Which one is best for building your biceps?
Straight or EZ Bar
A short bar known as a EZ bar, which as ‘bends’ in it where you grip it, is mostly favoured by those who train there ‘biceps’, history and now new research, as shown that when using a ‘straight’ bar compared to a EZ bar, it stimulates greater muscle activity in the biceps.
The bicep as two functions, one, and its main role, is to flex the elbow joint, but it also rotates the palm too and this is very important for the bodybuilder to understand. So if by holding your palm facing downwards and then twist it so that it faces up, the biceps is doing only part of the work, not good news when trying to build maximum muscle mass.
On the other hand, when you use a straight bar…the palm is already facing straight up. The other problem with the EZ bar is the palms of your hands are angled in slightly, facing each other. This means that your brachialis muscles, the muscle that sits on the outer side of the upper arm, is taking off some of the load on the bicep.
The researchers have shown this to be one of the main reasons why the EZ bar curl reduces bicep activity compared to using a straight bar.
Like I have already mentioned the EZ bar does work other muscles, such as the forearms and side of the upper arm. However, creating maximum growth of the biceps requires the biceps to be loaded to the max. So making sure that you use a straight barbell curl is an essential part of the mix.
My favourite is doing Dumbbell curls with the palms facing up for the whole movement, which have now been shown to be highly effective for this purpose.
‘How’ to quickly pack some mass on your biceps with this easy-to-follow routine
I’ve very often seen people in the gym training their biceps for 45 minutes or more, it’s no wonder they don’t seem to add even a quarter of an inch to their arms in a year!
So what is the best training protocol for adding mass to the biceps quickly…‘Short’ and ‘INTENSE’ that’s ‘How’!
If you are looking to build some real descent size to your biceps, then here are a few time-tested training principles you should follow:
- Train your biceps hard. To get your biceps to respond and grow, you need to overload them by putting them into what I call a ‘Do or die’ situation, a war like environment, where the biceps have no choice, but respond and grow. Train them to failure and beyond, don’t just go through the motions, get prepared to do battle by doing high intensity sets and really squeeze out every last rep…It’s the only way.
- Train them fast. If you’re central goal is to add muscle size to your arms, then your entire bicep routine shouldn’t take any more than about 25 – 30 minutes…tops! Building muscle is not like running a marathon; it requires short, intense effort.
- Hit them from every angle. People have a big problem when it comes to this training principle, because lock in their minds is this ‘need to do more’ syndrome. Therefore, to do enough different exercises to hit the bicep from as many angles as possible they end up overtraining. This is ‘why’ you must ‘Train them fast’. If you are serious about increasing strength and size, then you must introduce exercises that stress the biceps from every angle. Using a combination of straight bars, EZ bars, dumbbells, keeping the palms facing up and side-wards, will ensure maximum growth. But the trick is to do your bicep exercise routine as quickly as possible and if you run out of time ‘Stop’, because overtraining them can actually course them to…SHRINK!
Now let them recover. Don’t underrate the massive importance this concept holds, because by not allowing your biceps to recover fully from an intense training session, you run the risk of overtraining. If you are really training your biceps to the max, than 24 or even 48 hours recovery time just isn’t enough healing time.
You must allow more time before training them again at least 5-7 days. More is definitely not…better
If you’ll looking for a basic biceps routine that you can use to blast your arms to more mass quickly and effectively, then try out the following routine. But remember the 3 principles mentioned above and you’ll be well on your way to increase your bicep mass.
This biceps program calls for performing just 3 sets of three exercises, that’s just 9 sets in all. After warming up your biceps with a couple of light to moderate sets, jump right in and train hard, fast, and with intensity.
Exercise 1: Standing Barbell Curls – These are an old standard, but are still a favourite mass builder among bodybuilders. Start by griping the bar with a fairly narrow grip, approximately 8-10 inches apart.
Then concentrate on using a slow controlled movement throughout the range of bicep motion, now be sure to squeeze the bar as hard as possible at the top of the movement, this is important. Now use some extra intensity on the negative or eccentric portion of the movement. Shoot for 8-10 reps with a moderate to heavy weight.
Exercise 2: Incline Dumbbell Curls – Take a hard look at your training to see if you are introducing any cheating movements to your bicep motion. The main reasons people end up cheating is, because they are either using too much weight or using an alternating arm movement. It’s so important to do your bicep movements with both arms simultaneously, because this cuts out any possible cheating movements.
A great technique is to use a slight incline to fully emphasize the biceps, and be sure to squeeze the biceps hard at the top of the movement. It’s also important to pay attention to the full stretch at the bottom this movement and purse for a count of 2 for maximum results. Work in the 8-12 rep range for 2-3 strong sets.
Exercise 3: Cable Hammer Curls with Rope – Start by attaching a rope attachment to the low cable of a pulley machine. Now grasp the rope extensions with both of your palms facing each other. Start to curl the weight up to your chin, again remember to squeeze your hands hard at the top of this movement, and then lower as slowly as you can resisting the weight on the way down.
Execute two heavy sets of 6 reps only; making sure that the 6th rep is an all out fight to the very end. This one will really work and bring out your brachialis muscles, helping to add overall mass to your arms.
If you’re looking to add more mass to your biceps quickly, then give this simple, but very effective program a try.
If at the end of your workout your biceps aren’t fatigued then you simple haven’t worked them hard enough, you can’t move a car by simply putting your finger on its boot, the same goes for your bicep…”They must be forced to grow”. Of course, the gains in strength and size will be that much greater when you finish your workout with a high-protein drink.
Even better have a protein drink before your workout. Also remember that your triceps add the most mass to any arm regardless to how big your biceps are, they make up to ¾ of overall arm mass, more on tricep training to come.
Below is a video you may like to watch about bicep training well worth watching…