Biceps won't grow but forearms will

General discussions about getting and staying fit that don't relate directly to your indoor rower
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Gammmmo
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Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by Gammmmo » July 28th, 2019, 3:25 am

OK, so they aren't particularly functional but most guys want bigger biceps, right? Mine are a lagging bodypart, finding it difficult to grow them because I think it's to do with a poor mind-muscle connection. My forearms have gotten noticeably bigger so maybe that is a clue as to what I'm doing that's wrong with all the usual bicep building exercises?
Paul, 48M, 5'11" 79kg (all PBs done as a LWT tho'), ex bike time trialler.
1min=350m Image
Targets: 355m+ 1min, 1:27(500m), 3:11(1K), bench 2 plates, squat 3 plates, deadlift 4 plates

Erg on!

Tim huges
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by Tim huges » July 28th, 2019, 4:28 am

Gammmmo wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 3:25 am
OK, so they aren't particularly functional but most guys want bigger biceps, right? Mine are a lagging bodypart, finding it difficult to grow them because I think it's to do with a poor mind-muscle connection. My forearms have gotten noticeably bigger so maybe that is a clue as to what I'm doing that's wrong with all the usual bicep building exercises?
Think you have answered you're own question to an extent. Without viewing your form its difficult to say where you may be going wrong. You may not be doing anything wrong and you could just be genetically predisposed to have the biceps you have. The biceps, and indeed most muscles are easy to cheat. Are you getting full ROM? Bouncing at the bottom? Rushing the eccentric? Swinging your body to use momentum? All basic stuff, but i see many guys training biceps this way. The large forearms could be a red herring in my opinion but i can see your logic. With any muscle you are isolating you must "cancel" all other muscles in your mind, just focus on the bicep alone. Dont over grip and imagine the bicep alone is pulling the weight. It should be a very basic/easy muscle to isolate, if you are doing plenty of compound movements it shouldnt need much isolation...you seem pretty clued up regarding your training from posts ive read so its probably a safe bet you are doing nothing wrong. My shoulders dont seem to grow for love nor money.

Try mastering the mind muscle connection and then focus on working each head, large bicep peaks will give you a larger looking bicep. Other than that, keep grinding and making small tweaks...you may stumble across an exercise variation that suits your bio mechanics perfectly. Twisting the dumbell in at the bottom and out at the top is a great little way to get a fuller and complete contraction.
34yrs 6ft 250lbs England
Started Jan 2019
500m 1:31.6
2k 6:41.0
10k 37:34
HM 1:28:58

KEEP CALM AND 30R20

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hjs
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by hjs » July 28th, 2019, 5:08 am

Lower weights, strict performance, 12/15 reps. Should get your biceps on fire. If that will make them grow :wink:

Do think, rowing does not help in this matter, the biceps do a lot of work when rowing. Possibly to high a volume. More rest between strenght would be a lot better. But thats difficult to do.

Maybe, you could do a few sets after your rowing!, this to counter the rowing effect? Never tried it myself, but always worth to give it a try. Again, do go super heavy, go for the isolation burn. No body swing, just the arms. Keep volume low!

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Gammmmo
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by Gammmmo » July 28th, 2019, 6:11 am

hjs wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 5:08 am
Lower weights, strict performance, 12/15 reps. Should get your biceps on fire. If that will make them grow :wink:

Do think, rowing does not help in this matter, the biceps do a lot of work when rowing. Possibly to high a volume. More rest between strenght would be a lot better. But thats difficult to do.

Maybe, you could do a few sets after your rowing!, this to counter the rowing effect? Never tried it myself, but always worth to give it a try. Again, do go super heavy, go for the isolation burn. No body swing, just the arms. Keep volume low!
Yeah, I did think the rowing may be sending the opposite signal (to the biceps partcularly) and offsetting gains.
Paul, 48M, 5'11" 79kg (all PBs done as a LWT tho'), ex bike time trialler.
1min=350m Image
Targets: 355m+ 1min, 1:27(500m), 3:11(1K), bench 2 plates, squat 3 plates, deadlift 4 plates

Erg on!

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hjs
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by hjs » July 28th, 2019, 6:26 am

Gammmmo wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 6:11 am
hjs wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 5:08 am
Lower weights, strict performance, 12/15 reps. Should get your biceps on fire. If that will make them grow :wink:

Do think, rowing does not help in this matter, the biceps do a lot of work when rowing. Possibly to high a volume. More rest between strenght would be a lot better. But thats difficult to do.

Maybe, you could do a few sets after your rowing!, this to counter the rowing effect? Never tried it myself, but always worth to give it a try. Again, do go super heavy, go for the isolation burn. No body swing, just the arms. Keep volume low!
Yeah, I did think the rowing may be sending the opposite signal (to the biceps partcularly) and offsetting gains.
That the both don,t go well together is certain. Same with legs.
I myself, not anymore, shoulders issue, but upperbody pushing stuff did not suffer that much. I could build shoulders, triceps well in combination with rowing.

The strong sprint guys keep volume very low, main focus often strenght. Some even don,t row at all at sone times. Look at Paul Jeffrey. Wr holder row ski. 90% is weights. No longer work at all.

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Anth_F
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by Anth_F » July 28th, 2019, 8:00 am

Kept asking my brother how you getting your biceps like tree trunks :lol:

He's in the gym 4 days a week... but guess what? he's never been on an erg in his life. This says a lot!

