biceps also known as biceps brachii is one of the most popular
muscle groups maybe because it's highly associated with bodily
strength. At the gym, you'll see many people working on their
biceps. Actually if you want to build your biceps, you need the
correct biceps workout and exercise to really blast them to optimum
growth. You need to train them hard and feel the biceps squeezed
and stretched and of course the muscle burn.
If you want
to add mass in your biceps, you have to lift weights heavy enough
to allow you to perform in the 6-10 repeat range. It's important
to know that the biceps is a small muscle and doesn't need many
sets of exercises. The recommended range is between 6-9 sets.
Most back exercises like bent over rows, pull ups, lat pull down
and seated cable rows for instance involve the biceps as well
so if you work your biceps separately too much, you can overtain
them. Overtraining can impede muscle growth. Your muscles grow
not when you're training them but when you're at home resting
and recovering. What you get from your biceps workout is the pump
initially. Your biceps will become bigger temporarily.
When you have
a proper nutrition consisted primarily of high-protein food which
gives your body the nutrients it needs to build muscles, your
biceps will really develop in size now. And if you are consistent
in your training, nutrition and rest, your gains will be consistent
too. You can also get bigger gains with time since your strength
increases when you're able to lift heavier and heavier and as
a result, you'll have bigger muscles. At the same time, your nutrition
will change like you need to get more protein intake per meal
to adapt to your growing body gradually. This is how with time,
a person can change for example from 150 pounds to 180 pounds.
A 150 pound person needs approximately 150 g of protein per day,
hence when you're gaining weight, you need to adjust your meals
too. The final result is a bigger body with more muscles.
So now, how
do you build your biceps? Here is a common sample biceps workout
with several exercises.
This is the
most popular biceps exercise performed with a barbell which will
really add mass in your biceps. Usually performed while standing,
grab a barbell about shoulder width palms up and lift it towards
your chest slowly until you can feel the biceps squeezed. Then
lower the barbell slowly till about 90 degrees or lower. Repeat.
Do 3 sets of 6-10 repeats.
is also a favorite exercise among body builders. Performed with
two dumbbells either standing or seated, grab two dumbbells one
in each hand palms inside like facing each other with your arms
aligned to your body. Lift one up towards your chest slowly till
you can feel the biceps squeezed, then release slowly to the initial
position. Then lift the next one. This is called alternate dumbbell
curls. You can also perform this exercise with both your arms
lifting up simultaneously. Do 3 sets of 6-10 repeats for each
is also an interesting exercise which really trains the biceps.
It can be performed on an inclined bench at about 45 degrees or
the preacher curl equipment itself. We will take the inclined
bench as example. Go behind the inclined bench with a barbell
in your hands and place your arms on it fully stretched out. Your
arms will be in a descending position. Next, lift the barbell
slowly towards your chest, then release it to the initial position.
Repeat. You can also do it one arm at a time with one dumbbell.
Do 3 sets of 6-10 repeats.
Sit at the
corner of a bench. Slightly inclined forward and downward, grab
a dumbbell and position your elbow about knee height inside your
legs. Your elbow will rest against your legs near your knee. Your
forearms will be inclined downward(not touching the floor) with
the dumbbell in your hand and upper arms and elbow locked. Now,
lift the dumbbell and squeeze your biceps, then release. Do 3
sets of 6-10 repeats for each arm.
All these exercises also target your forearms as secondary muscles.
Tip: Keep your upper arms as static as possible during
the movement and train your biceps once or twice per week maximum.
If you do it twice weekly, allow 4 days from each workout eg Biceps
- Monday, Friday.
With the above
biceps exercises along with proper nutrition and rest, you'll
developed a pair of well-defined, muscular and massive biceps
which commands attention.
About the author
Jean Lam is the webmaster of Body
Building Resource which provides articles on weight training,
nutrition and fitness, body building book and DVDs.