Bicep flatline

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    Apr 28, 2014 2:02 AM GMT
    Howdy Folks!

    I seem to have hit the wall in terms of bicep development. I've tried mixing up reps and sets, lower weights more reps and heavier weights lower reps. I've also tried loads of different exercises but nothing seems to have any impact. My biceps have truly flat-lined...

    I'm wondering if you've got any tips or tricks to shocking my biceps back into action?? What works for you?
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    Apr 28, 2014 11:16 AM GMT
    What I did was go back to basics. Lowered the weight and really concentrated on the movement, music paused and thinking about the bicep contracting, holding it for 2 seconds and really squeezing that hold. At first your self esteem will be shattered since you've dropped the weight stack load but, that'll pass. Have a look at one of my pics. I'm natural ( and I'm not being judgmental) but I used to swing all over the place with bicep curls trying to lift the heaviest weight. Another point is that other exercises should also be incorporated, which don't concentrate just on the bicep. I'm assuming you don't do the regular back-bicep, chest blah blah. Really mix it up. I've been known to do abs, calves, biceps. Shock your body. Hope it helps. I know some will say that's not how you train, but I respectfully disagree. I think I've been able to prove that going totally against the norm, I've been able to achieve more than I ever expected. Every body is different so this is a suggestion. Lastly, listen to your body - muscle, mind connection is crucial.
    Best of luck. Would love to know how it goes.
  • toughpup94

    Posts: 65

    Apr 28, 2014 2:00 PM GMT
    your biceps arent big enough to have flatlined..
  • jjguy05

    Posts: 459

    Apr 28, 2014 5:26 PM GMT
    toughpup94 saidyour biceps arent big enough to have flatlined..


    Exactly. 14" at 6' tall, the OP may need to re-evaluate his lifting methods. He's definitely not small, but has reached that point where he needs to work harder to grow. What's worked until now now longer works...gotta step it up from beginner to intermediate/advanced mode now.

    As jocksportsgear points out: does the OP just swing the weight? Or does he raise it, concentrating on his bicep actually working and contracting? You wanna concentrate on the bicep working, not on the weight being raised.

    Also, are you eating enough?

    Are you eating immediately post workout (something that can digest quickly such as whey protein with sugar for quick energy to repair the muscle)?

    It's awesome that you're incorporating different set and rep ranges. Do you ever do cheat reps (after a full set of proper reps)? EVer do drop sets? Do you control during the negative portion of the rep? Do you feel the pump? Do you ever do reps for the burn?

    Also try different angles. Arms away from the body (concentrated curls, preacher curls, scott curls, high-pulley cable curls)...arms behind the torso (seated incline bench DB curls, drag curls, behind-the-back cable curls)...different grips (wide grip barbell, narrow grip barbell, straight barbell, EZ barbell, reverse grip barbell/DB, hammer curls)...and....

    most importantly...do you hammer your triceps as well? That's 2/3 of your arm right there. For a lot of newer guys, it's not intuitive to hammer the tris as well. But once you've gotten them to grow, you'll realize how nice, meaty, and balanced your upper arm looks now, and it fills that sleeve nicely.

    Cheers...and don't hesitate to ask follow-up questions.
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    Apr 28, 2014 9:18 PM GMT
    OP, I don't see much vascularization on your arms. My bet is that your arms would be even thinner if you were to lower your body fat to more athletic levels. Find a sports dietitian to fix your diet.

    I do also have a lot of trouble growing my arms, but it's due to the fact that I have no fat there to create an illusion of size and I'm so tall I need to gain 13lbs of lean mass just to gain 0.6". A 5'8" can achieve this with a lot less mass.
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    Apr 28, 2014 10:57 PM GMT
    My arms flatlined for 3 months and it was annoying. I decided to aim for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and that seems to have done the trick. In 2 months they've grown half an inch (13 to 13.5") which is a big deal for me! Normally I'm happy if I see 0.125" growth in a month.

    Essentially I do arms about 3 times over a 2 week period. 45-50 minutes of supersets (bicep exercise, then tricep exercise). Weight that should be used is to failure but reaching 12-15 reps. No more than 90 second rest between sets.

    For example. I'd do a bicep exercise and then start a timer when I finish. Then I'd move on to my tricep exercise. When I finish, I only rest if the 90 seconds hasn't been reached before I go back to the bicep exercise.

    Also, form is key for biceps. You need to fully extend the arm and go slow.
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    Apr 29, 2014 12:15 AM GMT
    Thanks for all the great advice and tips.

    I am always very careful with my form and aim for maximum extension of my arm and never swing the weight. I reckon I'd be one of very few guys in the gym who don't in fact swing the barbell...

