Every time I go to the gym, I see guys just cranking out set after set of bicep curls. Now I know we would all like to have bigger arms, but please do not spend 3 hours at a time just curling a barbell. Sure you will get a nice pump from doing that, however it is not a good way to go about building up your biceps in the long run. Below are the 5 main mistakes people make when it comes to their biceps.
1. More is always better.
False. If this was true, then we would either all be training all day long, or give up since we end up wasting our lives away. When it comes to training your biceps, less is more. The goal for each workout is to top your last workout. This can be achieved by either adding more weight each time, or doing some extra reps. Once you have that, move on to your next exercise. Make sure to record the weight and reps you did, so you can improve on that the next workout.
2. Using the same exercises every workout.
There are two main bicep exercises you will find most people doing; barbell and dumbbell curls. These are great for working out your biceps, however you must be improving on your weight and or reps each time. You should also work on having perfect form. You can continue to use these exercises until you reach around 100 pounds on the barbell, then you should mix it up.
Try pressing your elbows outward and have a close grip. This will put stress on your outer bicep. On the flip side, try pushing your elbows into your side, do not let them move, and have a wide grip. This will stress your inner biceps. Lastly do some hammer curls and reverse curls as well.
3. Being obsessed with the pump
We all know how good it feels to look in the mirror after an intense bicep workout and see how big our arms look. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as know it is just a pump. If you were to curl a light weight for a long time, you'll get a pretty decent pump, but when you leave the gym, your arms will deflate to the same size they where when you walked into the gym. What you should be more concerned about is how your arms look after the pump is gone. In order for you arms to grow, after the pump, you must be increasing the weight and reps each time. You will still get a nice pump, but even more importantly is the actual progress of your arms, with no pump. That is what the majority of people will see.
4. Focusing too much on your biceps
Sure it is more satisfying to just do some curls, but the truth is, your biceps will also grow when doing other exercises and increasing your overall strength. If you focus on increasing your weight on your rows, pull ups, chin-ups and bench press, your biceps will grow proportionally as well. Also by not wasting too much energy on just your biceps, you will be able to lift more weight for your bigger muscles such as your back. If your biceps are tired from all the curls you just pumped out, your back exercise is going to suffer.
5. Not putting enough tension on the bicep
I am sure you have seen, or even done it your self, the people who swing the barbells up and down in a frantic uneven rhythm. Do not be that guy. There is a good chance you are working out every muscle except your biceps, not to mention the chance of injury is higher. Instead you should focus on keeping constant tension on your muscles at all times. The bar should be moving at all times, with no pause at the top or bottom. Try squeezing the bar as hard as you can and do not let your biceps relax until the set is done. The goal is to not allow any oxygen into your muscles, which creates a spike in your anabolic hormones, which promotes muscle growth. Counting is the easiest way to make sure you are moving in a slow and constant manor. Try counting 1, 2, 3 while pulling the bar up, do not pause at the top, and then 1, 2, 3 on the way down. You will find that you might have to use lighter weights, but it will be worth it.
Those are 5 main mistakes that plague guys of getting the bicep gains they want. Make sure to avoid those, and with the proper routine and nutrition, you should start seeing some gains.
5 Myths for Building Your Biceps by Travis Werbelow