When To Work Your Biceps - Part 2


I have received numerous requests to be a bit more specific with my thoughts on this matter. Before reading this article please read the first part to give yourself the proper context. Like any advice about muscle building, consider the source, and realize that any generalizations that are made, are just that. You can feel free to do as you wish. My goal is to help you develop more muscle. Everywhere. So that you can have more strength, that leads to better overall health and a better quality of life.

When I comment that when I see people grab a set of dumbbells and blast out a couple sets of curls, that it is a “waste of time and effort”, I am referring to the big picture. You’ll notice that none of the people who do this have massive arms. You got 18” arms? You the man, and YOU can do isolation exercises and build entire workouts around your arms.

This is the rule of thumb for those of you who don’t……
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Compound exercises build the most muscle in the fastest time. THAT is Muscle Building Rule #1. Anyone who has a clue about weight lifting will not argue against this statement. Bicep curls are NOT a compound move. Therefore anyone looking to build the MOST muscle in the FASTEST time should NOT do them.

Your arms (biceps, triceps and/or forearms) get trained in every single compound move there is for the upper body. Since these three muscle groups are small, relatively speaking, to your other muscle groups (chest, back and shoulders), focusing on them, in addition to compound exercises will result in OVER TRAINING and NO GROWTH. PERIOD.

Any program that sells you on anything else is wrong. You MUST have a base of lifting and a base of mass already in place to derive any real GROWTH in isolating your biceps. It is that simple. When do you know you have that base in place?

Chin ups are a compound move. They work your back, shoulders and, surprise, your arms. As you pull yourself up during a pull up, you are effectively doing a bicep curl. Your back and shoulders are helping, but the bicep is contracting as you bring your chin to the bar (3 muscle groups for the price of 1, that’s how to build muscle!).

When you can do 10 (5 for you women) perfect form chin ups you will have the muscle mass in place to begin to focus on biceps as a separate body part. That’s 10, not 8, not 9 ½, not 10 kicking and flailing your legs, but 10.

For the record, the average man can't do any and the average guy in the gym can do 1.

And if you are the average guy in the gym doing isolated bicep curls YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME!

Which is why you are "average".