We recently looked at how to get big triceps. So naturally, we should look at the stars of the show. The George Michael of Wham!, the Neil Armstrong of Apollo 11, the Batman of the dynamic duo. It’s time to build your bulging biceps.
Whether you call them guns or pythons, you’ll no doubt have flexed in the mirror, and hoped they’d be bigger. Sometimes this hope is misplaced, and in this day and age of “you can’t say anything or body shame anyone”, it’s hard for us to tell you to make them bigger.
But if you do want more bulge, here you go.
1. Embrace isolation exercises
Let’s start with the most obvious way to build biceps. Isolation exercises are the number one way to build a specific body part. In short, they only focus on one part of your body at a time.
For biceps, you simply cannot ignore preacher curls (unsurprisingly known as isolated curls). They stop you rocking your body, which gives more focus to the muscles you want to build, and they are easy to do.
As the above video, by Supplement Centre Athlete Alastair Wilson, shows, with the lower part of your arm over the top of a bench, lift the weight up, just as you would with a normal bicep curl. As usual keep it slow and steady and stay in control of the movement for maximum benefit.
2. Use free weights and machines
If you’re a confident gym goer and chugger of anabolic whey protein, then you will no doubt be more than happy to grab a dumbbell and lift away. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore machines altogether. Rope pull ups for example, are a great way to build your biceps, but can also help build your back (and we’ll talk about that later).
Having said that, you shouldn’t put all your focus into machines. Exercises such as closed grip bench presses, z bar curls and hammer curls all build your biceps.
By mixing it up, between machines and free-weights, you also add variety to your gym routine, and if you are committed to a long term plan, this is great. No one wants to do the same thing day in, day out, not even Bill Murray.
3. It isn’t all about biceps…
Bear with us.
Imbalances in muscles can cause injuries, but they can also cause a lack of gains. The human body is connected, so if your lower arms are lacking, you instantly limit the amount of progress you can make on your upper arms. This connection doesn’t stop there either.
For example, if you do bent over rows, you are in fact building your back, which in turn will help other parts of your body. Your biceps are assisting the movement, meaning they will get an additional workout.
Keep this in mind when working other body parts, and try and incorporate exercises that use your biceps, as well as the muscle group you are focussing on.
4. Time it right
When something is your top priority, you will want to go hard at it. A short, high intensity workout, is often the best way to maximise results when working on a certain muscle group. So do it after rest day, to give yourself the best chance of really going for it.
If you are working your arms as a whole, then start with your biceps. The triceps should also be worked, of course, but use the bulk of your energy on your biceps, as that is what you are looking to build in this instance.
The rest of your workout plan should also be adapted for your goal of building your guns. You need to give your arm flexors enough time to recover, so perhaps train your legs the day after arms, and leave your back or chest until later in the week, as they both feature exercises which use your arms.
If you can get two arm workouts in during a week, then great, but don’t force it.
5. Eat right and get the right supplements for muscle gains
It doesn’t matter what you lift, how you lift it, or when you lift it, if you don’t fuel your body in the right way, you won’t see muscle increases. It starts with your diet, and you need to make sure you are getting enough protein, carbs and fat.
Sugar and empty calories should be avoided where possible, and if you are struggling to get the right macronutrients into your body, just by diet, then you need to look at additional bodybuilding supplements.
Proper diet should always be your focus to begin with, then training, then supplements. No matter what body part, this is important to remember.