But i like to erg, so i would never abandon it entirely just to get "bigger biceps". There are many more health and fitness benefits from erging than there are from just having big arms.
42yo male 5'10 78kg (Rowing since june 9th 2016) PB's 5k 19:22 30min 7518m

My goals are simply to keep fit/get fitter and continue to enjoy rowing on the C2 :)

https://log.concept2.com/log

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Gammmmo
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by Gammmmo » July 28th, 2019, 4:35 pm

I wonder if the type of cardio done e.g. erging, biking, running, x-country skiing etc, affects particular muscles to different degrees, or more accurately offsets hypertrophy in certain muscles to different degrees? So on the face of things you might assume that swapping out some ergo sessions for bike rides might help the biceps to grow? Sounds crazy. Of course cyclists are hardly renowned for having big biceps but then again they're not in the weight room several times a week trying to build them.
Paul, 48M, 5'11" 79kg (all PBs done as a LWT tho'), ex bike time trialler.
1min=350m Image
Targets: 355m+ 1min, 1:27(500m), 3:11(1K), bench 2 plates, squat 3 plates, deadlift 4 plates

Erg on!

G-dub
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by G-dub » July 28th, 2019, 6:19 pm

40 days of curls. 3 x 8. Add weight when it makes sense.
Glenn Walters: 5'-8" X 192 lbs. Bday 01/09/1962
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Anth_F
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by Anth_F » July 28th, 2019, 7:46 pm

If it really is down to your poor mind-muscle connection this video could help you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lQzkwqhKTk
42yo male 5'10 78kg (Rowing since june 9th 2016) PB's 5k 19:22 30min 7518m

My goals are simply to keep fit/get fitter and continue to enjoy rowing on the C2 :)

https://log.concept2.com/log

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hjs
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by hjs » July 29th, 2019, 3:45 am

Gammmmo wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 4:35 pm
I wonder if the type of cardio done e.g. erging, biking, running, x-country skiing etc, affects particular muscles to different degrees, or more accurately offsets hypertrophy in certain muscles to different degrees? So on the face of things you might assume that swapping out some ergo sessions for bike rides might help the biceps to grow? Sounds crazy. Of course cyclists are hardly renowned for having big biceps but then again they're not in the weight room several times a week trying to build them.
https://www.jtsstrength.com/5-questions-alex-viada/

MartinSH4321
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by MartinSH4321 » July 29th, 2019, 7:07 am

hjs wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 3:45 am
Gammmmo wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 4:35 pm
I wonder if the type of cardio done e.g. erging, biking, running, x-country skiing etc, affects particular muscles to different degrees, or more accurately offsets hypertrophy in certain muscles to different degrees? So on the face of things you might assume that swapping out some ergo sessions for bike rides might help the biceps to grow? Sounds crazy. Of course cyclists are hardly renowned for having big biceps but then again they're not in the weight room several times a week trying to build them.
https://www.jtsstrength.com/5-questions-alex-viada/
Alex Viada stuff is definitely worth reading!
Martin, 1983, Austria, 186cm / 100Kg (6ft1/220lb)
LP: 1:08, 100m: 14.4, 1': 384m, 500m: 1:21.4
1k: 3:05 2k: 6:43, 5k: 18:03, 30': 8107m, 30R20: 8010m 10k: 37:22
60': 15661m, HM: 1:21:57
rowing since 2018-06, 3mm in Nov19

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Gammmmo
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by Gammmmo » July 29th, 2019, 8:55 am

4:15 mile is v impressive even for a featherweight!
Paul, 48M, 5'11" 79kg (all PBs done as a LWT tho'), ex bike time trialler.
1min=350m Image
Targets: 355m+ 1min, 1:27(500m), 3:11(1K), bench 2 plates, squat 3 plates, deadlift 4 plates

Erg on!

MartinSH4321
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by MartinSH4321 » July 29th, 2019, 8:59 am

Gammmmo wrote:
July 29th, 2019, 8:55 am
4:15 mile is v impressive even for a featherweight!
He said that this 4:15 was downhill and impossible on a flat track, but afaik he still was sub 4:30, super strong for a >100kg guy!
Martin, 1983, Austria, 186cm / 100Kg (6ft1/220lb)
LP: 1:08, 100m: 14.4, 1': 384m, 500m: 1:21.4
1k: 3:05 2k: 6:43, 5k: 18:03, 30': 8107m, 30R20: 8010m 10k: 37:22
60': 15661m, HM: 1:21:57
rowing since 2018-06, 3mm in Nov19

KeithT
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by KeithT » July 29th, 2019, 9:36 am

I don't think the ERG hurts biceps growth but I don't think it helps either. When I came to CF and then the ERG a few years ago I already had pretty big and vascular arms from decades of weights. Since then, my arms haven't shrunk but they also have not grown. I still do some biceps work here and there but can see how a lot of Erging could impact biceps size. One thing that I found when I was more of a weightlifter is..if you want to improve a lagging body part, dedicate a day to it. So, if you want to improve arm size (I say arm as the tris make up more of the size of the arm and enhance biceps look) have one day a week where that is all you do. Can work bi's then tri's or alternate between, do some basic movements with a little more weight and also hit some different angles and isolation. This one day focus really worked for me when I wanted to improve and area.
51 yo, 6'3" 207#
PBs (all since turning 50):
1 min - 373m, 500m - 1:21.9, 1K - 2:59.8, 4 min - 1265m, 2K - 6:29.4, 5K - 17:27, 30 min - 8277m, 10K - 36:30, 60 min - 16110, HM - 1:20:22

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Eric308
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Re: Biceps won't grow but forearms will

Post by Eric308 » August 9th, 2019, 8:32 am

Alternate rows with every other 200m palm up. Do pyramid dumbbell curls...start with 30lb to failure, then 25 and down. Concentration curls with 25lb at the end of each work-out to failure. Do super sets....go from bis to tris without stopping. I do a lot of triceps pulldowns and that sitdown tricep machine you have to push...rather like a dip, which are also good. Build the tris to increase the appearance of the biceps. I'm almost 74, still gain muscle mass and have 16 inch biceps.

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