Weights vs Reps – 4 Exercises to Work Out Your Biceps
So you have been hitting the gym for quite some time, you’re past the novice stage, and showing good progress.
However, you’re now looking to add more strength to your body but find yourself confused over the next appropriate step.
Should you be increasing weight or reps at this particular stage of your training? This confusion results from plethora of information you get from your buddies, training partners, and internet forums. Ultimately, the answer boils down to two choices:
- More weight and less reps, or
- More reps and less weight.
Some people say one set works better than the other, while others claim otherwise. But the truth is both sets are equally effective.
Let’s go back to the drawing board on why you want this question to be answered in the first place.
You want this to be answered because you want to make progress, and you understand you’re now in a certain phase where you have strength but there is room for more improvement.
You have hit what they call in the bodybuilding world the “Fitness Plateau”.
This means that you have grown out of the current reps and weight sets you’re incorporating and it is time for change.
More Weights and Low Reps Routine
Lets first consider the more weight and low reps training routine.
In this routine, you’ll want to gradually increase the weight you lift. This is a routine that’s good for strength building.
The one thing to remember here, however, is you should not get too caught up over lifting numbers because you would end up hurting your body and breaking your form and posture, which are the most important parts of your routine.
Building your form and posture takes time, patience and discipline, and you do not want this to get undone. So going for more weight is good as long as you keep it consistent to your form.
But suppose you’ve been keeping everything under control for the last couple of weeks while simultaneously increasing weight – and once again you’ve run into a wall where you cannot add more weight because it is now hurting your form.
This is the moment you have been waiting for as it’s now time for you to add more reps to the exercise. In the bodybuilding world, this is called double progression, which simply means you increase both weight and reps.
Always Focus on Your Form
When training, you should always focus on your form. If you are facing a bit of difficulty keeping both weight and reps up, just remember there’s no need to show off to anybody, or prove to the entire gym that you’re able to lift huge weight numbers.
You should instead do yourself a favor and lower the weight while keeping the reps up. Doing so would not hinder you from making progress.
The key in training is always consistency, and not the weight or reps. Slow and steady always wins the race!
Whether it be more weights and less reps, or less weight and more reps, remember everything works in tandem with one another.
You need to figure out what your sweet combination is while ensuring you’re still in sync with your body and form.
If someone lifts more weight and does less reps, or does more reps while lifting a little lesser, it does not mean he is right or wrong as long as he understands his body and is keeping a good form and routine.
4 Exercises to Work Out Your Biceps
Men who work their biceps usually do so to gain mass and strength. Women, on the other hand, usually get tone and definition due to the hormonal differences between the two genders.
While there are dozens of exercises that work the biceps, these four make the biggest difference in the shortest amount of time.
1) Barbell Curl
Curls using barbells instead of dumbbells allow you to use heavier weights which are needed to build mass. The key to this exercise is to do it in a slow and controlled manner so that you are not overcome by momentum.
Start from a standing position holding a barbell in your hands with your palms facing away from you. Bend at the elbows bringing up the weight until your forearms are vertical. Pause at the top and then slowly start to lower the weight until your arms are fully extended as they were in the starting position. Controlling the movement, especially downward, creates a higher intensity deep within the muscle fibers.
2) Incline Dumbbell Curl
With the Barbell Curl, it is possible to get some back movement if not careful with your form. But when laying on an incline bench, the movement of the back is nullified.
Start by laying on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms fully extended downward. Now contract your biceps thus moving the weight up until your forearms are vertical. Pause and slowly control the movement of the weight back down to the starting position.
3) Concentration Curl
Of all the curl exercises that work the biceps, this one isolates them the most. This one differs from the rest as it is done from a sitting position.
Start by sitting on a bench, legs apart and holding a dumbbell in one hand. The arm holding the dumbbell should be hanging straight down and resting against the inner part of your thigh, palm facing your other leg. To execute the move simply bend at the elbow raising the weight up until it touches your chest. Pause and control the movement slowly back down to the starting position. Because your upper arm rests against your upper thigh, momentum is dampened so all effort goes into the raising and lowering of the weight.
4) Reverse Grip Bent-Over Row
The standard row exercise helps work the biceps, but when done with a reverse grip, more stress is placed on the biceps thus developing them further.
Start bent over holding a weighted barbell with arms fully extended and palms facing out. Now bend at the elbows thus bringing up the weight until the biceps are parallel with the floor. Pause and then in a controlled manner slowly lower the weight back down to the starting position.
As far as the amount of weight, repetitions and sets with each of the exercises, use enough weight so you can do 2 to 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions per set. Once you reach the max on sets and reps, increase the weight and drop back on the number of reps and sets and start over again.