Blast Your Biceps with 21s!

Basic bicep curls are a great way to build stronger arm muscles. When performed properly – and as part of a comprehensive fitness program – you’ll get results. There’s no doubt about it.

As such, when I train my biceps, I primarily stick to variations of the basic bicep curl. But every now and then, I like to really step things up and shock my system. There’s a great exercise called “21s” that does just that. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Grab a set of dumbbells or a barbell.
  2. Stand with good posture and an engaged core, as though you were going to perform a basic bicep curl.
  3. Curl the weights up just halfway. In other words, stop when your forearms are parallel to the floor; you’re performing the bottom-half of a bicep curl. Do 7 of these.
  4. Now, perform the top-half of a bicep curl. Start halfway up, where your forearms are parallel to the floor. Curl all the way up to your shoulders. Do 7 of these.
  5. Lastly, perform 7 full bicep curls. Start with your arms fully extended down, and curl all the way up to your shoulders. By the time you complete your last repetition, you will have performed 21 curls – hence the name.

Because you’re doing 21 curls, you will probably have to curl less weight than usual. I curl 40 pound dumbbells, for example. But when I perform 21s, I usually use 25 pound dumbbells. Find what works for you.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

About Davey Wavey

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  1. I’ve heard of “21s”… thanks for the description! Going to try them today. Cheers.

  2. “21’s” sound like they will really help give my biceps a new twist on the classic curl. Thanks a lot for the tip Davey! Peace and love!

  3. I appreciate the novelty of this idea, as novelty will help keep me motivated and it also trains the muscle better. But I don’t see why this sums to 21 curls since the first 14 are only half-curls. Plus, the second set of 7, where one starts with the forearm already parallel to the floor, doesn’t work the biceps much at all. Have I misunderstood your directions?

  4. I just tried this in the gym I managed to do 2 sets!! hahaha OMG I can feel the DOMS already Davey!!!!! lol

    and Scott you are actually engaging the muscles and the joint 21 times even tho its not a full range of motion. So you are doing it right your firing off your muscle to work 21 times if you like to think of it like that.