vogue’. However, when you place a plate or dumbbell on your chest and work to failure, it’s as good as any ab exercise out there. Lie declined on a sit-up bench if you need extra resistance.

Kneeling cable crunches are one of the best exercises for placing effective resistance on the abs when they are in their maximally contracted position. 2 sets of these.

Same goes for hanging leg raises, or captain’s chair leg raises as I prefer to do. When you are strong enough to do these with your legs bent for 12 reps or so, you can either perform them with your legs fully extended, or add weight. Recently I’ve found that I prefer to keep my legs bent and hold a dumbbell between my feet as my method of progression. Keeping my legs fully extended throughout the range of motion feels a little awkward to me.

For all abdominal exercises I recommend that you hold the movement at the top for a second. Just contract your abs and hold them for a second before the negative part of the repetition. Remember, building abs is not a race, take it slow! (2 seconds up, 1 second hold, and 2 seconds down).

Using this ab routine you’ll have your abs in no time. Seriously, building abdominal muscle is actually rather quick and easy. The hard part is shedding the fat on top while preserving all the rest of the muscle you’ve worked so hard to build.

Of course, Total Six Pack Abs students don’t have that worry, and many have continued to build muscle while TORCHING the unwanted blubber on top. It’s easy when you know how! 😉

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4PART 5PART 6 | PART 7 | PART 8PART 9 | PART 10 | PART 12PART 13

Stay Motivated!


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Mark McManus
Mark McManus
Mark is now available for 1-on-1 consultations to help you take your results to the next level. Click here for more details.
Mark McManus is a trainer & author from Ireland. His work has been featured in major publications all over the world. He is the creator of the free growth-promoting workout Targeted Hypertrophy Training' (THT) and author of the NEW fat-torching system Total Six Pack Abs.
He has also created the BREAKTHROUGH arm and chest maximizer programs The Arms Blast' and 'Chest Blast' workouts.
And if you're a fan of delicious high-protein recipes to fuel your muscle growth, check out his cook book 'Buff Baking' here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • mike January 20, 2011, 10:39 pm

    Mark its awsome to open my computer and boom, there is another musclehack email. i read it all. Thanks for answering my previous questions. Im trying to talk my wife into letting me buy the six pack abs book. Anyway it goes on an even bigger sale in the future? Let me know. ps GO PACKERS. Mike in Wisconsin.

  • stickupkid January 20, 2011, 10:59 pm

    Mark can I sub kneeling cable crunches for seated?

  • Robert January 21, 2011, 12:09 am


    Thank you for all the wonderful information you’ve given us “Muscle Hackers.” I just have a quick question; Should we do warm-up sets before each individual workout? For example, a warm-up set before standing DB curls and then another warm-up set before standing Barbell curls?


  • Spencer January 21, 2011, 12:42 am

    Hey I was wondering wether or not you could show us how to do the kneeling cable crunches because I’ve tried them before and felt like an idiot. I’ve only ever seen Arnold perform them. He used a row attachement I believe. Thank you very much good sir.

  • john January 21, 2011, 1:05 am

    Mark you’re awesome, this website is the best! thanks

  • Mark McManus January 21, 2011, 9:49 am

    @Mike. No probs. Glad you like my work. I’m not quite sure what you mean by, “Anyway it goes on an even bigger sale in the future?”. If you can clarify, I’ll answer for you.
    @stickupkid. Yes. But I feel you can generate more force with kneeling cable crunches.
    @Robert. No need. Your biceps are as warmed up as they’re going to be after your first set. Just one warm-up before each body part.
    @Spencer. Use a rope attachment. Or, you can put a pair of ab slings around your elbows and hold the side of your head with your hands. Either one works fine.
    @John. Thanks

  • mike January 21, 2011, 1:03 pm

    Mark , What I meant was u said u have already undercut the market, I wonder if the price would even go lower? My wife thinks I know enough stuff from reading musclehack, but I would like the book. Mike in Wisconsin

  • stickupkid January 21, 2011, 1:26 pm

    Mark would standing cable curls be a better choice for straight barbell curls by giving more muscular stress and muscle stimuli would like you view on this?

  • Krs January 21, 2011, 2:14 pm

    @Spencer here,s a vid of Kneeling Cable Crunches if you face away from the weight the exercise become harder


  • Andrew January 22, 2011, 7:15 pm

    mark for the seated incline dumbell curls do we do them by alternating or no?