To begin with a short course in physiology. Before us is a small muscular group with two beams (heads) (see Figure 1). The main function of this muscle group is bending the arm at the elbow joint, i.e., bringing the forearm to the shoulder of the same name. All the exercises are exactly copying this movement, so we get a relatively small assortment of exercises for the biceps.

Строение бицепса

Fig. 1 - The structure of the biceps.

Immediately, we note that changing the angle of the exercise, projectile or working weight does not help increase the peak of the biceps, its length, etc., since the shape of the biceps muscle is embedded in your genetic code. The maximum that you can influence is to increase the volume of biceps.

Features biceps workout

Bodybuilding, despite its mass character, is replete with various false stereotypes, and this fully applies to the training of the biceps, as one of the most popular muscles in athletes. However, the growth of the biceps muscle of the shoulder obeys the same laws as the growth of the rest of the muscle groups of the body - you just need to highlight the fundamental points that will lead to the desired results.

Take the base

To train huge biceps, you need to have a huge back. In other words, without basic exercises, all biceps workouts are meaningless. Parts of our bodies themselves grow very tight. It is best to use either pull-ups or barbell pull as a base exercise. The use of two exercises is desirable, although in order for your biceps to get the proper load, you only need to perform one of these basic movements.

Add insulation

To isolate any muscle on your body you need to train it in isolation. For a set of total muscle mass and increase the weight of your hands need basic exercises. However, in order for biceps to become your trump card, you need to train it in isolation. The best isolating exercise is lifting a barbell or dumbbell for biceps.

Load progression

To grow your biceps, you need to increase your working weight in each exercise from workout to workout. You can not increase the weight, if you objectively can not do this, and add one approach or several repetitions to the usual amount of work. The rule is simple: you must progress at every workout.

The main features of training:

  • Do not exercise your biceps more than once a week. Since we have a small muscle group, the load on it must be strictly metered, otherwise there is a risk that your muscle will not have time to recover and, as a result, will not respond to an increase in load. In addition, biceps is involved in back training, which is worth considering when you make a training plan;
  • It is advisable to load the biceps together (at the same workout) with the back muscles. This will allow you to adequately recover from workout to workout;
  • Do not use a large number of exercises for one workout: just a couple of movements of 3-4 sets in each. Again it should be said about the possible overtraining. Muscles do not grow in training, the main thing is rest and recovery, and the emphasis should be placed on this factor;
  • Do not reinvent the wheel. Search for new angles, innovative exercises, the use of block simulators, etc. - all this will not help you. Use the classic movement with free weight, a vivid example of which is the rise in the biceps while standing.


Lifting barbell for biceps

Подъем штанги на бицепс

Lifting dumbbells for sitting biceps

Подъем гантелей на бицепс

Recently, many fitness gurus with "YouTube" recommend doing the so-called "base" on the biceps, and at the same time point to different versions of ordinary flexions of the arms. It seems that everyone forgot the initial course of sports physiology. Recall, the exercise is considered basic only in case of activation of more than one joint. In our case, we bend the arm at the elbow, that is, we use only the elbow joint. Various bends of the back or sitting down are errors of the technique and do not belong to the main movement. The only possible basic exercises can be considered various traction, where in addition to the biceps, the back muscles work. Simple lifting barbells or dumbbells - this is a rough isolation, which is not as effective as the basic analogues, but this is a jungle of physiology.

The ideal biceps workout is performing 2-3 basic exercises on the back and the final isolating for the biceps muscle. In general, it is recommended to use no more than two isolated movements.

Other nuances

Since the shape of the biceps is almost entirely due to the genetic code, try not to use a sophisticated trajectory with an incomprehensible angle of execution. When working with dumbbells, always turn the brush outward (supination) - only with this position of the brush does the biceps take over the entire load. With parallel or reverse grip, brachialis (brachial muscle) and forearm work for the most part.

This article deals with the features of biceps training and does not affect such important topics as nutrition, daily regimen, recovery, and so on. However, if you want your biceps to grow actively, you should not leave such moments without attention.