Bicep training and machines

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  • November 4, 2006 at 9:15 pm #649

    G’day,

    Once again I have a newbie question. Yeah I’ve been training for almost a year and I feel as though I’m only just starting to learn the basics…I’m still a newbie.

    If got a few exercises sorted out that I had trouble with before like triceps failing on bench press before the pecs even knew what was going on. I tried fly’s etc but ended up buying another gym with a pec deck. Worked out well, I use the pec deck to pre-fatigue my pecs before bech press and my wife uses the rest of the gym !

    Recently I’ve had trouble punishing my biceps. I’ve even tried the 8×8 workout with enough weight to only just complete the reps and about 15 seconds rest. It certainly gives me a good burn and pump and the last three sets are quite painfull, but the next day I feel nothing πŸ˜•

    I was wondering if a curl machine would be helpfull ? I’m not going to go out and spend big dollars on one but I’m handy with metal fabrication πŸ™‚

    My theory being, If I can make the resitance the same through the entire movement, then I can use a heavier weight and work the muscle from top to bottom without having to break through (or fail) on the “sweet spot” when doing free weight curls. I find the top and bottom part of the curl is a walk in the park, but the middle third of the lift restricts the amount of weight I can use. I know cable curls are better, but not much better in my experience. I’ve been avoiding heavy preacher curls since my elbows seem to cave in when I do those and I still can’t give my biceps curry so to speak.

    Has anyone had experience with curl machines ? Should I build this thing and see how it goes or am I just curling like a newbie?

    November 5, 2006 at 12:28 am #3385

    I don’t train biceps anymore. i feel they get enough stimulation from heavy rowing and pull-ups. I got sick of punishing my biceps with endless curls and they weren’t growing, now without direct work they are going along nicely.
    Cheers

    November 5, 2006 at 3:49 am #3386

    I find bicep sorenszee hard to achieve to… if i could recommend anything for soreness it would be to do heaps of sets of heaps of different exercises with heaps of different rep ranges haha…

    go for some preacher curls and go between 6-15 reps, maybe 3 or 4 sets, then do some barbell curls, same reps maybe throw in a set of 21’s or 15’s (where you work the bottom and top of the movement seperately) maybe some standing EZ curls, hammer curls, DB curls, concentration curls, cable, incline DB curls, scott curl…

    i did a day like this a while ago, just a bicep day cause i felt like it basically and it was very sore the next day… just keep curling till you cant lift anything haha

    I dont see how you could avoid soreness after doing that much volume, you would obliterate every single muscle fibre i reckon with so many angles of destruction haha

    good luck… oh and im not saying that this much volume is good for growth, it is strictly for the pain factor but im sure growth would come as well… and also i wouldnt be doing this kind of training that often on the same muscle…

    November 6, 2006 at 3:19 am #3387

    I figure your aim is about the level of a 1 year old bodybuilder, like; I WANT BIG GUNS etc…

    You prob need to understand that the body thinks differently to your head. The biggest muscle groups in the body are legs, back and chest. Exercises are best done directly on those most, which in turn enables the smaller muscle groups to fill out in an overall balance.

    To do this multi joint exercises are chosen, Deadifts, Squats, Rows etc, which affect not only those big muscle sets, but the synergist (helper) muscles as well. Without bulking up on the big groups the rest will never achieve much as far as size goes.

    The isolation exercises (non-multi joint exercises) you are talking about won’t or rather can’t produce the fruits you are looking for.

    generally a workout program would start with a big muscle group exercise, then add a few isolation exercises to the synergist parts. Say; pyramid 8 sets of Deads, then 3-4 sets of Shrugs until they can’t go any more, and maybe then some lying tricep extensions (like skull crushers), until they cant go any more.

    This is the way to affect the smaller groups. Oh plus some good after workout shakes and later more food. DA

    November 6, 2006 at 10:14 am #3388

    If you set about building something, make sure you put plenty of thought into it. The challenge is not in the fabrication really but the design.

    I know you don’t like preachers so this suggestion may not suit you but I’d try to use the preacher bench or another bench to alter the resistance curve of dumbell curls. Sit back from the bench so that the elbow can rest on it with the upper arm at about 30 degrees to the horizontal and perform your curls there.

    That will shift the emphasis to the lower part of the movement with the weight essentially coming off the bicep at about the 1/3 mark that you mentioned.

    I don’t believe that there is any need to emphasise the top portion of the movement because by about 2/3 of a curl the bicep is fully contracted anyway and further movement is accomplished by moving the elbows forward which does very little.

    So there you have two moves that will, in my opinion, stress the whole range of motion. I’d do the normal curl first and follow with the bench variety.

    I think I’m going to try that myself and see if it seems like a good idea.

    November 6, 2006 at 11:28 pm #3389

    If you’re doing something and it’s not working, stop doing it!

    There’s merit in everything thrown up so far and this is just another suggestion to consider.

    I’ve just finished doing Dogg Crapp training for about two months. Strength on target lifts went up nicely by size didn’t seem to follow.

    I’ve now switched back to a volume approach and I find I can go heavier than previously. So, so far so good and it will be interesting to see if we can get some more size now.

    My suggestion is to try Dogg Crapp style training for biceps only and see what happens. Pick three bicep exercises, do one each workout and workout biceps every second workout. Rep to failure, pause 15s, repeat, pause 15s and then stretch the biceps. I like to pick weights for the exercises that give a variety in rep range (6-12).

    Although this may not give you the size you want right away it should give you nice strenght increases that will build the foundation for size.

    November 7, 2006 at 7:37 am #3390

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    So in a nutshell..what you’re all saying is that biceps will grow with normal stimulation as long as I’m also training major muscle groups…and it doesn’t hurt to “hammer” the biceps on top of a normal workout.

    So I don’t need to feel the “next day” damage to get growth ?

    I’ll have a look at the dog crap now cheers.

    November 7, 2006 at 8:26 am #3391

    Like Derek said-Train the major body parts and the smaller ones will come along for the ride πŸ˜‰ Your limiting your over all progress by concentrating on smaller body parts.

    November 7, 2006 at 11:20 pm #3392

    in my opinion most ppl do overdo their biceps in an attempt to get big guns… but at the same time there are the guys who neglect to work them at all and i think this is a big mistake.

    i like to work a major muscle group and then at the end work a small one like biceps/triceps etc… but i would never just expect growth without direct effort on the particular muscle.

    November 8, 2006 at 10:35 pm #3393

    So I don’t need to feel the “next day” damage to get growth ?

    You dont need this full stop to get growth.

    November 9, 2006 at 7:19 am #3394

    @dave wrote:

    So I don’t need to feel the “next day” damage to get growth ?

    You dont need this full stop to get growth.

    Yeah, “scientists” or the whitecoat people havent linked muscle soreness to growth.

    Probably only benefical thing about soreness, is that you know where that exercise has hit best.

    Soreness can also indicate that ur not eating enough.

    November 10, 2006 at 4:31 am #3395

    @unbuff wrote:

    Soreness can also indicate that ur not eating enough.

    πŸ’‘ DA

    November 12, 2006 at 10:27 am #3396

    The pain also stops after awhile I’ve found. Time for a break (1 week) and start a new program.

    November 12, 2006 at 11:59 am #3397

    @kinmassive wrote:

    The pain also stops after awhile I’ve found. Time for a break (1 week) and start a new program.

    How long do u usually spend on a routine, average?

    November 12, 2006 at 8:49 pm #3398

    At least 2 months. For me I find that after awhile I almost become immune to the training I do. My body adapts very quickly and I get no pain no matter what I do. So I have a rest for a week and bang, I feel results again. πŸ˜•

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