“My Biceps Aren’t Growing” (HERE’S WHY!)

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. So, you’re having trouble building your
biceps? You’ve come to me, and my video. I think I can help you. I’m not really sure, but I think I can help
you. Guys, I’ve got to be honest with you here. That’s a joke because honestly, when I was
younger my biceps were my biggest trouble spot. I didn’t have big arms. It was through my perseverance and wanting
to build bigger biceps that I made a whole hell of a lot of mistakes, but I ultimately
wound up being able to build decent sized arms because of that. So, what I want to do is help you today. I know why yours aren’t growing and I’m
going to help you fix that. First, when we get into the different aspects
of training your biceps I like to think there are mechanical things you’re doing wrong. Literally, how you’re lifting the dumbbell,
and when you’re twisting, and if you’re raising your arm up or not to get complete
bicep contraction. I made a video on that, and I’m going to
link that right here to show you what it looks like. I’m going to link it again at the end of
the video because I want you to see that. I cover five mechanical flaws that you’re
making. You’re going to want to see that. Today I’m going to tell you the two things
you’re probably doing wrong that are definitely holding you back – beside your arms, again,
I know because I’ve witnessed this myself, first hand – is your training frequency. Secondly, your lack of variation of bicep
training techniques. First of all, as far as training frequency
goes, you have to understand that the biceps are pretty limited in terms of their function. They supinate the forearm like this. You can see the bicep will activate just by
doing that. Most importantly they flex the elbow. That’s their biggest driver and function,
is to flex the elbow like this because of their attachment from here, down. They pull, they pull the elbow up. They also have the ability to get a little
bit of shoulder flexion because of the longhead’s attachment up in the top here of the glenohumeral
joint. So, we can get a little bit of that, too. Because of that, you have to realize that
any time you’re bending your elbow in any exercise you do, on your pull day, any back
exercise, chin-ups, rows, inverted rows, one-armed rows; anything you’re doing, you’re working
your biceps. Your biceps are an incredibly small muscle,
believe it or not, only occupying a very small portion of the anterior side of your arm. Too much volume here, and too many times hitting
them in a week is going to be too much. A lot of times, guys, if you’re training
a push-pull leg system, and you’re training each function twice a week, if you throw any
direct bicep work in on top of that you’re truly hitting your biceps three times in that
week and not giving them enough time to recuperate. It’s not about protein synthesis every 48
hours. It’s literally about giving that muscle
group a chance to recover and get back to being able to be stimulated again in a meaningful
way. Not just to coast through another half-assed
workout, but in a meaningful way that leads to progressive overload. That is where we jump off into the second
point. When we’re talking about progressive overload,
again, go back to the function of the biceps. Their limitation in what they do. We’re talking about a hinge joint here. If we were talking about the shoulders, that’s
a ball and socket joint. Meaning, my exercise variety for shoulders
is a lot more than what we have for biceps. In terms of the fact that they look completely
different. A press looks different than a side-lateral
raise, looks different from a front raise, looks different from rear delt raises. We have lots of different angles and planes
that we work in because of the variety of the movement that the three-dimensional ball
and socket joint provides. The hinge joint of the elbow dramatically
limits our options to a lot of different curls. Period. You’re curling with dumbbells, you’re
curling with a barbell, you’re curling with a concentration curl, you’re curling with
a spider curl; you’re freaking curling no matter what you’re doing, guys. You’re curling. The thought that you could simply change bicep
exercises to create new overload, realizing once again that they’re all basically formed
around the same movement here at the elbow is not going to work. Not mention the fact that most of our bicep
exercises are pretty limited, in terms of the ability we have to continue to add weight
to them. Ask yourself the last time you actually increased
the amount of weight you’ve used on dumbbell curls. If you have, how much have you really increased? Progressive overload, and overload in, and
of itself is pretty difficult to achieve. You need to do something dramatically different. And that is, vary the way in which you’re
doing your curls. So, let me show you a few different ways you
could do that. The first thing I like to cover here is one
I called “Sliced Reps”. I take a weight I can normally use for 15
reps and perform a curl all the way to the top. When I come down I drop down 1/9 of the way. You don’t have to get out your compass or
going out and figuring out what that is. Literally, just drop it an estimated 1/9 of
the way, and come back up to the top, and contract. Then drop down a little more, then come back
to the top. Then a little bit more and come back to the
top. So, through nine levels here it takes you
to get all the way to the bottom of the curl. Then you come all the way back up to the top,
then you divide it, and slice it into 8 pieces. Then you come back down, then you drop it,
and you now slice it into 7 pieces. Ultimately, until you get down to your last
two where you’re going down halfway, then come back up to the top, all the way down,
and your last rep is one, full rep. Now, what is happening here? We’re increasing our volume within a set. We’re increasing the number of contractions
we get here. We’re spending a lot more time in the contracted
position of the curl because we keep coming back to it on every slice. We’re increasing the time under tension
throughout the course of this set. Again, although the range of motion is abbreviated
in a single rep, you’re still getting full range of motion as you go from top to bottom
throughout the course of this dropping ladder here. The fact is, this is a way to intensify the
curl. That is going to be how you’ll increase
your muscle mass, by doing your biceps workouts again. You’re adding a way to progressively overload
through some stimulus that you haven’t felt before, as opposed to just saying “I’m
going to do a different form of a curl today.” It’s not enough to just go exercise to exercise. We don’t have to just use that technique
though. We have other things here, like our arc variation. With an arc variation we know that the moment
arm can be changed. If we stand here like I am, using a long movement,
we keep our forearms straight as long as possible, and our elbows are just a little bit at the
front side of our ribcage, we know we have a big, long arc. A long moment arm for the biceps that make
that weight feel extremely heavy and put a great challenge on the biceps. But we don’t have to stop at that point. As we get fatigued and tired we can bring
our elbows in to the sides now, instead of in front of our ribcage. Now, tucked in toward our sides and we continue
to curl. We’ve shortened that moment arm, effectively
lightening that weight in our hands to allow us to keep going. Then we can drop our arms back even more,
even into this drag curl variation that really shortens the moment arm on the biceps. Not only that, it changes the strength curve
of the exercise, so the hard part isn’t in the middle of the exercise, but actually
here, at the peak contraction of the exercise. So, we’re able to take failure and extend
it further, and further, and further, intensifying the curl. Again, it’s all curls. But we’ve intensified that, and that’s
going to lead to bigger biceps in the long run because you’ve gotten too stale with
the fact that you haven’t utilized enough of these techniques. I’ll give you one more here. It’s actually one we use called intensity. The intensity style here is, you’re actually
trying to increase the amount of productive reps you’re doing with a bit of a heavier
weight now. What we do is take an exercise and go to failure
in about five, to six rep range. Then we rest pause for 10 seconds. We don’t put the weight down. We just rest pause. You’ll see that, guess what? After about 10, or 15 seconds you can crank
out another three reps. That’s enough time to rest and get out another
three reps. Then you rest again 10 to 15 seconds, and
then you go for another three reps. Then you’re maybe going for two reps. Then ultimately, you’re going down in singles. But if you do this for a five minute period
of time, when you accumulate the number of high intensity reps that you did in this one
five minute set, and the number of reps you did with this heavier weight; it’s going
to be more than you likely did when you broke your sets up into the tradition three sets
of 12 style. Again, using a heavier weight anyway to get
into this five to six rep range, and you’re accumulating more of those heavy reps. So, no matter what style you’re looking
for, heavier or lighter weights, 15 rep maxes, or five to six rep maxes, the key is this:
it’s not the exercise variation, guys. It’s the variation of the intensity techniques
you’re using on those exercises that will matter the most. As far as frequency goes, if anything, dial
it back and see how you do. I promise you, you’ll probably see a better
result from doing that than you are adding more, and more workouts. Guys, I hope this was helpful to you. If you’re looking for a program where we
put it all in one complete step by step system, I actually created something called our Ultimate
Arms program. That’s available over at ATHLEANX. Guys, it’s not just arm training. We train athletes here. It’s a whole entire program, but it has
a specialization for arms that helps you overcome all the mistakes I made. Not just the ones I point out here. Everything I think that will help you get
better arms in the long run. Guys, that’s over at ATHLEANX.com. In the meantime, if you’ve found the video
helpful leave your comments and thumbs up. Let me know what you want me to cover and
I’ll do my best to do that for you in the days and weeks ahead. See you.

