Showing posts with label biceps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biceps. Show all posts
Monday, February 20, 2017

Biceps & Triceps Training: You Can Trust The Machines!

triceps machine movements
If you’ve ever seen the Terminator series of movies featuring bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegge, you have learned one lesson, and learned it well. We cannot trust the machines! They have been sent back in time to destroy civilization, blow things up, and otherwise ruin peoples’ days.

In bodybuilding, machines get a bad rap as well. Any time you look over at the machines in your gym, it’s very likely you see some devices being used by less-than-serious lifters, with less-than useful weight. Machines are easier and safer than free weights. The safety issue can be important to those with less training experience or muscle mass, who therefore cannot control the weight like a larger, more experienced bodybuilder. However, the fact that many bodybuilders move to the machines to take it easy, seems to give them a bad reputation. The secret to success with using machines for making muscle gains – particularly in the upper arms – is to use them to make the exercise harder, not easier. The machine controls your range of motion and forces you to flex at the same point on every repetition, without resorting to cheating or a swinging of the weight.

What we seem to forget is that Casey Viator, Mike Mentzer, and yes, even the great Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, used machines very frequently as they lifted. Of course they realized the usefulness of free weight squats, deadlifts, rows, and bench and shoulder pressing for building muscle mass. But they were also aware of the fact that with training so much, there was no way in the world that their joints and muscles could recover fast enough from compound lifting. Plus, they knew that it was essential to hit the muscle groups (particularly smaller groups such as biceps and triceps) with deliberate, slow targeted work. Machines provided that.

Thirty years later, bodybuilders are divided. With the use of many of today’s advanced drugs and judging panels which award mass monsters, many guys do focus primarily upon the heavy compound mass movements in order to gain a lot of muscle and keep it on. As a result, we don’t see the clean, lean, crisp defined physiques of years past. Instead, the stages are literally littered with bulky clones. As a bodybuilder rising through the ranks with complete control over your training regimen, you can change this. You can become one of the Bob Cicherillo clones that trains light with machines, and still win bodybuilding titles. You don’t become the biggest man on stage using machines, but you do possess one of the best physiques up there.

biceps machine movements
Useful biceps machine movements include cable curls with one or both hands, preacher machine curls, and the wide variety of dedicated machines. Useful triceps machine movements include cable pressdowns, overhead cable pressdowns, and the wide variety of Hammer Strength and Nautilus machines your gym offers. There are literally dozens of variants, but they all pretty much focus upon the three heads of the triceps with good accuracy. Keep your repetitions slow and under control, and focus upon flexing the muscle group at the peak contraction point of every repetition. Over time, you’ll see shape and lines emerge from the machines that will certainly give you an advantage on the bodybuilding stage. I’m still not saying you should trust any machines that travel back through time hell-bent on destroying the planet, but those in your gym are probably pretty safe – and actually useful as well!

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Monday, March 7, 2016

Biceps Overtraining

The enthusiasm felt by a new bodybuilder is something that can be hard to measure. Can you remember that feeling when you first started lifting, making gains almost by the workout? You couldn’t wait for the next day to arrive, so you could build upon the last day’s gains the next time in the gym. It was a joyous period, those beginners’ gains.

Some bodybuilders tend to take their excitement a little too far. The first time they trained biceps, they probably completed 4 sets and were very proud of the gains. The next day, there’s a good chance they returned to the biceps area and knocked out 10 or 12 sets. The pump must have been unbelievable, because on day 3 they were ready to do it again, with even more sets. After completing 16 sets, the beginner loses all of his original gains, faces a week of soreness, and perhaps injured himself in the process. The moral of this story should be obvious – beginners’ gains can often be deceiving, and it’s very easy to overtrain a muscle group like the biceps.

If you’re new to training, hitting the gym a lot, and not making gains, then it’s very possible you’re already in a state of overtraining currently. You should immediately step back and take a week off of the gym. It won’t be easy. After all, you probably just discovered the joys of the weight room. However, it is necessary if you want to keep making long term gains.

When you return to the gym, you’re going to need to limit the number of sets you complete for each body part, including biceps. Allow yourself only 12 sets, every 5 days. You can bet your bottom dollar that you’re going to lift your hardest if you know that those 120 or so repetitions are all you’re allowed to use for biceps. You’ll train harder than you ever have, and not surprisingly, the gains you make will improve as well. Instead of completing umpteen sets of barbell curls with weight that is too heavy or too light, you’ll be forced to quickly find a moderate workload and get the most out of each and every rep.

Stick with the exercises that have been proven to work over the years. Barbell curls, alternate dumbbell curls, and preacher bench curls (with either dumbbell or the EZ curl bar) are all excellent choices. Movements such as the biceps cable concentration curls are probably better left on the shelf for a few years, until those guns are 19 inches around, and you’re ready for some refinement. In the meantime, use the recommended basics to build up your foundation of muscle mass.

