When it comes to stubborn body parts that seemingly refuse to grow, of course you have calves, which are notoriously difficult to add mass to, you also have the biceps. Ask any person to “flex” their muscles, and 99% of the time the pose they’ll hit you with will be a single, or double biceps pose. It is our biceps which we flex when we’re admiring our physiques in the mirror (don’t pretend you haven’t done it at some point in time) and it is our biceps which we wish to proudly show off in tank tops and tight T-shirts. Everybody wants a set of bulging biceps, yet sadly, not many people will achieve them with their regular training. If there’s one constant in regards to training your biceps, it’s the fact that you’ll find it virtually impossible to grow them, without performing different variations of curls and curling exercises. Because of this, a lot of gym-goers will perform the same exercises week in and week out when they train their biceps, and 9 times out of 10, those exercises will be either dumbbell curls, or EZ bar curls. If it really was just a case of curling to build huge biceps, every gym-goer under the sun would be walking around with a set of huge guns – but they aren’t. If you’re fed up of spaghetti arms and want a set of guns that would put Arnie to shame (slight exaggeration there, Arnie is arguably the greatest of all time) take a look at these six simple laws for building bulging biceps.
Train your back frequently
Ok, it may sound odd, us talking about building huge biceps and then telling you to train your back, but hear us out. The biceps are a pulling muscle, which basically means that to train them, you perform pulling movements as opposed to pushing movements, as you would if you were training chest. Do you know which other body part is a pulling muscle? Yep, you guessed it, the back. Many pro bodybuilders will actually not even bother training their biceps once they’ve built them up, unless they’re training for a competition, because they get enough work when they train their backs. When you train your back, the biceps also get a great workout as they help to move the weight. The next time you train your back – a set of close-grip pull downs for example, when you finish your last set, just take a look at how pumped your biceps look and feel.
Begin with mass building exercises
Another great tip for building up your biceps is to begin your workout with your biggest mass building exercises. Some exercises are designed to build mass, whilst others are more for definition and toning, so stick with mass builders at the start of your workout. Common examples include barbell curls, and EZ bar curls, although in reality, any exercise which you can generally lift the most weight with, can be considered a mass builder. Basically, start with the exercises that require you to lift heavy weights, because by starting fresh, you’ll be much stronger than if you were half way through your workout and tired and fatigued.
Start with the correct weight
As for what exactly is the correct weight, that all depends on the person in general. If however, you’ve been using the same weight every biceps workout, week in and week out, you need to break that habit and start progressing and beginning with a heavier weight. As previously mentioned, mass building exercises which allow you to lift more weight are ideal, so choose a weight at the start of your workout, that really tests you and pushes you to your limits. Begin with a heavy weight and aim for less reps I.E 6 – 8. From there, go slightly lighter, and aim for 8 – 10 reps, and so on.
Change your grip
Another top tip for really piling the mass onto your biceps is to change your grip and adjust your hands when performing certain exercises. Remember, the biceps is a two-headed muscle, hence the name BI-ceps. Because of this, you can actually train different parts of the muscle by not only selecting different exercises, but also by changing the way you grip the bar/dumbbells. If for example, you go with a closer and narrow grip, you can emphasize the longer head of the biceps. If you go for a wider grip, you can work the shorter head of the biceps instead.
One characteristic of a great set of biceps is a large peak, which is what gives the muscle the height when you flex it. The best way of really building a great biceps peak is to perform isolation exercises which focus solely on the biceps, working both heads simultaneously. One of the best examples of a biceps exercise which is notorious for improving bicep peak size, is the dumbbell concentration curl. Another great exercise is the preacher curl, both of which work absolutely great. The reason why they work so well is because, due to the nature of the exercise, they eliminate the chances of you using your body to rock back and forth in order to gain momentum. With concentration curls for example, your arm will be resting against your inner thigh, meaning that the bicep is forced to do all of the work.
Finally, if you’re still struggling to add size, and definition, to your biceps, grab yourself an EZ bar and incorporate 21s into your routine. “What are 21s?” We hear you ask, well, 21s are basically a type of exercise that are absolutely brutal, yet incredibly effective for working your biceps, which require you to perform 21 reps per set. To perform 21s, you will grab an EZ bar and add LESS weight than you would for performing regular curls. From here, you will perform 7 half curls, curling the bar up to just above your waist. Immediately after the 7th rep, you will lift the bar up to head height, and will lower it down to your upper waist before curling it back up to your face, again, for 7 reps. Finally, you will finish off by performing 7 regular curls, by which time your biceps will literally feel as if they’re ready to explode.