The most common form of exercise, that you see someone doing at the gym in general, are bicep curls. Anything in relation to the biceps, has always stood out. The double bicep pose, that every single individual who gets into bodybuilding loves to set up, wouldn’t be as impressive of a pose without the biceps! The attempts to see who can lift the most weight on a barbell, is another challenge that everyone’s ego can’t afford to not accept.
The bicep muscle, is that long and thick muscle that extends from your armpit region to your elbow region. They aren’t big muscles but they are the one muscle that a lot of bodybuilders thrive to get perfect. Making it as big as possible with an insane peak is the epitome of bodybuilding. The side bicep pose, another famous bicep pose, is a look that people expect to happen, with someone in bodybuilding. So it’s no wonder, a lot of emphasis is placed on developing one’s biceps.
Anatomically termed as the biceps brachii muscle, it is a 2 headed muscle yet again located at the upper aspect of ones arm, the two headed muscles are named the long head and the short head. The main functions of the biceps are to flex the elbows and supinate the forearm, which is to have the palm of the arm face up or down.
To develop the biceps, one has to work with isolated and compound exercises. An example of isolated would be one armed dumbbell curls and a compound workout would be barbell bent-over rows. These exercises, specifically target the biceps directly or indirectly. They will help you to completely develop your biceps brachii muscles.
Other exercises specific to the biceps are:
With these exercises, you can choose to do alternative curls where you do one arm at a time, or you can do both at the same time. Also, preacher curls are ones that you can find an actual preacher curl machine, along with using a barbell instead. The lever preacher curl, allows you to completely stretch the muscle, and then contract it at the top aspect of the rep. The incline curls are some very intensive bicep workouts. It definitely puts a nice burn into the muscle.
When working out on your biceps, you want to use weight that you don’t end up cheating with. We want proper form while doing any bicep workout. Allow your biceps to do the work, not your shoulders and not the back. You should not be swinging weights, or having to shift from side to side, trying to get that weight up unless you’re going to failure. Otherwise, bad form will mean that other muscles are being used. We want only the bicep muscles to be used throughout their exercises. Not only that but safety first. Bad form, can lead to injury!
As the bicep muscles are a small two headed muscle, not much volume is required. Some people after an extended period of training, recognize they may need more volume to keep building mass but a max of 5 exercises for your biceps, is sufficient. Ideally, one should only do about 4 exercises, with 3 sets each while training biceps. Make sure one of those sets, per individual exercise, is a warm up set. I tend to follow Dorian Yates suggestion of warming up with 15 reps, and then decreasing until you’re at about 10 or 8 reps as your last bit. At the end of the last set of your bicep routine, you should try to go to failure pushing as much as you can when it comes to lifting that weight.
For strength training, to help increase your lifts for your bicep exercises, use a 5×5 routine. 5 sets for 5 reps with weights you can only do 5 good form reps with. I tend to do this at the end of my training routine. Just to get some strength gains, also.
To add significant mass, while also doing isolated workouts for your biceps, you’ll want to focus on such exercises like heavy bent over rows, overhead press, and deadlifts. These exercises, aren’t meant to be done on an arm day but they should be incorporated into your training routine. Bent over rows, overhead presses and deadlifts are exercises that help develop the bicep muscles, while working out directly other muscle groups. Isolated workouts, are to help “round out”, the muscle group by hitting them directly helping with overall gains.
The compound exercises will give you massive arms, guaranteed. They will hit the muscles in areas that isolated exercises wouldn’t, just as isolated exercises will hit areas that compound exercises wouldn’t. This will provide you with an overall development, that is to your liking. Just doing the bicep exercises without compound workouts, will develop your bicep muscles but not give them that pumped and massive look, any bodybuilder is striving to achieve.
So try to incorporate some of the suggested compound workouts into your routine, doing about 4 to 5 bicep exercises max; 4 being for beginners and 5 being for intermediate and advanced lifters.
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