Bicep workout for beginners and experienced weight lifters
Most people new to bodybuilding workouts pay a lot of attention to building big arms, sometimes to the point of over training. Don’t forget, the arm muscles are brought into play during most exercises aimed at other body parts so care must be taken not to overdo things.
Anatomy of Arm Muscles
Having said that, the arms are complex body parts in their own right and deserve a properly focused exercise program. In basic terms the arm muscles consists of three main muscle groups:
1. Biceps brachii – two muscles at the front upper arm that run from the elbow to the shoulders.
2. Triceps brachii – three muscles at the rear upper arm that run from the elbow to the shoulder.
3. Forearm – several smaller muscles that run from the elbow to the wrist.
Classic Arm Exercises and Tips for Beginners
There are seven classic exercises that will allow beginners to grow your biceps without overstraining their bodies. For all of the exercises that follow, use a weight that is light enough to allow between 10-15 reps.
Three biceps building exercises are recommended for beginners:
1. Standing barbell curl – 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
Barbell Curls: Three double drop sets on these is a good tip. Line up three bars and you’re ready to go. For example, maybe 110 pounds for 12 reps. Drop and pick up 90-pound bar and curl in 12 times. Then grab a 60-pounder to finish 12 reps. Rest a minute or two. Then do those three bars in a row again. Rest one last time then hit the final group of drop sets. The muscle pump is intense!
2. Alternative standing dumbbell curls – 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
Seated Dumbbell Curls: Learning that dumbbell curls one arm at a time may be more effective for you. Feeling the biceps working much more. Getting a better contraction and can even go heavier when you focus on just one arm. Two things to make sure of that you get a nice twist. Rotating the palm away from your body. Do not curl too high up. There’s a point you pass where you start feeling the movement in the delts instead of the biceps.
3. Preacher bench curls – 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
One-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curls: Sometimes your biceps tendon gets really tight by the time you’ve done a couple of bicep movements. When you can’t do for sets of 21s with the cables, it’s to much for them to be under tension so long. At those times, do a single-arm dumbbell preacher curls instead. You get a nice stretch for the biceps with these.
Three triceps building exercises recommended for beginners:
1. Dips – 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
Dip Machine: For triceps, compound movements more effective at building muscle mass than extension movements. The machine allows keeping the elbows closer to the body maintaining an upright torso. The tension is on triceps instead of drifting into the chest and
2. Close grip bench press – 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
3. Overhead Dumbbell Extensions – 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
Overhead Dumbbell Extensions: You can do one or two arm at a time. This exercise hits the back of the triceps well. Use a moderate weight and aim for a complete range of motion with a good stretch on every rep.
One forearm building exercise recommended for beginners:
1. EZ bar reverse curls – 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
As with all exercises you need to take care in scheduling specific body parts. To begin with you should incorporate your arm exercises into a daily program similar to the one suggested below:
1: Biceps, Back, Abs
2: Hamstrings, Shoulders, Abs
3: Quads, Forearms, Calves
4: Triceps, Chest, Abs
For the first couple of weeks complete one set but then add one set each week to a maximum of three. At the end of three months you will be ready to move on to more intensive intermediate level exercises.
Next Level Arm Training
21 Inch Arms are the Holy Grail in Bodybuilding
Whether you aspire to become Mr. Olympia one day, or have not intentions of getting any closer to a stage than your local beach. Huge, round biceps and thick hanging triceps are a prized possession to proudly show off. Only a chosen few ever reach or surpass the 21 inch arms mark. Give yourself the best possible chance of achieving this elite status. Put these 21 tips into practice.
Work the muscle, not your ego.
The biggest obstacle to building bigger biceps is universal among lifters across the globe. Using terrible form and not putting the biceps and triceps under actual tension. Using more weight than can be handled in decent form is the underlying issue. Nobody cares how much weight you use for curls. They see your arms. Lighten up and do it right.
Huge biceps and triceps!Master your mind-muscle connection.
There is a subtle difference between merely using good form and truly working the muscle. You need to feel the biceps and triceps muscles both contract and stretch under resistance as you do your reps. Mimic the motion of a barbell curl, slowly flexing the biceps as you curl upward and consciously stretching them as you lower your arms.
