Top 5 Bicep Building Mistakes
Today I'm going to talk about something that I hate, but everyone else seems to love, I really don't know why, but its bicep isolation! Everybody loves biceps right? I kind of hate how they've become the "main" muscle. Anyway, this post isn't about me. I'm here to talk about the mistakes that can halt your bicep progress completely!
Using your back and momentum on the standing bicep curl
You know who I mean, it may be you, or another person you know, but there is ALWAYS one person who is guilty of this. Loading up the bar with 200 lbs and swinging it up, and then not controlling the negative does absolutely nothing for your biceps, you may tear some fibers, but nowhere near as much as if you'd stop the ego-lifting and do nice, slow and controlled reps.
That brings me on point 1.b, controlling the negative. Controlling the negative is extremely important, not only to protect joints but once again, to activate and tear more fibers. I'll always respect the person using the lighter weight doing slow and controlled reps, than the ego-tastic bro swinging the bar up and then dropping it.
Not allowing your biceps to have adequate rest
Yeah we all want big biceps, unfortunately hitting them hard 5 times a week is only going to get your progress going in the wrong direction. Even though they are a small muscle, they still require the same amount of rest like the others to recover, and most importantly grow.
Relying solely on one apparatus
Cables, Barbells, Dumbbells and machines. Do not skimp out on any of them when it comes to bicep training. They all have their clear benefits and target the biceps in different ways, if you are able to use the straight barbell(some people can't due to wrist problems) Then mix it up with the EZ-bar.
People also love an exercise called "21's", this is where you do 7 half reps in the lower range of motion, then do 7 reps in the higher range of motion, then do 7 full curls. This creates a mad pump and tears a boatload of fibers if done right! Prepare to be unable to extend your arms the following morning!
Not trying to increase the weight
I've seen several people at my gym who have been curling the same weight for a year, no joke. The no.1 rule of lifting in itself is progressive overload, and bicep curling is no exception. Even if it's only 1lb micro plates, you need to stress the muscle harder than you did last time, be it more weight, more reps, less rest. Don't use this as an excuse to start lifting out of your league by swinging with your back. Remember, Form > Weight always.
Not many people realize that the chin-up is a bicep exercise too. The closer the grip, the more it hits the bis (chin-ups is with palms facing away) Refer to my old article about pull-ups if you cannot do bodyweight chin ups, then start adding weight to really feel the burn!
What have we learned today?
- Strict, slow reps, focus on the contraction
- Don't rely solely on one piece of equipment
- Progressive overload is essential
Thanks for reading!