If you are like most men, you have two simple goals in training. These are large pectoral (chest) muscles and a large bicep. And if you are a woman, most likely that toned & defined arms have always been high on your priority list. Well, if you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you either do not have a bicep that you still want, or are just looking for new training programs for your arm muscles, including the bicep muscles. We have good news for you: we can help you.
Basic Knowledge of Anatomy of the Biceps
When most of gym rats speak of biceps, they most likely mean the muscle known as the biceps brachii muscle. It is a muscle that consists of two heads. This muscle can be loaded with most bicep exercises. But that is not all. If you want to get delicious arm muscles, however, there is another muscle connected to the biceps that you need to know about. This muscle is called the biceps brachialis, it is under the biceps brachii. Its main function is to help in the elbow bend. It provides two important points:
1) If this muscle is well developed in the athlete, it provides a visible separation between the muscles of the biceps and triceps, which positively affects the appearance of the hands.
2) It increases the increase in the muscle of the biceps and provides a good “peak” of the biceps. Therefore, if you like to measure the circumference of the hand, you need to pay attention to this muscle.
You might be also interested in the shoulder muscles anatomy & workouts. We wrote about this in our article about the same day with shoulders.
Basic Principles of Effective Biceps Workout
There are many scientific and unscientific concepts about which training methods are better suited for developing biceps muscles. Some experts believe that a person should concentrate on performing a large number of repetitions and literally “burn” the muscles of the biceps. Other experts believe that it is best to train the biceps several times a week to ensure proper and periodic loading. Another group of people says that athletes should not train their biceps separately, instead they need to focus on complex multi-joint exercises such as pull-ups and bench presses. But we analyzed the theory and practice and can provide the following basic principles of training the biceps:
- The majority of athletes in bodybuilding are recommended to do biceps workout on a single day (it is possible in conjunction with another group of muscles, for example, with the chest). Of course, a heavy back training will train the biceps, but it may not be enough to get a good muscle definition and size as most gym rats want.
- Heavy exercises (curls) with a barbell or dumbbells are the best exercises for mass and strength of the biceps. It is a scientifically proven fact that has been tested by millions of people. Exercises with cable cars and high-repetition exercises can be included in your routine, but, unfortunately, they are not able to replace basic exercises with free weights.
- For most athletes, one bicep training for a week will be enough (this applies not to beginners, but to more or less experienced athletes, beginners can either not train the biceps or do light biceps training twice a week as part of their upper body workouts).
An important part of your workout plan for big biceps is the total number of repetitions that you make during the week. It is very important to know the following rule: the more weight on the bar or dumbbells, the less you can do the repetitions every week, without exposing yourself to the risk of overtraining, which is fraught with worsening progress and even cold diseases. This is especially true for multi-joint movements, such as squats and bench presses – the harder you work, the more time your body needs for proper recovery (you can use BCAA to recover faster). People who are professionally trained advise the following pattern of training biceps by volume of repetitions per week. When you work with heavy weights (about 85 percent of a one-time maximum), the optimal volume appears to be 60-70 reps every week. This can be applied not only to training the biceps but also to training other major muscle groups. Why is that? You should keep in mind that your bicep works well during the pull-ups that you do during your killer back workout. For example, if you perform 70 pull-ups with weight (or lat pulldowns), then another 60 repetitions of training the biceps are probably too much.
Well, now that you have a basic knowledge of bicep training, let’s look at the best biceps exercises.
Bicep Workout for Mass – Best Exercises
Here are excellent exercises that may be used as a part of bicep workout for mass.
- Barbell Curl. Take the bar in your hands. Take a deep breath, hold your breath and, bending your arms in the elbows, raise the bar to the level of the top of the chest. While lifting the bar, do not move your elbows, keep them on the sides of the body and do not bend your hands at the wrists. As soon as the brushes are at the level of the top of the chest, make a pause, exhale and contract your biceps even more. Then lower the bar and repeat the movement.
