We live in a democratic society where everybody is equal. Yet, there are some, like the President, who is more equal than others. You can call them the first amongst equals.
Any fitness expert will tell you that a fit and good-looking physique requires proper development of all muscle groups. Yet, there are some muscles, like the biceps and triceps, which invariably get more attention inside and outside the gym.
What is the first thing you notice when you see a well-built and fit person? Obviously, the first things that you and everybody else notice are the person’s chest and arms. Big arms are visible even if you are wearing loose-fitting clothes.
Of course, encasing your biceps in a tight and body hugging T-shirt is the easiest way to turn heads wherever you go.
However, it is very important to have a well-planned biceps workout and triceps workout if you want to build bulk in your arms in a quick and sustained manner.
I have seen numerous individuals give up on their fitness regimen simply because they were unable to build strong and powerful biceps and triceps, which, for all practical purposes, is considered as real proof of an effective weightlifting routine.
So, why aren’t you gaining bigger and stronger biceps? Why is it that some people have sharply-cut biceps and powerful arms without even seeming to work on it? Is there a secret routine that works better than others?
Lifting weights is just one aspect of building muscle. There are some things that you should do and some things that you should completely avoid if you want to build bulk in your biceps.
Some common reasons why your biceps workout and triceps workout may not be working may include:
1. Inadequate proteins in your diet. Your body will require lots of proteins to build the muscles. How can you ever get high output unless you provide your body with adequate raw materials?
2. Doing your exercises improperly. The body is a delicate mechanism. You need to have the right posture, a concentrated approach, and the right body movement when exercising. Otherwise, you may end up building back and shoulder muscles when working on your biceps.
3. Too much emphasis on cardio exercise. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against cardio exercises. However, that is not the best thing for your body if you are trying to bulk up your biceps and muscles. No point burning muscles by overdoing cardio and then complaining about weak biceps.
4. Exercising alone. This may sound strange but having a training partner or gym buddy can have a huge impact on the results of your biceps workout or triceps workout. Why? Your body and mind love comfort and hate exercising. Having somebody to egg you along can ensure you don’t give into that voice in your head that is constantly demanding rest.
5. You don’t vary your biceps workout. The body is a very cunning thing. Do the same routine repeatedly and you will settle into a comfort zone where results dry up. You need to change your routine to shake the body out of its complacency. A bit of variety can go a long way in making you feel fit again.
6. Too much resting during your sets. The gym is not the place to chat with friends, philosophize, or day dream. You need to be on your toes in the gym. A five-minute break after each set is unlikely to prove effective. Stop resting and start pushing your muscles with shorter breaks.
7. Fitness needs intensity, especially if you want to bulk up your muscles. A relaxed affair in the gym is never going to yield good results. Build up some intensity. Push yourself. Fight your mind, challenge your body, and you will see your muscles grow.
8. Light weight equals weak muscles. The weights you lift must be heavy. Of course, what is heavy may differ from person to person. However, lifting something that you are comfortable with is never going to result in powerful arms and muscled biceps.
Building your biceps and triceps is not rocket science or related to genetics or other factors beyond your control. If you work hard and work smart, then you are definitely going to get great arms.
If you are beginning to work out, then please remember that you need to wait for your body to get into the groove. Don’t wait too long but don’t be too hasty either. Start light and keep increasing your weights on a weekly basis. Before long, you can hit top gear without risking injuries.
Beginning Your SOLID Biceps Workout
Beginning your workout routine without warming up is a cardinal sin. Want to injure yourself? Not serious about your fitness? Don’t respect your body? If yes, then please begin your biceps or triceps workout without warming up.
Walk, job, run, jump, stretch, or lift light weights—warm up any way you like but make sure your blood flow is up and running and your muscles are stretched and flexible before beginning your routine.
Further, try to push yourself to the limits when working out. Only rest for 60-90 seconds between each set. Watch your body go beyond its imagined limits. Shock your muscles to speed up growth. And, further, pay full attention to your limb’s movement. Don’t think about work or anything else. The exercise should dominate your body as well as your mind.
Ready? It’s time to start your biceps workout with the following exercises:
1. EZ Barbell Curl
The good thing about working out your biceps is that the exercises are pretty simple. However, this can also cause your mind to wander. So, stay focused. The EZ Barbell curl involves holding the barbell where the bar angles and lifting it at the elbow without moving your upper arms.
Let your biceps do the work when you do about 10-12 reps per set and do around 4 sets to begin with. Start without weights and then add weights as your biceps become more powerful.
2. Dumbbell hammer curls
Hold the dumbbells with your wrist and fingers parallel to your body. This is called the hammer curls because the motion of your hand resembles the motion of using a hammer.
