Build Awesome Biceps in One Workout a Week

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Stubborn body parts need to learn their lessons the hard way.

By Mike O’Hearn

We all seem to have a troublesome body part or muscle group that doesn’t seem to budge no matter how hard we train it. For some, that out-of-reach goal entails the core, and for others, the arms. If you fall into the latter category, and your trouble spot happens to be your arms, you’ve probably been dying to build awesome biceps. Whether you’ve had some luck or can’t seem to build mass to save your life, it’s time to rethink your routine. Dedicating a day to a specific muscle group isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you have to make sure you’re working out smart, not just hard.

They might be 20 inches around now, but even for years after I started training, my arms were one of my weakest body parts. Because I started out with a powerlifting approach to training, I didn’t give much dedicated attention to my biceps. Then, when I did start training them specifically, they didn’t respond in the way I wanted. Frustrated, I started overtraining. When I finally gave my arms a break, they blew up like balloons.

My story is a defence of overtraining; if you have a body part that won’t respond, you’re not going to get it to grow through old-fashioned straight sets. Three-time Mr. Olympia Frank Zane believed this as well, and it worked wonders for him. The concept is not dissimilar to that of cheat meals. We don’t just eat cheat meals to give our minds a break, we do it to overclock the metabolism and get us burning calories at a higher rate when we return to clean eating. The same wisdom applies here. Straight sets are more effective after you’ve hammered your biceps with an ultra-intense workout like the one below. Hit it this week, then every week after, alternate between conventional sets and balls-to-the-wall intensity.

“If your biceps are like mine used to be and refuse to grow, then it’s time to overtrain them—the smart way.”

Build Awesome Biceps: The Workout

Exercise Sets Reps        
EZ-bar Cable Curl* 4 15
Incline Supinating Dumbbell Curl** 4 12
Barbell 21s*** 4
Standing Concentration Curl**** 4 20 (each)

*Performed as a warmup.

**Exaggerate the twist, with your palms almost facing out to the sides in the top position. Squeeze hard at the top.

***Do 7 top-half reps, 7 bottom-half reps, then 7 full-range of motion reps. If working with a partner, use partner rest, or no more than 30 seconds between sets if you’re flying solo.

****Alternate between your right and left arms without resting until four sets are complete for each arm. Use a weight that would make it impossible to get all 20 reps on sets 3 and 4.

Whether you have the tiniest arms of all your friends or are doing pretty well in the bicep size department, there’s always room to add more mass and width to your arms. Straight sets aren’t a bad thing, but they work best when paired with a following workout that really burns out the biceps. If you’ve been dying to build awesome biceps, your time is now. Try out this routine once a week and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Source: Power Bodybuilding: Shock And Awesome Biceps – Muscle & Fitness

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