Tips to Build Biceps
We get a lot of questions from people wanting to build biceps with more size.
The first trap to avoid is to know there are a lot of time-wasting, low intensity exercises that trainers recommend to build biceps. We have tested all of the common ones and know which ones deliver the highest intensity of overload. Avoid the others.
The number one and two highest-intensity exercises to build biceps are the sitting and standing barbell curl. If you do them inside a power rack so the range is limited to your strongest and safest range of motion you will be able to generate your peak intensity and therefore the maximum growth stimulation to build biceps.
Unlike many exercises, neither the top or bottom of the range of motion is where peak muscle loading occurs. In fact both the top and bottom of the range offer nearly zero load and won’t build biceps at all. For most people the peak loading occurs near or just above the point where the elbow is bent 90 degrees. You can experiment with power rack positions to discover the position where you can lift the most weight.
‘Cheats’ to Help Build Biceps on Machines
Some machines can also be used effectively to build biceps with static contraction training. A good ‘cheat’ for these machines is to use both arms to hoist the weight into your strongest range then release one hand while the other arm performs the static hold. This basically doubles the weight of the machine’s weight stack and provides twice the intensity for you to build biceps. Also, it’s sometimes possible to place one or two dumbbells on top of the weight stack or use the adjustment pin to hold a weight plate. That adds even more intensity.
Maximum muscle stimulation can occur from both alpha strength and beta strength stimulation but in either case it makes sense to use the exercise that generates the most overload to build biceps. It never pays to use an inferior exercise – even if you are ‘bored’ with the best exercise. Be smart – use the right tool and move on.
Static contraction delivers the highest intensity alpha strength overload and I’ve been working on an improved method to deliver the highest intensity beta strength overload to build biceps and the other major muscle groups of the arms. Many people have claimed they need the additional volume of beta workouts in order to see size gains whether they are trying to build biceps or any other muscle.
I hope to have more on the subject of generating maximum beta strength intensity later this month.