100 Replies to ““My Biceps Aren’t Growing” (HERE’S WHY!)”

  1. Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!


  2. Nah, biceps love it. I am an arm wrestler, I work biceps every day. Devon Larratt works biceps 4 times a day every single day.

  3. How many sets do you perform one of the bicep excercises after the back workout? Or do do you like 2 high intersify excercises which you swap every now and then?

    My body is growing but my bicsps aren't. I am dutch so my english is not the greatest and that is why I ask this question😊

  4. To anyone who works out to build muscle:
    Do you notice that you become stronger in your everyday life?
    How and to what extent?

  5. So m 15 nd m pretty small , m good at chin ups , after 4months of hard training I could do 15chin ups but the problem is my biceps r not growing ( they don't have that shape like this guy in the video they are pretty normal flat biceps ) the case here that I feel m getting stronger since m doing heavier weights in biceps training , so m wondering could it be genetics , or is it my age ?

  6. I feel fucking stupid. Cause I wanna do the whole Push Pull Legs workout. But there's no way my biceps will grow when im doing that. Cause you gotta train 2/3 times per week for it to grow. And let's say I do pull day. No way I'm gonna be able to give my biceps enough volume to grow I don't get it

  7. Realistically, this is the only dude you need to be listening to regarding working out when it comes to all these trainers on social media. Jeff. Knows. His. Shit.

  8. I'm in my fifties and I started working out again after taking almost two decades off. Thanks for the tips. All my other muscles have been slowly developing, but no change in my biceps except additional strength. I look forward to trying your techniques and reducing the number of times a week I work my biceps. Thank you for the video.

  9. I just started lifting and shortly after I train biceps, the ligament area in my forearms gets so sore that it becomes painful (completely unlike the regular soreness that I feel after a workout) and I can’t fully extend my arms. What am I doing wrong and how can I fix this?

  10. so i'm a right hander (you know what i mean) but for the past few months i've been using my left but i dont notice any growth please help

  11. Thank you Jeff People always ask me how do you get your biceps so large I tell them I work my biceps every other week and I always change my routine and shock my muscle. I noticed the people with the smallest biceps are the people I see always working them out.

  12. I didn't realize he was joking when he said "I think I can help you" and I was thinking "holy shit" haha

  13. That is such an odd muscle separation on his mid-chest going from left to right. I don't think I have ever see that. Curious what caused that separation.

  14. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a great body building video. starting heavy and working down , random rep counts go till you can't move then drop weight and do it over and over again. Also full stretch then full flex is huge.

  15. at the point that you should intensify your bicep curls, should you do all these things after you 15 reps or while you are doing them?

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