Bicep Workout Principles
The principles of muscle gain are the same regardless of which muscles you’re talking about or what kind of person you’re talking about. The best bicep workout routine will need to adhere to these muscle building principles if it is going to be effective. So let’s break down the most crucial elements of muscle building so we can then create a bicep workout routine guaranteed to pack on the meat.
The first principle our bicep workout must adhere to is that of progressive overload. Progressive overload is the notion that each successive workout must surpass the previous workout in terms of intensity (pounds lifted per bicep workout). Intensity can be measured by multiplying the amount of weight you’re lifting by the number of repetitions, and then dividing that number by the time it takes to complete your bicep workout. Naturally this number will be different for everyone. No one can give you an exact routine for your body and current strength level but you. You have to scientifically monitor your bicep workouts.
Applying this principle to your bicep workout routine may take some trial and error. This equation is not as simple as ‘curl more weight and get bigger’. You may be able to curl 50 pounds 40 times in 5 minutes while you may be able to lift 70 pounds 27 times in the same amount of time. Even though in the second scenario you are lifting heavier weight, your body is actually exerting greater force and energy (pounds lifted per minute) in the first scenario, and therefore the first scenario makes for the better bicep workout for you. This is a hard concept for many gym rats to accept, because they think the heavier the better, but not so when it comes to building big biceps.
Another principle related to intensity is duration. Your bicep workout should not last very long. The biceps are small relatively small muscles, and beating them up will only exhaust you and require a great deal of time to recover. Not to mention it isn’t very scientific. While you may not be able yet to increase the weight you’re lifting in your bicep workout, and you may not be able to increase the number of repetitions, you can still increase the intensity of the workout routine by making it shorter. If last week your bicep routine consisted of curling 50 pounds 50 times in 15 minutes (including rest times), and this week you did the same weight for the same number of repetitions in 10 minutes, then you have dramatically increased the intensity of your bicep workout, and you’ve likely stimulated new muscle growth.
Even though we are talking about bicep workouts, let’s not forget that the largest muscles in the body are capable of generating the most force and exerting the most energy in the shortest amount of time. Lifting these muscle groups, the legs, the chest, and the back muscles, are essential for all around muscle growth. That’s right, lifting your legs has a direct and positive impact on bicep growth. Muscle building hormones are excreted when the larger muscles are worked heavily and these hormones help build muscle all around.
The best bicep workouts will not focus only on the biceps, they will focus on large muscle groups and compound movements which use the biceps to perform the motion, and for example pull ups or rows. Curls are isolation exercises, and while they can be beneficial, the fastest growth will be had if your bicep workout is really more of a total body workout with a couple sets of curls thrown in at the end to failure or exhaustion.
Bicep Workout Frequency
Now, even though we’re talking about the best bicep workouts, and rest is not exactly part of a routine, it does need to be factored in to your over all muscle building plan. As your biceps become stronger, greater force will be required to break them down and consequently more time required in order for you body to recover and construct stronger, bigger muscles.
Therefore the frequency of your bicep workouts should DECREASE, not increase, as you become stronger. Where you may have been able to do a bicep workout 3 times a week in the beginning, added strength and size requires more intense training, and that training must be done less frequently, perhaps only once a week or once every other week.
Feed Your Biceps
And finally, eat. A bicep workout routine does not build muscle, it breaks muscle down. Bodybuilding is destructive. It’s your body’s adaptive response to this stressful situation that causes it to build bigger and stronger muscles, and for that your body requires fuel and the raw tools to construct new biceps…food. If you want to grow, you need to consume more calories per day than what your base metabolic rate requires.
Your Best Bicep Workout Routine
Now, if you’re still with me, you’re probably wondering why I haven’t talked about specific bicep exercises for your bicep workout routine. I haven’t done so because it isn’t too complicated. If you select one exercise that maximizes resistance on the bicep, namely, the bicep curl, and apply the principles above to your bicep workout, you have all the tools you need to grow massive biceps. And with the ability to measure intensity comes the ability to customize your workouts for greater intensity every session.
Angles and variety of exercises are good to alleviate boredom, but there is no scientific evidence that including various exercises, specific weights, or certain reps does anything in particular for you. You need to study yourself, and apply that knowledge with one or two basic bicep exercises, either the compound exercises of rowing or pull-ups, or the simple bicep curl. You’ll then have the best bicep workout routine anyone could provide for you.