When most people think of big muscles, they think of big, defined biceps. Sure, these aren’t the ONLY muscles a bodybuilder wants to develop, but they’re certainly one of the most important. After all, have you ever seen a successful bodybuilder who DIDN’T have great biceps?
So, how do you build your biceps the right way? Just follow these 3 tips:
1. Get the most out of your workout
There is a near-endless array of exercises you can do to give your biceps a workout, but if you want to make the most out of your time, you need to focus on exercises that work on both the long and short heads at the same time. (The short head is the fancy name for the outer part of your biceps, and the long head is the fancy name for the inner part.) The best “multi-tasking” exercises for your biceps are curls — with either barbells or dumbbells — because they’ll build bulk for both parts of your biceps.
Those fancy cable machines you see won’t build bulk. Instead, they’re designed to give your biceps more definition. So, don’t bother using them until you’ve gotten the bulk you want. Then, you can use them to “finish off” your biceps.
2. Don’t overtrain
Because bodybuilding seems to revolve around biceps (ask someone to make a muscle, and they’ll flex their biceps!), lots of people want to work on them continuously until they’re perfect. Unfortunately, that plan can actually ruin your chances for success!
If you’ve only been bodybuilding for a couple of months, don’t do more than 6 bicep sets. Even if you’re a bodybuilding veteran, you should never do more than 12 sets. Biceps are smaller than other muscles — like your quadriceps or your lats — so if you put too much stress on them, it can actually reverse your progress.
3. Work slowly
If you curl as fast as you can, you’re not getting full benefit of the workout. The contraction is actually the most important part of the curl, because it offers the most resistance against both heads of your biceps. Rush through it, and momentum will take over — meaning that your biceps won’t get the workout you think they’re getting!
The next time you do a curl, do it slowly. Give yourself a couple of seconds to bring the weight up, then hold your arm in the contraction position for a second or two, and then give yourself a couple of seconds to bring the weight back down. That way, you can get the full benefit out of the limited number of sets you’re doing!