In this article we will talk about the ultimate Biceps Workout for Mass. You will get to know about the only 3 dumbbell based exercises required to get bicep muscle mass gains. Explore the correct form of each workout along with their pros and cons.
Also see: Triceps Workout at Gym
Biceps Workout for Mass: 5 Common Mistakes
Mistake #1 Lack of Weight Progression
It is a fundamental principle of muscle building that you need to lift higher with time. When you lift heavier than what you are used to, your muscles get slightly damaged. After proper diet and rest, your body will rebuild the lost muscles. Additionally, it will create a little more muscle to be better prepared for the future. In this manner your muscles grow over time.
However, I often see guys( especially the noobs) who do not understand this principle. Performing the exercises using the same weight will burn some calories but will not contribute in your biceps mass gains.
The best way to overcome this mistake is by tracking your workout. You can use a notepad or an app in your phone to note down the amount of weight and number of sets you performed.
Remember that lifting heavier doesn’t mean ego lifting. Focus on weight progression with time. Just don’t injure yourself by lifting too heavy.
Mistake #2 Ditching the Negative Tension
When you perform a curl, your biceps come under tension. They exert force to lift the dumbbell. This tension is what activates your bicep muscles.
However, when you bring your dumbbell down, the gravity kicks in. Your biceps are no longer under tension. Technically, your biceps get activated only half of the time.
To increase the activation, you must understand the concept of negative tension. When you lower the weight, do it slowly. In this way, your biceps are still under the tension as they are fighting gravity. This will definitely increase the activation in your biceps for mass gains.
Mistake #3 Incomplete Diet
Well, your body needs nutrition to build muscles. Protein is an essential element to muscle building. Lifting alone will not help you to get that ideal physique.
If you find that your biceps have stopped growing, maybe it’s time to take a look at your diet. A standard rule is eating 2 gram protein per kg of your bodyweight.
Remember that protein is just one portion of your diet. You still need other nutrients to have a healthy body.
Mistake #4 Lack of Variation in Exercises
As the name suggests, biceps consists of two heads. A shorter head and a longer head. The primary function of the biceps is moverment of your shoulder and elbow joint. It also assists in moving the arm in different directions.
If you want overall biceps mass gains, it is necessary that you train all of its parts. Remember that your workout plan should include all the primary movements of the biceps.
Mistake #5 Pathetic Form
I know it sounds rude, but a lot of guys(even the one with experience) do not work on mastering the form. Exercising using the correct form is much more important than exercising using heavy weight.
If you are a beginner at lifting it is absolutely essential for you to focus on your form first. Ask your trainer for guidance and read on thedumbbellworkout to know about the correct form of your workout.
Do not go for higher weight if you have to compromise with your form. Correct form is really important for efficient activation of your biceps if you want those mass gains.
Also see: Dumbbell Workout for Back
Biceps Workout for Mass: The Ultimate Plan
Exercise #1 : Hammer Curls
Hammer curls require no introduction. What I really love about them is that they are both easy to perform and are great at targeting your biceps.
How to Perform:
- Stand tall with back straight. Grab a dumbbell in each hand.
- Hold the dumbbells such that palms are facing each other. Keep dumbbells at your side.
- Curl your arm up until the dumbbell reaches near your shoulder.
Pro tip: Control the movement. Remember to maintain the negative tension in your biceps.
Pros: Hammer curls will target both the longer head of biceps as well as a supporting muscle brachialis.
Cons: Slight pain in the forearm is a known problem when doing hammer curls if you are a beginner. Focus on strengthening your muscles before going for really heavy weight.
Sets: 4 , Repetitions: 12-15
Exercise #2 : Concentration Curls
When you flex your arms, you can see the peek of your biceps. You can increase the peak by including concentration curls in your schedule.
How to perform:
- Sit on a flat bench and bend slightly forward.
- Grab a dumbbell in one hand using supinated grip( palm facing up). Keep your free hand on the other thigh.
- Place your elbow on the base of your knee.
- Curl the weight up towards your shoulder. Slowly return to the initial position.
- Repeat this motion to complete the set.
Pro tip: Do not fully extend your elbow when you lower the dumbbell. This is necessary to maintain the tension in your biceps at all times.
Pros: They are a great isolation exercise. As I already said they are great for bicep peak too.
Cons: Avoid lifting really heavy weight if you have to compromise with your form. There is a risk of elbow injury if you are not careful.
Sets: 3-4 , Repetitions: 10-12
Exercise #3 : Incline Dumbbell Curls
Incline Dumbbell Curls are well known to lifters because they are both easy and effective.
How to perform:
- Sit on an inclined bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- Let your hands hang at your hands.
- Keep your upper arms fixed and slowly curl your hands while breathing out.
- Return to the initial position. Repeat this motion to complete your set.
Pro tip: Do not rush while bringing weights down. Keep the motion slow so that the strain on bicep muscles is maintained
Pros: Studies have shown that incline dumbbell curls are great when it comes to bicep muscle activation. If you have been looking to increase your biceps gain, then this exercise is for you.
Cons: Do not rush in performing the exercise. This will reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.
Sets: 3-4 , Repetitions: 10-12
You can perform the Biceps Workout for Mass one to two times a week.
Biceps Workout for Mass: Use Dumbbell Or Barbell?
Should you use dumbbells or the barbells when training biceps for mass?
Well this is a common question. Both of them have their own advantages. Below is a list of reasons why I love working out with the dumbbells more.
Increase in Stabilization: When you workout using a barbell, you stabilize the weight using both hands.However, in case of dumbbells the entire responsibility of stabilizing weight is one arm. So using dumbbell will surely improve the stabilization.
More range of motion: There are many physical limitations when using a barbell. You cannot move the weight freely. On the other hand, a dumbbell will allow wider range of motion. There will be no restriction in moving the weight. You can squeeze your muscles more, which will provide more activation.
Isolation and symmetry: Ever felt that your one arm has gained mass more than the other arm? In this case, dumbbells will come to your rescue. You can isolate the weaker part and train it more to balance out the difference.
Workout at home: There is no need to wait for that fancy machine at your gym to be free. Dumbbells provide you the liberty to workout at your own schedule. If you use a set of dumbbells, you will have the freedom to workout at home and get those bicep mass gains.
Variety of workouts: Dumbbells provide a plethora of exercises. If you get bored of one exercise, you can simply perform its alternative. For every barbell exercise out there, you can definitely find a dumbbell exercise.
Do you want more exercises on Biceps? See: Dumbbell Workout for Biceps