At the risk of sounding a little cliché or over excited over a hotly discussed topic I wanted to share with you some new tips I have applied myself and with my clients to great effect for bicep development. Not ARM, but bicep. The thing is I have come to the realisation that every single muscle group needs its own approach to training due to the muscle fibre structure differentiations. This is the way I would recommend hitting your biceps for serious gains in strength, size and overall development.
I am a huge believer in changing the tempo at which you lift a weight, generally speaking whatever the body part and exercise. However when we are talking about bicep training I always maintain after much research and trial that a 2 second concentric contraction is the best to use the majority of the time.
This seems to help maximise high threshold motor unit recruitment leading to many more muscle fibres being brought into the contraction – this equals faster development. Sure, every third week I would use faster reps to utilise more power.
As I always bang on about, the eccentric contraction is the most overlooked part of weight training. This is a very useful training tool so don’t miss out, I have been known to do ‘’negative ONLY’’ workouts which means the only contraction you are stimulating is an eccentric one.
During the eccentric phase of a bicep curl you can resist a lot more weight than any other so make the most of this, force the bicep muscle fibres to work hard. I would recommend going for a 4 second eccentric with bicep training for 2 weeks, and in the third week decrease it to 2 seconds.
Again most people will stare blankly and wonder what on earth this is – it simply means the part of the repetition after and before the eccentric and concentric contractions. In other words, when the weight is at either end of the repetition that is an isometric contraction.
With bicep training you should definitely focus on a 2 second isometric contraction at the end of the concentric contraction and 1 second after the eccentric contraction. Every third week pay no attention to the second isometric contraction and just use power to bring the weight right back up.
Biceps work well with low volume, low repetition high intensity training and they also work very well with an occasional HIGH volume workout with moderate repetitions in my experience. For the first two weeks focus more on lower repetitions (5-6 and 8-10) and in the third week really throw some reps at your biceps – DTP is a great way to do this.
There are no excuses anymore, take your bicep training to the next level!!