T Nation

Only Training the Brachialis?

Hey guys!
I haven’t done too much arm training before, and was wondering what your toughts were on only training the brachialis. I’ve read on the T Nation site that as it gets bigger it pushes out your biceps, making appear wider and taller. So im wondering if only doing hammer and reverse curls and getting stronger at them will be enough to get bigger ‘‘biceps’’?
What are your thoughts on this?


In my past grip obsessed days I did lots and lots of reverse curls and hammer curls. You can definitely get your arms “bigger” or “thicker” that way.

Personally, I wasn’t able to get a real nice bicep peak, like that little extra Pop at the top during a front double bicep pose, without more directed bicep stuff.

Some people even complain that more brachialis, more meat around the elbow makes their upper arm/bicep look smaller.

I guess I would recommend doing at least a little supinated or palms up work for your biceps. Or maybe try some hammer curls sitting on an incline bench, with your elbows back behind your body, to get after that long head of the bicep. If you believe in that sort of thing.

Those are both good choices but maybe toss in three sets of a supinated curl to help complete development.

I used to do a curl where I’d do a cross-body hammer curl then hold the top position and supinate by twisting my palm up/ thumb out and flex that hard for a count before reversing the motion. That was 1 rep and I’d do 8-12 all on one arm before switching arms. Pretty economical way to bias the brachialis but still get some good biceps work. You have to really keep your elbow pinned in place to get everything you want out of it.

I think this only really has value/applicability if you’re quite an advance bodybuilder. As in, competitive bodybuilder trying to win shows and bringing up a weak point. I don’t think it really matters in terms of overall development for a long, long time. I bought into the idea that I needed to focus on it as a young lifter, and for me, just training the biceps in general is more effective for overall development. Your biceps will look the way you want them to if you just get big and strong.