T Nation

weak biceps

Hey guys heres my questions: 1. Im one of those guys with long arms. It seems during bicep work I get to a point that the biceps just quit. Typically I do 3 sets incline dumbell,3 sets straight bar standing curl,3 sets e-z bar cable curls. Is this enough bicep work? 2. That surge tastes terrible. Any suggestions about making it more palitable

Start deadlifting. With those long arms, you’re a natural.

First how many reps are you doing? If your only doing 3 sets I’m willing to bet your doing 12 reps?? If you want to get stronger you may want to do something like the 5 x 5 routine ( 5 sets x 5 reps). I would ditch the straight bar curls and the cable curls for Scott (Preacher) curls and maybe Close grip foreamr curls on an EZ bar or Hammer Curls. I would recommend buying Charles Poliquin’s Modern Trends in Strength Training book, and find some information on diets for helping you bulk up.

What does long arms have to do with bicep strength? Also my arms always get to a point to where I can’t do anymore. It’s from your workout. IMO Surge is awesome. It tastes better than any other protein shake or other supplement that I’ve tried before. At first it might be a little bitter but that is the hydrolysate proteins. These proteins are quick absorbing and taste worse if you eat them alone.

Oooh boy, that thar alot of work for a muscle that also assists with back exercises. SO, I would either cut down your isolation bicep work (and yes, ditch the E-Z bar cable curls) - or STOP the isolation movements alltogether and concentrate on compound movements. As she-ra said: check out deadlifts.

Long arms causes weaker biceps because longer forearms make your angle of pull less efficient.

First, In response to JasonL … It’s called leverage! The longer the arm bone, the further away from the power source, (biceps). Now to the problem …Doc/Luke, I would suggest that you do This routine for awhile because it allows you to build up the strength,not only in your bi’s but also in your forearms.This method was prescribed by Charles P. himself. This will give size as well as a ‘huge’ amount of strength increases! Do alternating sets of these two exercises. If you have a preacher bench this is the routine. After a good warm up (and I mean…A good warm up)…Do a set of … as heavy as you can, Hammer Curls, immeditaly go to the preacher bench with considerably less weight and do as many reps as you can… Force em! Go back and forth between these two exercises for about 5 sets each and …“Watch” your strength and SIZE GROW!
PM

Paul50, what would you consider a good warm-up?
doc/luke, Surge tastes great, unless you leave it in a hot car for a few hours and then drink it.

Sorry, I’m just venting on all those tall people that use that as an excuse. I’m only 5’7 but will constantly hear people say the reason why I bench more or squat more is because I’m shorter. ANd I always see people over 6 foot doing more weight than me because they are BIGGER. Bigger arms, bigger hands, bigger feet,etc. you get the point. I used to have a friend that would use that as an excuse because I benched more than him. No, it didn’t have anything to do with me eating right and actually working out every week. I bet you that most powerlifting records are held by taller people (at least 5’11 or up). Just look at the strongman competition. They don’t have anyone 5’7 on there.

3 things guys. A) im tall, read this weeks article, in weight lifting tall people are at a disadvantage. b) strongman and powerlifting are ENTIRELY different. in strong man you have a universal goal (eg. lift a rock say 5 ft.) it doesnt matter if your natural ROM is 1ft or 2ft as in the case of BP. In strongman everyone does the same amount of work. c) there are a handful of freaks outthere that do hold powerlifting records at 6+ feet. These guys however weigh more than 350lbs and are quite frankly freaks- Kaz comes to mind. Read the ed coan interview he even says if you’re over 6ft and want to be competitive with someone whos shorter and 250 like him you have to be a lot more than 300. All else being equal, tall people are at a disadvantage in the weightroom, but you have to work with what you got, and not live of excuses.

jason you are wrong about how tall most powerlifters are. but back to the question, what you are ONLY doing 9 sets for your biceps? gee, thats not enough, you MUST double or better yet, TRIPLE the number of sets you are doing!!! if anyone out there can not get the sarcasm too bad, if I tell this guy to do less he won’t listen anyway and in a couple of months he’ll be doing some routine out of a rag anyway.

