When To Work Your Biceps


Like anyone, I notice bulging arms on someone as evidence that they build muscle. They also look great, which is why so many people, guys in particular, work them a lot. It’s also very easy to grab a set of dumbbells and knock out a couple sets of curls anywhere, anytime. That said you’ll notice in my “How To Build Muscle Weight Lifting” plan that there is no emphasis on the arms. The emphasis is on compound moves to build muscle mass. This is not accidental.

I have 2-3 very popular articles on how to train arms, so you would think I think training arms is important. It is. The question then is when do I get to build those massive biceps? First, some perspective.

Did you know that the average person’s bicep weighs one pound? That was one pound! That is roughly 3% of your bodies muscle mass. Granted, it is a VERY VISIBLE 3%, but 3% none the less. Do you think the average guy in the gym works his bicep a total of 3% of his workout time? More? I’m thinking A LOT MORE.

Part of an attractive physique is balance. In theory every muscle in your body should be trained the same amount, as a percentage. But since most people are not trying for the bodybuilders perfectly balanced physique, we tend to train the muscles that are most visible. Makes perfect sense. So let me give you a better reason to NOT train your biceps so frequently.

I believe that an educated lifter is a successful lifter. Learning how muscle grows is part of the process of learning how to make it grow. Keeping it fairly simple suffice it to say that under a microscope most muscle fibers are feather shaped. The bicep muscle fibers are not. They are long parallel fibers, which gives them the ability to bulge. This means that devoting just a little attention to your biceps, especially compared with other muscle groups, goes a long way toward making them grow. Put simply, most people over train the biceps, and that is why they don't grow.

Lastly, along with the massive bulge, people notice the vein that runs across the top of the bicep. This again seems to be an indicator of well trained, large arms. When in fact the visibility of your cephalic vein, has nothing to do with how many curls you can and do perform. To make this vein pop, you need to drop your body fat below 15%. That’s a diet issue folks, not a weight lifting one! Also don't be surprised if the vein is more pronounced on one arm than the other: Genetics also plays a key role in determining its prominence.

So if you follow my “How To Build Muscle Weight Lifting” plan, you will work your biceps, as a secondary muscle, when you do lat pull downs and seated rows. That’s twice per workout or 10 out of the 25 total sets. Unless you are a phase 3 lifter, this is more than enough work. And if you decide that you want to be a Phase 2 lifter, there will be a LITTLE curling going on. But to do it right, the next big mass building bicep moves are CHIN UPS.

BIG ARMS DO NOT COME FROM A LOT OF CURLS DONE OFTEN. The faster you learn this, the faster your arms will grow.