3 Tricks for Bigger Biceps
Guns, pipes, pythons, whatever you want to call them – big biceps command respect. And what guy doesn’t want huge arms? I haven’t met him yet, considering the waves of dudes ripping curls in the front of the mirror on a daily basis.
Luckily, biceps exercises aren’t complicated. Pick up a weight, curl it ‘til your arms scream for mercy, rinse and repeat. High fives all around! That is, unless you can’t lift your arms from that crazy pump.
As simple as biceps curls can be, plenty of people mess them up. Here are three tricks to get huge guns in record time.
1. GO LIGHT AND SLOW DOWN!
I’m a powerlifter at heart, so I’m all for lifting heavy. There’s no faster way to get bigger and stronger than to add pounds to the bar. But some muscles, like the biceps, don’t react well to heavy weights.
That’s because they’re actually a really small muscle group. Compared to your back, your chest or your legs, the biceps are tiny. So to get your arms to grow, you’ve got to slow down your reps and make the most of lighter weight.
Using slower reps increases the amount of time your muscles are working, leading to bigger gains. So instead of heaving the weight to the top and immediately letting the weight fall back down, try this:
This way, a single rep takes eight seconds and a set of 10 reps takes 80 seconds! That’s a lot of time for a muscle to work. The guy who flings the weight up and lets it crash down might only do five seconds of work of 10 reps compared to 80 seconds. Who do you think is going to grow bigger arms?
2. DO MORE CHIN-UPS
Chin-ups are an extremely underrated exercise for bigger biceps. Everyone should do chin-ups for the upper back gains alone, but the right grip can pump up your arms just as well as any curl.
The next time you jump up to the chin-up bar, try this:
I guarantee this will smoke your biceps along with your lats and upper back. Give it a try.
3. KEEP YOUR PALMS UP
The biceps are most active when the palms are turned up toward the ceiling. That said, why on earth do most people start each rep of dumbbell curls with their palms facing their sides? And why do they turn their palms toward the ground when they lower the weight?
Did you know that not keeping the palms up takes all the tension of the biceps, making the exercise almost useless?
It’s sad but true, but there’s an easy fix: keep your palms up the whole time! Imagine you’re holding a cup of soup in your palm and you don’t want to let it spill on the floor. Check out the video below for an example:
Add these three tricks to your next arm workout and I promise you’ll get a biceps pump unlike anything you’ve experienced before. In fact, next time you hit the gym, try this sample workout:
A1. Chin-Ups: 4 sets of 8 reps
B1. EZ Bar Curls: 4 sets of 10 reps
B2. Dumbbell Hammer Curls: 4 sets of 10 reps per arm
C1. EZ Bar Preacher Curls: 3 sets of 8 reps
C2. Incline Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets of 12 reps
C3. Cable Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 15 reps
Exercises with the same letter (e.g. B1 and B2) are performed back-to-back with no rest. So for B1 and B2, do one set of EZ Bar Curls, immediately do a set of Dumbbell Hammer Curls, rest, and go back to the EZ Bar Curls.
Do this workout twice per week for four weeks and let me know how your shirt sleeves fit!
Train on Purpose