Novice athletes always strive for pumping up voluminous arms, wanting to brag to their friends and colleagues about “playing” biceps and triceps. In this article, we will tell you in detail how the pumping of the biceps should look, and also talk about the most important subtleties of working with this muscle group. But first things first.
The biceps is a large, clearly visible muscle located on the front of the shoulder. From time immemorial, the biceps muscle was considered a kind of personification of the musculature of the person, and the assessment of physique, as a rule, is given based on the size of the biceps. Most beginner athletes focus the lion's share of attention precisely on the training of this muscle, wanting to see the desired 43-45 centimeters in girth. In this regard, numerous forums and portals are directly filled with various tips for pumping it, many of which are false.
So what exactly is biceps? This muscle consists of two bundles: a long one, located in the front of the arm, and a short one, passing a little closer to the inside. Both of them originate from the upper edges of the scapula, however, a short head makes it a little lower. At a certain moment, both beams merge together, entering the tuberosity of the radius. The main function of the biceps is considered to be the bending of the arm in the region of the elbow joint, which is why most of the exercises consist of this movement.
The subtleties of training
The most common mistake of novice athletes is the daily pumping of the biceps, which has a negative effect on the muscles. The fact is that muscle fibers do not have time to adapt to heavy loads, so it is worth developing them gradually. A perfect example would be a set of 3-4 workouts per week (not hands, namely general trips to the gym), each of which can last 1-1.5 hours. Moreover, everything should pass at an intense pace, without long breaks for rest. Remember also that bodybuilding loves a large number of repetitions, as well as classes "through hellish pain." All this will not only make your muscles more prominent, but also increase their volume. Among bodybuilders, exercises with a large number of repetitions, when blood rushes to the muscles, are called a pump. Be sure to consider this fact when you choose exercises for pumping biceps.
As for the biceps, 1 workout per week is enough for them. Of course, this applies only to beginners, because professional bodybuilders can take 2 or more days to pump their hands. The first is not recommended to do this more often, since the muscles simply do not have time to recover properly, and after all, growth in volume is possible only when the muscle fibers undergo a full recovery period.
Do not also think that isolated exercises are the best choice for an athlete. Biceps is the same muscle as many others in our body. That is why basic exercises will be the best choice , among which are the lifting of the barbell and dumbbells to the biceps while standing, pulling with a narrow grip on the crossbar and so on and so forth. A justified selection of isolating exercises is available only for athletes with 1-2 years of experience.
Number of repetitions and exercises
If you work on volume and relief, then the best option for a noticeable bicep growth is 8-12 repetitions. If the priority is to increase strength indicators, then 6-8 reps will be enough, but with large weights. The duration of the set should be about 1 minute, and for one training day it is undesirable to do more than 2-3 approaches (the latter means the number of all exercises performed by the athlete).
In order to prevent muscle adaptation, the scheme of pumping the biceps should change, that is, you need to select a set of exercises of a different bias every workout. For beginners, this can be done once in 3-4 lessons. The greatest efficiency is achieved with a progressive increase in loads, when a couple of kilograms are added to this or that exercise every 2-3 workouts. For example, today you are lifting dumbbells weighing 12 kilograms, and next week already 14. This stimulates the growth of volume. Finally, in order to achieve maximum study of the biceps, sometimes you need to use elements of super training, or, as it is often called, "overtrained".
Biceps training blends perfectly with triceps, shoulders, forearms, back and chest workouts. In general, it is worth experimenting, because each person is unique, and some techniques may be suitable for one bodybuilder, but will be wrong for another.
Myths and rebuttals
The network has long been "playing" a lot of myths that certain movements to the biceps do different jobs and have their own effectiveness. For example, some allow biceps to develop better in breadth, the second form a peak load, the third improves the lower part of the muscle, and so on. In practice, everything is completely different: the shape of any muscle is given to a person by nature, that is, is genetically incorporated. In this regard, it is impossible to change the shape of a muscle, and if it is possible, then it is extremely difficult to do. Immediately, we note that any exercise for 100% involves biceps. The same stories often flash in conversations about the lower and upper parts of the rectus abdominis muscle (press), which is also fully involved in any exercise that focuses on this muscle.
