Vince Gironda, ‘Biceps: A Six-Week Bulk Course’, Vince Gironda Six Week Bulk Course (c.1968), 3-4


This program’s purpose is designed to produce quick size by working non-specifically (four different aspects of each muscle) – in other words, it is not a shaping course. Now, the muscle to receive the most work is the muscle you start with. I always start with the arms. So, this is how I will set up the course. Before we start, I would like to point out that muscle tissue does not grow unless taxed 85 per cent! Beware, however, never work to 100 per cent because maximum energy output will stop all muscular growth!



Prepare four pieces of exercise equipment so you may work your way through without any hesitation (no rest between sets). Your reps will be 4 to 12. In other words, when you are able to perform 12 reps raise your weights. You must use slow movements (no cheating):

  1. Your first Bicep exercise will be sitting on a stool, knees together and back flat against a post or a stand-up vertical incline bench. Start with both dumbbells hanging straight down at sides with palms up. Curl both dumbbells together close to legs on the way up. Do not raise the elbows for ward; this movement is front deltoid and we are trying to work bicep. Touch the bells to the low, front part of the deltoid. Then forcibly contract the bicep at the contracted position. In short, pull your elbows back.
  2. Your next exercise which you have already set up is the Preacher Stand, Bar Bell Curl. Adjust the Preacher Bench so when you step up to it it is low enough to support your elbows, not your entire upper arm. Take a shoulder width grip so when you curl the bar your forearm lays back over the upper arm and the fists touch the deltoids. Curl the weight deliberately and do not rear back when the bar reaches horizontal position.
  3. The next exercise is the 90 degree Bar Bell BendOver Curl. Lay the bar bell on the floor and bend over with bent knees, placing your elbows between your knees for support, and grasp the bar about eleven inches wide; your hips are high and the bar almost touches your ankles. Curl from this position to a fully contracted position, touching the bar to the deltoids. Work hard in the contracted position to finish the movement.
  4. The last exercise is the Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curl. Dumbbells are held at sides of thighs, knuckles inward. As you curl the dumbbell is turned palm up. As the first dumb bell starts down the other dumbbell starts up, passing each other at belt level.


My fondness for Vince is not a secret. The main takeaways, for me at least, from the above program is the need to tax the muscles with impeccable form. Vince was not averse to cheat curls but for the most part, the ‘Iron Guru’ stressed the need for intense and proper exercise. In other words, Vince’s writings serve an a good reminder to ask ourselves are we training or going through the motions?

As always … Happy Lifting!

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