BUILDING BIGGER BICEPS THROUGH SCIENCE
When it comes to building bigger arms, every guy and girl in the gym thinks they know what’s needed . . . it’s just a matter of doing a bunch of curls! Sounds simple enough, but it’s really only part of the story. In truth, there are some scientific truths you must embrace and practice if you are going to get the most out of every minute in the gym. And nowhere is this more evident than biceps training.
For starters, if you want bigger arms don’t ignore your triceps! Lots of lifters focus more heavily on training bi’s because they are more enjoyable to do and the results – massive pump, blood engorged veins – are more readily achievable. However, in terms of basic arithmetic you have to understand that the biceps only account for one-third of total arm size. So while you undoubtedly love the feel of flexing your biceps and doing curls, it is the time you spend training triceps that will result in bigger overall arms.
That said, you also have to learn something about basic biomechanics – the science of bodily movement – in order to maximize the muscle building effects of every set and rep. Realizing that each variation of the curl exercise affects the targeted muscles differently is an essential first step.
In addition, you must understand that the biceps are just one muscle within a group of muscles that work to flex (bend) your elbow. This larger area of musculature spreads over your forearms and even shoulders (for stability). Nonetheless, having specific knowledge about the intricacies of the anterior (front) portion of your upper arm will help you to identify strengths and weaknesses in your genetic structure, and then train to achieve aesthetic arm perfection.
We all know that performing weighted curls is required to build the biceps and supporting musculature. But the angle at which you position your arm relative to your shoulder and torso has a great influence on the area of the muscle working hardest, as well as a significant effect on leverage. And don’t forget that leverage is key to maximizing the effectiveness of a particular exercise . . . as long as you know how to use it correctly.
To maximize your biceps building program, it’s necessary to perform curls within three different arm angles: With your upper arms at your sides (i.e., barbell curls), with your arms forward of your torso (preacher curls) or with them behind it (45-degree incline dumbbell curls). The leverage differences between these exercises allow you to pinpoint different areas of your musculature, even if you don’t rotate your forearms while curling.
“Read the rest of this article in the new March 2015 issue!”