T Nation

Mind/Muscle Connection?

The mind/muscle connection is an important part of bodybuilding. When you work chest, you need to feel it in your chest, and so on. I NEVER feel it in my bi’s. When I bench, my chest burns like crazy. CG bench and skull crushers and dips kill my tri’s…I have pretty good connection overall, but when I do bicep exercises, I feel nothing. I’m lifting and lifting (curls, pullups, heavy rows), but I never get the same lactic acid burn or slight cramping sensation in my bi’s that I get with other bodyparts. My arms just give out. Squats and leg extensions make my legs feel like they are on fire. I have no connection to my bi’s.

Any suggestions?

Use exercises where cheating is very difficult like

Incline DB curls
DB or BB preacher curls
Curling using an arm blaster
Various machine curls

Build up your weight to activate them. Take a light weight and do 15 reps with good form. Take a heavier one and do 10. Then grab a heavy weight and rep out, see what you can get - 4 maybe 6 maybe 8(here focus is more important than form). You can extend it to 6 ascending sets or so, do a 20rep in the beginning, but it will activate em, it will work.

Over time you will need to do less and less warmup until 1-2 is enough before the money set.

Also before training, do some curl motions with just your empty hands. Contract the bis, make them peak…
And don’t pay attention to the exhaustion you may get - just work through it, regardless how many sets you get in.

I imagine that my bicep is a rope that I have to pull up.

So when my arm is pointing to the ground, I have to pull with my bicep to raise it.

I feel it big time in my bi’s.

I had the same problem. I used to just end up fatiguing my forearms (and joints) trying different curls to no avail, feeling the barest stimulation in the biceps.

I found one simple trick that seemed to help. Hard to explain, but when curling dumbells, I contract at the end towards my side delts slightly more than usual.

I then hammer curl like a motherfucker and can’t drink from a cup all day…

[quote]huz wrote:
I had the same problem. I used to just end up fatiguing my forearms (and joints) trying different curls to no avail, feeling the barest stimulation in the biceps.

I found one simple trick that seemed to help. Hard to explain, but when curling dumbells, I contract at the end towards my side delts slightly more than usual.

I then hammer curl like a motherfucker and can’t drink from a cup all day…

[/quote]

Yes, my forearms burn out first as well. Tried about every variation of grip, but still can’t isolate the work like I can with other muscle groups. Started doing the farmer’s walk with 100lb db’s (3 sets of about 20 paces down and 20 paces back at the end of my workout) to strengthen my grip and forearms.

Violent Variations
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=308vio2

Grip Training Program
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459819

Forearm/Grip
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=07-009-training

I had shitty arm development for quite a while these 2 articles from Don Alessi REALLY helped:

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=177bicep2
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=178bicep2

After following all his advice, particularly the ‘Wave Loading’ parameters, I’ve started to really feel my biceps working.

I’ve also added in Jettison Curls:

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=06-062-training

with similarly spectacular results. I think that the accommodating resistance provided by bands has really helped me to overcome the hinderance of having really long arms.

I do 2 full wave loaded sets of cheat curls once a week and 2 sets of jettison curls once a week. After doing this for 4 weeks I’ve already put a half inch on each bicep, with the stretch marks to prove it.

[quote]E-man wrote:
Use exercises where cheating is very difficult like

Incline DB curls
DB or BB preacher curls
Curling using an arm blaster
Various machine curls[/quote]

Agreed, if doing preachers correctly you will feel pain in the biceps either during (the burn) or the next day in aching deep in the bicep.

D

[quote]PGJ wrote:
huz wrote:
I had the same problem. I used to just end up fatiguing my forearms (and joints) trying different curls to no avail, feeling the barest stimulation in the biceps.

I found one simple trick that seemed to help. Hard to explain, but when curling dumbells, I contract at the end towards my side delts slightly more than usual.

I then hammer curl like a motherfucker and can’t drink from a cup all day…

Yes, my forearms burn out first as well. Tried about every variation of grip, but still can’t isolate the work like I can with other muscle groups. Started doing the farmer’s walk with 100lb db’s (3 sets of about 20 paces down and 20 paces back at the end of my workout) to strengthen my grip and forearms.

[/quote]

Try these 3 things when you next curl.

  1. In order to remove the forearms from the movement hold the DB’s/BB with your hands pointing behind you (the opposite to the concentric portion of a wrist curl)

  2. If you are using higher reps add extra resistance yourself by pushing against the contraction with your biceps while they are contracting (it’s a little hard to explain but it’s how you make light weight heavy).

  3. At the top of the curl (assuming you aren’t cheating and using you’re delts at this point) squeeze your biceps as though you are trying to burst them.

Let me know how you find it as that’s how I managed to break through a plateau I hit a while ago with my arms (I would get tired but I wasn’t actually breaking down the muscle or getting any stronger)

Used some bands (pink girlie ones from the aerobics room) with BB curls…#%@# that hurt! OK, I can feel it now. My bi’s are still smoked 3 hours later. It really forced me to squeeze at the top. No rest at all throughout the movement. I like!

I’m glad to hear that the bands are working for you. Now all you have to worry about are the stretch marks you’ll be getting!