No matter what your reason for taking up weight training, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t want bigger biceps. I like to refer to the bicep as the glamour muscle. As soon as someone finds out you lift weights they don’t ask you to flex your calves, they ask you to roll up your sleeves and flex your biceps.
Out of the thousands of exercises that can be performed at the gym, odds are at any given time there will be more people training biceps than any other muscle. Everyone wants bigger, fuller biceps. Much of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s popularity was due to his monstrous arms.
The bicep gets its name because it is composed of two heads. There are a lot of people who suggest you can train each head separately, but this is simply not true. No matter what exercise you do for your biceps, it will always train both heads.
Another popular myth is that some exercises are mass builders while others are peaking movements. Proponents of this believe that heavier weights are for putting on mass while lighter weights coupled with isolation movements will peak your biceps. I hate to disappoint some of you, but this is simply not true.
All exercises are mass builders to one extent or another, some are just better because of the amount of weight you can use. As for the shape of your bicep, that was decided for you the moment you were born. You can’t change genetics, well not yet anyway.
To fully understand bicep training you need to realize two things. First, the biceps are a relatively small muscle group. Second, the biceps receive a large amount of stimulation every time you work your back out.
How come when I go to the gym I see everyone slaving away with every kind of bicep curl imaginable?
Like I said before, when you work your back out you are performing pull-ups, rows, and pull-downs. When performing these exercises (to failure with good form) your biceps will usually give out first. Combine that with the fact that your biceps are a small muscle group, it becomes quite clear that your biceps only need a limited amount of individual training.
If you allow yourself to accept these basic truths, you will build bigger biceps. Don’t waste endless hours curling your way to insanity, instead focus on you core muscle building exercises. This will prevent you from over-training your biceps.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t perform curls, you just don’t need to perform as many exercises as a larger muscle group like your legs or chest. Here is an example of a bicep/triceps workout.
Barbell Curls – 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Standing Dumbbell Curls – 2 set of 8-10 reps
Close-Grip Bench Press – 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Standing Cable Push-down’s – 2 set of 8-10 reps
Take all sets to complete muscular failure and focus on progressing each week by using slightly more weight or performing an extra rep or two.
If you can incorporate this way of thinking into your bicep training, you will build bigger biceps beyond anything you previously thought possible!