Biceps. One of the most sought after muscle to develop on the male body, yet most guys do a girl’s exercise. Don’t be a girl, quit curling to build biceps.
Curls are the most popular exercise in the gym, but they don’t deliver the results. In order for a muscle your bicep to grow, you must work it. So why aren’t your biceps growing with curls?
Countless curls may work your bicep, but when working your bicep with compound movements, you will spark new growth in your guns.
You may read this article and think I am crazy, but think about how long have you been going to the gym hitting biceps from every angle, yet haven’t increased arm size?
Tips for Getting Huge Arms
Do Heavy Compound Lifts
Heavy compound lifts put lots of stress on the nervous system. Your body responds by releasing hormones to grow muscle and get stronger.
Compound Movements That Work Biceps
- Barbell Rows
- Chin Ups
- Seated Rows (Wide and Close Grip)
- Seated Pull Downs
- 1 Arm Dumbbell Rows
Looking at this list, most of the exercises are rowing motion. Rows are generally chosen for back workouts, but they are great for working biceps. Try doing these rows with a supinated grip to increase the amount of bicep used.
Deadlifts and squats don’t directly work biceps, but both are a full body compound movement and puts the most strain on your nervous system which stimulates growth. This means if you aren’t already doing squats and deadlifts and add them into your routine, you will be able to add some meat to those chicken wings you call arms.
Isolation Movements That Work Biceps
- Hammer Strength Curl Machines
- Zottman Curls
- Pronated Barbell Curls
- Hammer Curls
- Resistance Band Curls
- Preacher Barbell Curls
Choosing better and different isolation exercises help give you a better contraction on the muscle. These exercises will give you the ability to overload your muscle and give you new exercises to keep your gym routine exciting.
Using resistance bands for curls are a great way to get dynamic resistance throughout the whole range of motion. Resistance bands are a great tool every gym bag should have. Check them out at EliteFTS.
Train Your Triceps
Your triceps compose 2/3s of your arm size, so why spend so much time hitting your biceps and skipping out on your triceps?
Just like biceps, training your triceps effectively is important to muscle growth; doing tricep extensions all day is just a waste of time.
Compound Movements That Work Triceps
- Bench Press
- Close Grip Bench Press
- Close Grip Push Ups
- Overhead Press
- Floor Press
All of these movements are pressing exercises and work the tricep as a secondary muscle. Close grip bench presses and floor presses put more stress on the tricep and are a great choice for an accessory exercise for the triceps.
Isolation Movements That Work Triceps
- Hammer Tricep Machines
- Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension
- Skull Crushers
- Resistance Band Tricep Extensions
All of these isolation movements are great to add into your routine and can give great results.
Progressive overload is a basic principle in resistance training that states you must increase your work load to increase your strength and muscle mass. In particular this means putting more weight on the bar, or doing more reps.
When you progressively overload, your body will have to adapt and become stronger. This constant strain on the nervous system is why people get stronger or build more muscle, it is our body’s way of adapting to the new conditions.
If you want to build muscle, you must eat a lot. Too many people go to the gym and bust their ass day in and day out and do not make any muscle gains. The reason these people don’t gain muscle is because they are not eating enough healthy foods.
Eating healthy whole foods gives your body the fuel it needs to build muscle. Eat plenty of protein, get your fiber, minerals, and vitamins from your vegetables and fruits, and you are on the path to building quality solid muscle.
If you are unable to gain muscle even though you are working your tail off in the gym, eat an extra 250 calories a day for 8 weeks and record your results.
Get Enough Sleep
Muscles grow during sleep. Proper recovery is what grows muscles; without proper sleep and nutrition, you are wasting your time in the gym.
Getting enough rest and food is vital to muscle growth and your overall health. Beating your muscles up picking up heavy ass weight won’t do any good if you don’t get enough food and sleep.
Being consistent is important. Consistently working out, consistently eating healthy food, and consistently getting enough sleep will give you the ability to fine tune your diet and workouts to achieve your goals.
If you are unable to eat roughly the same calories and macros every day, there is no way to gauge the difference between eating 300 grams of protein and 250 grams of protein on your strength and performance in the gym.
On the other hand, if you are trying to lose weight and you can’t control how many carbs you eat in a day, your body will fluctuate water weight and muscle glycogen and you cannot gauge your weight loss effectively.
Doing things consistently, almost in a habitual manner will yield the best results in your goals. Whether you want to be a pro bodybuilder, an elite powerlifter, or look great in a swimsuit, being consistent will ensure your success.
Having patience is one of the most important traits you need to have. “Training ADD” which is where someone jumps from one training routine to another because it is the latest fad, or simply just a new routine.
Building muscle and strength is a life-long journey, you can’t expect to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ronnie Coleman in three weeks.
Believe it or not, running any workout routine that includes the major compound lifts (squat, bench, deadlift, barbell row, or overhead press) and works on the principle of progressive overload, you will make lean muscle mass gains and get stronger.
When you switch programs after three weeks, you are robbing yourself any gains and limiting any progression you will ever make. Stick with your program for 12 weeks, or whatever the length was designed to go, and give everything you have to it. If you are eating, adding weight to the bar, and getting good recovery, you are going to grow and get stronger.
Final Words of Wisdom
The secret to building muscle is simple: be consistent, work your ass off, eat, sleep, eat, repeat. Find a workout routine that you enjoy and dedicate yourself to that routine.
Be consistent with everything you do and have patience; you will get where you want to be if you work hard and train smart.
8 thoughts on “Curls Are For Girls: Grow Bigger Biceps”
The ‘alternating grip curls’ you’re describing are called Zottman curls.
Thank you! I knew they had a name but I could not for the life of me remember.
Your no B/S*** manner and great advice is refreshing in this world of crap info, keep up the good work!
Thanks man, I try to give the no bs info so I can help others teach their goals. I don’t have affiliations with anyone so I give unbiased information on everything I write.
Hi, Cutty. Do know the Bradfrord Press and the Cuban Press? what,s your opinion about it?
I’ve heard of them, I will write an article about them and include videos about them. Thank you for the article idea.
In short: Bradford Press takes healthy shoulders since you’re basically going into a behind the neck press. This is an exercise I would use light light weights and tread lightly, as this is an exercise that can really tear up a shoulder that’s not mobile and healthy.
Cuban Press looks okay, again use very very light weights.. I would suggest something a little different with a powerlifting/strength training style than how they do it but I think out of the two, the Cuban Press would suit more people with less chance of injury.
As always grateful Cutty and keep going and do not stop helping people for achieve their goals.