Arm strength is vital to lifting, carrying, and even simply writing on paper. The majority of your ability to do these things comes straight from the bicep muscles in your arm. The problem with biceps is that they seem to be easy to tire, while requiring a significant amount of focus to build them. You could do bicep curls all day, but chances are, you would only notice moderate gains.
The trick to building impressive bicep muscles relies in how you exercise, what you eat, and how often you eat. You also need to take care of other important needs of your body to ensure that your body focuses on those biceps.
Build Biceps With Diet First
The foundation for strong arms requires the right diet. The challenge is finding the right diet for your specific needs.
Your diet should:
- Have a positive caloric intake. – This means you need to consume more calories than you expend through exercise, but only when you are actively doing bicep exercises.
- Be rich in protein. – Protein is the building block for your muscles. Without an adequate supply, your muscles will remain lackluster.
- Have ample fats and carbohydrates. – 20 to 25 percent of your calories should come from fat, and just enough of those calories should come from carbohydrates. Too many carbohydrates can lead to excess fat, while too little fat intake can lead to reduced gains.
One thing to keep in mind is you should only use this diet when you train your arms. Your regular diet should apply whenever you aren’t doing weight training.
Focus on Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise helps your blood circulate, maximizes the efficiency of your circulatory system, and performs a number of other vital functions. You can’t just focus on weight training alone if you want to stay healthy.
If you want large biceps quickly, then consider taking up swimming lessons. Not only does swimming provide an amazing workout that utilizes your entire body’s interaction with water as resistance, but it also provides a thorough low-impact, aerobic exercise.
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An added benefit of getting proper swim lessons is a perfected form, which in turn allows your body to function more efficiently with each movement.
Generally you should perform aerobic exercises before you lift. This will help you maximize your gains.
Don’t Hyper-focus on Your Biceps
Your body’s muscles are many independent, but related parts. This means you should focus on performing other weight training exercises if you want to really maximize how you build your biceps.
Consider push-ups as one potential exercise for building biceps as well as working other parts of your arm. You should use a normal stance, a wide stance and a short stance to separate your hands, to ensure that you can target multiple muscle groups. You will find that your biceps look larger when you cover each of your upper body’s muscle groups.
Incorporate Partial Movements
Partial movements focus on following through on only part of an exercise’s full range of motion. These enable you to derive the greatest benefit from a particular exercise.
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Seated barbell curls are an example of partial movements. You can do the standard curl while supporting your upper arm on the inside of your thigh to see larger gains in your biceps.
Try Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are one of the most important and versatile pieces of exercise equipment you can use. They can move in ways dumbbells and barbells never can and give you more resistance.
In addition to enhancing the amount of muscle growth you experience, resistance bands can help stabilize your muscles. This allows you to squeeze a few more pounds of force from your muscles before they grow tired, while reducing your chances of injury.
While the above techniques will help you build your biceps faster than you would be able to otherwise, keep in mind that there is a limit to the gains you will experience.
Larger muscles require more exercise and resistance to grow bigger. After two weeks, you should see some results. Continue to challenge your biceps to see even larger gains.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. Brooke recommends SwimJim swim lessons in NYC for a great low-impact exercise that can build muscle. Brooke is available via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.