Break through plateaus and build arms that your be damn proud to show off in short sleeves!
You hear it echoing in your head, "What to do for biceps?" "Do I do four standard sets like everyone preaches on the message boards or do I dare to step out of the norm and do less?" What would three sets accomplish? That extra set is bound to put that extra quarter inch on your arms. What about reps?
You've read over and over that you need to do more sets and reps to build muscle. You've actually brainwashed yourself into believing this. You have become so deathly afraid that you are not training enough in the gym that you being to overtrain. You begin to feel tired and your training becomes less effective. You don't have that inner spunk that drives you in the gym and what's worse, no biceps development.
Is the confusion getting to you? Are you tired of being at an information loss that training isn't fun anymore? Perhaps if you overcame the misinformation circulating on the forums and in the gym, you may get results to bring back that training drive naturally. Usually, what motivates most people is seeing changes. If you can make your next training session productive, that would be motivation enough to bring that desire and drive back.
In this article we will break through some biceps plateaus. We'll discuss the "hows", "whys," and "why nots" of biceps training.
Typically, female bodybuilders train biceps for growth, which adds size to their arms. Let's face it; nothing is more fun then flexing a 14" biceps when called upon.
So, if you are ready to go into battle let's break out of the norm. We will break this up in "rules" for simplicity.
A good warm-up is not a mini training session. All you need collectively is two warm-up sets, each with 15-20 reps. Get the muscle warmed up and slightly pumped. You don't want to exhaust yourself before the real training begins.
Now, that's not so hard, is it? You already know that compounds movements are a multi-joint movement, working all the muscles of that targeted muscle group simultaneously. This is the reason why you should do the compound exercise first. Stimulate all the muscle fibers first simultaneously. In addition, the compound exercise is the mass building exercise. It doesn't get any simpler than this.
Adding more sets, no matter how mentally pumped you are, won't increase your biceps growth. Granted, you may get an outstanding pump, but a pump does not equal growth. A maximum of three sets per exercise is more than enough. Any more than that can lead to overtraining. The biceps contains two muscles, and once you stimulate them. That's it. Training is over.
Strength and mass work hand-in-hand when it comes to bodybuilding. You should employ both factors, at different times of course. For bodybuilding mass training, keep your weight heavy and shoot for 6-8 reps. Every few weeks add more poundage and drop your reps to 4-6 for some strength training. Alternate the two methods to prevent boredom and plateaus.
Don't fool yourself into thinking that doing 12 sets of curls using various exercises will build huge guns. It just doesn't work like that. Building great biceps doesn't take a lot of sets and reps. In fact, when it comes to biceps training, less is more. In actuality, 5-6 good sets are all you need. When I say good sets, I mean stimulating the muscle with all out intensity with maximum poundage. All you generally need with biceps training is one mass builder or rather compound movement (straight bar curls) for 3 sets of 4-8 reps and one auxiliary movement, such a dumbbell curls or hammer curls for 3 sets of 4-8 reps.
This shouldn't be new to you, but I still find it shocking to discover some lifters are training their biceps twice a week to get them to grow. There is such as thing as too much of a good thing. Think of watering a delicate flower. You wouldn't water it every day with a full 12 ounce glass of water, now would you? You must allow it time to absorb the water you have already given it. This same tactic should be applied to your biceps training. If you fail to allow your muscles to rest and recover, they won't respond (grow).
Partial training can give you that extra edge you may need to push through barriers holding your biceps training back. A partial barbell curl will take you from midpoint, where your forearms are parallel to the floor, to the point where your biceps are fully contracted. After the contraction, in a controlled manner, lower the bar back to the 45 degree angle and repeat. When you do partials, use heavy poundage and shoot for reps in the 25-30 range to take advantage of time/tension factor. Since partials are a partial movement, you will complete the set much faster, in half the time. The disadvantage to this is that your muscles aren't under the tension that long. Therefore, adding more reps will provide adequate tension.
Now you have seven rules to build unruly biceps. The above training will get biceps growth underway fast. It's designed to get the job done right the first time. If you follow these guidelines, you can blast your biceps training without going into overtraining mode. Now that you are armed with the facts, proceed with Operation Biceps Blast.
Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
Tags: Arms Training
P.S. Want more in depth coverage of how to train your muscles thoroughly? Check out, Iron Dolls - Female Bodybuilding Secrets REVEALED .
Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a multi-certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.
Karen has written six eBooks on fitness. She also writes articles for several fitness websites, and distributes two monthly newsletters regarding weight loss and female bodybuilding.
Karen has helped hundreds of clients reach their goal of transforming their body. Her success and success stories speak for themselves. www.Iron-Dolls.com
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