Bi-Bi Small Arms

Lee Haney gives expert advice on how to bring up your biceps.
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QUESTION

My biceps are starting to lag behind the rest of my body despite my hitting them as hard as every other bodypart. Any suggestions?

ANSWER

I know where you’re coming from because my biceps tend to be more stubborn than, say, my back, shoulders or chest. In fact, leading up to the ’91 Olympia, I decided that those other bodyparts were beginning to overshadow my arms and that I needed to add half an inch to my arms, particularly my biceps. I’m happy to report that I did add that half-inch and that my biceps reached their all-time peak for my final Olympia contest.

How did I do it? I implemented something Tom Platz did to shock his muscles into new growth: I concentrated on half-movements and forced reps. By cutting the number of exercises in half and having a spotter help out, the amount of weight lifted could be increased and muscles could be stressed in a whole new way.

Take preacher curls as an example. Say you normally use 100 pounds for 10 full-range reps. Instead, put 120 pounds on the bar. Since you’re weakest at the bottom portion of the movement, ask a spotter to assist you in raising the bar past the “sticking point” (the point from which you can control the weight on your own). From there, curl the bar up to the top position, squeeze your biceps as hard as you can, and lower the bar back down to about the halfway point of the normal movement. Make sure your partner stays at the ready to spot you when you falter. The idea is to keep the bar moving, save for the one-second contraction at the top. Imagine your arms as pistons moving the barbell up and down, rhythmically, for the prescribed number of reps.

Another suggestion for packing mass onto lagging biceps is to prioritize them in your workouts. The best way to do this is to split your routine so that arms are trained on their own day. For example, if you train your body over the course of four days, which I recommend, use a split such as the following:

  • Day 1: Chest and Back
  • Day 2: Legs and Shoulders
  • Day 3: Rest
  • Day 4: Arms
  • Day 5: Begin the Cycle Again

Imagine your arms as pistons moving the barbell up and down, rhythmically.

By training your arms alone during this rotation, you’re able to give them the ultimate focus and intensity they need to grow. Also, within your arm workout, you can further prioritize your biceps by hitting them before your triceps. It’s all about training them when you are fresh and have the most energy to devote to them.

Finally, try employing my “Biceps-Blitzing Workout” to really make those suckers scream for mercy. In it, I perform barbell curls, preacher curls and concentration curls nonstop in triset fashion four times, resting only a minute after each triset.

You should perform this grueling routine only about once every two weeks, as it necessitates a longer recovery time than the usual biceps training. When you see the peaks of your biceps pushing through the sleeves of your shirt six weeks from now, you’ll agree with me that it was worth the pain. How sweet it is! - FLEX

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