One of the most commonly heard requests asked of anyone who possesses any significant amount of size is always, “Make a muscle”. Chances are you have been asked to do this on occasion and if you have and decided to oblige, then you most likely flexed your biceps.
When people ask others to do this, they aren’t expecting you to shake your quad and stomp out your flaring sweep, they’re asking you to see your biceps and there’s a reason for this. Big, round, peaking and fully developed just seem to be the highlight of any physique for those who are on the outside of this sport looking in.
Low attaching lats, triceps that insert at the elbow or a blocked off chest won’t have the same appeal as a massive bicep will so to ensure you are always pleasing the crowds, here is a great blueprint for building biceps that you can include within your approach to growing huge and most importantly, impressive arms.
Lighten Up The Biceps
As fun as it is to move around massive amounts of weight and push things to their absolute strength’s limit, when it comes to training them, the lighter approach is the better approach. Sure, you can bang out rep after heavy rep on barbell curls or dumbbell curls, but essentially all you’ll end up doing is destroying your tendons and ligaments versus ensuring the type of necessary destruction needed at the muscle fiber level to induce hypertrophy.
Using a lighter (relatively speaking of course) weight whereby you can really focus on feeling the biceps stretch and squeeze, lengthen and contract all while working towards creating the biggest pump you can possibly get will prove to be more advantageous in your efforts if growth is what you’re after.
When you compare the actual size of the biceps to any of the bigger muscle groups that require heavier weights to trigger a positive response, it only makes sense to be using lighter loads.
So back off on the weight you’re using and instead increase the resistance you’re applying to your them by increasing the volume you use.
Increasing the volume within your biceps training doesn’t have to necessarily mean you’re looking at performing more reps per set per exercise. It could mean you’re including more exercises within that one set. One of the most beneficial strategies being used consistently by those who posses big biceps is an agonistic superset that will have you going from one biceps exercise to the next with no break in between.
This way you can still work within your favorite rep range for biceps but end up doing twice the amount of work by utilizing the two exercises back to back. Some of the best combinations you can use to achieve this type of training are low cable curls superset with standing barbell curls.
The next is seated simultaneous dumbbell curls superset with seated hammer curls. The third pairing is barbell preacher curls superset with machine preacher curls and the last one which seems to be a real favorite is standing front double biceps cable curls in the cable crossover machine superset with low cable curls using the same set up just dropping the handles down to the lowest setting. Give these combos a try and watch your biceps fill up!
Mix it Up
Finally, because your biceps are involved in so many of the other training sessions you’ll be doing, you have to keep them guessing to keep them growing. While there is something to be said about sticking with a drawn-up plan, as far as exercises go, when it comes to biceps it seems the more variation you can apply to them the better so try mixing things up every few weeks.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to switch out the exercises you’ve been using for new ones, it could simply mean you just change up your exercise sequence and do what you’ve been doing in reverse. It could be you change up those combinations and pair different exercises together.
Maybe you decide to put three or four exercises together in a giant set. Maybe you just change the angle you are training your biceps at or perhaps you do decide to incorporate some new exercises into your session.
All that matters here is you provide the biceps with a new stimulus to respond to so that you can avoid that ever annoying adaptation that can occur and you keep those mountain peaks growing.
If you’ve ever spoken to any number of people about biceps training you’ll find that there’s a split mix of opinions in regards to the importance of it. Some people absolutely love training biceps and the pump that comes along with it. Others could care less and have decided to put all of their energy into the bigger lifts like bench, squat and deadlift and figure as a byproduct of doing that work, their biceps get stimulated enough.
Regardless of where you’re at with this, it’s important to give the biceps some direct attention each week as they do play a very important role in many of the exercises you’ll perform throughout the week. But more important than that, the responsibility you have when asked to “Make a Muscle” should always be the driving force behind your blueprint for biceps training.
Author: Dana Bushell
Gym Star Team Member