The importance of biceps in weight training cannot really be over-emphasized, can it? When a pretty girls asks you to ‘make a muscle’, they aren’t asking you to pull up your pant leg and show off your freaky calf development, are they? Of course not. Every body wants to see the biceps. It’s the law of the jungle, and every lifter knows it. When a person enters the gym for the first item, they very often will gravitate immediately to the dumbbell rack and just instinctively begin completing biceps curls. It’s just the way the world works!
If your biceps are lacking, then you are not alone. For many people, particular those unfortunate ectomorphs with skinny frames, the arms are the last body part to grow. Even some top bodybuilders possess comparatively weak arms, compared to the rest of their body. They work hard to focus upon them, hide them during select poses, etc. But the fact remains that some people just have smaller arms than others.
For you, as a new to intermediate weight lifter, building up the biceps muscles should not be too daunting of a task. After all, you probably haven’t nailed down five straight years of heavy barbell curls, which is what it usually takes to completely develop an amazing set of arms. You should immediately begin this practice, however, so that in five years you will possess an amazing set of biceps, right? It will not take you that long. If you begin each biceps workout with five very solid sets of heavy barbell curls, employing good form for the first 8 reps then loose form for another 2-4 repetitions, then you should start seeing some new inches appear on your arm in a month or less. Follow up this movement with four sets of alternate standing dumbbell curls, cable curls, and lots of flexing.
Your diet and rest are just as important as your training when it comes to isolating the biceps for growth. You will want to increase your daily caloric intake by about 500 calories in order to reach the 3500 surplus calories each week that is required to add a new pound of muscle. Also, you will need to restrict cardiovascular and other activity to ensure your central nervous system enjoys the valuable resources it needs to grow. Finally, make sure you are hitting your other big body parts and muscle groups – such as back and legs – as they also contribute to overall body muscle growth. There’s an old saying that reads, “if you want big arms, you have to squat!’ – and it is the truth!
Triceps development should also not be overlooked. Keep in mind that this three-headed muscle group makes up almost 75% of the upper arm mass. If you are training biceps and neglecting triceps, then learning about the mass building triceps movements such as skull crushers and close grip bench presses should be next on your to do list!