- E-Z Bar Biceps Curl. Stand up straight, holding an EZ-bar with a wide grip. Palms should be faced forward, elbows should be pressed to the trunk. This will be your starting position. On exhalation, perform the bending of the arms (biceps curls). Keep the part of the arm from elbow to shoulder immovable. The movement should continue until the biceps are in full contraction (until the bar is at shoulder level). Take a short pause, straining your muscles. On inhalation, slowly lower the bar to its original position. Perform the necessary number of repetitions.
- Alternating Dumbbell Curl. Stand up straight. Take dumbbells in each hand. Your arms should be lowered down, your elbows should be pressed to the sides of the chest. The palms should be faced inwards. This will be your initial position. On exhalation, bend the right arm, lifting the dumbbell. The part of the arm from the elbow to the shoulder must remain fixed. Only your forearm and biceps muscles should work. The movement should continue until the biceps is completely contracted, that is until the arm with the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Take a short pause, maximally contracting your muscles. On inhalation, slowly lower your hand to the starting position. Here’s a tip: do not forget to turn your wrist in such a way that your palm also returns to its original position. Repeat the motion with your left hand. Two movements constitute one rep. Perform the necessary number of repetitions. For instance, this may be 10 reps for each arm (20 reps in total).
- Hammer Dumbbell Curl. The hammer is an exercise on the brachial muscle, the humerus and the lateral part of the biceps. It seriously increases the shoulder and biceps in the volume: the exercise influences and thickens not only the biceps, but also the brachialis, the muscle under the biceps. When the brachialis grows, the biceps also develops. Exercise is very suitable for those who complex because of too thin forearms in relation to the shoulders. It perfectly loads the humerus muscle, due to which the forearm grows. Take dumbbells in your hands. The palms should look at each other. Your grip should be medium. Straighten, slightly bend the lower back and put your arms down to your hips. Take a breath. Having fixed elbows, lift one of dumbbells to a shoulder. Exhaling, lower the dumbbell down, contracting your bicep. Now do the same movements with the other hand and so on until the end of the set. Perform the necessary number of repetitions.
- Chin-Up. Chin-up is an effective basic exercise, stressing the load on the biceps. It is perfectly suited for both the development of the musculature of the biceps, and for increasing the overall strength and endurance. You need to grasp the bar with a reverse grip, that is, face your palms to yourself. For effective work of the biceps, your elbows should move along the body and do not go far to the sides during the exercise. Grabbing the bar in the above manner, slightly bend your arms in the elbows to feel the contraction in the biceps. Legs can be crossed or bent at the knees, you can choose the most suitable option for you. The main thing is that they should not simply hang out. This is the starting position. Take a deep breath and on exhalation tighten the chest to the crossbar. Chin should be raised above its level (as you can see, “chin-up” name describes this feature of the exercise). The abdominal muscles should be contracted, and the body should not swing. At the upper point, hold for 1-2 seconds and slowly drop down on exhalation. It is very important: do not throw the body down, you should sink slowly and under control. Try to avoid jerks, and control every moment of your movement. At the bottom point, do not unbend the arms completely. Repeat the exercise as many times as you need. Go down from the horizontal bar, gently stepping on the floor, without a jump. Proper technique is a very important thing. Breaking the exercise rules, an athlete not only risks his / her health, but also reduces the effectiveness of training to a minimum. After all, you need to load the biceps effectively, not the broadest muscle of the back. At every opportunity, the back will pull the load on itself, while the biceps will not receive the necessary load.
Here’s a tip: If you want your muscles to grow faster, you can use anabolic steroids, for example, Sustanon, Trenbolone, Winstrol, and testosterone propionate. You can read about these steroids and their side effects on our website. If you do not want to use these drugs, you can use natural supplements, which are completely safe for health. First and foremost, we mean creatine, protein powders, Korean ginseng, and Tribulus Terrestris.
Outer Bicep Workout vs Inner Bicep Workout
What is the difference between outer bicep workout and inner bicep workout? To achieve good peaks, you should train both outer & inner parts. According to Livestrong, rotating the arm bone outward more strongly engages the inner bicep while turning the arm bone inward focuses on the outer bicep during dumbbell curls. Therefore, your workouts should be complex and include different exercises at different angles.