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I've been going to the gym since august 2010 now after a long break ( 2 years ), and I am changing my workout programmes regularly to not have any plateauing or adaptation.

I must say that I do not sleep enough at the moment, and I'm pretty sure it has an effect on my workouts and causing less muscle growth. I'm aware of that, but starting your own business just demands a lot of your time.

I have always faced the fact that my chest, abs and shoulders gain more easily than my biceps, though you'd assume they would grow the most, because you use them in virtually every exercise.

My current workout programme allows me to "rest" enough between workouts. I don't stick to it that precise, i see it more as a guideline.

  • day 1: Chest ( flys, peck deck, bench press ( + incline or decline), incline dbs press, ...)
  • day 2: Shoulders & back ( laterals, military press, ...) + 30 mins of cardio
  • day 3: Legs or rest ( week 2 / week 1 )
  • day 4: Arms ( curls, triceps exercises, ... )
  • day 5: 40 mins of cardio ( rowing for my back, running ) + abs
  • day 6: rest or legs ( week 1 / week 2 )
  • day 7: light workout ( overall, but very light ) approx. 40 mins of workout

I'm not seeking for any exercises in particular for me to gain biceps muscle more easily. I have been working out ( with long breaks ) for 7 years now and know a great deal of exercises ( and there's still the internet ).

What i would be very happy with, is to get some advice, some guidelines.

Maybe it is in my genes to gain chest more easily than arms, maybe it is to do with the fact that my job as a programmer doesn't let me use my arms a lot...

Any advice is greatly appreciated

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Related link pertaining to sleep: fitness.stackexchange.com/q/573/501 –  Evan Plaice Mar 31 '11 at 14:00
    
I have the same problem... my chest and triceps grow really easier than my biceps. Sometimes I dedicate a day for biceps alone for the hope of adding mass to it, but didn't make a difference... :( –  Owen Apr 1 '11 at 10:22
    
@owen: I'm following current advice: Eating more, sleeping more, and taking less weight, but do them properly. Still, I don't feel it burning but according to some posts on here, it is not necessary. –  Uw Concept Apr 1 '11 at 17:51

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Lift heavy! If you can do 8 reps of a bicep exercise, you need more weight. If you can still lift your toothbrush the next morning, you need to add more weight. Since you know a lot of exercises, I'll skip that part. Here are some different way to do the exercises that may help:

Positives, negatives, and statics

  • Positives are what you're probably doing already: lift the weight and engage your muscle throughout the contraction.
  • Negatives are the opposite - grab some weight that is too much for you to lift regularly and start in the fully contracted position. Slowly, and carefully, allow the weight to pull your hand away from your shoulder while you try and hold it still. This is guaranteed to make it hard to brush your teeth.
  • Statics are where you don't move at all. Grab some heavy weight (90% max for example) and hold it mid-rep for as long as you can. This technique can be combined with negatives.

Twenty-ones

This consists of three different movements:

  • 7 reps in the bottom part of your normal range of motion. Start fully extended and flex your muscle until the weight is half way through the rep.
  • 7 reps in the top part of your normal range of motion. Start in the mid-rep position and flex your muscle to finish the rep as normal.
  • 7 full reps! From bottom to top flexing your muscle the entire way. Don't forget to think about your muscle flexing and go slow.

Different Grips

If you're using a bar to do your bicep exercises there are three good grips you can use:

  • Super wide. As far apart as is comfortable, but make sure you don't put stress on your elbows.
  • Super narrow. Just the opposite. Do the reps with your pinky fingers touching eachother.
  • Reverse grip. Instead of palms up, palms down. This take some getting use to and you'll probably have to drop the weight for a while.

Also consider not working out almost every day. Most people use a 3-day split to make sure they get enough rest.

Good luck!

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The lift heavy advice depends on whether he means a strength gain or a mass gain (not clearly specified in the question). If he wants mass, then lifting heavy isn't the best solution and 8-12 reps is about right. If he wants strength, then definitely lift heavier, but NOT to exhaustion... –  Greg Mar 31 '11 at 16:23
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+1 for the twenty-ones. That's is a good method. The others are a bit much for my right hand wrist, so I try to avoid too much weight, or a reverse grip. And @Greg - I'm going tor mass gain, sorry if it wasn't clear from my post. –  Uw Concept Mar 31 '11 at 18:05
    
what does reverse grip develop? does it work like hammer lifts? –  Owen Apr 1 '11 at 10:19
    
@Owen - It just works the muscle a different way. A hammer grip is another good one. –  Sparafusile Apr 2 '11 at 21:23
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I have started doing "negative" exercises with very heavy weights and i have gained 3,5 centimeters in two weeks! :D –  Uw Concept Aug 22 '11 at 20:49

We could give you all great advice on how to grow your biceps but I'm sure you've probably read a lot of that already. The reality is that genetics plays a major role in how your muscles grow. For me, my quads, glutes, and back grow pretty easily, however my arms and calves just can't seem to lag behind always. Some are the opposite and have a really easy time growing their arms while their chest remains flat as a board.

Do the best you can, but be understanding that genetics is just something you simply cannot change.....yet ;)

Sidenote: If you want major gains - eat more!

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Thanks for your input. +1 for eating more. I will have to start eating more again.. –  Uw Concept Apr 1 '11 at 6:45

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