Bigger Biceps For Beginners - The Smart Way To Train Your Biceps.

To increase your arm size in the shortest time possible it is important that you stick to the basics. By basics, I mean the lifts that will give you the most return on your investment. Don't waste your time on non-productive movements...

Ever notice someone with a great physique in a crowded store or walking down a busy sidewalk. People notice. Heads turn in attention as people look on with admiring glances. And then the whispered comment follows. "Did you see the arms on that guy?"

It's as inevitable as the sunrise. A quality physique is a well earned trophy that you can carry with you everywhere you go but its large muscular arms that steal the show.

Where do you fit into this picture? Are you the one with the bulging biceps or the one who looks on with envy? If you are the one who is looking on with envy then this article is for you. I'm going to tell you how to fill out your shirt sleeves like a snake that has just swallowed a cow.


Let's Get Started

To increase your arm size in the shortest time possible it is important that you stick to the basics. By basics, I mean the lifts that will give you the most return on your investment. Don't waste your time on non-productive movements like 90 percent of the other people in the gym.

These are the same people who have little or no gains to show for the time that they spend there. Then, when they see how well you are doing they will accuse you of being on steroids. Just accept it as a complement and keep lifting.

The first basic lift that you will need to focus on is the standing barbell curl. This can be preformed with either an easy-curl bar or a straight bar. While the easy-curl bar has angled grips to emphasize bicep peak, either bar is fine.

Joint Troubles?
If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from chronic joint pain when you hit the gym, first make sure you are not making any of the most common mistakes outlined in the beginning of this article...
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, grab the bar with a grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. Begin with a weight that you can comfortably move for 12 to 15 repetitions. Start with the weight lowered nearly to your legs but do not let your arms hang straight down. To fully lock out the arms will create too much stress on your joints.

Now, with a steady and controlled motion, bring the weight up until your biceps are in a fully contracted position. Do not swing the weight or arch your back. While swinging the weight is a form of cheating that will allow you to lift heavier weights, it will only increase the size of your ego, not your arms. Therefore, use proper form at all times.

Now, lower the weight in a controlled motion until your arms are nearly down to your hips but not fully locked out. Repeat this movement for the required 12 to 15 repetitions. If this is too difficult to do, reduce the amount of weight so that you can complete the entire number of reps. If it is too easy, don't cheat yourself, increase the weight. While this is a warm up set, the last few reps should still be challenging.

After you have completed this set, rack the weight and get a drink of water. Actually, you should have a bottle of water with you. You need to take about a minute to a minute and a half to rest before beginning your next set. This allows time for your muscles to replenish their glycogen reserves in order to have energy for the next set. Use this time to load more weights on the bar.

For this next set, you want an amount of weight that you can perform for 8 to 12 repetitions. Once again, form is critical. You will build muscle faster and have fewer injuries while using proper form. This is true for any exercise. Get to know your limits. For this set you will use a closer grip on the bar with your hands approximately 6 inches apart.

Form For Fitness: Are You Using Proper Form?
What is the correct way to train, and how do you sort through so much information, some of it apparently conflicting? While it would be impossible to discuss all aspects of proper form for every possible exercise, this article will try to address...
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As above, adjust the amount of weight as necessary to make this a truly challenging set. After you have completed your 8 to 12 reps, rack the weight, take a sip of water if desired and begin to set the bar up for your third set.

This next set will be heavier than the last using an amount of weight that you can lift for only 5 to 8 repetitions. For this set, you will return to the shoulder width grip. Are you serious about getting massive arms? Then be sure that you are reaching positive failure before you rack the weight. Positive failure means that you simply cannot perform another repetition of the exercise with good form without assistance.

Positive Failure -
This means that you simply cannot perform another repetition of the exercise with good form without assistance.

Many people give up on a set long before they have reached failure and wonder why they cannot make gains. Read this carefully and understand it. Few things of value come without effort.

Exercise Of The Week: Barbell Curls.
In this new section on Bodybuilding.com called Exercise Of The Week, we will pick one exercise and break it down into every possible way...
You have to work for this. The important thing is that when you do this correctly, you will be making gains while others around you are simply going through the motions. Now, after you have completed the third set, rack the weight and reduce the amount of weight on the bar by approximately 40%.

