Bicep Training and How to Effectively Do It

Ever since you were a kid in the playground, the biceps have been ‘the muscle’.

Bicep Exercises to Power Your Muscles

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Flexing your arms, aspiring to be the next Rocky or terminator, the biceps became the go-to body part. Having said that, many people admit to finding bicep training boring. The repetitive curling can become tedious, especially when it is done towards the end of a hard training session. The solution to this is simple, if your biceps are lagging, you must address both of those issues and get your bicep training pumped again. You must understand the mechanics of the biceps, where you may be going wrong in your training, and how to hit that pump in as few sets as possible. Yes, as FEW sets.

Where many people go wrong with bicep training is hitting them with too much volume. The biceps are a small body part, and as such don’t need to perform twenty sets. What they need is to be warmed up well so they are gorged with blood, and then hit with a few super intense, heavy sets, for optimum gains. If your biceps are lagging, consider shifting your training routine around so arms have a separate workout day. Many people have considerable success with this technique.

The last top tip for biceps is optimizing your training with the right, quality supplements, such as Sheer Strength Labs NO2 Nitric Oxide boosters, for a serious, skin stretching pump.

Bicep Anatomy

The biceps are named that because they are made up of two muscle bodies, the short and long bicep heads, which both run down the upper arm next to each other. The short head is the inner of the two. The separation can be felt if you tense your arm and feel the muscle. If you are lean enough, you will be able to see the two distinct heads. Taking Sheer Strength Thermogenic Fat Burners can help you attain this.

Both heads originate at the shoulder, on the front portion of the scapula bone, before they converge into a single muscle body just above the forearm, where they insert. The two main functions of the biceps are to flex the arm at the elbow and to supinate (outwardly rotate) the forearm. A little-known fact is that a third head is present in an estimated 10% of the population, with up to a total of seven heads reported in extremely rare cases.

Bicep training and strengthening is restricted to the muscle’s primary function, to flex the arm at the elbow. This means lots of curling, but curling doesn’t have to be boring.

The Importance of the Mind-Muscle Connection

The mind-muscle connection should be used to its full effect in your training for optimum muscle stimulation and results. It is especially important for biceps training, where many people resort to cheating and swinging the weight. While these cheat reps can be useful when properly employed to squeeze the last of the energy from the muscle, they should be avoided throughout the bulk of your workout. Instead, you should be focused on the biceps doing all of the work, as you feel them contracting through their full range of motion.

Proper form is key to successful biceps training. And you must never to neglect the negative phase of your lifting. Contract the muscle powerfully before pausing for a second at peak contraction, then lower the weight back to the starting position, feel the strain and stretch to the muscle in the process. A good pre-workout supplement, such as Sheer Strength Labs Pre-Workout Powder can help you maintain focus and hit the intensity required to build some serious guns.

Bicep Training With Michael Coghlan

Michael Coghlan @ Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Gravity

Gravity is the force allowing us to gain muscle from lifting weights. Without it we’d simply be throwing barbells into the ether.

So gravity is great, right?

Not all of the time, no. In fact, for biceps training, gravity can be a real pain. To state the obvious, gravity works in a linear fashion, pulling objects down towards the ground. Now, this is great for lifts like a bench press, but when we start introducing arcs, the effect of gravity is not so smooth. The bicep curl is perhaps the exercise worst hit by this phenomenon. At the top of a curl, when your forearms reach a point approaching perpendicular to the ground, the amount of pressure exerted on the biceps heads is a fraction of that experienced when your forearms are parallel to the ground, at the midpoint of the lift. This means the biceps are only trained to their full capacity for approximately half of the movement.

There are techniques and equipment you can use to regain this lost tension. Read on to find out more about the five best bicep exercises.

1- Barbell curls

Bicep Exercises Using Barbell Curls

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The barbell curl has, for decades, been the standard bulk exercise for building huge biceps. It is also one of the worst performed exercises in the gym. The temptation to overload the bar with discs and jerk the weight through a limited range of motion is too much for many people. But they are cheating themselves. When performing a strict, full range bicep curl, it is surprising how little weight is needed to exhaust the muscle.

A flat bar is best for this exercise as it hits both bicep heads through their natural range. However, some people find it hard on the wrists, so they use an EZ curl bar for comfort. Be aware that the EZ curl bar places less work on the short bicep head, and transfers a lot of effort to the little-known brachialis muscle. This may not be a bad thing in a fully rounded bicep workout. But this wrist pain and awkwardness when using a flat bar may be caused by using a weight that is too heavy, or by taking a grip that is either too narrow or too wide. Play with these possibilities before resorting to a shaped bar.

Now for form. This may sound silly, but many people perform curls in an extremely inefficient manner. Again, this is normally caused by using too much weight. Stand steady and grip the bar at approximately shoulder width, or slightly wider. Pull the shoulders down and back. Starting with the bar at arm’s length, curl the weight in one smooth, powerful motion, without jerking, while moving only the arms. To combat the dead point at the top of the movement, caused by gravity, simply pull the elbows back slightly to keep tension on the biceps, not forward though that feels natural. Feel the squeeze at the top, before slowly lowering the bar to the start position. Make sure you feel the muscle strain as it lengthens.

To get that additional muscle shredding rep, use Sheer Strength Labs Creatine Monohydrate to give your muscles that extra fuel boost.

2- Double Overhead Cable curls

Bicep Exercises Using Double Overhead Cable Curls

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This exercise has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it has been used to great effect by some seriously high profile bodybuilders, such as record-breaking Mr. O, Ronnie Coleman. It is also a chance to show off those guns, as it essentially involves hitting a front double biceps pose.

Simply stand in the centre of the cable crossover station, with the pulleys set to roughly shoulder height. With your arms directly out to the sides, take a stirrup style handle in each hand and curl powerfully towards your ears. You will instantly feel the difference here, as there are no dead points in the movement. Make the most of this by holding at peak contraction for a second before slowly straightening your arms.

3- Machine Preacher Curls

Preacher curls are a great way to eliminate cheating and concentrate maximum effort into the belly of the biceps. However, due to the angle of the pad, they suffer from a larger dead point at the top. Machine Preachers cut out this dead point, allowing you to squeeze the muscles at peak contraction

4- Incline Dumbbell Curls

To perform incline dumbbell curls, simply lay back on a heavily inclined bench with your arms hanging directly towards the ground and curl. Remember to pull your upper arms back at the top of the curl to keep tension on the biceps. The advantages of incline curls are that cheating is eliminated, and also the often neglected upper biceps are hit harder due to the large stretch. This helps build fuller guns. Taking Sheer Strength Labs Testosterone Boosters can help you with intensity and strength in the gym, so you get the most from your workouts.

5- Cable Concentration Curls

Concentration curls are an excellent way to finish off your bicep workout and annihilate your guns one by one. Cable concentration curls have the added advantage of smooth resistance to build fuller biceps.

Remember that to fully optimize your training, you should take advantage of the great supplements that are available, such as the superb range from Sheer Strength Labs.

Jonathan Warren is a national level physique competitor and personal trainer with multiple certifications including NASM, NCCPT, and IKFF. His specializations include mobility training and corrective exercise as well as contest preparation.

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