I am a 17 year old guy, 190 lb, 5'11", work out six days a week after school targeting various muscle groups each day (legs, arms, chest, etc.). I have been working primarily on gaining strength, not mass, and have been achieving that. I feel that my arms in general are lacking. I have no definition to my biceps at all. Any ideas on how to achieve this effectively?

  • Can you give details on what you currently do each day? Also, what's your nutrition look like? Aug 25, 2014 at 2:44
  • Rope-Climbing. Best Bicep exercise ever. And eat something after training.
    – user8264
    Aug 25, 2014 at 13:55
  • What exercises do you perform to target your arms? Aug 25, 2014 at 22:43
  • @JohnKugelman Usually on arms day i do barbell curls (10 at 90, 10 at 50, another 10 or til fail @ 90) bicep curls, lat pulldown, pull-ups, and bench about 100-120
    – Seplo
    Aug 25, 2014 at 23:05

4 Answers 4


Definition comes from lowering your Body fat. Chalking up my hands and doing heavy Deadlifting has given me more strength in my forearms than any isolated movement.


I would recommend you perform exercises that isolate the biceps. For example, one arm dumbbell curls. There are many other exercises you can perform, but, the point is to try and isolate the muscle. Try to do 10 to 12 reps.


Well basically to build muscle you need to be lifting HEAVY, if you can do more than 10 reps, go up weight. to really tear the muscle and make it grow, train biceps twixce a week. do isolation exefcises such as bicep curls, do 5 sets of 10 reps, then continue with other exercises.

the main reason people who lift don't gain muscle is because they don't eat enough protein... not enough protein.. impossible for new musxcle to grow? as you are 190lbs you need to be eating 190 g of protein MINIMUM... tuna Is 17g, a cup of milk is 8.5g.... as you can see it is hard to meet the requiements, try a protein shake to assist this. and make sure you have it directly after you train. go up weighr every 3 weeks and always change routines


If you want definition in your biceps, you need to train them like a body builder would: lots of isolation work, moderate to high rep range, and lots of volume.

Personally I can't stand training that way and although I don't have studies in front of me to prove it, anecdotal I know it causes a lot of injuries. Isolation work is a terrific way to develop tendinitis and overuse injuries and imbalances.

As you said you are strength training, so I would pick from strength training exercises. Specifically:

  • Palms-toward-you weighted pullups. If you can do 5x5 with a 45lb hanging off of you, you will have developed biceps.
  • Deadlifts and cleans. These train the bicep primarily via isometrics but as a staple for strength training they are hard to beat.

Your biceps, measured by force or size, are tiny compared to the "big movers", and as such should lag behind them. Further, you want to develop them as part of your overall body. Check this study on what was found out about baseball players who have biceps that are more than 76% the strength of their triceps:

These findings suggest that the ratio of biceps concentric to triceps concentric functional strength strongly predicts elbow-injury status in baseball players. Assessment of this ratio may prove useful in a practical setting for training purposes and both injury diagnosis and rehabilitation.

Stick with whole body compound work. To be honest at 17 you shouldn't have big biceps. What you should be doing is laying the foundation of fitness that will have you with shocking athleticism in the next 5-10 years.

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