Bicep Training

hardheadjarhead

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 25, 2003
Messages
2,602
Reaction score
71
Location
Bloomington, Indiana
jfarnsworth said:
Usually once a month I work both the bicep and tricep on the same day. Most of the time it's on seperate days. The reason being is that I don't want the muscles getting used to doing the same old thing. On bicep day I try to hit 5 exercises if possible with 3 sets of 10 reps or 15 depending on the exercise.


It is a myth that muscles get "used" to a particular exercise. They respond to intensity in training and progressive overload. Changing exercises is good so as to avoid emotional staleness and to add variety, but your muscles can't tell the difference between two exercises.

We tend to anthropormorphize our muscles, when you think about it. Note the ads for supplements that tout protein, carbs, and vitamins for "hungry" muscles. Our muscles "scream" when we do a fifth set to failure. They pay us back the next day with soreness. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you're "surprising" your muscles by changing routines.

I'd honestly suggest no more than two exercises for the biceps...not five. Switch them off for variety, but don't do them all in one day. Get maximum intensity out of the session and then rest. If you're doing more than one or two exercises for your biceps you're wasting your time and energy, and might even put back your progress. Remember that every time you work your back with lat pulls and the like you're also hitting those biceps. Don't kill them!

Upside to doing triceps and biceps the same day...MASSIVE pump. You can't comb your hair for three hours afterwards, of course, much less defend yourself. But you look good.


Regards,

Steve
 

Corporal Hicks

Black Belt
Joined
Apr 27, 2004
Messages
565
Reaction score
6
Location
England
Opppppppppppppps!!!!

I was doing, 3 Sets of 50 Reps on Dumbells doing Biceps, every day!
Is that really counterproductive?
I have 4kg dumbells (bit pathetic) but I feel I'm not doing my biceps at all with them, I dont feel any strain thats why I thought it best to go to 50 where I was beginning to feel the pull. What do you guys suggest? I get heavier Dumbells ?and do how many reps on what days?
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 9, 2004
Messages
2,227
Reaction score
113
Location
Dana Point, CA
I'm much smaller now, but in my larger days, I trained a 4-day split (3 on, 1 off) doing +/- 3 exercises per bodypart, 5-6 sets of 10 per exercise, with 45 minutes HIIT cardio.

Day 1: Chest & Biceps
Day 2: Back & Triceps
Day 3: Legs & Shoulders
Day 4: Rest.

For Bi's, I used some of the info from biomechanics to assist in size and shape building...
Brachialis is the largest of the elbow flexors; Biceps Brachii is, comparatively, smaller but provides the "peaks" in shaping.

Brachialis works as an elbow flexor, fully engaged in all elbow flexion activities.

Biceps brachii is a weak flexor of the elbow, and engages fully only when also perfroming it's other 2 functions...wrist supination and shoulder flexion.

My bi woprkout consisted of:
5-6/10, Hammer Curls (thumb hitch-hiking towards cieling, no supination).
5-6/10, Standing Concentration Curls with "cramping" full supination and partial shoulder flexion in full internal rotation at the top of the movement
5-6/10, bilateral standing cable curls (top cables, take a short step away from the machine so the line of pull is behind you). On this last set, light to medium weight, and "pose" at the end in a double bi, held for a sec, then released slowly.

About once ebery 2 weeks, add seated cambered bar preachers, very light weight, to fatigue (a "hundreds" workout, where you try to get to a hundred, fail at around 30, but just keep counting them off in bursts until 100 reps have been completed)

I had been body-building for years with moderate success, till a Masters Division IFBB pro walked me through this at the gym. In a couple months, I went from my stale-mated 16-18 inch arms, depending on diet and cardio, to 21 inch arms with a great anterior delt/pec/biceps tie-in.

I'm an ectomorph by genetics, and 6'4"...so for me, gains are hard won, and my back and calves are the only things on me that are happy to grow with minimal encouragement. Go heavy on the vertical hammer dumbell curls, medium on the concentration curls (allowing the wrist to fully supinate while dropping into extension so that the elbow flexors are holding the weight, and not canterlevering with the wrist flexors), light on the standing double bi's. I encourage anyone to try this for 2-3 months, and report back the changes. I do not believe you'll be unhappy about it.

