If you thought the only way to get bigger biceps was to lift heavy weights, then this is the video for you. Here I’m going to show you how you not only can build big biceps with light weights but how you must lift lighter weights at some point in your training if you want to have maximum bicep development.
The roots of this video were covered in the one I did on hypertrophy and the three main methods of building muscle. In that, I discussed how there are three main ways of eliciting muscle growth from your workouts. The first is progressive overload. This can be achieved through either adding more weight to the bar or by increasing the volume of work that you perform in a given workout or workouts. The problem with progressive overload however is that you ultimately run into a wall and cannot continue to add weight or volume without failing to be able to do so or incurring unwanted overuse.
Similarly, you can use eccentric overload training. Here you rely on the increased strength that you have in an eccentric muscle contraction that you don’t have in a concentric contraction to your advantage. The slow lowering of the heavier weights act to cause a mechanical disruption to the muscles that you are training and cause a stimulus for that muscle (in this case the biceps) to be built up bigger and stronger during the recovery process.
The most overlooked tool for increasing muscle size however is the metabolic training method. Here, the goal is to increase the production of metabolites, the biproduct of muscle contraction. As you continue to rep out even when the lactic acid burn has caused you to want to give up, you are providing an incredible stimulus for muscle growth. This occurs due to the influx of water into the muscle cell in order to reduce the concentration of metabolites inside the working muscle cell.
If you want your biceps to grow bigger you not only will want to do more of this type of training but you must do more of it. The first place to start is to take regular bicep exercises and start incorporating constant motion to them. Instead of taking even a brief rest at either the top or the bottom of the exercise, you will lighten the weights and work within the middle 90 percent of the rep. By eliminating the top and bottom you are able to stay in the middle of the rep and keep working until the burn is almost unbearable.
The second way to use light weights to build bigger biceps is to pick peak contraction exercises like the spider curl and stick within the contracted position and rep out. Here, you are not only using constant motion but you are relying on the occlusive effect that you are creating by abbreviating the top half of the movement. The burn will once again be crazy, but this is what you need to resist and realize that every rep done with the burn present will deliver more and more of the size and growth response that you are after.
If you are looking for a program that puts the science back in strength and makes sure that you never overlook any important element of your training, be sure to head to http://athleanx.com and use our program selector to get the workout that is most aligned with your goals. Use the same workout programs that pro athletes use to get in their best shape ever by training smarter and harder.
For more videos on how to build big arms and get bigger biceps with light weights and heavy weights, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at http://youtube.com/user/jdcav24
What’s up, guys?
Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com.
Today I want to talk to you about how to build
bigger biceps with lighter weights, because
it can absolutely be done.
As a matter of fact, it better be done if
you’re looking for your best bicep development
You see, metabolic training is a component
of your training that has to be in place if
you want to see peak growth and development
of any muscle that you’re trying to develop.
Not just your biceps.
So let’s see what it looks like in action
so you can start to get a feel for what I’m
This, right here, is a bicep curl, but it’s
a little bit different than a regular bicep
curl because the goal here, is to accumulate,
not just repetitions, but to accumulate metabolic
In other words, increase metabolite production
from rep, after rep, after rep.
As I start to fatigue I want to chase more
fatigue, and chase more burn, and more burn,
and I want to be able to dwell in this.
You can see that I’m not just changing color,
but this is what I’m actually doing inside
the muscle as I continue to lift.
Now the weight selection: I would take what
I would normally use for five, to eight reps,
which would be about 60lbs, and I’m going
to drop that down, in half.
So here I’m using about 25lbs, or 30lbs.
The goal is, you shave off the top 5%, and
the bottom 5% of the range of motion because
I don’t want to give myself an opportunity
to pause the momentum of this rep at any,
You see, if you go to the very top I can stop
moving the dumbbells, or I could stop at the
That tends to be where we do that, but if
I shave that off, and I give you the main
instruction of “Move the damned weight and
never stop moving, keep the same tempo.
Up, and down, and up, and down, and up, and
You will start to feel that burn, and that
is what you should be chasing.
Now I’ll explain it to you in a second of
why that is actually causing muscle growth,
but you have to realize, this technique is
not one that we have to do in exclusion of
everything else, but it’s one that we have
to do in inclusion to the other methods that
we use, and we’re used to using for training.
