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Stubborn Biceps


I just can't seem to get them to grow! Maybe I have been overworking them or doing too many sets or maybe i just rhave long arms, i don't know.

Basically what I am looking for are the 3 best exercises to really tear up my biceps, i find the ez bar hurts my forearms, forcing my grip to release before my biceps are actually tired.

Please provice exercsise name and amount of sets / reps i should aim for.

Also, since I'm new I would greatly appreciate people looking at my photos and giving their opinions and or tips about the stuff i have written on my profile. Thanks all!


This is whats written in his profile-

"I have recently started trying to get in shape. I am 21, 6"2, 190lbs. My training routine is as follows: Monday: Shoulders and abs Tuesday: Back and abs Wednesday: Chest and abs Thursday: Legs and abs Friday: Arms and abs Weekend: Rest Things I need help with: How to train my biceps, I have never really been able to get them to grow. Exercises that will make my chest stronger quickly Good exercises to build some size in my REAR deltiods. Diet: -what to eat before bed -how to maintin my current body fat percentage (around 15-18%) whilst gaining muscle. I don't really care about getting my abs to show at the minute as long as i know im building them underneat the fat i've got. If I think if anything else I will add it. Uploading photos soon. Please help me with the above problems, opinions appreciated. IrishOak-"

Alright man, here's some advice- Biceps shouldnt be at the top of your to do list. Also you saying you havent really gotten your biceps to grow...well to be honest it doesnt look like youve done any growing in terms of musculature.

Now here's the answer to everything- Start doing your research. Read articles on this site, read forums, follow the advice of members to test yourself and develop a routine for YOU, because there is no right way. There are tons of contradicting theories of sets, reps, weights, movements, etc etc. Its knowing how to utilize them.

Feeling out what works best for YOU in certain scenarios. Its a game of patience and dedication. Eat more, train hard/smart, and youll grow. When you've packed on another double digit amount of muscle mass, THEN you can ask about certain muscles not keeping up with the pack, but at the stage you are at now, your biceps match the rest of the package.

Hope that didnt come across as too mean (though i could name bout a dozen others that wouldve sacrificed your first born by this point).


You forgot to tell him to change his avatar.


I looked at your pics and you look OK, but yeah, the biceps aren't going to get much bigger till you let go and grow a bit more everywhere.
Even when you do get bigger I always felt it was how hard you worked them rather than a couple of magic exercises.
I mean I do arms once a week and it's pretty much DB curls for 3 or 4 sets of 5 to 8 for the biceps. I've just started adding pinwheel curls too.

Also, IrishOak are you sure you're 18% body fat? You look lower than that to me.


Nah man you're not being harsh at all. I know I don't look like much but got to start somewhere. Thanks for all the advice. I guess I may have phrased the whole thing wrong. Basically what i meant to say is that i have noticed the noobie gains in most all areas of my body (i used to weigh considerably less) EXCEPT my biceps, I have probably fallen for the rookie mistake of overtraining them or something so I'm just looking for a nice beginner routine i can follow to get them growing like the rest of my body. Thanks again for the comments greatly appreciated!


Thanks for the pointers bro, appreaciate it.

About the BF percentage i guess i just estimated lol maybe i am lower (hopefully!)

What I want is to pack on some mass but maintain my bf percentage around what it is, so that's my main priority at the minute! Thanks again.


The OP just has alot of general growing to do. Just keep getting stronger in the basics and eating.


You want them to grow? Just your arms?

Then do this.

Biceps one day.

2 or 3 days later Triceps another day.

And I mean, ONLY biceps the bicep day and ONLY triceps the tricep day.

It worked for me. Still is.


I think you're lower than 15%, but it's hard to tell exactly of course...Hell, I think I'm 18% (haven't checked in over a year...pics in profile anyway)
The one thing many of us that are out of 20s ( I'm 37) have said many times is that if we had it to do over again we wouldn't have spent as much time in our 20s worrying about our waists and I really should've focused on my deadlift, squat, bench and over-head press and eaten more quality food, with more protein.
I mean I'm stronger now that when I was 21...that sounds so fucked up that my 21 year-old self likely wouldn't have believed it, but it's true.


Incline db curls
Preacher curls
All types of cable movements

moderate to high reps.

For me atleast, arms didnt start responding properly until I walked away from barbell curls and the like and started focusing on isolating em as much as possible. Believe you me, my arms were shit, they still arent a strong point for that matter, but theyve come up alot after I changed my approach.


