If you're anything like me, then you are sick of looking in the mirror and seeing thin, scrawny biceps.
Every morning I would wake up and see these toothpicks dangling from my shoulders. Face it: biceps are the muscle that classifies you as a muscle man. It shouldn't be, but it is.
In this article, I will explain how I managed to put on two and a half inches to my arms. I still have about four more inches to go to reach my goal of twenty-inch biceps.
At first, I did what any inexperienced weightlifter does: I trained biceps every other day. At first this worked, as I added a half-inch, but I my growth leveled off shortly after.
The only reason that training every other day worked was because at first anything and everything is better than nothing. After your body adjusts however, you need to as well.
What I realized first was that my overtraining was creating a catabolic environment.
| What Does Catabolic Mean?
Catabolic refers to the metabolic process that is characterized by molecular breakdown and energy release, such as the decrease of muscle mass. Thus, it means "muscle loss" in many common bodybuilding contexts.
Yeah, it worked at first - but once my muscles were adjusted to lifting, change was needed. I realized that I also needed to change up exercises and how I lifted.
I always worked towards the higher end of the rep range (12-15 reps). After researching, I discovered that muscle groups need at least 48 to 72 hours to recover and most people only need to work muscle groups once per week. I created my new training splits based on this knowledge and some experimentation.
Weekly Training Splits
|Justin's Weekly Training Splits.|
If you want to prioritize a body part, put it towards the beginning of your weekly training split. For example, I lift back and biceps on Monday, my first day of training for the week.
Since I want to build impressive arms, I train biceps twice per week, but I do two different routines, and only after adequate (3-4 days) rest.
On Monday, I lift heavy. I stay within a low rep range (6-8 reps) after a warm-up set of 12 reps. I like to complete compound, mass building exercises first when my energy to lift heavy is the highest.
Monday's Mass Building Exercises for biceps are:
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Monday.
I include two mass builders at the beginning of my workout. In my opinion, barbell curls are the king of big biceps. I do these every mass building biceps workout and I recommend using a cambered bar to relieve stress on the wrists.
| What Does Cambered Mean?
Having a slightly arched surface (curved upward in the middle).
I start my first heavy set at 10 reps to get the blood flowing. After 10 reps I load 20 or so more pounds on the bar and complete a set of 8 reps. I then proceed to add 10 to 20 pounds (depending on how I feel) and complete a set of 6. Then I finish the exercise by taking off 10 pounds and completing a final set of 8 reps.
After the barbell curl, I grab some dumbbells and start my next exercise: Dumbbell Concentration Curls.
I jump right into a set of 8 reps followed by a set of 6 and a final set of 8. After this it is on to my final lift of the day, Preacher Curls.
I follow the same 3 set pattern that I do for the concentration curls.
I then wait 3 to 4 days until I directly train biceps again. On Thursday (the next biceps workout) I train legs and biceps. On this day I focus not on mass building, but shaping.
I use a higher rep range (10-12) but do not go higher than 12. Every rep after 12 is for calorie burning and has no effect on muscle building. I only go higher than 12 reps if I am trying to cut-up and need to burn the extra calories.
For Thursday's shaping focus, the three exercises that I like to use are:
- Alternating Dumbbell Curls
- Hammer Curls
- Alternating Dumbbell Curls on an Inclined Bench (45 degrees)
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Thursday.
I complete 3 sets of 12 repetitions for each exercise.
Remember to supinate your wrists on every lift on this day except for the Hammer Curls. This will ensure that you hit both of the heads of the biceps muscle, which will create the definition that you see on the Pros' biceps (Kevin Levrone, for example).
| What Does Supinate Mean?
To turn or rotate the hand or forearm so that the palm faces up or forward, and the back of the hand is downward or backward.
The last thing to remember when attempting to build huge biceps is nutrition.
To add an inch to your biceps, you need to gain 10 quality pounds. Remember to eat your 0.8 to 2.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight and cut out "junk food."
Thanks,Train, recover, eat, grow!