I have been doing bodybuilding for 5 years now, and I believe that I have enough experience now to guide others about different but correct training techniques and the pros and cons they have. It is a fact that many bodybuilders like to train their arms first, they want them to grow and train very hard with great concentration. However, arms do not include only biceps. Triceps and forearms development also plays a big part in making the whole arm look good.
I have seen many bodybuilders training biceps each day, and sometimes twice a day, in the morning and then again hitting the gym in the evening as well. Due to the lack of knowledge, they do not get the point that this specific body part would be over-trained, and they would not get what they wanted to achieve. Although biceps recover the fastest, but they do need a rest period. You cannot just train them repeatedly, and think that you are growing the muscle. My point here is that the lack of planning can cost you in a longer run. You may not realize it in early stages, but you will soon notice that you do not get enough ‘pump’ in your biceps muscles. The term ‘Pump’ refers to ‘the rushing of blood through your veins or the hardness of the muscle when you train it’.
While in the gym, many new/old bodybuilders praise my terrific arm development, and ask me about the tricks of the trade. I always tell them to plan your training; what body parts they are going to train on the day, and on what exercises they would do when they begin the training. I love the idea of keeping ‘training dairy’, in that way you get to keep track of the exercises you did, and note down any food intake and related information. Plus, you can always go back in time and checkout your workouts and your feeling about it then.
Getting back to the topic of ‘getting bigger arms’, I would recommend training ‘biceps and triceps’ on the same day and twice a week (at least). In this way, you train two opposing muscles, when you are training biceps, you rest your triceps and vice versa. Also, the muscles are flexed to their maximum. You also get a cushion effect when super setting between biceps and triceps exercises. That is, when your biceps are pumped, it is easy to do triceps exercises and vice versa.
I am going to list down the exercises you can do to train your biceps. Forearms usually get a workout in every exercise, so it is not necessary that you do extra sets for forearms. However, it is up to you again.
I am listing exercises in the order that I have been following. I will also mention about the purpose behind doing each of the below exercises. I am assuming that you already have learnt about doing the following exercises, and I will just be highlighting some important points.
– Standing Barbell Curls
This is the first exercise that you should do after warm up. The purpose of this exercise is to develop the overall size of the biceps. This is the most basic and popular biceps exercise. You can do Cheat Curls instead, which is done with a heavier weight so that you cannot do more than a few strict repetitions. You then involve a bit of shoulders and back muscles to get the set going, to make a few extra repetitions. This exercise emphasizes on building extra mass and power in the biceps. You can superset this exercise with ‘Lying Triceps Extensions’.
– Alternate Dumbbell Curls
After doing Barbell Curls, you should do Dumbbell Curls in a seated position. You can lift dumbbells at either the same time or alternately. This exercise builds, defines and shapes your biceps. You can use an ‘Arm Blaster’ to do these as well that will help you lock your elbows, and let you do the movements even stricter. You can superset this exercise with ‘Triceps Cable Pressdowns’ to really hammer your arms.
– Concentration Curls
This exercise is good for achieving the biceps peak; it also works the outside head of the biceps.
– Preacher Bench Curls
This exercise is done to develop the lower end of the biceps muscles. You can superset this exercise with either Reverse Preacher Curls, or a triceps exercise such as ‘Standing Triceps Presses’.
– Reverse Preacher Bench Curls
This exercise is also good for forearms development, as the top of the forearms has to work very hard in this exercise.
You can use body-weight exercises such as ‘Chin-ups’ and ‘Pull-ups’ that also help the biceps development. Speaking of which, I am looking for a Chin-up bar, do you happen to know of any shops in Lahore, where I could get this?