Hello Dr. Darden. The last couple of months I’ve been trying to develop a peak in my biceps with little to no success. I’d say my bicep muscle insertion is low since I can fit one finger in at the most. Even when my arms grow in size, the shape remains kinda the same. I try to target each bicep head in my workouts too. Any advice? Seems like guys with higher bicep insertion points develop a peak much faster. Is it just a matter of waiting? Training? Please let me know what you think. Thank you.
No you can’t since genetics determine the shape of your muscle bellies and insertions which goes for all of us!
Brachialis, thickness of upper arm
brachioradialis, adds mass to forearm
biceps brachii -
Long head is on the outside. Of the two head, this one contributes more to the peak
Short head is on the inside.
Some say that targeting the the long head may help with the peak.
Is your upper arm already pretty well developed?
something to look at
Inside the Muscles: Best Back and Biceps Exercises (t-nation.com)
IMO, in bodybuilding it is always better to have longer muscle bellies. Some of the longest biceps muscle bellies (triceps too) were those of Larry Scott. For very many years he was known as the man with the absolute best arms in the world.
I’m not bodybuilder big but I’m somewhat advanced. To give you an idea my arms are 15 and a half and I weigh 175. All the muscles in my arm are long so getting them to look peaked is gonna be difficult I think.
Yeah his arms were impressive. I once read his arms were 20 inches but wasn’t natural according to the article. But regardless he probably had the best arms I’ve seen.
I agree, you just cannot change the shape and insertion points of any muscle on your body. It is completely determined by the time your are borne by genetics and not subject to change.
This is one of the proven facts of medical science that the bodybuilding community at large continues not to believe. Eternal “hope”, I would guess! (We have all suffered from it at one time or another, right?)
Yes, you CAN increase the size of a individual muscle, sometimes (with the right genetics) to a truly remarkable degree. But you can’t change it’s overall shape. Short of surgery to cut, move and then reattach the tendon…It just can’t be done.
That’s why a guy with “short biceps” will never have the true football-shaped biceps of a Larry Scott. Or why the guy with “short calves” will never have the long, enormous calves of a Chris Dickerson.
So sure, train hard and see what your personal genetics will allow you to do. That is the fun of our little hobby. But keep expectations in check and (reasonably) modest.
We all aren’t going to become the next “Arnold”, no matter what we do.
Good training to all!
Just know: More muscle cures all concerns.
someone who gets it
Honestly, don’t worry about it too much. Work to get stronger high quality reps with back exercises and also biceps exercises before you begin to worry about the final 2% sculpting of a muscle; emphasis on quality reps. The idea of learning to throw up a weight with no rep quality is just as narcissistic and silly as the I just want to get bigger and don’t care about the weight crowd. getting truly stronger sets the table for gaining muscle mass as well as gaining more muscular mass sets the table for true strength.
blunt truth right there.
It’s mostly genetics. Low, high, middle: you can add to each area, but you are limited according to you inherited characteristics.
I’m training a very big endomorph. He has 19" arms but a year ago he had no peak: A very flat large bicep. He’s been doing peak contractions, something he’s never done until he met me.
During the day he will contract his biceps very hard until they cramp. He will drop his shoulder to get a bicep stretch, then try to touch his pinkie to his shoulder and squeeze very hard until it cramps.
He’s slowly getting a nice peak.
Of course his genetics will prevent him from ever getting him exactly what he wants, but this contracting his bicep is changing the general shape to show more of a peak.
Perhaps the key words in what you are seeing is “training a very big endomorph”. Contracting his biceps probably is doing absolutely nothing. I bet he is a bit leaner now than he previously was and that is what is making the visual difference…
His tendon attachments haven’t moved even one millimeter (unless he has had major surgery) from all that cramping and stretching. Can’t be done, medically impossible. So his “peak” hasn’t changed. Perhaps it’s just now, you can actually begin to see it.
As Arthur Jones always used to say – “You just can’t flex fat”.
Good training to all!
Have you ever seen those Platz lectures where he peak contracted one leg versus the other?
BTW his fat percentage is pretty much the same.
Next time I’ll take picks.
That’s pretty interesting, why don’t you try it on yourself, perhaps kne arm only even? Unless you already do peak contractions that is.