We know you’ve been spending many hours at the gym eager to see your biceps explode at last, but if you’re not getting any solid results yet, you might be simply doing something wrong – there are many common cheats that could hinder your precious goal. Read the three most important mistakes you should avoid doing if you’re serious about building superhero biceps.
1. Don’t make it easier for the bi’s
Never let other muscles do the biggest part of the work. Training is not meant to be pleasantly easy – it should be rather challenging if you’re doing it right. For example, bending forward, swinging or leaning back to make the lifts easier will take the tension off your biceps and they won’t get pushed to grow, which makes your effort pointless.
If you want to build a certain muscle, you’ll have to make it work. A lot. You’ll benefit more from doing less reps with a perfect form than many quick reps with a lousy posture that allows you to cheat. Also, when you perform curls, it’s crucial to get a decent contraction in the biceps – this might be more important than the amount of weight or number of reps, so never forget to flex them against the resistance.
Another common mistake is to raise up the elbows or shoulders at the top of the curl – again, this will only take the tension off the biceps, decrease the contraction and stall your progress. And finally, make sure you’re not doing the curling exercises with your forearms instead the biceps by keeping the wrists in line with the forearms all throughout the movement.
2. Don’t ignore the eccentrics
The eccentric (or negative) muscle action happens when the muscle lengthens in a controlled manner, meaning the weight is going back to where it started. This is opposed to the concentric muscle action which occurs when the muscle shortens, i.e. contracts. As you might already know, both types of muscle action are equally important for the muscle building process, and muscles actually produce the biggest amount of force during the eccentric part of the movement.
Learn to use this potential to increase hypertrophy and boost your gains, but make sure you don’t overtrain and potentially harm your progress. Biceps are the most popular victims of overtraining, so don’t get crazy with the number of sets.
3. Don’t train lats or forearms before biceps
Your training split should be set up on such a way that biceps and back are not worked on the same day, or even consecutive days. If you work on the lats before hitting the biceps, you could drain them from the intensity needed to perform curls.
Anyway, if you have to do them both on the same day, you’d be better off training the biceps first, which are a lot smaller. And keep in mind that if you train the back immediately after the biceps, the quality of your back exercises will suffer from the already built-up fatigue in the arm flexors.
Additionally, avoid training the forearms before the biceps because if the small muscles found in the forearms get too fatigued, they won’t be able to efficiently support your biceps workout later.