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What Is The Best Biceps Exercises
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What Is The Best Biceps Exercises

Whenever I look in the mirror the first thing I look at is my arms, maybe I'm vein, but I just wish they were bigger. I've been weight training since I was 17 years old, now I'm 31 I'm happy with my arm size. I should of been happy in my 20's but I had this crazy idea that one day my arms were going to be 22"! Yeah, Right! Maybe If I injected myself with steroids that might be the case, I'm really glad that I stuck to it and never swayed towards them.

I remember when I was younger I always kept thinking and asking people at the the gym, what is the best biceps exercises? I was told to do barbell curls, dumbell curls, incline curls, preacher curls. You name it I tried it, not just one exercise for a few weeks but a different one every bloody week.

I wish I knew what I know now, because I would of defintley got to 18" alot quicker. Yes 18" arms, not bad for a natural.

In my many experiments finding out what is the best biceps exercises, I realised that its the triceps that give you the arm size not just the biceps. You see your triceps make up about 75% of your total arm mass and the rest is biceps.

I also found that your biceps can be overtrained really easily because they are only a small muscle group.

So what I decide to do was to keep my training simple, just like I do now. You see this day and age the whole bodybuilding scene has just revolved round people who take steriods, so the majority of routines have about 5 exercises for one bodypart and four sets of nemerous reps. The reason is, steriods allow you to recover very quickly, thats why the routines are very long.

How I kept it simple:

First thing you need to know is we just need the right amount of stimulation to encourage muscle growth, so always remember that.

If your natural the only way to grow through this stimulation is to overload that muscle and not force anymore out of that area.

This is the routine I used to get my arms big:

  1. Press-ups. Find a clear space on the floor, do 20 press-ups. Arms shoulder width apart, 2 seconds down 2 seconds up is the speed your looking for. This will warm up your triceps. If this is your first time weight training do as many as you can, rest 20seconds then continue till you hit 20 reps.
  2. Triceps Dips. Find a dip bar, grasp both handles to support yourself. Straighten your arms, you should now be hanging with arms straight and your body straight. With one smooth movement lower yourself, keeping your body erect (helps by looking forward) till your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Then with a big explosion thrust yourself back upto the starting position. Do 3 sets of 8 reps. Beginners you might have to climb back upto the starting position and concentrate on lowering yourself till you are strong enough to do the movement in one. When all sets can be done with ease start to add weight to a belt. Overloading the triceps is key.
  3. Tricep pushdown. Find a cable machine and fit a straight bar to the cable. Standing facing the bar grasp it with just short of shoulder width grip (about 7-8inch grip) keeping your body straight, upper arms locked to your sides. Push the cable down till you feel a tight squeeze in your triceps, return your arms till they touch you upper arms, this which fully stretches the triceps. Do 3 sets of 8 reps. Once all sets are done with ease then you can go up a weight.
  4. Overhead dumbell extensions. You can do these either standing or sitting its upto you. Grasp a dumbell, not to heavy one that will allow you to do at least 12 reps with. Raise your arm straight and directly above you with the dumbell in your hand, In a smooth controlled manner, keeping your upper arm straight lower the dumbell just behind your head, feel the stretch and return back to starting position. do 1 set on each arm to failure. Your tricep will feel like they wanna pop!

Rest 5mins, then onto biceps

  1. Barbell curls. These bad boys put real mass on your biceps. Grasp a barbell with wider than shoulder width grip, Upper arms locked by your sides, curl the barbell upto your chin but remembering to keep your upper arms locked by your sides at all times. Squeeze your bicep then lower the barbell all the way till the bicep is full stretched. I hardly ever see this being done in the gym but its the correct way if you want impressive biceps. 3 sets of 8 reps. The reason I ask you to take a wider than shoulder width grips is because it stresses the outer leaf (outer head of the bicep), the bit everybody sees. So when someone is looking at you from the side they will defintley not miss your arms.
  2. Alternate Dumbell curls. This exercise will stress all heads of the biceps because you will be rotating your wrists as you curl the weight. Stand up, arms by your side, dumbell in each, palms facing in. curl one arm, keeping your upper arm locked by your side. While you curl rotate your wrist so by the time you reach the top your palm will be facing you, also feeling a nice squeeze in your bicep. lower and repeat with the other arm. 3 sets of 8 reps.
  3. Cable curls. Find a cable machine with the cable coming from the floor. Attach a straight bar to the cable. Bend down and pick up the bar. you will feel constant tension in your bicep. Awesome finishing exercise to ram some blood into your biceps. Same movement as barbell curls, and remember to keep upper arms locked by your side, and when you curl up squeeze for 3 seconds. 1 set to failure. Find a weight that will allow you to do at least 12 reps. Feel the burn!

This was the exact routine I used to put some size on my arms very quickly. The first 2 exercises for the biceps and triceps overload the muscle, then the last exercise for each muscle pumps them full of blood just to make sure you have split all the muscle fibres ready to repair and grow!

I trained my arms on their own day, so I could fully concentrate on them. I did this routine for 8 weeks, some of you may find 6 weeks is enough. But 8 weeks is comfortable for me I don't get bored.

Remember. Note all your poundages or kg's down that you lift, if you completed all reps and sets easily. Then you know next time to put some more weight on the bar.


Street Talk

I do mostly compound movements these days for efficiency but I used to like french presses for the tri's and good old chin ups for biceps.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I've been doing a chins for a few months now and found I have some real hardness to my biceps, more than Ive ever had from using free weights. Compounds are number one and I totally agree for efficiency, I just wish beginners would see the importance of compounds early in their training. How long have you been training for Mark?

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I'm an old guy. Been training in some capacity for 40+ years

  
  about 6 years ago
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