Why? What's the reasoning behind this (other than it apparently worked for you)?

Is the body not capable of working/healing/growing more than one part of the body at a time?

I've never heard (or read) anyone with really big arms recommend this.


Really? I dont think its that strange to have a separate day for biceps and triceps to really pile on the volume, at least its not strange in theory. I feel like most people here dont really want freak arms and not many have 1 day for biceps and triceps. 2 days for each is just a step past that. So it's definitely not common to have a separate day for biceps and triceps but it would certainly have its benefits.


one rest day

is something ive done. My chest and back are pretty equally balanced, if my chest lagged I wouldnt do triceps the day before, etc.

The biceps and triceps days were 40 minute sessions.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT THE OP DOES THIS. OP stick to 2 bodyparts per day 4 day split 1 rest day, but train arms first if you want to prioritize them.


No, I understand the extra days to get the volume in, I just read it as "don't do anything else on that day". I've been doing 3 days of direct biceps and triceps work. One of those days is 'arm day'. Other days are with another body part depending on the day.

I was just questioning whether the 'theory' was "consciously don't do anything else on this day except your biceps". I mean, I'm doing rear delts twice a week now as well. One of those days is usually with shoulders or with back. The other is just some other day when I fit them in with another body part. Could be after legs, or like today, after chest (along with biceps and r.delts because I have to travel all day tomorrow which is normally when I bench/chest).

I've had days where I just do biceps or just do triceps, but it's just because it happens to fall that way. I've just never heard anyone claim that the way to promote growth is to do biceps AND ONLY biceps then on another day do triceps AND ONLY triceps. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

I didn't claim it was 'wrong' or 'outrageous'. Just asking 'why' would exclusion of all else make the difference.


Well if someone only has so much time to lift on a given day. Spending it all on biceps or on biceps and back are the options. Obviously more volume can be done if ONLY biceps are done.

Something like this is definitely something that beginners dont need to worry about. And Id really only recommend doing it for like 6 weeks at a time anyway.

My reason for training arms separate is becuase my torso is better developed than my arms. I cant do back after my bicpes workout because I need to keep the weight as heavy as possible when traning back, thats impossible if my biceps are fatigued. Ive done chest after biceps but it doesnt really feel right to me.


I think this is a better approach for long term progress. Its what I do normally also. One day for bi's/tri's and then i tack on some stuff at the end of back and chest days

The stuff in the other posts I consider more of a 'specialization' type thing, to be done for a few weeks at a time.


According to this, http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_strength/a_powerful_chest you've just started working out. So you probably don't know what your stubborn bodyparts are.


Gotcha. And I agree.

I've had 'biceps' days that was just filler day between bodyparts, but it had all to do with scheduling restrictions and not any physiological reason. I was just clarifying that the reason the person posted was not some cacamame bro-science thing. The logistics of doing such things make sense.

I have to understand 'why' I'm doing something in the gym before I waste time even experimenting with it.

OP never states specifically what s/he is doing now, what s/he has done, what s/he eats and so forth, so I don't see how spouting random stuff could possibly help without knowing some background. If OP is just looking for 'biceps stuff', the site and forum and Interwebz is full of general 'stuff' to try. Points off for lazy.


I'm sure everyone else has said it, your biceps are the least of your problems, just concentrate on growing everything, eating and lifting. Worrying about your biceps is a mistake.


@ SteelyD, the reason I say only train biceps that day and triceps the other day is so you purely focus just on that muscle group, if you train biceps and say shoulders the same day you won't be able to fully strain just your biceps because you will be tired of lifting a barbell/dumbbell on account of tired or sore shoulders.

I'm just putting my opinion in that it has really made my arms explode the past 8 months. But I train a little differently then your multiple bodygroups per day. I have a separate muscle that I train each week and I train 7 days a week. It makes it possible for me to go hard on each muscle yet have enough rest time in between days so that when I hit it again it will be fully recovered.

It has been working for me and I just figured I'd through it out there if you really wanted to mainly just focus on arms. I suppose if you had shit for arms it'd be good but unless you are being just as intense with the rest of your body it would be stupid to have big arms and a weak every where else physique.


I have to agree with you on this one. Personally I am frustrated with the lack of proportion from my upper to lower half, but over the past year, it has really started to even out. I just try to concentrate on becoming stronger and watching my diet like a hawk.