Standing Dumbbell Curl- On dumbbell curls, Ray is one of the strongest men in the sport, especially considering that his off-season weight is only 240 pounds (I say “only” because there are quite a few that tip the scales at 270 to 300 pounds these days). His three work sets will often be with pairs of 75s, 85s and finally, the big 100s. “My form isn’t ideal with the hundreds, I admit,” he says, “but my ego gets in the way. I do them because I can and because I like to challenge myself in the gym.” Again, the reps will usually scale down from 12 to six, as the sets get heavier.
Dumbbell Hammer Curl- Arde doesn’t let his ego interfere with his weight selection for hammer curls, mainly because he never goes lower than 12 reps on this exercise. “I find that the brachialis and the forearm extensors respond better to higher reps, so I keep my sets around 12 to 15 reps.” The dumbbells are 50s or 60s, nothing earth-shattering, but just the correct amount to get the job done right.
Single-arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl- “This is an exercise that will be either the second or third one into the workout when I do it,” Ray explains. “I basically consider it like a concentration curl, except that you’re using the preacher bench to stabilize the working arm instead of your leg. You can’t cheat and you can use the other hand to give yourself forced reps.” He’ll do three sets of eight to 12 reps, including forced reps. The dumbbell is usually a 50 or a 60.