A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Likewise, a solid physique is only as respectable as its weakest body part. For many lifters, because of their ego-driven lifting practices or an inability to adequately connect with the muscle group being trained, the biceps suffer from underdevelopment. Today we will address these inadequacies from training and recovery resource standpoints. First, however, let’s examine just why it is essential for us to focus so much upon biceps development in order to eliminate this muscle group as a weak area.
From a functional standpoint, you use the biceps in a support role in many of the bigger lifts that you complete. Watch how lame your barbell rows or overhand chins become if your biceps are poor. Your back will never enjoy the ultimate in muscular development because the biceps muscles will fail before the back muscles do. Sure, you can try to limp around the problem by using wrist wraps, but nothing can compensate for the actual contribution made by highly developed, strong and functional biceps muscles. Additionally, they are used in a support role for many chest and shoulder exercises. Any movement in which you are supporting, pulling or pressing the bar, the biceps are contracted and doing a great deal of work. Allow them to work better by ensuring they are fully developed.
In terms of your physique development, you aren’t going to lose too many shows if you have an amazing set of big and sculpted biceps. Sure, you have to keep the rest of the physique in order, of course. Judges love a nice pair of biceps - just as the fans, your co-workers, and girls you’re trying to impress at the beach do. Your biceps are visible in most poses, and any lack of development in this region will significantly impact any kind of win you’re like in the physique or bodybuilding show circuit. For a complete and well-balanced physique, a solid pair of biceps is a very important part!
Avoiding injury is another good reason to get your biceps up to par. If the weight you are using is too heavy, then you run the risk of injury. Any time you cannot complete 6 perfect repetitions with a given weight, then you need to reduce it by about 20 percent. If you train without a proper warm-up, then you are certainly asking for a biceps tear. You should always start your biceps training day with 5 to 10 minutes in the cardio area in order to move the blood around your body and get oxygen paced to the muscle fibers. Then, knock out 2 to 4 sets of biceps movements with lesser weight to fully prepare the area for the heavy lifting ahead.
First off, you will need to nail down your biceps training technique. In many exercises, cheating is not really all that possible. With others, you can shift your frame or use a bit of “Body English” to move the weight after your standard “perfect” form has proven to no longer be helpful for this purpose. Lower the dumbbell or barbell on each repetition. Don’t “drop” it in an uncontrolled manner. Rather, take a few seconds to benefit from the descent of the weight, using that negative portion of a lift for purposes of building functional strength. Keep your elbows locked. Keep your back straight. If your back is curling - then you’re not! Train with your back up against a wall if that will help you to remain honest. It’s acceptable to step forward and heave the weight a bit on repetitions number 10, 11, or 12. However, you need to stay honest with perfect form on your beginning 8 to 10 repetitions.
To specifically target the biceps muscles, most lifters will opt for one-arm isolation curls using a dumbbell. This will deliver in two ways. First off, the lifter will be able to achieve maximum concentration. A lot of lifters have smaller biceps (compared to the rest of their physique) because it can be very difficult to find that mind-muscle connection when it comes to biceps flexing. Since you have two arms, you’re always splitting up your attention. The other reason is that you will be able to reach the ultimate in intensity when training one biceps at a time. You can train the arm with partial repetitions or reduced weight (lighter dumbbells) once you fail initially. Failure on BOTH arms is usually not simultaneous, so one of the arms is always being stopped before reaching the ultimate intensity, and total failure. Training the biceps separately prevents this.
Feel matters a great deal if you wish to have highly developed biceps. It matters not what you’re writing in your training journal - how many reps with how many pounds you were able to curl. What matters in terms of actual muscle growth is how much of a mind-muscle connection you are able to achieve. This connection happens when you recruit the maximum number of muscle fibers - using slow, controlled repetitions that result in the best possible pump. Your veins should be sprouting out following each set, and the pump you should feel at the conclusion of each workout should be highly intense. You should “enjoy” soreness for days after a biceps workout if you’re doing it correctly - resulting in new growth following each training session.
Going past training references, you need to ensure you are covering all of your bases when it comes to recovery as well. You should be sleeping 8 hours each night and taking 60 to 90 minutes of true relax time each day. You should be consuming 30+ grams of protein, 5 to 7 times each day in order to provide your body with the amino acids required for ultimate muscle growth and recovery. You don’t have to live in the kitchen, but you do need to take your nutritional practices as seriously as you take your training!
The bottom line is that if you have weak biceps, then you simple are not connecting with them as you should be connecting with them. Go back to the drawing board. Use good form, slow repetitions, and sensible weight, and do anything possible to feel every single repetition. It’s easier than it looks. Leave the ego at home, and let your brain lead your body to much greater biceps development.