It should be noted that biceps is the muscle group that recovers faster than any other major muscle group in the body. Training it twice per week is something that many bodybuilders are able to get away with. Training it 5 times, however, is a surefire way to overtrain the muscle group.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tips For Increasing Biceps Training Intensity

biceps training intensity

Biceps are, by far, the most noticeable and popular body part, both inside and outside of the gym. For this reason, many bodybuilders devote an inordinate amount of time to training this muscle group.

While this may pay off in the beginning, where a moderately developed bicep will stand out on an otherwise untrained physique, the biceps often hit peaks before other groups. This leaves the upper arms lagging as the rest of your muscle groups see growth. Here are a few tips for stimulating some biceps growth!

Train them once a week

Yes, many top bodybuilders do hit their biceps twice a week. But they have a level of genetics, experience, and anabolic assistance that you do not. If you know you will only get to train the biceps once ever seven days, it’s a safe bet that you will give it your all!

Use perfect form

Anytime you swing the weight up using a little bit of ‘body English”, you are transferring the stress of the lift from your biceps, to your back, hips, and shoulders. You’re not worried about hip and back size, however. You’re most concerned about the biceps! Don’t short-circuit your results by cheating.

Train with a partner

Nothing will give your training a kick in the pants faster than training with a partner – particularly someone a little bigger and better than you. As you strive to keep up, you’ll train beyond your preconditioned limitations. It’s a lot safer as well.

Keep the weights increasing

Walk into any gym, and you’ll see many people using the same weights for biceps that they were using 2 or 3 years ago. You’ll notice they look the same as they did back then, as well. It is only through stimulation at new levels of intensity – more weight, and/or more repetitions – that growth can occur. Keep increasing the weight just a bit each week.

Use Down-the-Racks

Grab the 60 pound dumbbells and complete a full set of alternate db curls. Set the weights down, and then complete a set of curls with the 50s. Repeat for the 40s, then the 30s. At the conclusion of the set, you’ll have reached failure 4 times in under two minutes, while completing 40 very intense repetitions. It’s the ultimate training!

Iron Crosses

Iron Cross curls are just like standard biceps alternate dumbbell curls, with one exception. With each curl, you bring the dumbbell up to touch the opposing shoulder. This is a variation which allows for greater weight to be used, as well as some stimulation of the biceps at an entirely new angle.


Use a very heavy weight, and explode the weight up to the top. Then, lower it back down, calm and completely under control.

Stretching more

Keep the stretching to a minimum before your training. At the end, however, spend a full five minutes working out the lactic acid which has accumulated during your tough workout.


Before each set, flex your biceps in the mirror for a full 20 seconds. Repeat at the conclusion of your set.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bodybuilding Training Tips For Stubborn Bicep Growth

Biceps Exercises
Let’s face it – biceps are the most popular muscle group to the world. When you think of bodybuilding, you think of Arnold Schwarzenegger. And when you do, he’s not doing a side triceps or an abs/thighs shot. Now, he’s usually delivering a front double biceps, the signature shot of all bodybuilding lore. Whenever a friend or acquaintance finds out you lift weights, they’ll often ask you to “make a muscle”. This is obviously not a clue to drop your trousers and flex the bejesus out of your quads. No, your friend wants to see your biceps. It’s the most commonly flexed, admired, and trained muscle group. However, due to genetics, training practices, or inadequate diet, many bodybuilders simply don’t have good biceps. Here are a few ways to spurn some new growth from stubborn biceps.

Leave Them Alone

Biceps shouldn’t be trained with back. Many bodybuilders make a common mistake of sticking biceps last on back day. By then, they’re already scorched from your brutal back workout. Instead, group them with triceps on their own day for a much more effective workout.

Seconds, Please

Most bodybuilders eat just enough food to maintain their current body weight without gaining any body fat. This is great if you are 100% happy with where you are at, and don’t wish to grow your arms. However, if your goal is to add 1 to 2 inches to your arms, then you have no choice but to add 15 to 25 pounds to your body weight. Choose a time period that you can add a bit of body fat (off-season is ideal), then eat and lift like you never have!

Dumbbells First!

Machines are a lot of fun on biceps day. They let you sit down, concentrate clearly, and really deliver some dedicated stimulation to the biceps. And barbell movements are fun too. You get to do your best Ronnie Coleman impression and swing up a heavy barbell for all to admire. However, if your goal is to really add some muscle to your frame, then neither fun nor impressiveness is what you desire. Instead, you should walk over to the dumbbell rack and get to work on some plain ol’ fashioned dumbbell curls. They are by far the most effective movement for building up big arms, and the one that is oddly neglected by many athletes in favor of more exciting movements.

