In a recent video on his YouTube channel, trainer and fitness influencer Jeremy Ethier breaks down some of the simple ways that he believes you can improve your bicep workouts and start seeing better, faster results.
Because everything in the body is connected, Ethier advises starting by taking a look at how you train your back. Moves like rows, lat pulldowns and pullups engage the biceps as well as the back muscles, so don't overlook the value of those exercises in terms of gaining size. But to maximize results, he recommends working the biceps directly, with exercises specifically geared towards that muscle group, like curls.
Second, Ethier stresses how important it is to perform a full range of motion in order to get the most out of stretch mediated hypertrophy—and to select exercises which challenge the bicep when it is in a fully stretched position. "The best options here are the slight incline dumbbell curl and the behind the body cable curl," he says. "After your last set for these exercises, once you've reached failure or very close to it, perform half reps of just the bottom part of the curl. This will allow you to push past your normal point of failure and will further prioritize this all important fully stretched position."
Thirdly, he suggests upping your workout volume. "There’s a good chance that as long as you don’t overdo it, a small increase in your weekly bicep volume will be met with faster gains," he says. "My recommendation is to use 15 sets of direct bicep training as more of an upper limit."
Ethier's fourth tip is inspired by the old-school bodybuilding philosophy of the mind-muscle connection. "Whenever you do curls, try to really feel your biceps doing the work," he says. "Think about pulling the bar or dumbbell into your body rather than just lifting the weight up."
Finally, you need to keep coming up with new ways to challenge your biceps once you become accustomed to a certain set of stimuli. "Compared to your big compound exercises, progression with your bicep exercises will be slow," he says. "But focus on tracking your progress and making small improvements week after week and you’ll very quickly notice your biceps growing faster than they ever have before."
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