Regards,

Dave
 

TigerWoman

Senior Master
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
Messages
4,262
Reaction score
39
Argggh, just looking at all that from the previous post...

But from a woman's point of view: how much should a woman work her upper body with out getting all those beforementioned huge/ugly muscles(on a woman) and still be effective in martial arts.

I do a hundred pushups and TotalGym exercises. My arms are as big as I want them and they are not particularly "fashionable" but it helps punching and breaking in TKD. Does anybody have any advice for women on exercises? TW
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 9, 2004
Messages
2,227
Reaction score
113
Location
Dana Point, CA
TigerWoman said:
Argggh, just looking at all that from the previous post...

But from a woman's point of view: how much should a woman work her upper body with out getting all those beforementioned huge/ugly muscles(on a woman) and still be effective in martial arts.

I do a hundred pushups and TotalGym exercises. My arms are as big as I want them and they are not particularly "fashionable" but it helps punching and breaking in TKD. Does anybody have any advice for women on exercises? TW
I wouldn't sweat the size worry. Not having massive amounts of testosterone floating through your veins, you don't have the endocrine make-up to build great size without steroid supplementation. The women who get so big that they look like men, get that way because they take roids to make their bodies think they're men, and build like men. Total Gym is an excellent way of dispersing the energy of a workout over complex exercises, keeping muscles strong and functional, but not necessarily huge...building major size, at some point, requires isolating muscle groups.

Train on without fear.

Dave
 

TigerWoman

Senior Master
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
Messages
4,262
Reaction score
39
Thanks for the reply. Then I'll keep my TotalGym. Actually it was a gift to my husband who has never used it. :D TW
 
S

SMP

Guest
Bicep training is like training your other muscles high rep low weight = leaner muscle - lower reps high weight = bulkier muscle due to increased microscopic tearing resulting in a increase of satellite muscle-repair cells. These stem cells devide and multiply before fusing with the muscle fiber resulting in a bulkier muscle fiber.


As to how often to work out it depends on the individual. Some people can work out every other day or others do better with 2 days rest. Listen to your body.
 
B

bassplayer

Guest
Also one thing to keep in mind that as your workout intensity increases, your required rest time increases as well. So saying 'do this 3 times a week' is only a sure-fire way to plateau your workouts.
People seem to make it all so much more complex than it actually is. To lift a weight of n pounds requires a muscle group of x diameter, and that can be applied to any exercise. Muscle fibers are binary, either contracted or not. Contract every muscle fiber in a group and that equates to the maximum amount of force that can be applied to the group!
Jarhead had it right about the response to training and progressive overload. Biceps are comprised of two muscles, five is definitely more than you need, unless you're talking about spreading those five among workouts - for an easier example I'd give a squat/leg press example, at the gym I'll focus on different exercises with each 'rotation' through and notice subtle differences in muscle soreness, recovery & growth. (cycle, whatever you wish to call it...I'll do enough for one workout and my next time around working the same muscle group I'll have a slightly different focus, returning to my original focus on a later workout rotation, with the intent of having progressed through each cycle.)
More reps will get you more endurance, regardless of how much weight you're using. A bigger group of muscles will simply naturally have more capacity to do more reps of a given weight because the overload capacity wont be reached as quickly as for a smaller group of muscles.
Also, as people that take the right supplements can attest to, it really does matter what you're feeding yourself. I was taking a protein supplement and it helped me get some extra size that I wanted, but I ended up gaining a little too quickly and had to scale my workouts down a bit as a result of a bad back :D
 

Chronuss

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Messages
4,647
Reaction score
12
Location
Charles Town, WV
what supplements do you guys suggest in correlation for upper body workouts or core workouts...? please, please, please don't tell me anything that costs an insane amount that a lowly college student can't afford. :)
 

Brother John

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
2,530
Reaction score
58
Location
Wichita Kansas, USA
jfarnsworth said:
Usually once a month I work both the bicep and tricep on the same day. Most of the time it's on seperate days. The reason being is that I don't want the muscles getting used to doing the same old thing. On bicep day I try to hit 5 exercises if possible with 3 sets of 10 reps or 15 depending on the exercise.
IMHO:
That's too many total reps. Which would indicate that you aren't using that much weight.
Remeber: IF you are wanting a muscle to grow, it must be forced to meet a demand that is greater than it usually can handle. Also: the greater number of muscle fibers that we have are fast twitch and do not respond as well to lighter/higher reps as they do to Heavier/lower reps. SOME higher reps is good, but you won't see your body change much from it.
Also: never let your Bicep training outdo your tricep training.

