I bet you've seen them all too often in that gym. The curl monkeys. You know, they're the ones near the dumbbells, curling the heck out of any weight they can handle before eventually tiring out and slamming the thing on the floor. They'll then make their way to the preacher curl station, and go nuts on that. They might even do the unthinkable, and curl the bar inside the squat rack (the gym's biggest sin). And just when you think they've done enough biceps, they hit a few poses in the mirror, and get the heck out of there. What did you just witness? A gym failure due to improper knowledge of workout techniques and muscle anatomy.
Sure, obviously there's merit in training your biceps. They need attention, and without proper exercise you won't get the giant guns you've always wanted, and won't be able to hand out those tickets to random girlies (tickets to what? Why the GUN show of course!!!) But if you want big arms, overtraining your biceps isn't the way to go. In fact, you may be hampering your progress. If you want big, rippling arms like tree trunks, TRAIN YOUR TRICEPS. In fact, you might want to pay a little more attention to your triceps than your biceps. Why's that? Let's discuss!
(by the way, did you know that the words "triceps" and "biceps" are both the singular AND the plural versions? Even the singular terms have an "s" on the end! Leave it to latin...)
The biceps is a muscle defined by two distinct heads ("bi"..."cep"...that's Latin for "two, heads.") Your triceps, that muscle on the and side of your arm, has, you guessed it, three heads. They can be defined further as the lateral head, long head, and medial head.
|Check out the left-hand figure, it shows the different triceps heads|
Well, guess what. Your triceps are actually 2/3 OF YOUR ARM! That's right, getting big triceps is a much faster route to building big arms than big biceps. In fact, if you look closely enough at many pictures of bodybuilders and strength athletes, their biceps might seem pretty small in comparison to their massive triceps jutting underneath those ungodly giant arms.
|See what I mean about the size difference between these two muscles?|
Skull Crushers- A real killer when it comes to nailing the backs of those beastly arms. This exercise involves taking a dumbell and laying flat on a bench. Hold the dumbbell straight up with your arms, and get set for an exercise that you DON'T wanna mess up. Slowly bring the bar down to to your forehead, bending only at your elbows and keeping your upper arms (biceps and triceps) completely perpendicular to the bench. Keep those elbows in tight! Press back up with your triceps when you reach your...you guessed it...SKULL...and repeat. Make sure you have a strong grip with this exercise, and don't be afraid to start relatively light. You'll learn quickly what kind of weight you feel comfortable handling.