Biceps Muscles
 Consistency Is The Key

It’s usually not the guy who trains the hardest, or who uses the most drugs, that has the best arms. No, the man in the gym with the best set of biceps is usually the quiet, reliable guy who never misses a workout. You know the guy. He doesn’t train particularly heavy, and he doesn’t work particularly hard. But he’s always there. He is there like clockwork. He doesn’t get hurt, as he doesn’t lift some insane numbers. His workouts aren’t short – but they aren’t particularly long either. He just shows up, moves the weight, and goes home. He’s a machine. And he’s a machine with some of the best arms in the gym. Follow his lead, and stop missing workouts!
Monday, September 15, 2014

Benefits Of Bodybuilding Training Programs

Bodybuilding isn’t just a walk over. You don’t wake up in the morning and have it all figured out. Every bodybuilder will tell you that they have had their ups and downs. At times the progress they were making was so fast and evident such that their colleagues at work and the guys they work out with compliment them. At other times, the progress is so slow they have to go back to the drawing board to ask them where it is exactly that they went wrong. If you have ever had a serious injury then you will agree with me that during such times you ask yourself why it is exactly that you are in a gym. So the next time you are at crossroads and you’re wondering whether to get off the body building highway, remember these words.

To begin with, bodybuilding is the best gift that you could ever give to your body. Bodybuilders have a generally higher life expectancy. Exercising improves your immune system and makes you less susceptible to diseases such as respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, and obesity among other sicknesses. It is actually easier for you to get life or health insurance if you’re a bodybuilder as compared to a less athletic person. Cardio does miracles to your heart as it strengthens your heart muscles. Exercising also stimulates your brain and will improve your concentration span.

Secondly, bodybuilding might just pay you bills especially with the unpredictable economic changes. You may wake up one morning and find that your profession has been phased out like a floppy disk! Bodybuilding depending on how successful you are has put kids through college and paid for tuition in private schools. Celebrity advertising has turned some lucky people into millionaires almost overnight. Be it skin care products or healthcare products like supplements, you can crack a gold mine.

You might be doing it as a hobby but just know that there is always that option of going pro. So if you are thinking of quitting bodybuilding, give yourself a bigger challenge, go professional. This is just one angle in which you can look at it in terms of our career. On the other hand, did you know that a well toned muscular body is associated with persons of high personal discipline and dedication? This means that you might land that great job just because your muscles can still be seen through your suit!

Last but not least, bodybuilding makes you look 10 times better than just your average Joe. Ever wondered why some guys always have a lady clinging onto their arms nearly all the time apart from their bathroom breaks? Believe me it has nothing to do with their good looks or charm but has everything to do with the well formed biceps.

I do hope that you will choose to be a bodybuilder until death do you part hopefully in your late 90’s. Either way, enjoy life but know that you will face the consequences. If you stick to bodybuilding, find joy in what you do.
Monday, September 8, 2014

Training Tips To Improve Your Physique

Are you one of the muscle men? Do you train hard, eat right, use the right supplements, and give your body plenty of time to recover? Or are you just spinning your wheels, spending your days talking about how one day you’ll be some great bodybuilder – but you never quite make the steps necessary to achieve this incredible feat? If you’re all talk and no walk, it’s time to make a change. It’s time to get in shape!

The first thing you will want to do it adjust your diet. Start slow. Don’t begin an entirely new diet, or there’s a good chance you’ll fail. Rather, you should focus your energies upon one simple thing at a time. First, add protein to your diet. Just an extra piece of meat, three times per day, will make a significant initial difference. Then, move on to a few more changes. Perhaps you can cut the sugars out of your diet by cutting out the soda, slowly (but watch out for the caffeine headaches!) Add water as well, since the added protein may leave you dehydrated.

Next, start walking. Yes, you might flinch at the idea of moving around you block like an elderly woman. However, it will stimulate blood flow to all areas of your body – particularly to the muscles you want to start punching to new ceilings! Once you’ve walked for a week, get in the gym and complete a week or two of light, full body workouts. From there, move on to hitting each muscle group twice per week using a few more sets and a little more intensity. Finally, use this foundation of fitness and go all out – hitting everything on its own day and returning to the uber-successful 5 day bodybuilding split that is quite the standard.

One common problem that many bodybuilders face is that they are constantly changing things up. You don’t have to continually confuse the muscles of the body in order to become one of the muscle men – instead, you need to simply hammer the muscle groups of the body with a very effective and well thought out workout. You can’t be taking days off of the gym every week for whatever reason. We all have things that limit our schedule – but very rarely do we let them derail our training. If you miss anything more than one workout a month, you’re still spinning your wheels – and real muscle men do not do that! Got it?

Finally, stop talking. Don’t tell your mom, your girlfriend, or your buddies about the bodybuilding success you hope to soon achieve. Rather, just do it, man! Don’t plan out loud. Keep your mouth shut. Anytime you want to start babbling about yourself, instead go to the kitchen and cook a meal for later. Complete some crunches. Just do anything but waste time planning for something that doesn’t require that much planning, that you should be doing already. Just train baby – stop talking about it and just do it!