Science Based Bicep Training
Who doesn’t want big arms⁉️ Here's how to optimally train them:
1️⃣ Highest Muscle Activation: Multiple studies have shown the bicep concentration curl elicits the highest bicep EMG activity.
2️⃣ Best curl variation: The standing barbell curl will allow you to use the most amount of weight, which overloads the muscle which is key to growing big biceps.
3️⃣Best compound movement: A chin-up show the highest levels of activation compared to all other compound movements where the biceps are utilized. The chin-up isn’t the greatest bicep movement, but if you’re arms are lacking maybe switch pull ups to chin ups or just add them in during upper body/arm days.
4️⃣ Range of motion: For bicep growth it’s critical to use a full range of motion. Allowing the bicep to fully relax when you’re arms are straight, then curling the weight will be best for arm growth.
5️⃣Accessory Exercises: Hitting your biceps from different angles is vital to growth. These are the best accessory movements: 🔹Preacher curl 🔹Hammer curl 🔹Seated incline curl 🔹Cable curl facing away from machine
6️⃣Frequency: Volume expert, Mike Israetel states the arms should be worked 2-6 days per week with a weekly volume of 14-20 sets.
7️⃣Tips and tricks: Using a supinated group will help target the biceps brachii, while a more neutral grip activates the brachialis, the muscle under your bicep. Utilizing a wider grip could activate the long, outer head more so as well. However, using a close grip has shown a 13% decrease in bicep activation so I would stay away from that grip. Mixing supinated, neutral, and wide grips into your arm days will be great for overall bicep development. Slow eccentrics always help with breaking down the muscle which is critical for muscle growth. Eccentric-focused reps are a great addition for any hypertrophy-focused plan.
8️⃣Sample Bicep Workout:
🌕Standing barbell curl: 4x8
🌖Chin up: 3x8 (rest/pause if needed)
🌗Isolation curl: 3x12
🌘Preacher curl: 3x15
🌑Seated incline curl: 3x15
🌒Cable curls: 3x20