We know we need to add weight to the bar,
we know we need to use heavy weights, we know
we need to be able to progressively overload
– whether via weight, or volume – but
that is going to run into a wall after a point.
We need to have other methods.
This is going to compliment it and actually
give you more growth.
I could apply this, as you see here, to an
Just save a little bit off the bottom, a little
bit off the top, and keep that dumbbell moving,
and we’ll get the same response.
But there’s another way that we could actually
chase metabolic overload.
That is by taking the exercise where the peak
tension occurs in the most contracted position
of that exercise.
So for me, for the biceps, it’s a spider curl.
You can see here that via the position of
my body on this incline bench, the peak tension
is occurring when that dumbbell is all the
way up at the top.
The key here is not to let the muscle drain.
Get the metabolites to being production by
having this high level of tension in that
state of peaked contraction, and stay there.
Go down as low as only the mid-range, and
come back up to the top, and now do the same
Rep, and rep, and rep, and rep, and rep, and
you’ll start to feel this intense burn.
But what I’m saying to you is, this is what
you need to chase.
When you get there, you don’t stop.
You dwell in it.
You try to sit there and revel in that pain,
and discomfort because, again, that is where
the magic happens.
You could have turned the original bicep exercise
into this same kind of exercise by adding
a band to the dumbbells.
By doing so, we’ve now complimented that strength
curve to add an additional peak tension at
the top of the rep.
So now, how is all this happening?
Why is all this working?
Well, if you look here – this is our blackboard,
by the way, guys – when you look here – forget
the white boards.
They’re out of style.
You basically have a muscle cell, okay?
I’m going to keep this really, really simple.
Inside the muscle cell, the more you start
to lift, the more you get the accumulation
of all our different metabolites.
I’m talking about potassium.
I’m talking about lactic acid.
I’m talking about hydrogen.
I’m talking about chloride.
All these things start to accumulate inside
the muscle cell.
We know, from biology, that the more stuff
that starts to accumulate inside of a cell,
the more that concentration is, the more there
is a tendency for water to enter the cell,
to try to diffuse that, and try to equalize
the concentration inside, and out.
So if we start to increase all those metabolites
being produced here – again, lactic acid,
phosphate – all those things are starting
to be produced, water wants to flow into this
cell to try to diffuse this.
There’s too much concentration, and there’s
too little hydration, and water inside the
So all that starts to rush in.
Well, what happens at that point?
With all this water hydration rushing into
this muscle cell you start to get outward
– inward, to outward pressure – on that
So it starts to push on the walls in this
Now, this isn’t true muscle growth.
When this cell is starting to get pushed out
this way, that’s not the growth that you’re
looking for, where you’re going to walk away
and get bigger, and feel stronger, and bigger
the next day.
What I’m talking about is, that is the stimulus
because of the pressure on the cell that requires
that cell to adapt and respond by ultimately
So what you’re chasing here, is this gradient,
and by increasing this – the more that you
can increase these metabolites, the more you
can resist that burn – there’s more likelihood
that you’ll be able to drive stuff into the
The fluid is able to push out, and create
a bigger, and bigger response.
Now guys, this type of training – as I said
in the beginning – is not exclusive.
If you only use this and you’re using light
weights to accomplish this where are you going
to get your heavy weight training in?
Because all three methods of hypertrophy have
to be in place if you want to see your best
However, if you’re not using light weights
because you were told a long time ago that
it’s impossible to build muscle with them,
that is wrong.
It’s actually 100% wrong and in order to see
your best results you need to have all those
Eccentric overload, metabolic training, and
also progressive overload using both volume,
and additional weight on the bar as your mechanisms.
Guys, if you’re looking for a program that
weaves all these in at the appropriate time
so you’re not missing out on any one, and
you’re not listening to the “Broscience” you’ve
heard in the past that made you run away from
the light weights for fear that you wouldn’t
build muscle with them; that program is over
All of our programs actually put the science
back in strength.
If you click the link below this video you’ll
find our program selector tool.
That will help you to find the program that
is most aligned with your current goals.
In the meantime, if you’ve found this video
helpful leave your comments and thumbs up
Let me know what else you want to see here,
and I’ll do my best to cover it for you in
the days, and weeks ahead.
All right, guys.
See you soon.