Your biceps are probably the muscles you focus the most on while you’re in the weight room. They’re just there in the mirror! Which is why you might be frustrated that no matter how hard you train, increase the weight, the sets or reps, you’re just not seeing any noticeable growth in your biceps.
There are 3 main reasons why your biceps might not be growing as much as they should. While genetics do play a part in muscle growth, that’s not all there is to it. Check out these 3 reasons why your biceps aren’t growing.
You’re Not Training the Brachialis Muscle
The first reason why your biceps aren’t growing is probably because you spend all your time only exercising your biceps or triceps, neglecting the third muscle that’s wedged in between them. The brachialis makes about 20-30% of your arm, and it’s lodged between your triceps and your biceps. The unique thing about your brachialis is that as it grows, it pushes your bicep upwards, making it look bigger and giving you a bigger biceps peak.
You can train your brachialis by limiting the range of motion of your biceps. When you turn your palm downwards, your biceps can’t function as well. So you can turn your palm downwards, for instance in a reverse curl, to essentially shut off the biceps and focus on overloading the brachialis.
You’re Only Training Your Biceps With High Reps
A lot of people train their biceps by doing high-rep metabolic exercises–we’re talking 8-12 rep or 12-15 rep ranges using exercises like cable curls. The thing is, your biceps are at least 60% fast twitch, meaning they can handle higher loads.
So, if you really want to grow your biceps, 6 out of 10 of your workouts should be training them heavy in a 6-10 rep range, which is going to be extremely effective. The best way to make them grow is to train them heavy at least 50 to 60% of the time.
You’re Not Using Supination to Maximize Biceps Stimulation
Most people don’t realize that their biceps are supinators, which means that they turn your palm upwards. You actually need to use supination in order to maximize bicep stimulation. If you’re just doing regular curls most of the time, try starting neutral, then twisting your arm upwards to take advantage of the supination aspect of the biceps.
Here’s a tip for the advanced bodybuilders reading this: You can purchase classic dumbbells that can be adjusted by putting plates on and off. Get these dumbbells for your home and weight one side slightly more than the other. If you load one side more than the other, you’ll have to resist it by using the supination factor of the biceps. You can try using exercises such as twisted bicep curls and weighted slightly offset dumbbell curls.
We hope this article helped you understand the biggest reasons why your biceps aren’t growing. We’ll see you again in the next article!