We give an interesting fact. Scientists from Brazil once conducted an experiment that could show what exercise contributes to maximum biceps hypertrophy. 22 bodybuilders who had previously dealt with iron sports took part in this experiment. Electrodes clung to these people, with the help of which it would be possible to measure the load that fell on one or another part of the biceps muscle. As a result, the neck lifts on the "Scott bench" became the least effective, since the amplitude of the movement is extremely small. The victory was gained by basic exercises in which neuromuscular loads were distributed over the entire amplitude, which made the above movements as efficient as possible.
We have already talked about an interesting experience. Now we will pay more attention to the topic of exercises that will allow us to conduct strength training with the greatest efficiency for the development of large volumes and relief.
- The main exercise for biceps in bodybuilding is considered to lift the bar, which will increase its weight as soon as possible. In addition, movement also includes the forearm muscles.
- Dumbbell bicep pumping is also interesting. Alternating bending of the arms with dumbbells is another movement that involves several muscles (brachial, biceps, anterior deltoid and others). The purpose of this exercise is to directly affect the biceps of each arm individually.
- Concentrated bending of the arms is an excellent movement that allows you to control the amplitude of movement, as well as the smoothness and speed of execution.
- “Hammers” is a wonderful exercise that allows you to “hammer” a muscle after basic movements. Many bodybuilders note this exercise as the best for the development of the shoulder-beam belt. Of course, biceps also take part in it.
- The last of the exercises we describe is spider flexion. From the side, it represents smooth bending of the arms with a clear focus on the elbows. There are several variations of its implementation, however, all of them are united by a common feature - the tilt of your body forward to the point where your hands will freely hang down.
Proper pumping of the biceps must necessarily include the above exercises, because only in this case you will achieve excellent results.
Beginner Training Example
So, now we will give one of the training options, which is ideal for athletes with a small experience in iron sports. Biceps pumping in the gym goes well with back training, so consider this fact:
- We start with a 5-minute warm-up that will warm up your body.
- We pass to deadlift. We perform 2-3 sets of 8 repetitions.
- The next movement will be the rod pull in the slope - 3 sets of 8 repetitions.
- We pull ourselves up on the crossbar with a wide grip - 3 approaches to “failure”. This concludes the part of the training aimed at pumping the back, go to the biceps.
- Lifting the barbell while standing on the biceps - 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps.
- Sitting dumbbell lift - 3 sets of 10 reps.
- "Hammer" the biceps with hammers.
This completes the training.
Biceps pumping at home
The current world is very dynamic, which is why many people simply do not have enough time to visit the gym. However, this is not a reason to forget about training, because effective exercises at home are very real. Moreover, there are a lot of variations of exercises, if only there was a desire and a couple of devices. Regarding the latter, two are enough: dumbbells and the bar.
How should pumping biceps at home look like? Movements with dumbbells can be performed standing or sitting on a chair. We have already described the exercises themselves with the use of this element of bodybuilding (lifting dumbbells standing / sitting, hammers, etc.). On the bar, you can pull up with a reverse grip, which loads the biceps as much as possible, or with a narrow grip.
It would seem, what does food have to do with it, if pumping biceps is the main topic of the article? Nevertheless, for bodybuilding it is an integral part, because without proper and balanced nutrition, no results can be achieved. First of all, follow the ratio of BJU in the diet. Ideal scheme: 2-2.5 grams of protein per 1 kg of body weight, 4-5 grams of carbohydrates per 1 kg of body weight, as well as 1 gram of fat per 1 kg of body weight.
How does muscle growth occur ? In training, muscle fibers are stressed, which is why microcracks form in them. As a result, in order to fill them, the athlete needs to consume a large amount of protein food, because protein molecules fill those same “wounds”, increasing muscle in volume.
Pumping biceps for many athletes is often a priority, because large and raised arms always look very impressive. Follow our tips - and you will certainly succeed!