Because the biceps are a small muscle group relative to other muscles of the torso, I prefer to train them immediately following my back routine. The back training not only warms up the biceps but also “prefatigues” them, making it easier for you to drive them into the growth threshold. To review, here is my split:
Day 1: Chest, shoulders, triceps
Day 2: Back, biceps, abs
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Quads, hamstrings, calves
Day 5: Rest
Cycle begins again
Okay, back to biceps. Try this: Make a fist with your right hand, and curl it toward your shoulder as you turn your wrist inward, thumb up. Now turn that fist clockwise. That’s supination. As for the left hand, you turn it counterclockwise to supinate. Supinating makes for a harder contraction on your biceps.
Two other tips: Work through the full range of motion. Never sacrifice range of motion to use heavier weights. Also, lower the weight slowly to keep stress on the biceps during the eccentric, or negative, phase of the rep. Here’s my biceps workout:
Exercise 1: Concentration curls. No, that isn’t a typo. I’ve found that starting my biceps routine with a one-arm-at-a-time isolation exercise really helps me stimulate this muscle because the strict movement forces the biceps to work with little assistance from any other muscle group.
After warming up, perform three sets of 10 repetitions. On the last set reduce the weight and do another five reps without rest.
Tips: Place your elbow against the inside of the corresponding thigh. Keep your arm against your thigh throughout the movement. Curl the weight toward your shoulder in an arc, and squeeze at the top of the movement, supinating your wrist to get a fuller contraction.
Avoid: Cheating—no swinging the weight or not working throughout the entire range of motion, especially the lower half.
Exercise 2: EZ-curl-bar curls. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions. On the last set, reduce the weight and do another five reps without rest.
Tips: Use a grip that’s wide enough that your hands are on the outsides of your thighs. Bend slightly forward at the waist. Curl the weight in an arc while keeping your elbows fixed to your sides.
Avoid: Stopping the movement at the top or bottom of the exercise. Keep a steady motion.
Exercise 3: Preacher curls. Because these restrict movement of the upper arm at the bottom of the rep, it’s a great thickening movement for the lower biceps. Use them in lieu of barbell curls, at every other workout.
Perform three sets of 10 repetitions. On the last set reduce the weight and grind out another four reps without rest.
Tips: Keep your armpits against the pad, and focus on pulling with your biceps, not your deltoid or back muscles.
Avoid: Rocking excessively or leaning forward. Also, don’t hyperextend your elbows at the bottom of the exercise; stop just short of locking out. Lower slowly! To do otherwise is to risk a severe injury.
Exercise 4: Hammer curls. Many bodybuilders mistakenly overlook this exercise.Hammers really help to build the thickness of the biceps muscle group and top of the forearm by working the brachialis and brachio-radialus muscles.
Perform three sets of 10 repetitions. On the last set, reduce the weight and perform another four reps without rest.
Tips: Perform in an alternate fashion while keeping the face of the dumbbell forward (upwards) at all times. Raise and lower slowly, using constant tension.
Avoid: Swaying or rocking during this movement.
So there it is! I’m confident that you will start seeing nice gains in your arm development! Leave the “spaghetti arms” at home once and for all. This arm workout is guaranteed to pump you up and make your arms explode with growth. If it doesn’t sound like much, then it’s because it truly isn’t! By now you might be thinking, “Great, Lee, you’ve told us the program, but why does it work?” Here’s why it works:
Over the years, I have observed that the number-one problem facing trainees with a seeming inability to develop their arms is overtraining. Too much stimulation can be just as bad as too little. This particular arm workout is just the right amount. Try it and you’ll see. Follow this program along with my quality nutrition and supplementation program and you’ll be well on your way to building thick and powerful arms!
Editor’s note: For information on Labrada Nutrition products, visit Labrada.com.