T Nation

Biceps Development


Simply put, my biceps are pathetic. I have actually done the opposite of what many people have done and neglected them. I have horrible curling technique and whenever I curl I never get the pump that many talk about.

I rep 215 on the BP for a 10x3
I deadlift 250 for reps
I squat 250 for reps
I curl 65 on a straight bar

I know my legs suck and I've been working them alot harder, but I'm trying to emphasise curls more as well because even though I mainly lift to get stronger I look retarded with triceps larger than my biceps.


Well firstly, your triceps are supposed to be bigger than your biceps. They generally make up about 2/3 of the arm.

Is the 65lb curl plus the bar making it 110lb or did you factor that in already?

What has your training been like in the past?

Are your other bodyparts growing, if not you may not be eating and sleeping enough fo the growth to occur.



if your biceps suck, you need to do stuff to make them grow, so pay your dues with the various pulls and various direct bicep work .

end of story.


Agreed. If you biceps suck, hit 'em harder and more often.


i have the same damn problem man. my chest is where i want it, but i can't seem to get my arms to catch up. does anybody know how often u should work your biceps? i'm hearing once a week from some people and everyday from others.


Search all the previous articles. Read the archives. There are several articles about arm training. Maybe one of them will work for you! :wink:


there is no magic number, it depends on your conditioning.

find out how much total work they can handle per workout/per training cycle and take them to the limit .

some guys might not be able to do chin ups 5 times a week with all the other shit they do, some guys can, it all depends on your current level of development.

it depends on your training program and conditioning level.


Also honestly those number look like they are in line to me. They dont look like you have a bicep lagging imbalance but well not to flame but an everything lagging imbalance.

I mean look at the DL and sqauts. they are only 4 x the weight you are using for bicep curls. Not to compare those #'s as they are apples and oranges just pointing out EVERYTHING needs to come up along with that working everything. it will all increase in time.


My biceps also suck, but I've been having pretty good success lately by reversing the rep/set pyramid.

For example, instead of starting light for higher reps and moving towards heavy for lower reps, I will start with heavy for lower reps and work towards light for higher reps. Of course, a relative of this type of training is the drop set, which I find has worked well also.

I find that my biceps fatigue quickly, so I try to get my heavy work in before they're out of gas.


There is only a 15# difference between your deadlift /squat and bench press. This is why your biceps are so weak. Your pressing power shouldn't be close to your big lifts at all.


You need more overall body growth.


You've answered your own question. When all I could curl was 65(although I only use ez-bar or dbs) my biceps were pathetic as well. You should be curling 65lb dumbbells for reps and raise the weight when you get past a certain number. Then you can expect improvement. Also straight bar is bad for the wrists and may lock the biceps out of half the movement.


Yep, you just need to get bigger and stronger all over.


I agree completely and this is why people need to stop mentally seperating strength from size. I don't know anyone who can curl a 70 dumbbell in each hand who has pathetic biceps.


I work out primarily for strength. Trust me, I'd rather get big all over the problem is that while the rest of me is growing my biceps are lagging. I eat plenty, but the sleep thing is a big issue for me. I don't get much sleep; I get maybe 5 hours a night on average but never more than 8. I know this is holding me back but it shouldn't only hold back my biceps. I am horrible at pullups (I can only do 3), but i can't even do one chin-up. I curl 50 pounds + the easy curl bar or 30 pounds + the straight bar. I have felt stress in my wrists when I used the straight bar, but i figured I just had to loosen up the ligaments. I will take all your advide into consideration. I'm working on getting more sleep but any extra sleep is usually in class, and my school drug tests students who fall asleep so it's usually not worth the risk(not because i'd fail the drug test but because while they wait for your results you're not allowed back in school and that would destroy my GPA)

BTW I know this post is all over the place, but I still need to get a lift in and do my homework so I don't have the time to write a more eloquent response. Sorry.


Maybe posting a pic could help.


Anyone keeping a log on all the my biceps won't grow threads that have popped up in the last two days?There has been a ton of them and they all get the same advice.


Have you tried working your arms (both biceps and triceps) alone? Could you be wearing them out on the lifts that you are doing prior to arms?

Give super sets of a bicep movement followed by a tricep movement a try. Go back and forth for a few sets, then switch movements.

Try this: Superset your standing barbell curls (keep a narrow grip, with your arms pinned to your sides) with close grip bench. Then switch to French presses (a.k.a nose-breakers, again keeping elbows in tight and pointed toward the ceiling) with seated alternating DB curls on an incline bench (keeping elbows close to your torso and slightly behind you). Then finish up with wide grip preacher curls and DB kickbacks.

This routine gives you the chance to work your biceps varying angles.

Focus on form before piling on the weight. Do this twice a week for a few weeks, then change up the moves.

Also, eat a big bowl oatmeal about a 1/2 hour before going to the gym to fuel your workout.

Also, if you want to get good at pull ups and chin ups, you have to do them. Start with neutral grip, they are easier when you are starting out.


Ah, woah woah...what's considered a pathetic bicep? and for how many reps? (if you decide to answer those 2 questions I'll post again w/my arm size)


Dude, if you can curl 70lbs for ten reps and your arms are smaller than 16", you probably don't have the genetics for this in terms of bodybuilding. I would also doubt that you could curl that much for dumbbells at that size or that your form was decent, even though I am sure there just might be some small exception to the rule. No one asked for your arm size.