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Steve July 2, 2014

Biceps don't grow on treesAspired by many but built by few, the biceps are the quintessential show-off muscle. Interestingly enough they are often focused on more than triceps and over trained in the process.  You can easily find yourself adding sets, including too many volume techniques and over doing it on your relentless quest for bigger guns.
Normally barbell curls, dumbbell curls and some sort of one-arm concentration curl make up a typical routine. Too often we kill our arms with countless sets and too many intensity techniques, driving our sought-after gains into the ground. How do you improve on that? What can be changed to help you reach your goals?

Try a few alternatives to shake up the routine to illicit development and growth:

1.)  Go 30% to 40% lighter in weight than you normally do (you know what I’m talking about, your bicep lifting weight typically increases with your ego- ha). Take real focus to the isolation of each repetition movement- no momentum, no swinging your arms, voluntarily contract each rep to feel the proverbial “burn”. You’ll be surprised that you may only be able to complete the same rep range as you do with your normal weight, but your muscle tissue will be feeling much differently.
2.)  Apply a Time Density strategy. Pick any bicep exercise and a specific amount of time. Start with a low number like five minutes if you are new to this type of training. You can slowly increase your time by one minute as you get more conditioned over time.
You can vary your amount of weight from one workout to the other. One day may be heavier reps and another lighter weight is used. Perform as many reps as possible in the designated amount of time resting as necessary. The goal is, over time, to reduce the rest periods, increase the amount of weight used and/or increase the total time.
3.)  One of my favorite sneaky attacks to the biceps is to simply increase the efforts on all back movements. Most of us focus so much on pushing big weights on the bench press and other chest exercises (with well-developed triceps to show for it) that we fail to put an equal amount of attention on pulling. Pull-ups, heavy barbell and T-bar rows and other pulls put an enormous amount of stress on your biceps overloading them in such a way that is extremely difficult to achieve with more isolated movements like curls.

As you see these recommendations don’t add any additional time into your workout or your day. Rather it focuses on the quality of your lifting and maximizing the efforts of your Bicep training in a shorter, more reasonable amount of time. Enjoy your Summer- SUNS OUT, GUNS OUT!!!

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