Bicep Exercises for Mass

Written by Mindi O'Brien, IFBB Pro / For Models Observer

Training Biceps With Mindi O'Brien

Welcome to the Gun Show!!!

Genetically my biceps are one of my better body parts and thankfully I love to train them!
As a child I used to admire my mom’s arms…she always had nice chiseled arms and I was determined to achieve that same look.

When I started lifting weights, I didn’t want to waste time in the gym just mindlessly going through the exercises and hoping for the best results. I wanted to learn and understand the role and the structure of the muscle first so I started studying the anatomy.

I realized that I needed to be patient, train hard, eat well, be diligent with my training and use proper form throughout all of my exercises in order to help me achieve my desired look.

The biceps brachii has two heads running parallel to one another along your upper arm. The short head runs on the inside of the arm, closest to the chest, and adds to the thickness when viewed from the front. The long head runs along the outside of the arm and forms the peak when flexed.
There is also the brachialis muscle. This is an assisting muscle that is situated under the bicep that helps the flexing of the elbow. (Increasing its size is an easy way for the arm to look bigger and more developed.

I vary up my arm training workouts weekly using a variety of different exercises, using different rep range, free weights/machines, using time under tension, super-setting, drop sets, giant sets, different hand grip-reverse grip, pronate/supinating, wide grip, close grip…etc…

My focus is getting the best pump out of each workout, so I make sure I use strict form throughout all of my exercises….I know that every workout brings me that closer to my goal.
I focus using full range of motion, focus engaging and contracting the muscle throughout the entire exercise and making the mind muscle connection.
Always be in control-engage the muscle before you lift and have control on the negative.
Use strict form, keep your elbows tight at your side and keep constant tension on the bicep throughout the exercise.

The workout below is what I used this week. (I trained biceps/triceps together)
My rest time between sets was about 45 seconds.

Warm up is crucial.
1. Standing bb curls: 2 warm up sets of 15-20 reps using light weight + 4 sets of 8-10 reps –(vary up your hand grip-week 1-use wider grip. Week 2: use a narrow grip or shoulder width grip.
2. Standing or seated db curls: 4 sets of 8-10 reps-supinate on top and pronate at the bottom.
3. Single arm preacher curls-using db’s or machine-4 sets of 8-12 reps-I always start with my weaker arm.
4. Incline db hammer curls: 4-5 sets of 10-15 reps.
5. Cool down/stretch out biceps.

Some Of The Biggest Mistakes When Training Biceps:

1. Lack of focus-not making the mind/muscle connection.
2. Poor technique and bad form.
3. Lifting too heavy. Put your ego aside and decrease the weight. To get the best results the contraction is the crucial component of a curl. Lifting too heavy effects the feeling of the full contraction.
4. Warming up properly. You want to stress the muscle and not the joints.
5. Not using full range of motion.
6. Not incorporating sufficient variety. (both rep range and exercises)
7. Ignoring the triceps. The biceps are actually 1/3 of the upper arm. The triceps make up the other 2/3.Having weak triceps will never give that full look to the entire arm.
8. Overtraining-keep in mind when you train your back, your biceps come into play. They need time to recover.
9. Symmetry between both arms.
10. Poor nutrition.

The daily decisions you make may have a tremendous effect on the outcome of your overall health and fitness results.
Stay true to your dreams regardless of what others say. When you enjoy what you are doing and know you are pursuing worthwhile goals, anything is possible….

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