Give them their own day.
You’re not doing your arms any favors by working them after larger torso muscles like the chest, back or shoulders. By then you’re already partially fatigued. Devote a dedicated workout day to arms. Training only arms on that day.
Hit them twice a week.
Work them twice a week. You do not need two dedicated arm days, but rather have one full arm day. You could do biceps after chest, or triceps after delts. Only doing three exercises for three sets each on those days. Two dedicated 21 inch arms workouts is probably too much for most men to recover from.Do a longer, tougher workout, along with a shorter one that isn’t demanding on your muscle recovery.
Heavy chest and back work
Triceps get plenty of work when performing press movements for the chest. and biceps involved in all types of rows and pulldowns for the back. If you slack on those workouts, you’re missing out on residual work and growth for your arms.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage, a staple among top-level bodybuilders. An effective way to break down fascia to allow additional muscle growth.
Many bodybuilders advocate aggressive, painful stretches held for 30-90 seconds, often with weight. Be careful with this, especially if you’ve never stretched arms out before. Keep in mind of static stretches. Do not add movement to a weighted stretch. Also helps with muscle recovery.
Take it EZ
Barbell curls, the absolute king of muscle building movements for the biceps. The straight bar can cause wrist pain in many. The angled contours of the cambered bar, better known as the EZ-curl bar alleviates wrist pain. While allowing you to work to your full potential on curls.
Having large deltoids, chances that they rob the stress from your biceps in any standing curl. Make sure you work bi’s rather than your shoulders. Upper arms braced an immobile, like preacher curls.
Dips and Press for Huge Tri’s
A 200 pound guy might be able to do weight dips with 100 extra pounds. Or close grip presses with 315. It’s doubtful he would ever use those weights for skull crushers or cable pushdowns.
Try Higher Reps
Truly nessecary for muscle growth.
Alternate Bi’s and Tri’s
You start each workout with a finite amount of energy that becomes depleted as you go along. Alternate movements for the biceps and triceps. One gets to rest and recover for a few minutes while the antagonistic muscle is worked.
Press on the Smith
Close grip bench press certainly adds bulk to your triceps. But many have a hard time keeping the barbell balanced and end up struggling. Better off doing close grip presses on a smith machine. Balance is taken out of the equation so you can build your tri’s.
Decline Bench for Better ROM on Skull Crushers
Most effective triceps extensions is the “skull crusher”. Standard version done on a flat bench is that the range of motion (ROM) is incomplete. On a decline bench, a complete ROM is provided.
Beware of Overkill
A good rule of thumb to follow is that when you lose your pump and can’t get it back, you’re done for the day.
A Break Might Be In Order
If your arms haven’t grown in a long time, the best course of action might simply be to stop training them anywhere from a week to a month. Sometimes your muscles “reset” and make gains once you resume direct work.
Cheat at the Right Times
There is a time for good form and a time to loosen it up a bit. Introduce “cheating” style reps within a set. After you have taken it to failure with good form. This allows to take the muscle further and work it harder. As the other muscle groups are fresh and can assist in the process. Cheat when it gives the target muscle more work. Not less.
If you never do any type of overhead extensions movement, you’re missing substantial development. Opt for overhead dumbbell or barbell extensions.
Hammer It Out
The brachialis is a muscle wedge between the long head of biceps and lateral head of triceps. A direct way to train this muscle is via hammer curl or reverse curls. When fully developed, the brachialis can add a solid inch or more to your upper arm measurement.
Believe Your Arms Can and Will Grow!
You must have faith and believe that your arms can and will grow. If you have doubts, or worse, are convinced that any efforts will be in vain, that negative poison will sabotage your efforts. Either consciously or subconsciously, you will hold back from giving it your all. Why bother? Your arms won’t grow anyway! You’re doomed! Squash that nonsense right now. Your arms are not finished growing yet. They are a work in progress. It’s up to you to force them to grow through intelligent strategy and pure hard work. Apply these 21 tips, and the gains will come.