On this last set, return to the close grip with your hands about 6" apart. With this new, lighter weight, perform one last set to absolute failure. Move the weight somewhat faster than before while deliberately flexing the bicep as much as possible during every rep.

The number of repetitions preformed here is not as important as reaching absolute positive failure. When you are done, rack the weight. By now you should have a serious burn starting in you biceps. Your vascularity should be somewhat enhanced and your muscles should be full and pumped.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is just the beginning...


The Workouts

Using proper gym etiquette, take care of the weights and get ready for your next movement.

Some people would be satisfied at this point and call it a day on their biceps. While they're heading to the locker room, you will be reaching for the dumbbells. You're reading this because you want impressive arms, right? Well no one is going to give them to you, you have to earn them so let's keep going. Using the principles that we have outlined above, the rest of the workout will looks like this.

Standing Barbell Curls

    Set 1 - Shoulder width grip. (12-15 reps)
    Set 2 - Close grip. (8-12 reps)
    Set 3 - Shoulder width grip. (5-8 reps)
    Set 4 - Close grip. (until failure)

NOTE: Drop weight by 40% for the last set.

Dumbbell Curls

    Set 1 - Alternating each side. (12-15 reps)
    Set 2 - Alternating each side. (8-12 reps)
    Set 3 - Alternating each side. (5-8 reps)
    Set 4 - Alternating each side. (until failure)

NOTE: Drop weight by 40% for the last set.

Concentration Curls

    Set 1 - Alternating sides. (10-15 reps)
    Set 2 - Alternating sides. (8-10 reps)
    Set 3 - Alternating sides. (until failure)

NOTE: Drop weight by 40% for the last set.

Tricep Pushdowns

    Set 1 - Close grip. (12-15 reps)
    Set 2 - Close grip. (8-12 reps)
    Set 3 - Close grip. (5-8 reps)
    Set 4 - Close grip. (until failure)

NOTE: Drop weight by 40% for the last set.

Dips

    Set 1 - Shoulder width grip. (until failure)
    Set 2 - Shoulder width grip. (until failure)
    Set 3 - Shoulder width grip. (until failure)

NOTE: Drop weight by 40% for the last set.

Scull Crushers

    Set 1 - Shoulder width grip. (8-12 reps)
    Set 2 - Shoulder width grip. (5-8 reps)
    Set 3 - Shoulder width grip. (until failure)

NOTE: Drop weight by 40% for the last set.

Click here for a printable workout log.

Important Notes:

If you're serious about building your arms then don't stop here, you need to read the rest of this article!

While this program emphasizes the biceps, we have included the triceps as well. Think about it. There are three heads to the triceps and together they make up the majority of the bulk in your upper arm. It is possible to have large biceps and still have small arms. In bodybuilding, symmetry is critical so be sure to balance out each body part.

Next, perform the above workout no more than twice a week.

For instance, after you have completed the workout above, wait at least two days before doing it again. While weight training provides the catalyst for muscle growth, actual growth itself takes place during the rest period between workouts.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that more is better. Overtraining the same muscle before it has had a chance to recover is extremely counterproductive.

A Word About Nutrition

In bodybuilding, nutrition is every bit as important as weight training. You can lift weights until the sun goes down but if you do not feed your muscles properly they will never grow. All successful bodybuilders consume large amounts of protein.

It is the building material that our muscles use to repair themselves and create new muscle tissue. Most bodybuilders will consume a minimum of 2.2 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. This should be divided into 5 to 6 small meals consumed throughout the day.

Calculate Your Protein Needs

Body Weight:
Protein Intake (grams):


Last Words

The above program is only part of an overall fitness plan. In future articles we will discuss other body parts as well as how to develop your overall physique. At surface level, bodybuilding appears to be a simple pursuit. After all, how much intelligence does it take to lift weights? The answer is that it takes a lot if you plan to be successful at it.

Train Hard and don't take Fitness Lightly!

Thanks,