Day 1 of bigger bicep training. Did I do the right things, is my outcome normal?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 01, 2014 7:14 PM GMT
    Today, I started my bicep training!
    It's day number 1, and I'm new to it all - but I did buy and read a book in advance.

    Can anyone advise me if this is actually a good newbie workout for expanding my biceps?

    Barbell Curls
    1. Hands over bar, shoulder distance apart. 10 reps, 3 sets.
    2. Hands over bar, large distance apart. 10 reps, 3 sets.

    3. Hands under bar, shoulder distance apart. 10 reps, 3 sets.
    4. Hands under bar, large distance apart. 10 reps, 3 sets.

    Dumbbell curls
    1. Basic alternating arm curls, 10 reps, 3 sets.

    The result of the exercise saw me struggling to complete the dumbbell curls at the end, as I was trying really hard to slowly lift the barbell correctly and steadily.
    Now my arms feel swollen and tight.

    Does everything I have done and said sound like a good first session?
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    May 01, 2014 7:23 PM GMT
    I just started lifting stuff on Monday and I noticed after day one doing significantly less than you did my biceps were really tight and achy.

    What weights are you lifting?
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    May 01, 2014 7:26 PM GMT
    The only thing i can add to this is that at the moment i am trying to get my arms bigger icon_smile.gif
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    May 01, 2014 8:33 PM GMT
    Sounds fine. Try not to use momentum or your back too much (back and biceps are often done the same day for this reason. Tomorrow the inside of your elbow will feel very sore but that only lasts the first 2 or 3 weeks.
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    May 01, 2014 8:57 PM GMT
    When you say the inside of my elbow, do you just mean the top/bottom of it?
    Because its hurting already and i was wondering if i might have injured it.
    Also, my back has slight pain. I think i might have actually injured that icon_mad.gif

    Other than that, I'm pretty chuffed that my pain is progress!
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    May 01, 2014 9:23 PM GMT
    By the inside I mean the part of the elbow which faces upwards if you have your arms in front of you with the palms upwards. The feeling is DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and is expected. You can do a stretch to reduce it next time. One stretch is to get on all fours, turn your hand outwards so your fingers are pointing back towards you (and palms down) then slowly try and sit backwards.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    May 01, 2014 10:24 PM GMT
    I always found barbells too difficult to balance and control.
    I found dumbbells to be much better.
    BTW, I've never heard of hands-over-bar for doing bicep curls.
    It seems to me that it would be working the shoulders...
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    May 02, 2014 3:07 PM GMT
    I've always though arm workouts are overrated. I haven't done a dedicated "arm day" in half a decade. Doing large compound lifts will get you big arms while the rest of you grows too.

    If you want big arms, most of your upper arm is tricep. Are you working those too?

    Also, the actual mechanics of the lift (are you effectively isolating the muscle, moving the weight slowly on both eccentric and concentric movements) are probably more important than what specific bb or db curls you do.
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    May 02, 2014 3:32 PM GMT
    UFJocknerd saidI've always though arm workouts are overrated. I haven't done a dedicated "arm day" in half a decade. Doing large compound lifts will get you big arms while the rest of you grows too.

    If you want big arms, most of your upper arm is tricep. Are you working those too?

    Also, the actual mechanics of the lift (are you effectively isolating the muscle, moving the weight slowly on both eccentric and concentric movements) are probably more important than what specific bb or db curls you do.


    This is excellent advice. I'd just emphasize here the vital importance of proper form-- much more important than struggling with heavy weights to satisfy your ego. When doing curls or tricep pull downs, your knees and hips should be slightly bent forward and all your joints should be locked in place except for your elbows. These should be the only moving joints-- don't swing your back, hips or shoulders trying to get the bar or dumbbells up-- you're cheating by using momentum, not your arm muscles, and you could easily injure your lower back.