    I do a lot of triceps work as I know these muscle make up about two thirds of your upper arm muscles... I guess I tend be a little limited/cautious in what I can do for my arms because of elbow issues, and I am mindful of this.

    My arm workout varies and yesterday for biceps I did:
    Barbell curls 3 sets of 10 reps
    Hammer curls 3 sets of 10 reps
    Seated barbell curls 3 sets of 12 reps
    Incline dumbbell curls 3 sets of 10 reps

    For triceps:
    V bar push-downs 4 sets of 12 reps
    Straight bar push-downs 3 sets of 12 reps
    Narrow straight bar push-downs 3 sets of 12 reps
    Overhead rope extensions 4 sets of 12 reps

    My workout week looks like this:
    Monday - biceps and triceps
    Wednesday - back and shoulders
    Friday - chest and arms
    Saturday - legs

    And I do 20 mins of cardio every session.

    I've been doing 12 rep sets for a few months and prior to this I was doing 8 reps with heavier weights but it was taking its' toll on my joints...

    I'm not sure where I'm going wrong as my whole body development seems to have stalled...
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    Apr 29, 2014 1:00 AM GMT
    WestAussieGuy saidThanks for all the great advice and tips.

    I am always very careful with my form and aim for maximum extension of my arm and never swing the weight. I reckon I'd be one of very few guys in the gym who don't in fact swing the barbell...

    I do a lot of triceps work as I know these muscle make up about two thirds of your upper arm muscles... I guess I tend be a little limited/cautious in what I can do for my arms because of elbow issues, and I am mindful of this.

    My arm workout varies and yesterday for biceps I did:
    Barbell curls 3 sets of 10 reps
    Hammer curls 3 sets of 10 reps
    Seated barbell curls 3 sets of 12 reps
    Incline dumbbell curls 3 sets of 10 reps

    For triceps:
    V bar push-downs 4 sets of 12 reps
    Straight bar push-downs 3 sets of 12 reps
    Narrow straight bar push-downs 3 sets of 12 reps
    Overhead rope extensions 4 sets of 12 reps

    My workout week looks like this:
    Monday - biceps and triceps
    Wednesday - back and shoulders
    Friday - chest and arms
    Saturday - legs

    And I do 20 mins of cardio every session.

    I've been doing 12 rep sets for a few months and prior to this I was doing 8 reps with heavier weights but it was taking its' toll on my joints...

    I'm not sure where I'm going wrong as my whole body development seems to have stalled...


    I would add dips for triceps, those are pretty important to kicking your arms into shape. My only other advice is shorten your rest period (going down from 2 min to 1.5 min is quite a bit different). I would not split your routine between half biceps and then triceps. Superset the exercises.
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    Apr 29, 2014 1:04 AM GMT


    I would add dips for triceps, those are pretty important to kicking your arms into shape. My only other advice is shorten your rest period (going down from 2 min to 1.5 min is quite a bit different). My only other advice is to not split your routine between half biceps and then triceps. Superset the exercises.[/quote]

    Thanks for this, I was doing only 60 seconds of rest and have extended that to 90 seconds in the last few weeks. I think I'll also try and remember to squeeze and hold at the top of each movement for a little longer. I'm pretty sure I don't do this effectively now that I think of it...

    I'll have to do a bit more reading about super sets to make sure I tackle them effectively...

    Thanks again mate.

  • Apr 30, 2014 12:42 PM GMT
    Do weighted pullups, if you can. Those got my biceps (and back) huge.
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    Apr 30, 2014 2:53 PM GMT
    bacillus1 saidDo weighted pullups, if you can. Those got my biceps (and back) huge.


    With regard to biceps: study hypertrophy. Execute the method. Expand the fascia.

    Friends don't let friends skip leg day. 2/3 of your LBM is in your legs.

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    May 02, 2014 4:44 PM GMT
    As with any muscle, if you feel like you are flat-lining, change up the exercies.. different ones allow you to hit the muscle from different angles.

    Jefit.com has a huge list of different exercises for the body. It's a great source. The list for glutes has come in super handy for me. Things that I have never seen or even thought of work wonders.


    http://www.jefit.com/exercises/bodypart.php?id=2&exercises=Biceps
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    May 04, 2014 9:43 AM GMT
    dudewithabeard saidAs with any muscle, if you feel like you are flat-lining, change up the exercies.. different ones allow you to hit the muscle from different angles.

    Jefit.com has a huge list of different exercises for the body. It's a great source. The list for glutes has come in super handy for me. Things that I have never seen or even thought of work wonders.


    http://www.jefit.com/exercises/bodypart.php?id=2&exercises=Biceps


    Thanks for the tip mate!
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    May 04, 2014 7:06 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidFriends don't let friends skip leg day. 2/3 of your LBM is in your legs.


    I spent extra time on legs this week after reading that icon_smile.gif