Again, don’t move your back, shoulders, or elbows when lifting the weight. Two sets of 10-12 reps should be enough to make your biceps feel taut.
3. Alternate dumbbell curls
Hold the dumbbell with the palms facing outward and alternatively pivot your forearm at the elbow joint. Focus on the hand lifting the weight even as you lift the weight in a smooth motion.
2 sets of 10-12 reps should help you workout parts of the biceps that were not involved in the first two exercises.
4. EZ Preacher curls
Next, place your upper arms on a cushioned board with the lower arm hanging free from the elbow. Hold the EZ barbell with your palms facing outward and use your biceps to lift the barbell in a smooth motion.
The preacher curls will prevent you from using your shoulders or triceps, which will ensure the biceps get a good workout. Cut down on the reps and increase the sets by opting for a 4-set routine with 8-10 reps in each set.
5. Standing cable curls
Round off your biceps workout with standing cable curls, which is similar to dumbbell curls with the only difference that you will be pitting the strength of your biceps against the resistance of the weighted cable.
Three sets with 10-12 reps with complete focus should have you really straining your biceps.
As a matter of rule, try to rest as little as possible between sets. It won’t hurt to skip a rest and do a quick run on the treadmill between sets.
The idea is to push your body hard to force it to build muscle quickly.
Beginning Your SOLID Triceps Workout
Focusing on the biceps and ignoring the triceps can make your arm look odd and misshapen. This is why you should follow this triceps workout routine religiously to ensure your arms look strong, powerful, and in sync with the overall physique of your body.
1. EZ Bar Skull Crushers
Lie down on an inclined bench with your head sloping to the ground. Hold the EZ bar over your chest, keep your elbows steady, and work your triceps by moving the bar over your head.
Don’t let your chest take the strain. Instead, let your triceps do the work of lifting the weight. Begin with 4 sets of 10-12 reps with the weight increasing as your triceps gain bulk and power.
2. Cable Overhead Triceps Extension
This is a really effective triceps workout routine involving holding the cable bar over your head and pulling the weight by keeping your shoulders and upper arms very steady.
The overhead motion combined with the fact that you are slightly tiling forward will give a good workout to your triceps over 3 sets with 10-12 reps each.
3. Cable Triceps Pushdown
Instead of looking away from the cable, the cable triceps pushdown involves standing close to the cable machine, holding the bar with your elbows tucked into your sides, and pulling the cable without moving your arms by simply bending the elbow joint.
Avoid unnecessary body movement and focus on the motion in a concentrated manner for all the 10-12 reps. Repeat the reps for 3 sets with rest not exceeding 30-60 seconds between each set.
The old-fashioned dips can put a lot of strain on your triceps, which is a good thing if you want to build bulk quickly. Hoist yourself on the bar and push your body forward and downward. Next, use your arms to pull yourself up with minimal push from your chest or shoulders.
3 sets should be more than enough to give your triceps a good workout. Try to do 10-12 reps in each set. Don’t rest too much. Keep straining. You can always take rest after the workout is done.
5. Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Stand erect, lift the dumbbell over your head and bend your arms backward at the elbows. Don’t move your shoulders unnecessarily. This will cause the strain to shift to your shoulders and back.
Use your triceps to lift the weight over your head. Squeeze your muscles when letting the hand fall lower. 3 sets of 10-12 reps should be a good way to round off your triceps workout.
Concluding your Workout
You may not opt for the biceps and triceps workout on a daily basis. As you will agree, such a repetitive approach is not advisable either. Work on different muscle groups, one large and one small, on a daily basis.
Working on your triceps after a chest workout will make you feel fit and muscular. This feeling is important as it makes you feel motivated to workout harder.
A few important points that you can’t afford to ignore:
- Eat well. Consume lots of proteins by including protein-rich food in your diet. Avoid blindly relying on protein supplements. Chicken, steak, soaked pulses, fish, and eggs will make your dish a protein-rich one.
- Never skip breakfast if you want to build muscles. Load up on all the carbs, fats, and proteins that your body needs early in the day.
- Muscle building involves stressing the body and then giving it adequate rest. You need to sleep for 6-8 hours to ensure the damaged tissues can be repaired. Ignore this and you will end up facing increased risk of injuries.
You need to follow a smartly-planned routine. However, this does not mean you should not try to add some variety. Listen to your body carefully. You will get signs that some exercises are working better than others. Yet, don’t trust your body blindly either.
Building muscles is all about hitting your endurance limits, straining your muscles, and going beyond these limits. With this routine, you should soon be attracting envious or appreciative glances, depending on the gender of the observer.