What are the 5 most important rules of bicep training? Find out below.
When it comes to training your upper body, three muscle groups are usually the focus of the majority: the chest, the back, and the biceps. Of all these three, the biceps is the smallest by far. In fact, if you want to increase the size of your arms, you should primarily aim to hit your triceps.
The biceps are a group of muscles located in the upper arm, specifically in the anterior compartment of the arm. The biceps brachii muscle is the most well-known muscle in the biceps group, and it is responsible for flexing the elbow joint and rotating the forearm. The biceps brachii muscle has two heads, hence the name “biceps”, which means “two heads” in Latin. The other muscle in the biceps group is the brachialis muscle, which is located underneath the biceps brachii and is also involved in flexing the elbow joint. Both of these muscles play an important role in lifting, pulling, and carrying objects, as well as in many other movements involving the arm.
The process of building bigger biceps can be challenging and requires consistent effort and dedication to strength training and nutrition. It involves breaking down the muscle fibres through resistance training, allowing them to repair and grow stronger and larger over time. However, the rate at which one’s biceps grow depends on a variety of factors, including genetics, training intensity, volume, frequency, and recovery.
For some people, gaining significant bicep size may be relatively easy, while for others, it may take much longer or require more specialized training techniques. It’s important to note that increasing muscle size is a gradual process, and it may take several weeks or even months to see noticeable changes. Additionally, a well-rounded strength training program that targets all major muscle groups in the body, along with a balanced and nutrient-dense diet, can help support overall muscle growth and development.
With that being said, there are a few things you can do to improve your bicep contraction and muscle growth while working out, and that is what Dr Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, decided to talk about. He made a video explaining the 5 most important rules of bicep training. Check it out.
The 5 Most Important Rules of Bicep Training
According to Israetel himself, these are not “must follow rules,” but rather some ideas and tweaks for you to have in mind. “Give them a try and they’ll probably work.”
1. Try Freemotion and/or Incline Bicep Curl for the Stretch
There has been great research done about putting tension on the muscles while in the stretched position. Doing curls in a 45-degree incline bench or using cables can make that happen.
2. Eccentric Control is Important
Many people can curl a heavy load, but they drop the weight fast when lowering the weights.
The eccentric part of the curling movement, which is when you lower the weights, is essential for muscle growth. If you have to drop your dumbbell from 25 pounds to 10 pounds because you need to control the eccentric phase of the movement, you will be stimulating muscle growth.
3. Pinkies to The Sky
This tip is most useful when utilising dumbbells and curling in the traditional way. “As you curl, think ‘pinkies up’.”
One of the functions of the biceps is supination, moving your wrist. Remembering to put your pinkies up when curling, is the cue for your bicep to be more active in the movement.
4. Different Rep Ranges
If you look at your workout sheet for your bicep training and you see the same rep range, then maybe you need to reevaluate your training.
There are many different rep ranges that can work for you and you need to experiment with them.
“If in heavy rep range you feel a ton of tension in the bicep itself, in the lighter rep ranges you get crazy, crazy burns. If you have a psychotic burn right in the middle of your bicep, you’re not doing anything wrong,” Israetel says.
“Whereas if you’re doing high reps and you just feel tired, maybe high reps are not for you in that particular exercise.”
As a rule of thumb, pay attention to your body signs, stimulus and fatigue. If it only makes you feel tired or hurts your elbows, stay away from that rep range and experiment with other ranges.
5. Myorep Range
If nothing else is working for you, but you still want to blow up your biceps, try the myorep ranges.
For example, say you can curl close to failure at a specific weight after 20 reps for one set. When you get ready for the second set, try to go unbroken again for 20 reps, but if you can’t, stop for a few seconds, then continue from where you stopped. Do it until you reach 20 reps and do the same for the third set.
In this case, you will be not doing only 3 sets to failure of 20 reps of a bicep curl exercise. Because of the little breaks you take in between them, it feels more like 6 or even more sets to failure. “We know that approaching failure, in the last few reps before it, have a mildly higher effect on muscle growth than just the reps that easy at the beginning of the set.”
For more information on the 5 most important rules of bicep training, click on the video below.
How Often Should Your Work Out?
How often you should work out depends on several factors, including your fitness goals, current fitness level, and the type of workouts you’re doing. In general, the American Heart Association recommends that adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with at least two days of strength training exercises per week.
Here are some general guidelines for how often to work out based on your fitness goals:
- For general health and fitness: Aim to exercise most days of the week, for at least 30-60 minutes per day. This can include a combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises.
- For weight loss: Aim to exercise most days of the week, for at least 30-60 minutes per day. This should include a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training, with a focus on creating a calorie deficit through a combination of exercise and diet.
- For muscle building: Aim to do strength training exercises at least two days per week, targeting all major muscle groups. You can also include aerobic exercise and flexibility exercises as part of your routine.
- For athletic performance: The frequency and intensity of your workouts will depend on your specific sport and fitness goals. Consult with a coach or trainer to develop a customized training plan.
Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and avoid overtraining, which can lead to injury or burnout. Start slowly and gradually increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts over time.
Benefits of Strength Training
There are many reasons why you should do strength training as part of your overall fitness routine. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Builds muscle: Strength training is an effective way to build and maintain muscle mass. This can help increase your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories throughout the day.
- Increases strength and endurance: By challenging your muscles with resistance exercises, you can increase your strength and endurance, which can make it easier to perform daily tasks and activities.
- Reduces the risk of injury: Strong muscles and joints are less likely to be injured during physical activity, which can help reduce your risk of injury and improve your overall physical performance.
- Improves bone density: Strength training has been shown to increase bone density, which can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
- Enhances overall physical performance: Strength training can improve your overall physical performance, whether you’re an athlete looking to improve your performance in a specific sport, or just looking to perform daily tasks with more ease.
- Boosts confidence and self-esteem: As you see progress and improvements in your strength and physical abilities, it can boost your confidence and self-esteem.
- Improves quality of life: Strength training can improve your overall quality of life by making it easier to perform daily tasks, reducing the risk of injury, and improving your overall physical health and well-being.
Overall, incorporating strength training into your fitness routine can have numerous benefits for your physical and mental health, and can help you live a happier, healthier, and more active lifestyle.