Beef up your arms and improve your upper-body strength with this tried and tested biceps workout
This is the best biceps workout for adding mass and building strength, with six moves each selected for their effectiveness.
Each workout should take 35 minutes including the warm-up.
When you target a single muscle you need to allow five days between workouts. Do this workout once a week and up to two whole-body workouts in the same week, allowing 48 hours rest between each.
Use a weight that lets you complete every rep but pushes you to your limits during the last few.
Spend five to ten minutes on a piece of cardio equipment and then do some bodyweight exercises to fire up your muscles.
Take one second to lift the weight, pause at the top for one second for a focused contraction, and then take two to three seconds to lower. Each set should take 40-60 seconds.
Leave 60 seconds between sets and rest for two to three minutes between exercises.
3 bicep training mistakes and how to correct them
You see it all the time in the gym don’t you? It’s unavoidable. There is always at least one guy in there doing his ‘arm’s day bicep workout’ and pretty much doing the whole thing wrong. You want to approach him and give him some pointers, namely to take the weight down from 18kg dumbbells to 10kg before he hurts himself, but it’s just not your place, and it’s quite funny. Well if you’re one of those people, or if you’re going to take up the bicep workouts outlined above, then you might want to take note of these common bicep training mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Cheating: This is probably the most common mistake, often committed by people doing standing bicep curls as they are the easiest exercise to cheat on. Occurring mainly when your arms are not resting on a bench (as is the case during a preacher curl), all it takes is a slight body swing to shift the burn from your biceps to your front deltoids and make finishing that rep easier. Cheating makes it a lot easier to handle heavier weights, pushing sets beyond strict, full-rep failure, but it stops the biceps from being worked properly.
- Completely remove your hips and your legs from the movement. If you find it difficult not to swing reduce the weight or try seated curls.
- Practice stricter reps until you reach complete failure. Try standing with your back against a wall during EZ-bar curls and barbell curls, keeping elbows tucked into your sides.
2. Not ensuring variety in your routine: Yes, the biceps might be fairly simple, two-headed muscles that can be targeted successfully via curls, but it is still necessary to perform different types of curls in order to properly work the manifold fibers. A lot of people tend to simply perform the same standing free-weight curls each week expecting to see results but variety is the spice of life!
- Incorporate at least one unilateral exercise into every bicep workout.
- Do one of the exercises seated, one standing up and one with your working arm restricted against a bench or your body.
- Every now and then try to do a unique exercise for your biceps. Try rope hammer curls or underhand chin-ups to shock your biceps into growth by hitting them from new angles.
3. Slacking on contractions: The contraction is the most integral component of a bicep curl, so it’s an issue that so many gym goers skip this, never really flexing their biceps against the resistance. This is usually because too much weight is being lifted and reps are being performed far too quickly to really squeeze the muscle at the point of contraction.
- Ensure that every curl that you do is a concentration curl, by flexing the biceps at each contraction.
- Train with a weight that you can manage for eight to 12 full reps. If you can’t complete at least 8 strict reps then lower the weight. No one will judge you.
- Slow your curls down. Take two seconds to raise the weight, make sure you hold the contraction for a second or two, and then take another two seconds to lower the weight. Ensuring the full range of motion.