If you’re concentrating on compound movements, your arms will grow regardless. I know a number of individuals w/ very large arms that don’t do curls. Since I’ve eliminated everything except for hammer curls and reverse curls, I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in the size of my arms. Why are you worried about your biceps anyway? The majority of your upper arm is tricep. Cut back on the volume and do heavy compound movements (i.e. bench, squat, and deadlift).

Patricia, I have to disagree with ya there. While powerlifters should probably stick to compound movements alone, anyone into bodybuilding should use both compound movements and isolation exercises. The important thing is that you work all your muscles and not skip some, and doing this requires more attention/planning when using isolation movements. Now to answer the original question posted. I would first suggest you move your arm workouts to a separate day (a day for bis, tris, forearms). This way your guns aren’t tired from other exercises and you get the maximum benefit from those arm isolation exercises. That said, if your arms are giving out entirely your probably doing a good job =). Everyone is different - some respond well to high volume work. I for example do 3 sets Incline DB curl supersetted with 3 sets barbell curls, 3 sets hammer curls supersetted with 3 sets reverse barbell curls, and 3 sets concentration curls. Thats what it takes to give me soreness, etc in my arms. I aim for the 6-10 rep range. Hope this helps!

To JasonL:

You know Jason, it’s hard for tall people too. I’m 6’5’’ with 38 sleeve length, I mean, I got the worst pair of arms to bench big or chin big weights. It sucks but it should not be an excuse for laziness, I agree with you! Also, keep in mind it’s relative to your body weight(muscle mass) If my partner is 5’7’’ and we’re both at 240lbs, he’s likely to bench and squat and chin a lot more weight, but I’ll get my revenge on rows, deadlift and cleans.

But I understand you, it’s good to vent some time, there’s too much losers whinning around about “how they got bad genetics, etc.”…:slight_smile: Yeah, bad genetics and a beer gut at 22 years old! :slight_smile:

My 2 cents,
-LPdSB

I will admit that I don’t know anything about powerlifting or the rules. I do believe that tall people are on the average stronger than shorter people because they are bigger. I’m talking about a reasonably muscular tall person and a reasonably muscular short person. I bet you on the average the taller person will lift more. And I’m not making excuses for short people but just tired of tall people telling me this. This is just my opinion. I’m not saying it is right.

well dave tates opinion is that you’re wrong. in the seminar tapes he jokes about wishin he was a few inches shorter “to help that squat” out…

I took a peak at the World Powerlifting record in the various weight classes. The overall stats looked like this 52 kilo class 600 kilos for a lift/bodyweight ratio of 11.53, 90 kilo class 957.5 kilos for a ratio of 10.63, 125 kilo class 1047.5 kilos for a ratio of 8.38. As you can see the bigger you get the worse your strength to weight ratio gets, that reflects overall stature and the leverage advantage that shorter lifters have. Bigger doesn’t always mean stronger, especially if the major difference is in height. I think TC has an article about this in this week’s issue.

Jason… You hit the nail on the head. I have also heard the excuse about lifting more weight because it’s genetics. I also work out every week and sometimes get frustrated with these people. If we go this route you could say fat people have better genetics than us 5’7 “skinny” people. Nevertheless it’s good to see i’m not the only one hearing this.

I agree with you that if a shorter person and a taller person were the same weight than the shorter person would lift more weight because he has more muscle. Most of the time taller people weigh more. That is the point I am trying to make. Once again I will say that I don’t know anything about powerlifting, so I am sorry I brought up that issue.

What’s with this “bench, squat, deadlift, and that’s all”. That’s not a very good program. Even powerlifters do ancillary exercises like barbell curls and triceps pushdowns for a few sets a week. To tell someone with smallish arms that 9 sets A WEEK of biceps exercises is counterproductive is ridiculous. I bench on Sunday, squat on Tues. and deadlift on Thurs. but still find time to fit in exercises for all my body parts to keep some type of balance and symmetry. Just my 2 pennies. Nice thread, BTW.