When starting a musclebuilding program, one of the key body parts that most people put a large focus on is the biceps. It tends to be one of the highly noticeable muscle groups, and if you have nice biceps, people will know that you’re on top of your game. To achieve bigger and better biceps, here are the do’s and don’ts.
1. Overtraining Your Arms
For some reason, many lifters feel the need to work out their arms five times a week to see bigger gains. What they fail to see is that with almost every exercise you do, you’re hitting these muscles regardless. With that said, there is no need to work out your arms every single day; it’s a small muscle and you won’t see any growth unless you rest them.
2. Neglecting Other Muscles
Ever notice that guy at the gym that works every part of his body except his legs? That’s where the term “chicken legs” comes from. The same can go for those who neglect other muscles and just focus on their arms. You will definitely see results, but I can promise you that you will look funny because your body will be out of proportion.
3. Not Consuming Enough Food
Don’t expect to have 18” biceps if you only weigh 120 lbs. Like any other part of your body, you need to gain weight if you want to see bigger muscle.
How to Build Bigger Arms
You’ll never achieve bigger arms as long as you’re underweight. No matter how many biceps curls you do, the key to building bigger arms is to increase your overall muscle mass first by getting stronger and eating like a king.
1. Eat More
Think of it this way, would you be able to build a house if you have the blueprints and the construction workers but no raw materials? Absolutely not! Muscle deals with the same concept. It’s not going to magically appear; it requires the right amount of nutrients in order for it to grow. This means sufficient amounts of protein, carbs and fat. If you don’t consume enough food, your body won’t be able to use calories for repair and growth. You can do biceps curls until your arms completely give out, but without excess calories, resistance training won’t give you the rock hard arms that you’re looking for.
To do that, you’re going to need to do a lot of meal prepping. But if you want an easier way to gain the necessary calories, try MASS-TECH® EXTREME 2000. It contains over 2,000 calories per serving when mixed with 20 oz. skim milk. In an 8-week study, subjects consuming a high-protein diet containing approximately 2,300 calories and performing a weightlifting program added 2,000 calories to their regimen and gained an average of 6.8 lbs. compared to just 1.3 lbs. from controlled subjects (1).
Mass Tech has more protein, better calories, and bigger results.
2. Get Stronger
If you’re not seeing any gains in your arm size or strength, chances are you’ve become too comfortable with your routine and are no longer challenging yourself in the gym. One way to fix that is to alter your rep scheme.
For example, let’s say that you’re stuck on 110 lbs. on the EZ-bar curl, a weight that you can easily bang out 10 reps with. Rather than do another set with the same weight, why not add an extra 15 lbs. to it. Chances are you’ll only be able to lift 5 to 6 reps with it, but you’ve now applied a different stimulus to your biceps with a heavier load. You can take that new load and try to increase your rep max; that’s how you’ll build bigger muscle. While you’re at it, try taking Amino Build® Next Gen. It’s formulated with the exact 4g dose of leucine shown in a clinical study conducted (at a leading international university) to help subjects increase their 5-rep max strength by over 40% in 12 weeks (2).
Here’s A Tip
Now that you know the precautions to take to ensure your biceps will grow, implementing these exercises into your workout regimen will help you develop the best biceps you can.
1. Barbell Curl
This exercise allows you to overload your biceps with heavy weight. It’s very important though to focus more on the form and not the weight when doing this exercise, so you’re not cutting yourself short. The most common mistake with this exercise is using heavy weight and allowing the momentum to cause you to lean backward when you’re pulling the bar up. The way to approach this exercise is to do it in a slow manner that allows you to put higher intensity into your biceps.
2. Incline Dumbbell Curl
This exercise is fantastic, especially for those who struggle to keep their back straight when doing the barbell curl. Unlike the barbell exercise, this one may require you to use lower weight because you’ll feel maximum tension on the belly of the biceps. Don’t feel discouraged and don’t stray away from proper form. Stay consistent and maintain proper form for better results.
3. Standing Biceps Cable Curl
With this exercise, you’ll be able to target the deep-tissue muscle fibers in your biceps. Because the movement with this exercise is less stable because of the tension caused by the cable, all the The Do’s and Don’ts for Bigger Biceps stabilization muscles surrounding the biceps will be called upon to help you execute the exercise.
4. Concentration Curl
This exercise is considered the toughest but most rewarding exercise. If done while sitting, it reduces the momentum in the execution of the exercise, placing all the emphasis on the biceps. Also, there are no stabilizing muscles called in to help with this exercise, so it makes for the perfect way to end your workout.
1. Rozenek et al., 2002. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 42(3):340-7.