Your Brother
John
 

KenpoTess

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
10,329
Reaction score
45
Location
Somewhere Wild,Wonderful and Wicked
I don't think Jason needs to worry bout his reps *G*
he looks just fine :D
 

Attachments

  • $JasonF.jpg
    $JasonF.jpg
    8.5 KB · Views: 108
OP
jfarnsworth

jfarnsworth

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
6,550
Reaction score
33
Location
N.C. Ohio
It's interesting to see that I started this thread over a year and a half ago. Over that time I've grown both physically and mentally as far as lifting wise. I've found what MY body takes to make it grow and how it responds to lifts/poundages. This morning at 6am I did all bicep work. (Normally it would have been a leg workout but I pulled my left ham. during a sparring class last saturday.)
5 sets (from 8-10 depending on weight) standing camber bar curls
4 sets 12 reverse cable curls
3 sets 8 - 12 standing alternating dumbbell curls
3 sets 12 incline dumbbell curls
15 total sets and it took about 35 minutes to complete. Now on the otherhand tuesday is my bi/tri day. I always put them together now. I hit 10 sets per bicep and 10 sets for tricep. My partner and I do them as a superset so we make the most of our time and effort. As follows on this particular day
4 sets 10 standing barbell curls w/4 sets 12 rope pushdowns
3 sets 10 standing alt. dumbbell curls w/3 sets 12-15 lying cable tricep ext.
3 sets 12 two hand cable curls w/3 sets 10 (if possible) french press
Anyhow this just happens to be what I picked out as we went along.


Tess,
I'm not sure everyone was ready to look at my ugly ****. :) You should have forwarned people.
 
OP
jfarnsworth

jfarnsworth

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
6,550
Reaction score
33
Location
N.C. Ohio
Chronuss said:
what supplements do you guys suggest in correlation for upper body workouts or core workouts...? please, please, please don't tell me anything that costs an insane amount that a lowly college student can't afford. :)
Chad,
I have found one that works best for me. That is optimum nutrition 100% whey protein. It's in a black container as they have two versions. The other is in a beige type color container. I purchase mine from www.massnutrition.com at a fraction of what you will purchase it from GNC. I buy both the chocolate and vanilla flavored and love both of them. Through trial and error they work best, mix the best, and taste the best. At least that's my opinion. Matter of fact I've got some beside me now. Anyway the 5lb. container on that site goes for 23.50 and at GNC you'll be looking at 40+.
 

Chronuss

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Messages
4,647
Reaction score
12
Location
Charles Town, WV
from the description I'm guessing it's a powder that is then mixed...maybe after I get a paycheck.
 
OP
jfarnsworth

jfarnsworth

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
6,550
Reaction score
33
Location
N.C. Ohio
KenpoTess said:
*oh pashaw Jason~!! Ya Look Marvelous *G*
Well thank you as always but you're being too kind :) . I've been really hoping to get a new set of pictures as that one and other I have are at least 4 months old now plus I got a new digital camera to play around with. This one I thinks will show a lot more of the seperation and detail between the muscle groups. Not that anyone cares but I'm just rambling on.
 
OP
jfarnsworth

jfarnsworth

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
6,550
Reaction score
33
Location
N.C. Ohio
Chronuss said:
from the description I'm guessing it's a powder that is then mixed...maybe after I get a paycheck.
Yes it is a powder. Again as far as I'm concerned the best for your buck. I use mine in all types of things. This is why I purchased both choc. & van. flavors. Smoothies, milkshakes and with dinner or breakfast. The different flavors for different meals. When I eat oatmeal I like the choc. the best, it just tastes better. While eating spaghetti it's the van. flavor. Smoothies w/bananas & strawberries I use van. Milkshakes I use choc. You get the idea.
 
Top