    If you train properly, you'll be surprised how little weight you'll be able to lift at first-- maybe only 15-20 lbs, but you'll get a great pump and grow much faster.

    I've trained my arms up to 18+ inches and I never curl more than 40-50 lbs. Triceps are a bigger muscle and can handle more weight, but DON'T CHEAT on your form either.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    May 02, 2014 3:40 PM GMT
    Ya, this^^^^. Remember all muscle groups will be limited in growth, literally, if you don't also work the opposite muscle which in this case is Tris. Tri's are three times as big anyway so if you want big arms, do both. And I agree, the hands over bar isn't usually part of bi work though it can't hurt. You might want to think "Arms day," not biceps only. Another I'd suggest (maybe instead of the hands over reps) is the dumbbell hammer curl that you swing up close to your chest and out to the side. Works the forearm.
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    May 02, 2014 8:35 PM GMT
    This is all really great advice! And it must work too looking at your pictures.

    Today, I did nothing. That's what I understand I should be doing. - I'm glad too, because my arms still hurt.

    I went out to better dumbbells too, I can add or remove weight to please my mood on these new ones.

    Tomorrow, when I work out again... should I just do the same exercises as last time, or different ones?


    And just to emphasize, I should, above all else, ensure I have a good stance and maintain my movement stability.
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    May 02, 2014 9:57 PM GMT
    Tomorrow when you work out--does that mean you did biceps on Ap. 30 (day before first post) and you're doing them two days later, again? That's too much man.
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    May 02, 2014 10:31 PM GMT
    UFJocknerd saidI've always though arm workouts are overrated. I haven't done a dedicated "arm day" in half a decade. Doing large compound lifts will get you big arms while the rest of you grows too.

    If you want big arms, most of your upper arm is tricep. Are you working those too?

    Also, the actual mechanics of the lift (are you effectively isolating the muscle, moving the weight slowly on both eccentric and concentric movements) are probably more important than what specific bb or db curls you do.


    +1

    + try whole body workouts the first week or two instead of splitting the body, it's a much more natural way how to start training, it helps you avoid overtraining and injuries at the beginning, which would be really demotivating if you're just starting and you'd have to take a break right away
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    May 02, 2014 10:42 PM GMT
    I worked out on 01/05/14, and plan to next workout (the same area) 03/05/14 ... too soon?

    ... I feel like I shouldn't wait too long before getting 'on it' again
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    May 02, 2014 11:00 PM GMT
    Tom8521 saidI worked out on 01/05/14, and plan to next workout (the same area) 03/05/14 ... too soon?

    ... I feel like I shouldn't wait too long before getting 'on it' again


    the same area means the same body parts?
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    May 02, 2014 11:18 PM GMT
    Yeah, biceps/arms on Thursday... then again on Saturday
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    May 02, 2014 11:33 PM GMT
    Tom8521 saidYeah, biceps/arms on Thursday... then again on Saturday


    That's not really the best idea. Lack of training of other body parts will eventually result in stagnation of development of your arms, if not in an injury.
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    May 03, 2014 12:04 PM GMT
    Tom8521 saidI worked out on 01/05/14, and plan to next workout (the same area) 03/05/14 ... too soon?

    ... I feel like I shouldn't wait too long before getting 'on it' again


    When are you lifting everything else?

    I'd suggest you pick up a normal beginner plan like starting strength, and start there.
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    May 03, 2014 2:14 PM GMT
    To the OP (orig poster)... with all due respect bud, you sound like you're all over the place. We ALL start somewhere, and its best you get a plan in place.

    You're young and strong - these are the best years for you to strengthen and build upon. I didn't start working out "properly" until my 40th birthday - and wish I knew at 27, what I know now.

    Do some research, and HIRE a (qualified)trainer, even for a short time 10-15 sessions, who will teach you proper FORM, movements, help you understand how the muscles work....and NUTRITION. Pay close attention too icon_smile.gif

    The best investment you can make...GOOD LUCK!