You guys remember those college nights where going meant that you would hit the gym before, do 1,000 sets for arms and then wear the tightest polo in your wardrobe arsenal?! … No?? That was just me? Ok cool, anyways…
I will be the first to admit that in my early days of lifting, the main muscles that I really cared about were arms & abs. You could put money on the fact that I would never miss arms & abs day. Leg day? Well, that was more of a 50/50 bet.
Fast forward 8 years and countless hours spent inside and outside the gym perfecting my physique, I have learned that there is more to an impressive physique aside from a good set of pipes. (Check out our Leg Day favorites)
That does not mean that I have stopped giving them some love. I just don’t hit them 7 days a week … lol
So with that said, lets dive into the world of the pythons and understand the composition and how to best attack them.
The bicep muscle as a whole is comprised of 3 separate parts;
The Biceps Brachii – This is a two-headed monster. It is made up of the outer long head and the inner short head. Outer head will be responsible for building that peak. Inner head will be responsible for adding thickness.
The Brachialis – Deep muscle that lies under the Biceps Brachii. There is obvious aesthetic appeal for bodybuilders when it comes to the Biceps Brachii, but the Brachialis actually generates more power and is a prime mover when it comes to elbow flexion
The Brachioradialis – Found in the forearm, this muscle is primarily responsible for rotating the forearm and assists in elbow flexion.
If your idea of an Arm Day is to just go hammer some biceps curls and call it a day … Well then, you’re just going to be spinning your wheels and making minimal gains. Also, if you’re bouncing on every rep and throwing your back into every rep, no bicep peak for you!
As is the case with every muscle in the body, the biceps require careful planning & programming and must be trained with strict form and purpose.
The Long Head (Outer) – This muscle is at its most advantageous position when your elbow is behind your body. You will find the best activation of this muscle with the following exercises
- Incline DB Curls
- Cable Curls facing away from the machine
- Drag curls with elbows behind the plane of the body (fancy trainer talk for elbows behind your body)
The Short Head (Inner) – This muscle is at an advantage with your elbow in front of your body. Use these exercises to target the Inner head;
- Preacher Curls
- Spider Curls
The Brachialis – This muscle will find its groove with hands in a neutral position. Use the following exercises to hit it;
- Hammer Curls
- Reverse Grip Barbell Curls
The Brachioradialis – Pronated grip is your friend here. Use these exercises to grow that little forearm muscle;
- Reverse Barbell Curls
- Barbell Wrist Curls
- Zottman Curls
And there you have it folk. A relatively light and easy to follow guide for Arms. Consider this Biceps 101. We can definitely progress into AP or Advanced Biceps if we wanted to, but that is not our purpose here. We want to deliver you easy to digest information that you can apply immediately. Not put you to sleep with overly complicated scientific terms and studies.
Now off you go. Head to the gym and attack those arms with added knowledge because #EVERYDAYISARMDAY